9 days in South Dakota Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota holiday planner
Make it your trip
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
Sioux Falls
— 1 night


Rapid City — 4 nights

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Family-friendly places like Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Bear Country USA will thrill your kids. Venture out of the city with trips to Keystone (Breezy Point Picnic Area & Presidential Trail), Custer (Sylvan Lake, Needles Eye Tunnel, &more) and Elk Mountain Nature Trail (in Wind Cave National Park). There's lots more to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Reptile Gardens, wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City, take in the awesome beauty at Black Elk Peak, and find something for the whole family at Rushmore Tramway Adventures.

For where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Rapid City trip planning app.

Seattle to Rapid City is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. June in Rapid City sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 57°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Theme Parks
Side Trips

Badlands National Park — 3 nights

Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Kids will enjoy Loop Road and Notch Trail. Spend the 1st (Thu) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Panorama Point Overlook, make a trip to Pinnacles Overlook, and look for gifts at Badlands Ranch Store.

For other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Badlands National Park trip itinerary planning tool.

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In June in Badlands National Park, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 54°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can go by car to Sioux Falls.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails
Side Trip

Sioux Falls — 1 night

Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): explore the engaging exhibits at Stockyards Ag Experience, stroll around Falls Park, then hike along Sioux Falls Bike Trails, and finally hike along SculptureWalk & Arc of Dreams Monument.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sioux Falls trip site.

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Sioux Falls in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or fly; or do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Badlands National Park in July: highs in Sioux Falls hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 62°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Childrens Museums

South Dakota travel guide

National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.