9 days in South Dakota, South Central North Dakota & Alton Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota, South Central North Dakota & Alton Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary maker
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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Bismarck
— 2 nights
Fly to St Louis Lambert International Airport, Drive to Alton
3
Alton
— 2 nights
+2
Drive to St Louis Lambert International Airport, Fly to La Guardia Airport, Drive to New York City

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Rapid City — 4 nights

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rapid City: Crazy Horse Memorial (in Crazy Horse), Custer (Sylvan Lake, Wildlife Loop Road, &more) and Keystone (Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Presidential Trail). Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, browse the different shops at Wall Drug, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, and stop by Downtown Rapid City.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Rapid City itinerary maker app.

New York City to Rapid City is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. Traveling from New York City in July, Rapid City is little chillier at night with lows of 62°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Bismarck.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Scenic Drive
Side Trips

Bismarck — 2 nights

Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. On the 7th (Thu), ponder the world of politics at North Dakota State Capitol Building and then shop like a local with North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. Here are some ideas for day two: appreciate the history behind Buffalo Statue and then pause for some photo ops at Sakakawea Statue.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Bismarck day trip website.

Getting from Rapid City to Bismarck by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: drive. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. In July, plan for daily highs up to 85°F, and evening lows to 58°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) early enough to drive to Alton.
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Museums · Shopping

Alton — 2 nights

Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15mi north of St. On the 9th (Sat), wander the wide-open spaces of Henry's Rabbit Ranch, then steep yourself in history at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, and then admire the engineering at Melvin Price Locks and Dam. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sun): look for all kinds of wild species at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary and then get engrossed in the history at Beall Mansion Tour.

To see ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Alton trip itinerary tool.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Bismarck to Alton. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Alton when traveling from Bismarck in July, with lows around 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can drive back home.
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Parks · Museums · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Side Trips

South Dakota travel guide

4.3
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.
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