Travel Destination Bucket List – Have you ever been to South Dakota? If not, it’s time you visited. We bet you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy this amazing state. However, we recommend that you make a list of things to do in South Dakota before your visit.
You see, South Dakota is full of amazing things to see and do. It can make it overwhelming to choose what to do in the moment. Having a South Dakota bucket list before you go will help you plan ahead and make sure you see and do the things that matter most to you.
Travel Destination Bucket List
Not sure where to start with your travel bucket list? In this article, we’ve shared our South Dakota bucket list, which is full of bucket list ideas to choose from. We’re sure this travel list will inspire you to create your own.
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Of course, you need to know what a bucket list is in order to create your own. Basically, this list is a collection of places to go and things to do before you die. This can include experiences to have, food to eat, and even people to meet.
Some people keep a simple list in their head with just a few items, while others keep a long list that includes
Want to do before they die. However, our suggestion is to keep individual lists for each place you want to go one day.
The South Dakota Bucket List below will help you get started creating your travel bucket lists so you’re prepared wherever you go. Let’s dive into it.
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We always check the sites of national parks in a region when we make a list of tourist offers. That’s because NPS sites are always worth visiting, and many of them are some of the best attractions in the country.
Want to add NPS sites to your South Dakota bucket list? The options below are definitely worth adding.
The South Dakota wilderness is beautiful. They have a harsh, unearthly beauty that attracts visitors from all over the world. Badlands National Park is home to one of the richest fossil beds in the world, and fossils of ancient horses and ancient rhinos have been found there. Moreover, a large number of wild animals inhabit this park and wildlife sightings are daily.
Did you know that South Dakota is home to the third largest cave in the world? Jewel Cave contains over 208 miles of mapped and surveyed passageways, and the fragile formations and brilliant flashes of color found within are truly magnificent. This is a little-known NPS site that we think everyone should check out.
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Most of us are familiar with the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. However, few people have the opportunity to walk along the path taken by the expedition. Visit the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to walk in the footsteps of these historic explorers and learn about their expedition.
During the Cold War, large numbers of nuclear missiles were placed in the Great Plains and kept on constant alert. These rockets were hidden in plain sight for years, and hundreds of them still exist today. They have the power to destroy an entire civilization, but are meant to keep peace and prevent war. Visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site to learn more.
The Missouri River is an iconic river, and the Missouri River National Recreation NPS site is the perfect place to view this beautiful body of water. The park spans a 100-mile stretch of Missouri and offers guests the opportunity to get out and explore the river and the lands around it.
Almost every American has seen photos of Mount Rushmore, but nothing compares to seeing this amazing sculpture in person. Admire the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, all carved into the mountainside, and learn about the incredible story behind this work of art at Mount Rushmore National Monument.
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Another amazing cave in South Dakota is located in Wind Cave National Park. The Wind Cave is one of the oldest caves in the country and one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. It is hidden under the rolling lawns of the park, just waiting to be explored by visitors like you.
Yes, the South Dakota NPS sites are fantastic. However, they are far from the only things to see and do in the state. In fact, there are plenty of amazing things to discover while you’re there.
A museum and permanent paleontological site, the Mammoth Site is the ideal place to learn about paleontology. View woolly mammoth fossil remains and learn how they were found and recovered. You will also learn about the large number of other fossils found at the site and see some of these amazing finds for yourself.
Crazy Horse was a war chief of the Oglala Lakota people. He is best known for his role in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, but he also did many other amazing things in his life. Because of these accomplishments, this man was chosen as the face of a monument built on the side of Thunderhead Mountain to honor the Native Americans of North America. Visit this monument and visit the museum to learn more about this fantastic work of art.
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An adorable little theme park, Storybook Island is on a mission to spark the imaginations of young children. The attraction is free and features a variety of fun sets, statues and storybook-themed houses. The park also offers a handful of rides, including a beautiful carousel and a cute miniature railway.
Want to come face to face with some of North America’s scariest creatures? At Bear Country USA, you can do it from the safety of your car. Hike the 3-mile trail while spotting buffalo, bears, reindeer, and even arctic wolves. The park also has a boardwalk where you can observe playful bears.
It’s always fun to find beautiful gardens on your travels. If you are looking for a beautiful garden in South Dakota, McCrory Gardens is the place for you. This attraction is located on the campus of South Dakota State University and is operated and maintained by the university’s horticulture department. The gardens have 25 hectares of formal gardens and a 45 hectare arboretum which means there is plenty to see.
Have you ever wanted to go back in time and find out what it was like to live in the late 19th century? At Ingalls Homestead, guests can do just that. Here you can see the place where Laura Ingalls (of
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Slava) and her family lived for many years. Do laundry like mom would, learn to rope, ride a horse, ride to school in a covered wagon and more. It’s the ultimate immersive history lesson!
Another great place to learn about how people once lived on the prairie, the Prairie Homestead Historic Site features a mud house built in 1909. Visitors are invited to take a self-guided tour of this incredible historic home. Be sure to visit the barn, outbuilding and chicken coop while you’re there, and don’t forget to visit the on-site museum.
Located in Rapid City, Reptile Gardens is the largest reptile zoo in the world and a unique attraction worth seeing. This beautiful garden is teeming with crocodiles, alligators, lizards, snakes and more. The indoor jungle is particularly cool, and the replica of the largest turtle fossil ever found is amazing. Of course, the shows are not to be missed while you’re there!
A free attraction located near Rapid City, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum is the perfect place to see cool planes and learn something new. The museum houses more than 30 aircraft, as well as interactive exhibits and interesting information about the history of aviation.
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Another wonderful place to travel back in time, 1880 Town is an outdoor museum that features a collection of over 30 historic buildings. These include a blacksmith shop, saloon, school, prison, post office, and more. Additionally, the grounds include a museum about world champion rodeo cowboy Casey Tibbs, as well as a main building that houses dozens of props from the film.
So far, we’ve covered several different options for learning about life on the prairie for the pioneers of the 1800s. Additionally, it’s also important to learn about the history of the local Native American tribes. The Mitchell Indian Prehistoric Village is a great place to do just that. It is an active archaeological site where the only reliably dated remains of the 1,100-year-old Mississippian Woodland cultures have been discovered. Visitors can observe the excavation process and learn more about these amazing people and how they lived.
Petrified wood is a really cool thing that you can’t find in many places. Petrified Wood Park is built entirely of petrified wood and is very creative and interesting. Be sure to check them both out