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South Dakota

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South Dakota

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South Dakota [1] is an American state on the Great Plains.

Mount Rushmore


  • Southeast -- Most populous, includes South Dakota's largest city (Sioux Falls) and the junction of Interstate Highways 90 and 29.
  • Glacial Lakes -- North east corner, largely agricultural landscape, home to numerous lakes and the Coteau des Prairies.
  • Great Lakes -- Central area bordering the Missouri river
  • Badlands and Black Hills -- Western quarter of the state


  • Aberdeen -- Third largest city, located in the northeast corner of the state. Home to Northern State University
  • Brookings -- Home to South Dakota State University
  • Deadwood -- A national historic landmark located in the Black Hills.
  • Custer -- Oldest City in the Black Hills.
  • Sioux Falls -- Largest city in the state, named after the falls of the Sioux River.
  • Mitchell -- home of the World's Only Corn Palace, with new murals covering the outside every year since 1892. Home of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.
  • Pierre -- State capital located on the Missouri River.
  • Rapid City -- Second largest city in the state, located at the base of the Black Hills along Interstate 90. Home to Dinosaur Park, among other attractions.
  • Sturgis -- "Motorcycle City, USA"; home of the Sturgis Rally.
  • Vermillion -- Home to the University of South Dakota.
  • Wall -- Gateway to the Badlands and home of Wall Drug.
  • Watertown -- Home of the Terry Redlin Art Center.

Other destinations


Include National Wildlife Refuges in this section as well, Lacreek, Sand Lake, Waubay, Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuges.


Get in

South Dakota is served by two major airports, Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD), in the southeast, and Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), in the west. Sioux Falls Regional Airport is served by airlines Northwest, United, Delta and Allegiant. Rapid City Regional is served by airlines Northwest, United, Delta and Allegiant. Aberdeen, Watertown and Pierre also have scheduled commercial air service.

Two major interstates cross the state, Interstate 90, which runs from Seattle Washington to Boston Massachusetts, and Interstate 29, which runs from Kansas City Missouri north to Winnepeg Manitoba, Canada. Additionally, federal highways running east-west include 12, 212, 14, and 18; north-south highways 85, 385, 83, 183, 281 and 81 also traverse the state.

South Dakota is not served by Amtrak passenger rail.

Get around

Because South Dakota is rather sparsely populated and little mass transit is available, most residents and visitors use the state's roads and highways to travel from place to place. However, traffic is light and roads are straight and direct, so it's easy to get wherever you want to go.


  • Corn Palace in Mitchell



  • Al's Oasis in Oacoma on I-90 near the Missouri River.


Stay safe

The eastern part of South Dakota is in Tornado Alley so might want to check the Tornado safety page if you are visiting South Dakota.

Get out

To the north and south are the fellow plains states of North Dakota and Nebraska, with various attractions in each one, but for a different type of state, consider going either east to forested Minnesota, or west to eventual mountains in Wyoming or Montana

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