Blog , Travel

Travel the USA (Visit South Dakota)

Posted on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
South Dakota

It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all fifty states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 41st to visit is none other than South Dakota, abbreviated SD. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, The Mount Rushmore State is totally fantastic!

Visit State # 41 – SD

State Motto Under God the people rule
State Flower American Pasque (May Day flower)
State Bird Ring-necked Pheasant
State Gem Fairburn Agate
State Capital Pierre
Famous Foods Bison, Chili and Cinnamon/Caramel rolls, Chislic, Cookies n’ Cream Ice Cream, Gabubu Bread, Indian tacos, Kolache, Kuchen, Pheasant, Pickle Beer, Red Beer, Rushmore Mountain Taffy, Tiger Meat, Walleye and more.

South Dakota, also sometimes called The Sunshine State, The Coyote State, The Blizzard State, and the Artesian State, is a landlocked Midwestern state in the Great Plains region of the US mainland. It borders North Dakota to the north, Nebraska to the south, Minnesota on the east, Iowa southeast and Wyoming and Montana to the west. People who live in SD enjoy all four seasons and more sunny days than the U.S. average. The territory that would become South Dakota was added to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The early people to inhabit the land hunted bison and other large animals. Others who settled here included the Mandan and the Arikara who established a large trading network. By the early 1700s, the Sioux dominated the area. In the 1680s, European explorers began visiting Upper Louisiana and the French continued to explore the area in the 18th century until it was sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The land would experience fur traders and land speculators as permanent settlements grew. Intermittent wars between the Sioux and the U.S. government would also play a role in its history. The gold rush and growth or railway would lead to expansion. Both South and North Dakota would simultaneously be admitted to the Union in 1889 as the 39th and 40th states with generally the same boundaries as the present state.

When folks think of South Dakota, the iconic Mount Rushmore comes to mind. Per, “Forever emblazoned in granite, a shrine of democracy marches across the skyline of America. Gazing over the Black Hills, four U.S. presidents stand for hope, determination, and the spirit of the nation. Mount Rushmore is a must-visit destination. It is open all year long and features a half-mile walking trail, museum, gift shop, dining room, and more. The monument, a vision of American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, features the 60-foot faces of four great American presidents to include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The four U.S. presidents are said to represent the birth, growth, development and preservation of our nation. Each evening from May to September, there is a ceremony held in the park’s outdoor Amphitheatre to highlight the making of the monument via video, a flag lowering ceremony, and the lighting of the memorial.

Rapid City, located in western South Dakota, offers a central location for visiting ten famous parks and monuments. This includes Black Hills National Forest featuring 1.2 million acres of diverse terrain and stunning scenery. It was established in 1897 by President Grover Cleveland and features pine trees and “paha sapa” meaning “hills that are black.” Bear Butte State Park is another must-see destination. It features a 1,200-foot-tall geological formation and is excellent for hikers. The mountain is a sacred place for the indigenous tribes of the region. Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park offer one-of-a-kind experiences in nature.

Rapid City also offers many fun educational and cultural attractions to include The Journey Museum & Learning Center, a place where families can explore 2.5 billion years of history arranged in chronological order. Chapel in the Hills, an exact replica of the famous Borgund Stavkirke in Norway, is a visitable seasonal spot located in wilderness and features a museum, gift shop, and meditation trail. When the chapel is closed, folks can still tour the grounds and take in the building’s architectural features. Both the South Dakota Air & Space Museum and Main Street Square, a public space in the heart of the city dedicated to fun festivals, concerts, wintertime ice skating and more, are also worth enjoying.

South Dakota features a fountain of lively cities bubbling over with fun things to do, plus boasts the most amazing parks and monuments. There are also many free things to do in and around the city to include Storybook Island, a magical children’s park, and City of Presidents, sweeping visitors past a series of life-sized bronze statues of past American Presidents displayed along Downtown Rapid City’s streets and sidewalks. If you’re looking for fun, look no more. South Dakota awaits your visit.

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