EXPLORE SOUTH DAKOTA

SIOUX FALLS • RAPID CITY • PIERRE • ABERDEEN

The Magnificence of South Dakota

Wildlife and scenery set the scene for magnificence in South Dakota. The state may be sparsely populated, but it more than makes up for its lack of people with its abundance of rich geographical treasures and historic sites. Known for its tremendous frontier and Native American heritage, South Dakota is wonderfully representative of the country’s formative years. Naturally, many would book a bus ticket to South Dakota in the hopes of visiting Mount Rushmore, but there’s much more to do in this beautiful state than meets the eye. Here’s a taste of what you can expect.

A Brief History of South Dakota

The United States acquired South Dakota as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was not until 1889, however, that the state joined the Union. In 1890, the famous Wounded Knee Massacre occurred at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This was the final major conflict between American soldiers and the Sioux Nation and is marked by a stone monument in honor of those who died. Work on one of South Dakota’s most beloved attractions, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, began in 1927. The sculptor’s aim was to carve the presidents from head to waist, but lack of funds prevented this. In the following years, many South Dakotans suffered economic hardships during the Great Depression. Life changed dramatically in 1935 when a forceful event known as the Dust Bowl devastated farmlands by blowing away topsoil and ruining crops.

Culture in South Dakota

There are fewer than a million people in South Dakota, and the majority of its towns are rural. The small-town feel, coupled with the friendly vibe everywhere you turn, makes the state a very welcoming place to visit. Its lands are vast and open — this is undoubtedly prairie country, with the Black Hills looming in the distance and over 1,300 herds of bison roaming the grounds. You may also spot bighorn sheep, coyotes, prairie dogs, and deer, especially if you’re exploring the 18-mile Wildlife Loop State Scenic Byway in Custer State Park. It’s not all country living, though: cities like Rapid City and Sioux Falls provide a touch of the urban atmosphere and vibrant lifestyle.

Where to Go in South Dakota

Sioux Falls

You’ll never be bored in Sioux Falls. If you booked a bus ticket to South Dakota in search of adventure and excitement, this is where to go. Bring the kids to Wild Water West Waterpark or check out the Imagination Studio situated inside the Kirby Science Discovery Center. The entire family will love visiting the nearly 1,000 animals at the Great Plains Zoo. Wine enthusiasts can tour the beautiful century-old grounds at Wilde Prairie Winery. Providing views of the Split Rock Creek Valley, the vineyards are a great place to escape from the chaos. If you’re a history buff, visits to the U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship Memorial and the Veterans’ Memorial Park are essential: both locations are peaceful and humbling. Falls Park at the Big Sioux River offers a plethora of fascinating state history. Native Americans were the first to arrive at the Falls, and today visitors flock to the city for a glimpse of the roaring waters and on-site sculptures.

Rapid City

Hip boutiques, art galleries, and vibrant restaurants lend Rapid City a completely contemporary vibe. If you want to mix and mingle with locals and tourists alike, head straight to Main Street Square. Splash around in the fountain, watch a summertime concert or an outdoor movie. Love artwork? Indulge your creative side on Art Alley, whose walls are covered in vibrant paintings and cultural plaques that tell incredible stories of Native American history. And if you’re a foodie, Rapid City’s eateries include everything from global dining options to lively breweries. The true beauty of Rapid City is its proximity to the state’s most beloved attractions, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Jewel Cave National Monument, and Badlands National Park.

Pierre

The state’s capital city is modestly populated and largely representative of South Dakota culture. Pierre’s proximity to the Missouri River makes it an excellent destination for outdoor enthusiasts — you can easily set up camp here, go boating or enjoy an afternoon fishing as the sun sets. Delve deep into the state’s history at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center. There are several permanent exhibits celebrating the state’s heritage and Native American history. The stunning South Dakota State Capitol building was built in the early 20th century and is among the city’s most popular attractions.

Aberdeen

From festivals to shopping to an epic theme park, Aberdeen has plenty to do for anyone who books a bus ticket to South Dakota. Storybook Land is the highlight for families — there are more than 65 different exhibits derived from beloved nursery rhymes. If you’re more of an adventurous type, a walk along the 26-mile Yellowstone Trail is a must. The beautiful scenery alone makes for some incredible photographs.

Book Your South Dakota Vacation

If you love beautiful scenery and are fascinated by majestic wildlife, booking a trip to South Dakota is a great idea. Its rich Native American heritage alone makes it a fascinating place to visit. Head to BusTickets.com and get started today.