Explore > South Dakota > Welcome to South Dakota
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gs logo Rushmore Shadows Resort
Rapid City, South Dakota
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Rapid City, South Dakota

Welcome to South Dakota

South Dakota is a tapestry of rugged badlands, endless plains and sparkling lakes. Visitors can walk the landscapes that thrilled gold prospectors, hike deep mountain caves and gaze up at one of the most iconic monuments in the world. Between the rugged peaks and buffalo herds, travelers will encounter ample doses of Wild West history, Native American traditions and heartland hospitality.

Pleasant Pheasant Hunting Grounds

South Dakota is known as the best pheasant hunting destination in the United States. With almost five million acres of varied terrain and plenty of private lodges, it’s easy to bag these birds, along with waterfowl, turkey and more.

Pheasant with blue head, white band around neck and reddish body

State Bird: Ring-Necked Pheasant. Getty Images

Crazy Horse Remembered

Experience a different side of South Dakota’s past at the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial. The work-in-progress sculpture of the Lakota leader on horseback will eventually stand at 641 feet tall, making it the world’s largest mountain sculpture. Peruse exhibits at the Indian Museum of North America; this repository of history offers profound insight into the history and culture of Native Americans.

Midwest Charm

Near the state’s western border, Rapid City makes an excellent jumping-off point for outdoor excursions because of its proximity to the most popular attractions. But before venturing beyond the city limits, explore vibrant murals along Art Alley, learn about the region’s geography and people at the Journey Museum or stop for a local brew at Lost Cabin Beer Co. or Independent Ale House. Get ready to meet U.S. leaders in town. Known as the “City of Presidents,” Rapid City’s streets feature life-size bronze statues of former U.S. chief executives, from Washington to Obama. And of course, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a perennial bucket list item for many travelers.

Fairly close shot of Mount Rushmore Monument