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Intro to South Dakota hotels and accommodations

South Dakota is a state of 2 halves—to the east lie its vast fields of wheat and corn, to the west cattle roam and broken mountains push skywards. The east has fertile soils and the biggest cities, but the west has the Badlands and Mount Rushmore, and is home to the peoples of the Great Sioux Nation. Whichever side of the great Missouri river you step, though, South Dakota remains a state open to the winds and the sky—and to adventurers seeking out the spirit of the nation.

Hotels in South Dakota


With the rising popularity of its spectacular wonders—both natural and man-made—you’ll find plenty of modern hotels in South Dakota today. Whether they’re eco-lodges clustered around mountain resorts, or new chain hotels offering budget accommodation in South Dakota’s growing cities, you can expect a full range of facilities and all mod cons. But there’s plenty of characterful and historic South Dakota accommodation to be had too. Look out for ranches that are now home to full-service spas, timber-framed Old West cabins in the forested hills, or Victorian bed and breakfasts complete with plush furnishings and fabulous mountain views.

Things to see in South Dakota


The southwestern corner of South Dakota has the lion’s share of the state’s spectacle. The Black Hills are a jagged series of mountains that include sacred Native American grounds and the highest mountain peaks this side of the Rockies. They also include the state’s top attraction—the world-famous sculptures of Mount Rushmore. Carved from the sheer face of a granite massif, 4 U.S. presidential titans cast their gaze across the nation from its heights. The Crazy Horse Memorial is another vast sculpture adorning the Black Hills, although it’s only partly completed. At this major memorial to the historic Lakota warrior you’ll also find a Native American Educational and Cultural Center. The other major park here is the Badlands National Park, a bizarre landscape of rock spires, crumbling buttes, and vividly banded sandstones. It’s also home to prairies, across which bison herds roam, and fossil beds that have yielded bones of saber-tooth tigers and ancient crocodiles.

Where to stay in South Dakota


Rapid City, the state’s second largest city, is well-located for visiting the attractions of the Black Hills. With its dinosaur museum, reptile gardens, and theme parks, it’s a perfect spot for family vacations. The closest city to Mount Rushmore is Keystone. Here you’ll find a large number of resorts and mountain lodges set among craggy hills and pine forests, making it good for those seeking outdoor activities. Book a hotel in South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls, and you’ll see a different side to the state. As well as numerous museums, galleries, and theaters, it also has the best shopping in South Dakota.

How to get to South Dakota


Those who want to drive to South Dakota have a fairly limited choice of interstates. I-90 runs across the state from Wyoming in the west, linking up Rapid City and Sioux Falls, before exiting into Minnesota in the east. If you’re coming up from the south central states, I-29 runs in from Iowa and then through Sioux City and Sioux Falls, before exiting north towards Fargo. If you’re looking to travel to South Dakota from further afield, there are 2 major airports, Rapid City Airport in the west and Sioux Falls Airport in the southeast.

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