Author Topic: South Dakota Master Thread  (Read 683 times)

Offline Schnitzelface

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2019
  • Posts: 6
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
South Dakota Master Thread
« on: June 21, 2019, 12:16:01 AM »
Yes you read that right, a South Dakota thread!  :) We're thinking of visiting South Dakota this summer from NYC with two kids, both under 5. Thinking of visiting Mt Rushmore and Badlands national park, and Custer State Park to see bison.   We're choosing SD because it feels like a version of Wyoming, but not as far or expensive (it's a fortune to stay by Yellowstone). Unsure what we will do for shabbos once we're there. Anyone here ever been to SD and can share their experience and whether it's worth a visit?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 12:20:04 AM by Schnitzelface »

Offline mordechain

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2014
  • Posts: 525
  • Total likes: 20
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 12:17:04 AM »
Are you driving from the east coast?

Offline Schnitzelface

  • DansDeals Copper Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2019
  • Posts: 6
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2019, 12:19:01 AM »
Yep, we'd be driving from NYC.

Offline JuryDuty

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2018
  • Posts: 311
  • Total likes: 30
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 7
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
  • Programs: Hyatt Explorist
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2019, 12:23:56 AM »
There's one Chabad (fairly new) in SD, although it's all the way East in Sioux Falls. That being said, it might be on the way from the East Coast.

https://www.jewishsd.org/
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.

Offline JuryDuty

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2018
  • Posts: 311
  • Total likes: 30
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 7
    • View Profile
  • Location: New York
  • Programs: Hyatt Explorist
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2019, 12:26:12 AM »
Sioux Falls seems to be on the way from NY.
Jury Duty: A time with nothing to do but chill and write a TR. Kinda like the beach without a view and an ocean breeze.

Offline BCL

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2016
  • Posts: 144
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2019, 03:20:52 PM »
Driving from NY, you can stop off by Lake Erie on the way. There are some nice parks on the water. You also go over the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Pretty amazing. There are probably places to stop alongside. The Badlands are really cool. Kids can have a lot of fun climbing, although under five might be tough. Before the Badlands, there are some places to learn about how life was on the prairie and feed the prairie dogs. Right before Mount Rushmore, there is https://www.bearcountryusa.com/. It is a short drive thru safari packed with animals. Mount Rushmore is interesting, but once you see it, you did it. There is a museum about how it was made.
All in all, one day for all the SD sites (prairie, Badlands, safari, Mt Rushmore) is a little rushed, but 2 days is too much. Unless you find something else to do.
Keep in mind when finding hotels, some of the typical Days Inn, Best Western, etc. have some cool extras, like a water park or mini golf, for the same price as the others.

Offline Jellybelly

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Aug 2016
  • Posts: 293
  • Total likes: 38
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2019, 11:25:42 PM »
Just need to warn you that the drive is VERY boring! Thereís basically nothing between Minneapolis and that whole Mount Rushmore area. Itís very boring flatlands. I think it does has a higher speed limit like maybe 75 or 80. But I remember going crazy from the drive.
And just want to add, thereís a billion billboards for a place on the way called WALL DRUG, I remember stopping there after seeing all the billboards and i have no recollection of whatís was there, just that it was a major let down
Buts itís forsure worth the trip to see the whole Mount Rushmore,  badlands  area.

Offline 000

  • Dansdeals Silver Elite
  • **
  • Join Date: Feb 2015
  • Posts: 75
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2019, 12:16:34 AM »
I was thinking of doing the same trip the end of Aug. However I would fly in and out of RAP so I wont be stuck for shabbos (not sure if that is a option for you, and tickets are more expensive/less reward availability on a Sun).

Offline whYME

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 2811
  • Total likes: 482
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2019, 01:54:58 AM »
I did this a few times. (although SD was never the destination, I was always passing through going farther west or on the way back.)

As was already said, the drive is extremely boring, although for kids under 5 that shouldn't matter too much. I would advise you to try and break it up with a stop in/near ORD -unless you're cool with driving 30 hours straight.

I don't know how much time you have or what kind of schedule you're planning, but you should consider leaving NY Wed night/Thurs and spending Shabbos somewhere around ORD then continuing on after shabbos. Basically once you pass ORD there's absolutely nothing to see or do until you hit the badlands area.

A few ideas for activities off the top of my head:Mt Rushmore itself is at most a half-day activity.
There's this really nice fairy tale themed park in Rapid City (free admission IIRC)
There's also a nice little dinosaur park around there somewhere. I remember it being up on a hill, I think right outside Rapid City.
I don't know if your kids are too young for these.

There's a ton of tourist stuff to do around the Keystone area but I was always too cheap to pay for any of it :)

I don't know if this is your type of thing, but there's a really nice Air and Space Museum just outside Ellsworth Air Force Base. I'm pretty sure it's free admission otherwise I probably wouldn't have gone multiple times :)
One thing they offer is a (paid) guided tour of a minuteman missile silo on the Air Force Base, I really enjoyed that.
(side note, One time when I was there, they were doing some training or something, they were circling around then touching down on the runway but aborting and taking right back off. This was going on for quite a while when I was outside the museum watching. I found it super-cool.)

There's also the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site around there, unfortunately it never quite worked out for me to make it there yet... :(

And of course after seeing seventeen thousand billboards you just have to stop at Wall Drug :) nothing spectacular there but some things are kinda cute/interesting.


One time at Custer State Park I saw tons of bison, the next time zero. (Or maybe that was Wind Cave NP, I'm not 100% sure)
Of course there are the cave tours there. IIRC the park admission is free but the caves cost money.

If you go down to Wind Cave and pass through Pringle, stop at the Pringle General Store, you'll probably see the same guys sitting around playing poker from when I was there. (and they have a chair that's supposedly the one Wild bill Hickock was sitting in when he was shot)

Gosh I really need to do a road trip, it's been way to long

Offline Traveler718

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 349
  • Total likes: 17
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2019, 03:43:22 PM »
We did South Dakota as part of a road trip including Grand Tetons/Yellowstone, and RMNP, but started and ended in the Midwest. Even then, the 11-hour drive on Sunday just to get to the Badlands was REALLY boring. We stopped at a corn palace in SD as well as Wall Drug to break it up. Mt. Rushmore was cool, and we also did panning for gold and some other family-friendly touristy activities in the area. We also enjoyed nearby Devils Tower on the way to WY, as well as two caves in the area (Jewel and Wind). Lots of fun stuff to do, but not sure it's worth the drive from NYC, unless you could fly to a closer starting point.

Offline tmendy226

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 602
  • Total likes: 13
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: Delta Diamond, Hertz PC, Flying Blue petroleum, SPG Gold, National Executive, Hilton Gold
Re: South Dakota Master Thread
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2019, 03:11:38 AM »
Any more tips and suggestions?
Weíll be going to north and South Dakota for a few days next week.