The Black Hills of South Dakota is a fun family vacation destination! There is so much to see and do in this corner of South Dakota that I could be perfectly happy spending 2 weeks on a Black Hills vacation!
Unfortunately, most us can’t spend 2 weeks! With so many things to do and limited time, it takes planning to make the most of your South Dakota vacation.
8 Black Hills Vacation Sights
To make planning easier, consider these 8 awesome things to do on your next Black Hills vacation.
- Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is an obvious must when on a Black Hills vacation. I find it beyond amazing that builders were able to carve such likenesses into this granite mountain. A walk on the Presidential Trail involves a lot of stairs, but it provides the opportunity to view the presidents from various perspectives.
- Crazy Horse. While the Crazy Horse Monument is not yet finished, it is still spectacular. Due to its size, this stone carving will further dominate the landscape once it is finished.
- Wind Cave National Park. The first cave designated as a national park is as fun above ground as it is below. Wind Cave is famous for its intricate boxwork cave formations, and there are several cave tour options. Above the cave, you’ll gaze on a mixed grass prairie full of wildlife.
- Mammoth Site. Mammoth Site of Hot Springs is a one of a kind attraction. A treasure trove of mammoth bones was uncovered during a construction project in 1974. This site was preserved and enclosed in a building. It continues to be an active dig site today. The tour of Mammoth Site is one you don’t want to miss.
- The Badlands. Badlands National Park is about 2 hours from the Black Hills. It could be done in a day trip, but the best option is to spend a couple of days there to allow time for hiking and fossil hunting.
- A Gold Mine Tour. The prospect of gold in the Black Hills was a big draw in 1876. Today, there are historical gold mines open for tours and panning. A gold mine visit is just plain fun! And, who knows, you might get lucky! Find out more: Black Hills Gold Mine
- The Dinosaur Park. This quirky road trip attraction is great for families with children. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time to walk the Dinosaur Park trail, but it offers spectacular views and fun photo ops!
- Custer State Park. Custer State Park is South Dakota’s largest state park and rivals the national parks in terms of awesomeness! South Dakota’s largest state park offers spectacular hikes with unique scenery. But, my favorite part of Custer State Park? The buffalo herd. The herd is regularly spotted near or on the road providing up close views from the car!
If you are heading to the Black Hills, check out the National Geographic Black Hills map bundle that we used. These are great when the cell signal isn’t!
There are endless opportunities for fun on a Black Hills vacation. Don’t think you can fit it all into one trip? That’s ok… it just means that you’ll have to go more than once!
Want more information as you plan your next trip? Check out the following:
- Wind Cave Fairgrounds Tour
- Tip & Tee: Wind Cave National Park Tours
- Fun Fact: Wind Cave National Park
- The Needles Eye Tunnel in Custer State Park
- Tip & Tee: Driving to Mount Rushmore
- Fun Fact: The Custer State Park Buffalo Herd
- The Badlands Notch Trail
- Fun Fact: Badlands National Park Fossil Finds
- Tip & Tee: Badlands National Park
- Hot Springs Mammoth Site
- Rapid City Dinosaur Park
- Good Eats in the Black Hills
- Badlands Cedar Pass Lodge
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