SD - 40th anniversary in 40th state

Sep 3rd, 2017, 08:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 861
SD - 40th anniversary in 40th state

I thought it might be appropriate to spend our 40th anniversary in our 40th state - South Dakota. We have been there a couple of times on major road trips, so have already seen some of the major attractions. Because of that, we are not wed to seeing everything. On the other hand, if we are there, why not see Mt. Rushmore or Crazy Horse?

I spent some time going through fodor's notes when working on an itinerary. Here's my first draft. Sightseeing will start in Sioux Falls SD and end in Dubuque IA before we head on home. (Driving)

Friday - (stay in Sioux City)

Saturday - (stay night 1 of 3 in Rapid City)
Sioux City - sculpture walk, Michelangelo
drive Sioux City to Rapid City 8 hr 30 min. (exit 55-61)

Sunday - (stay night 2 in Rapid City)
morning - Custer Park loop
morning - Mammoth site
afternoon- Keystone - 1880s train to Hill City and back
eat at Ruby House Restaurant (because the 40th is the ruby anniversary)
evening - Deadwood - casino, Boondocks Retro Pit Stop

Monday - (stay night 3 in Rapid City)
morning - Jewel Cave
afternoon - Crazy Horse
afternoon - Mt. Rushmore
afternoon - geographic center - Belle Fourche

Tuesday (stay in Mitchell SD)
Wall Drug (exit 109-112)
Badlands National Park (exit 110 or 131)
Minuteman missile site (exit 131)
drive from Rapid City to Mitchell SD 3 hr 47 min.
add 1 hr for Wall, 2 hr for Badlands, 2 hr for Minuteman

Wednesday (stay in Dubuque IA)
drive to Effigy Mounds (5 hr 47 min)
see Effigy Mounds
drive to Dubuque (1 hr 22 min - total trip 7 hr 9 min)

Thursday (home)

Questions
I started with Rapid City as a home base in the Black Hills area. However, I am open to suggestions.
Did I group the Black Hills attractions in the best way?
Did I include too much or too little for each day?
I didn't include the Wind Cave since I included Jewel Cave. Is one or the other better?
traveler2005 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2017, 09:48 AM
  #2  
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Posts: 861
Other things to know -

I like quirky things like the fake David in Sioux City or the geographic center of the U.S. (Called it the wrong thing above.)

We don't care about fancy restaurants. I am a vegetarian.

I enjoy natural sites and easy hiking, but a 3-hour hike or mountain (hill) climbing would be too much.
traveler2005 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2017, 01:37 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,940
Really sounds like a fun trip! South Dakota deserves to be destinationinstead of a pit stop. I am no SD expert, but I was not that excited about Mount Rushmore, so it didn't take much time. Loved Custer State Park, quirky Wall and the Badlands. We skipped on Crazy Horse because of the fee. Kitschy Deadwood is fun, too.
jayne1973 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2017, 06:00 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Here's our trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...s-710-2509.cfm

It might give you some ideas.
VolCrew is offline  
Sep 4th, 2017, 07:05 AM
  #5  
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jayne - Thanks for the note. Sounds like I will like some of the same things. We've been to Wall and many of the other spots, but not Deadwood.

VolCrew - Yipes - sounds like you travel like we do. And South Dakota has been in the midst of really long trips, so we never spent much time there. I always figured that we only had a certain number of trips in our lifetime and I wanted to see as much as possible. Thanks for the link to your trip report. And thanks for writing it in the first place.
traveler2005 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2017, 03:15 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 308
You're welcome and congrats on your 40th. My 40th is next year and I am mulling various travel options now.
VolCrew is offline  
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