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What are some cool things to do while in North and South Dakota??

I am going on a road trip from Canada to North and South Dakota with my family, and my Dad has given me the task of finding things for us to do.

Other than the obvious of visiting the mountains with faces in them, what else can we do??????
I know it's not the most exciting state, but its the only place we can go to because its close and we want to make the best of it.

My siblings and I are from ages 13-20. We are open to all ideas, so please help! Thanx.

Posted by VOGUEmodel
Custer SD

I am so sorry this got really long,
Glad to hear you will visit Mount Rushmore (with the faces). They have a nice laser night show, and also a restaurant overlooking the "faces". Http://
Crazy Horse monument in Custer is a mountain carving in the making. Http://
While near Keystone check out the free family saloon show at the Red Garter Http://…
or visit a gold mine & pan for gold. Check out area Black Hills caves.There is a lot of tourist shopping in Keystone.
You could ride the sled or tram down from Mount Rushmore area.
Take in a chuckwagon dinner show. Our fav. Is Fort Hays. Good show and meal. It also has sets from the movie Dances with Wolves. Http://….
Bear Country is fun.Especially in the morning when they feed the animals. Http://
Reptile Gardens has some neat animal shows but if temps get high some shows may be canceled Http:// We especially like the croc. Show.
Trail horse rides. The Holy Smoke Stable in Keystone. Again if the temps are high, the rides may only be in the morning and at dusk.
Helicopter rides
1880's train Http://
We like to stay at a chalet (Jefferson) in Keystone. It is very nice with a nice view. Http:// We also enjoy staying at the Sylvan Lake cabins in Custer State Park.
Dinosaur park in Rapid City, for a cool photo op and view. Http://…
Check out Custer State Park. The Game Lodge has a Jeep safari buffalo ride, or drive around and check out the buffalo yourself. There's lots of wildlife to see here. Get a picnic lunch from the lodge and pick out a picture perfect spot for lunch. Check out Sylvan Lake! It is beautiful here, and rent a couple paddles boats or water trikes. You can also ride horses at the State Park. Http://…

Check out the Car museum & diner in Murdo Http:// these are by the Badlands.And check out this sight of a human skeleton walking a dinoasur skeleton. Http://…
Desmet has the Laura Ingalls Pagent. The show is pretty good, but I prefer the activites at the Homestead to the show. I guess I enjoy the Laura Ingalls show at Walnut Grove, MN., the best. If you go to Desmet's show bring bugspray, and sit close as the last time we went it was hard to hear. The Ingalls museums in de Smet were great, if you have read the books. Http://
Sioux Falls SD has the Washington Pavillion.Something is always going on there Http:// The Kirby Science Discovery Center is fun and they also have telescope viewings, a cinedome theater and performing and visual arts. You may want to check out the falls and night show while in Sioux Falls.
The palace made from corn in Mitchell. Not much to do , but fascinating to look at!
maybe Wall Drug> Lots of tourist shopping there, after all the billboards, you almost have to stop. Http://…

I haven't been to North Dakota sight seeing but if I were to go, I'd check out the Lewis & Clark Riverboat in Bismarck Http:// or maybe the buffalo in Jamestown if you don't see them in SD. Http:// But you can check out the North Dakota activites at Http://…
Hope this helps you!

South Dakota?Badlands, Blackhills, Jewel Cave National Monument, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail?

Can someone please give me some info on these places?
Just some facts and some fun facts too if you would like. Links would help too.
Not sites like wikipedia please.

Posted by this is me
Custer SD

I've been to South Dakota, Badlands and the Black Hills.I stayed on a reservation in SD near I think the Rosebud reservation, there was NO TV and the only restaurant was on the reservation, by the end of my 5 days there I had eaten every entree on the menu. The entire town consisted of under 800 people, I cannot recall the name.
It was actually in the badlands which were beautiful at sunrise and sunset.
The badlands have some interesting hiking trails from 1/4 mile and very easy to handle up to 2 miles and a little more difficult, it also has the "begging burrows" which if they spot anything in your hand will all but kill you to get at it.
Buffalo roam freely, and are magnificent to see, just be sure to keep your distance..they can really run..much faster than you or I!!
The black hills look actually black due to the trees..WARNING if you are a coffee drinker..switch to tea..they make coffee with chicory, which is definitely an acquired taste.
In the black hills you can see the carving of Crazy Horse made into the side of the mountain, 1 man alone is doing the work.
All in all I enjoyed seeing everything, but would not spend any more than 4-5 days there. In the 10 days we spent we saw Rapid cith (thank God we had rented a TV to bring along) all of the above with daily trips to the bad lands to feed the donkeys, went to Devil's tower, Custer state park, some wildlife preserve and the town of Wall. Also did Deadwood and Leads, went to Boot Hill and still had 3 days to spare!
Sorry I don't have any links for you.

Where to go for a 9-day round trip between San Diego and Yellow Stone NP ?

It will be a road trip. What's your suggestion? (in case of skipping Las Vegas)

Posted by Piangel
Custer SD

First of all, go on the National Park service webs ite and buy a park pass which will be good for admission to all of the parks for a year. It cost $50. And all in the car get in with the pass. Saves some money on individual park admissions.


Take I-15 North and when you get to Utah turn off and drive into Zion National Park. Don't come back to I-15, but continue on through the park (there beautiful scenery leaving it on the East side) and when you get to RT-89 take that north until you get to the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park. Tour Bryce Canyon and if you need a place to stay, there are a bunch of Best Westerns right outside the park.

When you leave Bryce, continue North on RT-89 and you will come to I-70. Take I-70 West about 30 miles and you can pick up I-15 going north again. Now, if you want to you can drive East on I-70 a few hours and turn off to go to Arches National PArk and canyonland National PArk. I recommend against it because I didn't find them to be that spectacular if you have seen the Grand Canyon. They are nice, but I would only do that drive and stop if I were otherwise going that way.

Continue on up I-15 to St Lake City. You may want to visit the Morman Temple/visitors center and teh Golden Spike Historic Site nearby. There's not much to see at the Great Salt Lake and its a drive to see the salt flats.

When you get to Brigham City you take RT-89 north again to JAckson Hole, wy (a nice cowboy town) and then continue on to the Grand Teton National Park on the same highway. Then take the same road into Yellowstone.

If you don't want to stay in the park, the place to stay is West Yellowstone, Montana, which is just outside the park gate on the west side of the park. After you pass the Old Faithful area, there a road that leads to West Yellowstone, its a town of nothing but motels and restaurants and souvenier shops and gasoline.

Now, if it were me, I would leave the park out of the north east entrance over Bear Tooth Gap (a fabulous view) and head to Billings, Mt. Stay in Billings and the next day drive further East on I-90 to Little Bighorn National Park (Custer's last Stand). Then I would continue on East to Rapid City, SD and go see Mount Rushmore. Then come bach West to Rt-85 and take that south to Lusk and then pick up RT-20 to get to I-25. Then take I-25 all the way to Denver and pick up I-70 going west to I-15 going south again.

Now that's the way I drive it, maybe not the same directions, but with all that in there.

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Custer South Dakota