Search Results for: South Dakota

National Park Guide: Badlands National Park in South Dakota
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National Park Guide: Badlands National Park in South Dakota

Badlands National Park, located in Interior South Dakota, is the location of the world’s largest fossil beds. The 244,000 acre park is home to sedimentary rock layers deposited over 70 million years ago, as well as mixed grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and ferrets live. There are over 60 species of grass throughout the prairies inside the park. Named by the early French trappers and the Lakota Native American tribe that founded the area, the Badlands are known for extremes: extreme weather, extreme vastness of the plains, and extreme fossil beds. Learn more about the formation of the Badlands Buttes here.

Badlands became a National Monument in 1939 and then a National Park in 1978; the southern half of the park is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and is co-managed with the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Over one million people visit Badlands National Park each year.

 10 Tips for Visiting Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota

 10 Tips for Visiting Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota

The 28,295 acres of Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota are home to the 7th longest cave in the world, and the 3rd longest cave in America. The cave was discovered by Jesse and Tom Bingham in the early 1880s and 21 Native American tribes associated with the Wind Cave. President Theodore Roosevelt established Wind Cave as the 8th National Park in 1903, naming it after the barometric winds at the entrance to the cave. There are 156.3 miles of passageways in Wind Cave and 95% of the world’s boxwork hangs inside the cave, along with 12 species of bats (although we didn’t see any on our visit).

We spent a summer morning on 4th of July weekend exploring the park and taking a Natural Entrance Cave tour and loved it! The park is fairly isolated, with no dining options, so plan ahead and bring food. Here are our 10 tips if you’re planning a visit to Wind Cave National Park.

10 Tips for Visiting Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota
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10 Tips for Visiting Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota

The 28,295 acres of Wind Cave National Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota are home to the 7th longest cave in the world, and the 3rd longest cave in America. The cave was discovered by Jesse and Tom Bingham in the early 1880s and 21 Native American tribes associated with the Wind Cave. President Theodore Roosevelt established Wind Cave as the 8th National Park in 1903, naming it after the barometric winds at the entrance to the cave. There are 156.3 miles of passageways in Wind Cave and 95% of the world’s boxwork hangs inside the cave, along with 12 species of bats (although we didn’t see any on our visit).

We spent a summer morning on 4th of July weekend exploring the park and taking a Natural Entrance Cave tour and loved it! The park is fairly isolated, with no dining options, so plan ahead and bring food. Here are our 10 tips if you’re planning a visit to Wind Cave National Park.

10 Family Friendly Places to Eat in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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10 Family Friendly Places to Eat in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

A recent, unexpected stay in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was one of our top highlights of a four week road trip. We explored over a dozen spots throughout the city- read the full City Guide here- and dined at several great restaurants and bakeries. We crowdsourced recommendations for restaurants from fellow travel bloggers, checked with locals at our hotel and places we explored, and read up about local favorites on ExperienceSiouxFalls.com. While we didn’t get to every spot on our original list, here are 10 places we did enjoy. Please note: This post, especially hours, promotions and menu items is accurate as of July 2021, but it is always a good idea to check online before heading out to explore Sioux Falls.

15 Ways to Explore the Kirby Science Center in Sioux Falls, SD
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15 Ways to Explore the Kirby Science Center in Sioux Falls, SD

This summer, we spent an unexpected few days in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We were supposed to stay overnight as a layover on our way to Wisconsin, but when we saw all of the family friendly activities, we decided to extend our visit. We had a wonderful 3+ days exploring the area. One of our favorite spots was the  Kirby Science Discovery Center, located in the Washington Pavilion. 

Playing ‘I Spy’ at the Wyoming State Capitol
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Playing ‘I Spy’ at the Wyoming State Capitol

Built in 1888, two years before Wyoming became the 44th state, the Wyoming State Capitol building sits at one end of 24th Street in Cheyenne and is the centerpiece of the Capitol Square. Wyoming is called the “Equality State” because it is home to the first female governor (Nellie Taylor Ross in 1925-1927) and the first female Justice of the Peace  (Esther Hobart Morris in 1870). The Capitol building, one of 20 state Capitols designated as a National Historic Landmark, expanded in 1890 and 1917, and went through an extensive four-year restoration process from 2015-2019. The restoration included a tunnel that connects the Capitol Building to the Herschler Building, home to many of the state agency offices.

On our massive summer 2021 road trip through Utah, Colorado, and South Dakota, we passed through Cheyenne on our way to South Dakota. We were sad that we had not made plans to stay more than just the morning (#returnvisit coming ASAP!), but we are grateful we had the chance to explore the Capitol building.