Mount Rushmore is a tribute to four presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and should be on every family’s vacation list. Started in 1927 and taking more than 14 years to complete, it is a famous symbol of American heritage. A short walkway leads you to the base of the sculpture. Stop by the studio to learn about the people and the tools that made it all possible. Come for the evening lighting ceremony and admire the faces in profile against the dark South Dakota sky.
With over 71,000 acres of pine-clad mountains, granite spires, pristine streams and rolling plains, Custer State Park provides days of outdoor adventure. You can hike to Black Elk Peak, bicycle its scenic roads, or simply take a leisurely drive. The Wildlife Route Road features a 1,500 head bison herd, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros.
Named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Byways in America, Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway takes you through the most rugged and beautiful natural areas in the Black Hills. Mountain lakes, towering granite formations, six tunnels, tight hairpin curves, spiral “pigtail” bridges, the Needle’s Eye and abundant wildlife – this drive is not to be missed!
The entire town of Deadwood is a National Historic Landmark and still as wild at heart as it was in the 1800s when outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers ruled the streets. If you enjoy gaming, Deadwood’s 80 gaming halls feature slot machines, Blackjack, poker and Texas Hold’em. Or, simply walk the streets and enjoy the town’s Wild West ambiance.
60 years after sculptor Korczak Ziolkowsk started carving the Crazy Horse Memorial, work still continues on the world’s largest stone sculpture. The emerging figure of Chief Crazy Horse is as long as a cruise ship and taller than a 60-story skyscraper.
With over 244,000 acres of eroded buttes, tall pinnacles, and sharp spires, Badlands National Park offers spectacular sunsets, dark night skies and few signs of civilization. Drive its back roads to observe bison, deer, bighorn sheep, coyotes, pronghorn, prairie dogs, eagles, hawks, and foxes.
For additional information about exciting day trips, visit: www.blackhillsbadlands.com