Winter In South Dakota

From Itineraries Midwest Spring Issue 2009

This sample itinerary is best during the winter months.

Day One

9 – 10:30 am
Starting in Rapid City, depart on Highway 16 south to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. View America’s most famous faces covered with a dusting of snow.

10:30 – 12:00 pm
The next stop is Crazy Horse Memorial, the largest sculptural undertaking of its kind. Besides seeing the world’s largest mountain carving, visit the Indian Museum of North America. It’s home to an extraordinary collection of art & artifacts reflecting the diverse histories & cultures of the American Indian people.

12 – 2:30 pm
Custer makes a good lunch stop, before heading to the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park to watch for buffalo, elk, deer, and antelope.

2:30 – 4:00
From there, travel south on Highway 385 through Wind Cave National Park, one of the world’s longest & most complex caves. Your group can opt for the “Garden Of Eden Cave Tour” their least strenuous tour; see beautiful formations, cave popcorn and flowstone.

4 – 9:00 pm
Continue your travels on to Hot Springs. Choose from a variety of overnight options. Take a dip in the natural, indoor warm-springs swimming pool or enjoy their Christmas in the Hills Festival (held in December).

Day Two

9 – 11:00 am
After breakfast, tour The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, where Columbian mammoths fell into a sinkhole 26,000 years ago and their bones are preserved where they fell. Take in a Walk-In Mammoth Bone Hut, a Scientific Excavation, Hands-On Activities and more!

11 – 1:00 pm
Depart north on Highway 79 back to Rapid City. Take an interesting tour inside a Black Hills Gold manufacturing plant –see diamonds set in molten gold & the ancient art of lost wax casting.

1 – 2:00 pm
Enjoy a leisurely 3-mile drive through Bear Country USA. Experience bears, buffalo, wolves, elk and over 20 other species of North American animals all from the comfort of your bus!

2 – 9:00 pm
Then it’s off to Deadwood to try your luck at gaming at one of over 80 establishments, plus learn about the history of this gold rush town. Choose your overnight accommodations.

Day Three

You can either head for home or travel to Pierre to experience Christmas at the Capitol. Each year, the Capitol is filled with nearly 100 evergreen trees, decorated with handmade ornaments and trimmed in various themes. (Thanksgiving through Christmas).

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group contact your tour operator or the South Dakota Tourism Office at 800-952-3625.

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