South Dakota, United States

South Dakota has several popular attractions that bring in millions of tourists every year. It is perhaps best known for being the host state of Mount Rushmore, the iconic mountain bearing the likenesses of Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. In 1927, work on the sculpture got underway. In 1934, it was completed and then dedicated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt . Visitors can learn more about the creation of the monument and why each president was selected for representation in the nearby Visitor Center. There are numerous walking paths near the monument and plenty of opportunities for taking pictures.

Badlands National Park, South DakotaAnother popular tourist attraction in South Dakota is Wall Drug. Located on Main Street in the city of Wall, Wall Drug boasts shopping space of more than 76,000 square feet. However, it had very humble beginnings when Ted and Dorothy Hulstad first opened Wall Drug to the public back in 1931. In a town of only 326 people in the midst of the Great Depression, the Hulstad’s offered free drinking water in an attempt to bring in business. Today, travelers can eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Wall Drug Diner and find just about any trinket their heart desires at one of many stores.

The Badlands of South Dakota are another attraction that brings in the tourists. Badlands National Park is 224,000 square acres of spires, buttes, pinnacles and mountains. The park is known for the rings that can be seen circling its mountains and other natural creations. This is due to geologic deposits and being located in very rich soil. Visitors may see some animals roaming about in their natural habitat. There are also a number of educational programs available for tourists to partake in during the visit.

A sculptor named Korczak Ziolkowski created the Crazy Horse Memorial in 1948. Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear assisted him. The sculpture, located just eight miles from Mount Rushmore, is a tribute to the Lakota leader Crazy Horse and the culture he represented. It was created with the intent of promoting harmony and understanding between Native American people and those from other cultures.

Although South Dakota is the 16th largest state in the nation, its population is spread out and averages just 10 people per square mile. Interstate 94 runs from one end of the state to the other, making it easy to reach from any location.