Touring the South Dakota Badlands + More

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that Sherman, Mr. SP, and I are on a road trip out west. Today I’m sharing a tour of sites we enjoyed touring in South Dakota.

I’m sharing the sites in the order that we saw them.

The World’s Only Corn Palace

After a few days of driving, we finally reached South Dakota where our touring fun began. The first stop was the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

The Corn Palace was built in 1892.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

Corn murals decorate the front and side of the building.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

The Corn Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

12 different colors of corn are used to decorate the Corn Palace.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

 A different theme is chosen each year, and murals are designed to reflect that theme.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

Ear by ear the corn is nailed to the Corn Palace to create a scene. 

The decorating process usually starts in late May with the removal of the rye and dock. The corn murals are stripped at the end of August and the new ones are completed by the first of October. 

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

Everything is corn-themed!

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

The arena inside the Corn Palace is used for games, performances, graduations, and more.

Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD

Wall Drug

A Wall Drug bumper sticker from Mr. SP’s childhood hangs in our basement. After seeing this sticker since 1993, I finally got to see Wall Drug in person.

Wall Drug in South Dakota

A cowboy held Sherman while we looked around.

Wall Drug in South Dakota

We didn’t stay long at this tourist trap!

The Badlands

Our next stop was the Badlands.

The Badlands in South Dakota

The Badlands are gorgeous and we really enjoyed driving from overlook to overlook to enjoy the views.

The Badlands in South Dakota
The Badlands in South Dakota

We both were excited to see Buffalo.

The Badlands in South Dakota

Prairie dogs were another fun site to see.

The Badlands in South Dakota

We did more driving and then the site seeing started again.

Mount Rushmore

I have always wanted to see Mount Rushmore and it didn’t disappoint.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

It was amazing to see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved in stone.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

It took 14 years to complete this fabulous monument.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

Our next stop was Crazy Horse Memorial.

Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Mr. SP visited Crazy Horse when he was a child and it was interesting for him to see how much progress has been made on the memorial since that visit.

Eventually, the memorial will look like this.

Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota

Our next stop is Cody, Wyoming! Be on the lookout for my next travel post.

25 Comments

  1. Very cool trip, Paula! I have seen your posts on Instagram, I love that pic of Sherman and the cowboy…and I love your pompom hat!

  2. This is so cool Paula! This exact trip is on our agenda, I hope next year. I can’t wait to see your next post. Enjoy!

  3. You are visiting a beautiful part of the country, Paula. I haven’t been there in years, but my favorite memory was horseback riding with my Dad and coming over the crest of a hill and seeing Mount Rushmore. Enjoy!

  4. Paula, Thank you so much for your reply. I’ll keep on looking for the shade as I thought it was so nice. Our family has been out in the black hills many time and I was glad to see that you got to Wall drug as well as all the other places we have visited. At one time there was an gold mine in Lead that you could tour but am not sure if it is still there. In the park there is Needles highway which is narrow but pretty. And also listed in the park info should be the Nature trail (or something like that) that can be viewed by car around late afternoon and you will see masses of buffalo coming down from the hills for the night and donkeys that will come right to the car begging (windows up). Also, if you are heading to Montana, Glacier National Park is beautiful as are the Yogo Sapphires that are found only in Montana in the US. Have a wonderful trip and stay safe and healthy. nd please know how much us followers love your blog.

  5. Fantastic, Paula! This is the same route we took on our great American road trip in 2016! Lol the Corn Palace and Wall Drug…..the best things were all the road signs leading to the anticlimactic stops 🤣 we saw a rodeo in Cody! Enjoy your trip, so fun!

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Paula! Your photos are fantastic. I would love to do a road trip like this. Looking forward to your next post! Travel safe, and have fun!

  7. I have really enjoyed your travel pictures. I have been to many of the places, so it brings back many memories. Plus I’ve got to visit new places because of your pictures

  8. Beautiful pictures! Those buffalo look a bit huge! Looks like a great trip so far! Hope all is going great for you too an that younare relaxing and enjoying yourself!

  9. The Corn Palace and how they refresh it each year is amazing! What creative people. Love the badlands – never been there but definitely want to go!! Thanks for sharing

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