I’ve been vegetarian since I was 12, so I can’t really personally vouch for these but I’ve heard great things. These burgers are widely available in South Dakota restaurants and don’t worry! Bison are not endangered animals and any bison burger you eat has probably come from one of South Dakota’s gajillion bison farms (most of which are family run and help support the economies of small, rural towns)
Both of the Dakotas have large populations of Native Americans and some of their amazing food has become a delicious staple for anyone passing through.
An ‘Indian taco’ contains the same ingredients as any other taco (well, any other Midwestern taco – shredded iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese) but instead of a tortilla, it’s on fry bread. They are super good and super unhealthy.
Did you devour these books
as a kid? I did. I spent hours making forts under the trees and trying to eat acorns and attempting ‘snow cream’ after reading about Laura and her adventures.
Because the Ingalls family moved around so much, there are several tourists destinations devoted to them around Minnesota and South Dakota, but DeSmet is where Laura got married and where her parents are buried. You can tour a school house, see a dugout house, even see the graves of Ma and Pa. It’s grade-A literary dork out.
As established, I love a good factory tour
. So I’m obviously intrigued by people crafting jewelry by hand. This particular jewelry company is family-owned and uses locally sourced Black Hills gold for much of their jewelry.
Weird fact: over time, gold dust collects in the carpets of the factory and when it’s replaced, the owners actually put the carpet through a special process to extract the gold dust. The gold dust from the old carpets is worth so much, it pays for the new carpet. Weird, right?
Check out dinosaur and mammoth bones
More awesomeness for your inner fourth grader! At The Washington Pavillion you can see a replica of ‘Stan’ the t-rex found in South Dakota, excavate dinosaur bone replicas, touch a real dinosaur bone, and view a fossilized dinosaur egg.
At the Museum of Geology you can see more than 500,000 specimens of fossils, rocks and minerals, providing a vivid impression of Dakota life in ancient times. Exhibits focus on paleontology – including mounted skeletons of dinosaurs, mammals, White River Badlands fossils, marine reptiles and fish and meteorites! They even have ‘Family Paleontology Camp! Cuuuuuute!
Hike or camp in the badlands
Well, dur, right? The badlands are truly awe-inspiring and sort of creepy when you imagine those covered wagons spotting them for the first time. Of course, you can pay $15 to drive your air-conditioned car through the badlands and take pictures with your phone through the window, but we’re all a bit more intrepid than that, aren’t we?
Camping in the badlands is a bit tougher than a lot of places (you’ll need to bring in your own water and watch out for rattlesnakes) but I’ve done it and can highly recommend it. (Here’s
a helpful post on what to bring and what to expect.)
Take pictures of old houses/big weird statues
See? Aren’t you all excited to drive across the plains, spotting bison, and eating an Indian taco?
Do you live in the Dakotas? What else did I miss? Any other South Dakota travel tips?