FREE. It’s a word that gets attention. Especially when you’re on vacation. And the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that free things (free ice water, free trolley rides, free tours, etc.) are some of the best experiences. They tend to be the memory that sticks out. I don’t know why. Maybe because a “freebie” is often a hidden gem that takes you off the beaten path to a place you may not have gone. They teach you something you didn’t know you didn’t know. Or they’re fun, quirky experiences that become family folklore for years. With that in mind, here are even more SD freebies that will leave you a little richer.
- The South Daktoa Tractor Museum of Kimball – Located just south of I-90 you’ll find a museum that’s dedicated to early South Daktoa settlers and the state’s agricultural history. The historic tractors and other farm machinery have been restored by local farmers and mechanics. The museum also exhibits a one-room school house, blacksmith shop and horse-driven farm equipment.
- Dakota Territorial Museum in Yankton – Yankton, SD, was once the capital of Dakota Territory, which was made up of present-day South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and parts of Wyoming. The Dakota Territorial Museum in Yankton showcases this rich pioneer, Old West and Native American history with a variety of indoor and outdoor displays. You can even see a marker designating the site where Jack McCall was convicted and hanged for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok.
- Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg – The Dakota Sunset Museum features a 40-ton Medicine Rock considered sacred to the Lakota people because of its embedded human footprints and handprints. The rock was originally locted 15 miles west of Gettysburg near the Missouri River, but weather and tourists were taking their toll so the rock was moved to the museum. Dakota Sunset also features a Civil War exhibit that honors the more than 200 veteran homesteaders who settled Potter County.
- The Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls – The Outdoor Campus is a great place to learn more about nature, conservation and outdoor skills. Operated by the SD Dept of Game, Fish and Parks, the campus has a wildlife museum, walking trails, butterfly garden, nature programs and hands-on classes and demonstrations.
- D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in Spearfish – The D.C. Booth Fish Hatchery (formerly the Spearfish National Fish Hatchery) opened its doors in 1896 to establish and stock a trout population in the Black Hills. The hatchery ceased official operations in the mid-1980s but today the site is a living museum operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Tell us your favorite South Dakota Freebie and don’t forget to register for the Great South Dakota Road Trip Giveaway!