In Your Own Backyard

by Katlyn Richter on September 10, 2010 · 1 comment

With the hot weather and busiest tourism season behind us, the urge to make every moment of the enjoyable fall weather count is here. Weekend trips right here in South Dakota are a great opportunity to get out of your normal routine and visit a place you have never been.

Whether you are from the Southeast, Northeast, Central, or Western part of South Dakota, there is sure to be a place that you have not yet explored. So, what the heck, make a weekend out of it…get out and explore your own backyard!

Check out McCrory Gardens in Brookings. This beautiful botanical garden and arboretum has over 20 acres of gardens and 45 acres of arboretum. The garden is open during the spring, summer, and fall. The fall is a beautiful time to visit because of the changing leaves. Call 605-688-5136 for more information.

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie in Vermillion is where Lewis and Clark stood on August 25, 1804, to view the beautiful landscape of the plains. This is where local tribes believed that 18-inch tall devils, armed with arrows, stood and lived. Because of the interesting story, Lewis and Clark ventured out to see for themselves – however, when they got there the devils were nowhere to be found. However, what they did see was an incredible herd of bison, about 800, grazing in the distance.

The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center in Chamberlain stands as a tribute to the Sioux Nation. The exhibits at the museum promote and preserve Lakota culture. Visitors will find contemporary tribal art and authentic artifacts. For more information call 605-734-3452.

DC Booth Historic Fish Hatchery in Spearfish was once an active fish hatchery that is now a historic site. The Booth Home and Hatchery Building/Museum are on the National Registry of Historic Places. Don’t miss the underway viewing area! Visitors can feed the fish and ducks and enjoy the well maintained grounds, gardens and children’s park.

  • A visit to Spearfish in the fall couldn’t come at a better time. Driving through Spearfish Canyon and the surrounding area when the leaves are changing will truly leave you breathless…

Grand River Museum in Lemmon is a great adventure in the northwestern part of the state…however – act now because the museum will close for the season on September 30. The museum boasts a large number of scrap sculptures and bronzes by John Lopez, ranching and Native American culture displays, dinosaurs and fun activities for children. Families will enjoy the scavenger hunts, learning about Wild West history, and can even touch real dinosaur bones – it’s sure to be a good time for the entire family!

  • If you can make it up to this area early enough this fall – considering camping at one of the sites in Custer National Forest. This is a beautiful area where wildlife sightings are abundant and you can take in a little outdoor adventure.

You could also try exploring your own backyard by taking up geocaching. Essentially, geocaching is a scavenger hunt/hide-and-go-seek object game centered around GPS coordinates.

Another good idea is to go on a wine tour in your area. Check out an earlier blog post about a wine tour across the state.

 Share with us how your adventure went when you get back!

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