This is a guest blog post.
Checking out Mount Rushmore or the Crazy Horse Memorial are good reasons to visit South Dakota. The Badlands National Park is most definitely worth a visit out, too. And, truly, there’s nothing remotely resembling the Corn Palace anywhere else in the States, or even the world. But here are the five ultimate best reasons why Canadians should visit South Dakota.
Because the Landscapes Are Incredibly Diversified
Granted, Canada’s are too. Mountains, prairies, valleys, deserts… But South Dakota’s landscapes have all of this, only within a territory that’s about 50 times smaller than Canada’s. You can climb up a mountain, then get lost in deep, dark, wild forests; you can wander around the desert-like rock formations of the Badlands, and end your day by swimming in a pristine lake. South Dakota’s landscapes are so incredibly diversified for a state of this size, Canadians, known for their love of nature, will just dig it.
Because It’s a Great Place for Road Trips
Many Canadians cherish the dream of doing the infamous road trip across the States, from East through the iconic rock formations of the Midwest and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. While that whole trip would take a while, road tripping across South Dakota is shorter, simpler and real satisfying: Amazing “wild-westish” scenery, breathtaking landscapes and one-of-a-kind pit stops along the way, such as the Wall Drug.
Because It’s the Geographical Center of the States
When you want to discover a country, what best place to start with than its center? The small city of Belle Fourche, South Dakota, was designated as the geographical center of the United States in 1959 – that’s when, of course, you include Hawaii and Alaska. A monument called “Stone Johnnie” has been set up there to honor that fact.
Because It’s Packed With Wild West and Gold Rush History
From the historic town of Deadwood – where notorious wild west figures, such as Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp or Madame Moustache, lived and died – to the unmarked burial site of Jack McCall or the Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota is full of fascinating history.
Because of Its Many Natural Wonders
You think South Dakota and you think “the Badlands”. But there are many others natural wonders in that state. The glittering and shimmering Jewel Cave, for instance, is the third longest cave in the world, with over 100 miles of paths and passages within it. There is also the unique Lemmon Petrified Wood Forest, where you’ll see petrified wood formations like no other in the world. And last but not least, the Black Hills National Forest is of stunning beauty, and includes Harney Peak, the highest peak in the States east of the Rockies.
Mireille is a travel, music and theater enthusiast. She wrote for the stage and television, and is now working as a freelance blogger for Via Rail, Canada’s leading railroad transporter, offering unique packages for visiting Toronto.