An Aberdeen vacation can be filled with variety as this friendly town was recently voted the South Dakota Governor's Community of the Year. It's easy to find in the Great Plains, just northwest of Watertown and toward the borders with Minnesota and North Dakota. With comfortable hotels, a variety of dining options, and interesting attractions, Aberdeen welcomes guests to come and explore.
The town boasts its fair share of famous connections. L. Frank Baum, who later wrote The Wizard of Oz, lived in the Aberdeen South Dakota area from 1888 until 1891. While the yellow brick road, the Emerald City, and Dorothy's prairie home were originally found in the author's imagination, they are now also part of the attractions in Aberdeen. When visitors include Storybook World and the Land of Oz in their Aberdeen vacation plans, they will find a magical place that charms people of all ages. They can walk down the yellow road, experience a tornado at Dorothy's house, see the animals at Old McDonald's Farm, and catch a ride on the miniature train.
Just steps away is Wylie Park, with more than 200 acres of grasslands and a wide array of attractions, including camping, swimming, picnicking, and a zoo that is home to elk, deer, and buffalo. Several trails wind through the park, while the miniature golf course and volleyball courts help visitors keep busy. Wylie Park is part of Aberdeen's Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, which also oversees the Lee Park Golf Course, Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center's Gallery, and a wide variety of recreational facilities.
At a variety of attractions in Aberdeen, visitors can experience a taste of the West. The Yellowstone Trail, a historic highway, passes through town. Another historic place, the Dacotah Prairie Museum, is a great place to learn more about the history of Aberdeen South Dakota. Located in a historic red-brick building on Main Street, the museum features exhibits about Baum, other notable residents, and the pioneers who settled on the prairies. Visitors who include the museum on their Aberdeen vacation itineraries can plan to see special exhibits, which change throughout the year. The Hatterscheidt Wildlife Gallery, which is a permanent exhibit, features mounted animals from all of the world, including North America, India, and Africa.
The list of things to do in Aberdeen also includes events on the college campuses. The Wolves, an NCAA Division II team from Northern State University, play basketball in the Joseph H. Barnett Center, while gymnastics, volleyball, wrestling, track and field, and other sports fill the schedule. Teams from Presentation College, a smaller school, play in the Strode Activity Center. Events on and off the campuses celebrate the arts through recitals, concerts, and productions of the Aberdeen Community Theatre.
Every August, Aberdeen South Dakota hosts the Brown County Fair. Talented musicians take to the stage, and there's a wide array of agricultural exhibits of livestock, garden crops, flowers, field crops, arts and crafts, and home economics. Among the oldest of attractions in Aberdeen, the fair has been drawing crowds since the 1880s. An all-volunteer crew works all year to plan the popular event.
An Aberdeen vacation doesn't have to be confined to the town for travelers to have fun; several attractions are within in a short drive, including the Fort Sisseton State Historical Park, the Sitting Bull Monument, Bowdle Historical Museum, and the Redlin Art Center. Several prime places for recreation are nearby as well. The Blue Dog Fish Hatchery is a favorite place for fishing, and the Waubaby National Wildlife Refuge is an interesting place for hiking.