As the capital of South Dakota, Pierre has come a long way from its roots as a rough-and-tumble frontier town. Over the years, it has transformed into a railroad town and the seat of state government. Today, Pierre South Dakota is vital city full of interesting experiences.
When making plans for a Pierre trip, vacationers should consider what they would like to do, and chances are there will be plenty that fits the bill. Because Pierre South Dakota is conveniently located alongside the Missouri River, it's natural that many things to do involve water sports. In the winter, many of the smaller lakes and ponds become ice rinks, and the ice fishing season kicks into high gear, especially at Griffin Park and Farm Island. The fishing pier at the causeway just off LaFramboise Island is a favorite place to catch walleye, trout, and northern pike when the mercury drops.
In the summer, the list of Pierre attractions that draw crowds is topped by the two major lakes. Oahe offers more than 2,200 miles of shoreline and plenty of water for windsurfing, sailing, and jet skiing. Sharpe Lake also offers abundant space for outdoor recreation. Along the river, the Farm Island Recreation Area is known for its waterskiing. One of the state parks, it's also home to the Lewis & Clark Family Center, which offers engaging interpretive displays.
For those who couldn't imagine a getaway without golfing, they'll revel in the chance to hit the links and enjoy scenic views. All three of the golf courses in the Pierre South Dakota area are located along the river. The Dunes Golf Course, right next to the Fort Chouteau Historical Site, is a top-rated par-63 course.
For visitors who aren't interested in golfing but still want to spend time outdoors, there are many other interesting Pierre attractions. Both Oahe Downstream and Steamboat Park have disc golf courses, and several of the parks in the region are open to recreational vehicles. The Oahe Downstream Offroad Recreational Vehicle area even has a motorcross track, plus acres of hills and shale slopes to explore.
Those looking to relax or experience the culture also will find plenty of things to do in Pierre. The capitol building, which has enough beautiful art to fill a museum, offers free tours. The city is home to a small, but active arts community, including the long-running theater group, the Pierre Players Community Theatre.
History buffs can add several other museums to their Pierre trip itineraries, including the Verendrye Museum, which explores the area's pioneer history. The South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center shares the legacy of the early Native American inhabitants and the European settlers who arrived in Pierre South Dakota. The city has retained its military heritage, which is waiting to be discovered at the South Dakota National Guard Museum. Fort Pierre Chouteau preserves what is left of a frontier outpost, and the Oahe Dam Visitor Center explores the history of the lake, dam, and power plant.
Other Pierre attractions are particularly suited to visiting families. At the South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium, young travelers—and the young at heart—are encouraged to play and learn at the same time. The aquarium features fish native to the Missouri River. Families also can take advantage of the water at the Pierre Aquatic Center no matter what the season.
Pierre trips offer a wealth of possibilities for a well-rounded visit and plenty of ways to make it more comfortable; Pierre hotels are welcoming and many offer great deals. An assortment of interesting places to shopping and dining will help complete any visit.