With so much to see and such an absorbing history to explore, it can be helpful to explore South Dakota with a guide. A variety of South Dakota tours will bring this state to life, including its Native American culture, military heritage, Wild West past, natural history, and modern flair. Plenty of knowledgeable guides are available to take visitors on tours, from a short walking excursion to motorcoach vacations that span weeks.
Many travelers include Mount Rushmore tours on their must-see list. The national monument is open all year, and in the summer rangers lead interpretive tours and programs. An award-winning audio tour tells the story of the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, as well as others involved the creation of this amazing site. On these self-guided Mount Rushmore tours, visitors can listen on their own schedule, as they follow a suggested path or may their own way.
Another Black Hills monument, the Crazy Horse Memorial, is also a captivating addition to Mount Rushmore tours. This work-in-progress is transforming a mountain into a massive stone carving honoring the Native American leader.
South Dakota tours in the state capital of Pierre will reveal the city's history as well as the state government. When the weather is warm, travelers can climb aboard the Capital City Queen to experience the sights as the earlier travelers did from the Missouri River. On a two-hour narrated tour, passengers learn about Pierre's landmarks, including the mouth of the Bad River, where famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark met with the Teton Sioux. Tours of the state capitol building showcase the stunning art as well as the legislative process.
Tours in South Dakota also let travelers follow the trails and scenic byways. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, which stretches from the Great Plains to the Pacific Northwest, includes many sites in South Dakota. Through interpretive signs and viewing points, travelers can learn about the historic journey, which followed the Missouri River back in 1804. The Native American Scenic Byway follows the river and crosses prairies through the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Sioux reservations. Travelers can admire the rugged landscapes and watch for wildlife on these South Dakota tours.
Custer State Park is also known for its scenic byways, amazing additions to tours in South Dakota. When vacationers embark on Black Hills tours, they can travel through some of the park's 70,000 scenic acres. Needles Highway twists and turns past interesting rock formations. The Wildlife Loop Road, located entirely within the park, rolls through open grasslands and gently rising hills, and at times buffalo are known to stop traffic. One of the most visited of all of the state parks, Custer is home to a wide variety of places to stay and things to do, including hiking trails, lodges, resorts, horseback riding, and wildlife-watching Jeep tours.
Deadwood, a gaming destination, is another interesting place for tours in South Dakota. While it is known for its casinos, Deadwood also a rich Wild West past. Visitors can join a guide on a walking or trolley tour to see where Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, and others spent time in this gold rush boomtown. The entire town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so there are plenty of interesting things to see on these South Dakota tours.
Outdoor enthusiasts also can take tours. Expert anglers lead fishing tours, knowledgeable hikers take visitors out to see nature's splendor, and skilled hunters show novices the best places. South Dakota is especially known for its pheasant hunting.