Located in the southeastern corner of the state, Yankton South Dakota is known as much for its scenic views of the area as its entertaining things to do in town. Located along the Missouri River as well as Lewis and Clark Lake, Yankton is a natural choice for outdoor enthusiasts. The city also offers an array of visitor services and welcoming amenities to complete any vacation.
The collection of things to do in Yankton begins with water recreation. The Missouri, which has been declared a national recreational river, forms the border between South Dakota and Nebraska. On both sides of the river, an array of state parks, campgrounds, and recreational sites encourage visitors to get outside. For those planning a Yankton vacation, they should make sure to include time for outdoor activities.
Three state parks are located in and around Yankton South Dakota: the Lewis and Clark, Chief White Crane, and Pierson Ranch recreation areas. Each of these sites offers an incredible combination of scenic sights and recreational activities. The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area has an especially wide array of possibilities. With more than 300 campsites in view of the lake, hiking trails, marina, a full-service resort, an archery range, cabins, and weekend programs, the recreation area is a part of many Yankton vacation plans. The other two sites are also favorites for camping, hiking, and wildlife watching.
When looking for things to in Yankton, tourists will benefit from a stop at one of the visitor centers, which have more to offer than just a few brochures. Both the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center and the Corps of Discovery Welcome Center are attractions in their own rights. The first, perched on a bluff, has fantastic views of the lake, river, and Gavins Point dam, and its power plant is open for tours in the summer. Exhibits detail the namesake explorers in addition to regional history and wildflowers. The prairie garden just outside is lovely in the summer. The Corps of Discovery Welcome Center lives up to its name by offering complimentary coffee, an art gallery, and educational programs. A nature trail winds through the site and is a fine place to admire the views.
Anglers know that the list of things to do in Yankton definitely includes fishing, and both Lewis and Clark Lake and Lake Yankton are known for their great catches. The Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery & Aquarium works to keep the waters of the Missouri and other sites in the Midwest stocked. Visitors are welcome to come and see what's swimming.
A Yankton vacation also can include time to learn about the territorial past of the Dakotas. The Cramer Kenyon Heritage Home is an attractive Queen Anne mansion that dates from the days when Yankton South Dakota was the territorial capital. It is filled with art, exhibits, and original decor. Visitors also can explore the Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica and the Dakota Territorial Museum.
Many of the things to do in Yankton are concentrated in and around the city's historic downtown. As visitors stroll through the area, they can shop at more than 100 local businesses, step into art galleries, and enjoy a meal, all within steps of the Missouri River. When planning for overnight accommodations while in Yankton, travelers have plenty of options no matter what interests them. A number of Yankton hotels provide welcoming places to rest after a long day. There are many options for camping and cabins, too, for those who looking for more economical places to anchor for the night.