South Dakota

6+ Fun Reasons to Visit Eastern South Dakota This Summer

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All my years of traveling and asking people where they like to take vacations I have yet to hear anyone mention Eastern South Dakota.

This often overlooked hidden gem in the Midwest offers so many experiences and adventures for a weekend, or longer, vacation.

I’m sharing just a sample of what awaits you in Eastern South Dakota.

lewis and clark(c)

6+ Fun Reasons to Visit Eastern South Dakota This Summer

Lewis & Clark Recreation Area

Situated on beautiful Lewis & Clark Lake, 6 miles west of Yankton off SD 52, is one of the state park system’s favorite resort parks. 

Three separate campgrounds comprise this modern recreation area, attracting visitors from throughout the Midwest. There are many miles of paved bike trails that follow the lake.

A nature trail begins near Gavins Point Campground and continues to 1.2 miles along the bluffs. A nice scenic overlook is at the top of the trail offering a beautiful view of the lake and bluffs. 


good earth state park

Good Earth at Blood Run

South Dakota’s newest state park, Good Earth at Blood Run is a national historic landmark.

The river, abundant wildlife and fertile flood plains made the area a crossroads of Native American civilization from 1300 – 1700 AD and possibly even longer. 

This is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. Guided nature hikes are provided during the summer with registration through the Outdoor Campus at

LOCATION: Sioux Falls

national music museum(c)National Music Museum

National Music Museum

Make a note to stop at the National Music Museum. This museum is a treasure trove of musical instruments from around the world – spanning six centuries!

Be sure to find the guitars by Stradivari, Martin, Gibson, D’Angelico, D’Aquisto & more.

LOCATION: Vermillion

czech days(c)CzechDays

Tabor Czech Days

Celebrate the central European history of Tabor at this annual celebration. Enjoy food, music, arts, baking demonstrations and more.

Held June 16-17, 2023.  


Corn Palace(c)

World’s Only Corn Palace

If you’re in South Dakota you MUST visit the only Corn Palace in the world!

The corn palace is decorated in a different theme each year using thousands of bushels of corns, grains and native grasses.

LOCATION: Mitchell

South Dakota

Little House on the Prairie

Visit the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Walk through the pages of the Little House on the Prairie stories.

You can camp in a covered wagon, make corn cob babies, ride in a horse drawn wagon, visit the homestead and more.

If you watched Little House on the Prairie or read the books this is an absolute must and one of my favorite things to do in South Dakota.

Location: DeSmet

More Things To Do In South Dakota

Here’s a few other posts I’ve written about South Dakota. I may like South Dakota just a bit 😉

Falls Park – Sioux Falls

Sertoma Butterfly Garden – Sioux Falls

Outdoor Campus – Sioux Falls

Washington Pavilion Art & Science Center – Sioux Falls

14 Things To Do in Sioux Falls

Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum – Sioux Falls

Ingalls Homestead – DeSmet

Custer State Park  – Custer

Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary – Spearfish

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary – Hot Springs

Fun in the Black Hills – Black Hills

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6 fun places to visit in eastern south dakota


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