Itinerary #5: North and South Dakota

What is there to do in North and South Dakota, you ask? Plenty! When people ask me which trip was my favorite, I always think of this one, mostly because I was surprised by what I took away from it: a new appreciation of the American spirit embodied in the homesteaders and pioneers who toughed it out for a piece of land to call their own. It’s tough to imagine my kids and me coming out on a covered wagon to settle the new frontier on the prairie. What was particularly interesting was how few trees there were. In fact, on a few stretches there wasn’t a tree in any direction for as far as the eye could see—nothing but tall grasses.

We had a new group for this trip. After two road trips together, Sherry and I parted ways and this time, I took along my next door neighbor, another single mom, who was like a second mother to me. Though her kids were grown and married, Avrille had an adventurous spirit and she was a terrific travel partner, which made the trip that much better. I often find myself wishing I was back in the Dakotas, which are rich with history and beauty. I encourage anyone to make the trip and see this unique and interesting region. Here we go…

States North Dakota, South Dakota

Theme Homesteaders and Pioneers     Duration 9 Days | Map


Day 1

Destination: North and South Dakota• Arrive in Rapid City
Attend Central States Fair

Day 2

Destination #5: North and South DakotaBear Country USA
Cosmos Mystery Area
Mount Rushmore
Presidential Wax Museum
Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns
• Overnight in Rapid City

Day 3

Destination #5: North and South DakotaWall Drug (Wall)
Badlands National Park
Prairie Homestead (Interior)
• Overnight in Pierre

Day 4

Destination #5: North and South DakotaState Capitol Building (Pierre)
The Corn Palace (Mitchell)
Ingalls Homestead (De Smet)
Thunder Road Family Fun Center (Watertown)
• Overnight in Watertown

Day 5

Destination #5: North and South DakotaInternational Vinegar Museum (Roslyn)
Bonanzaville (West Fargo)
• Overnight in Fargo, ND

Day 6

Destination #5: North and South DakotaValley City Fish Hatchery (Valley City)
National Buffalo Museum and Frontier Village (Jamestown)
• Overnight in Bismarck

Day 7

Medora Riding StablesState Capitol Building (Bismarck)
Medora Riding Stables (Medora)
Medora Musical
• Overnight in Medora

Day 8

Destination #5: North and South DakotaSturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame (Sturgis)
• Deadwood
• Overnight in Rapid City

Day 9

• Fly home


  1. Barbara Vosen says:

    What a great website. You do a wonderful job of describing the itineraries visually. We’re good friends of your parents – they should be very proud of you. Len and I wish you great success in your new venture.

    Len and Barbara Vosen