At the heart of the United States, big cities meet the wild frontier and grasslands caressed by the wind, mixed with high granite peaks and steep needles. This place is South Dakota, the land of great faces, great places and amazing sweets!
Nature and Wilderness
Do you know why they are called “the Black Hills”?
. It is pretty impressive seen from the air. I got on a helicopter, and the beauty was unparalleled.
If you are looking for full contact with nature, one of the most recommended places is Custer State Park, a park that can be enjoyed on foot or on the road, and that allows you to disconnect and finding beauty in very worth seeing landscapes.
I found elks and buffaloes while they were roaming around. Yet, I was advised not to go too close, and neither should you. You should not mess with other creatures spaces. That is their space, and hence, it is to be respected. I was a passerby.
But if scenic roads are what you need, then there is nothing like the Loop Road, ideal for lovers of the great road trips! If you want to see elk, buffalo, and other wildlife living in total freedom, you must visit!
South Dakota & the Sioux Nation
South Dakota is home to the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota peoples, who are collectively called Sioux nation. Museums and cultural centers in the state show the history and traditions of these people and exhibit ancient artifacts and modern works of art.
I am a big history and culture nerd, so this was a pleasure. I had never interacted with the Native American culture up close, and I still want more.
A must-see is the Crazy Horse Memorial, that is being built by Native Americans to honor their lands and mountains. The Lakota leader, Henry Standing Bear, asked the sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve in the mountain the figure of a hero of their own. Nobody knows when it’s going to be finalized because it’s slow but steady.
It’s almost like stepping into a parallel universe, where you fully connect with nature. While the whole USA is magical, the Black Hills have something special. Interacting with people in the Sioux Nation is noteworthy. They have a vision of life and nature that is unlike anything I had ever seen.
Water for your Soul
There’s nothing like the sound of water and wind to bring peace to the heart. I visited the Sheridan Lake, and it’s an experience I recommend to anyone. And don’t miss the Canadian geese, because they are INCREDIBLE!
Furthermore, there’s a lot of wildlife to see too… And a few swimmers who are fans of cold water and slimy algae!
To be noticed….
In addition, if you are looking for AMAZING handmade taffy (in every flavor imaginable!), you must visit the Taffy shop in Keystone. You can see the whole process straight up, and find some incredible flavors, from extra sweet and fruity, to spicy and even sugarless!
Moreover, you can visit their site and order online with US shipping here.
Other tips for traveling the black hills
- Don’t miss out on the Sturgis festival if you are on the motorcycle environment, a must-see for every fan worldwide. And make sure to have enough room for beer and food!
- Ride a helicopter in Buffalo Chip and enjoy the amazing view from the heights!
- While you enjoy the shops, take a walk in downtown Rapid City… History is on its streets!
- Most notably, don’t miss out on Mount Rushmore and the Museum underneath is INCREDIBLE!