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Missed Places in South Dakota

Dear Savvy Traveler,

The advice you gave to a family going across country with two children ages 13 and 9 was anything but savvy. It may have been fine if these folks have plenty of money but you totally missed some inexpensive and magnificent stops on their way out west. If they are smart they will just skip the big cities (Chicago and Minneapolis) and concentrate on the fantastic natural places they can encounter. The mighty Mississippi is worth more that just a gander if they have never seen it before.

In South Dakota they should hit the Corn Palace in Mitchell, Wall Drugs if they have to, and most importantly the Badlands which are free and outstanding. How could you have neglected to clue them into this stop is beyond me. The kids will have a great time climbing the weird landscape and may just see some bison if they go off the beaten track. Also, in the black hills besides MT. Rushmore, is Custer State Park, The Needles, Jewel Cave, and Wind Cave. They are also very close to Devils Tower in Wyoming.

All of this is available even before they get near the Rocky Mountains. They can take the kids to museums and planetariums at home. Get them outside for these natural wonders and they will fall in love with South Dakota as much as I and my husband did when we made this trip last year with our two children ages 8 and 13. From one who's been there:

a South Dakotan wannabe


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