LET TRAVELKATZ PLAN YOUR SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION PACKAGE
Travelkatz will put together a South Dakota Vacation Package custom tailored just for you. We handle all aspects of your trip so you can sit back, relax and enjoy. We provide three options for every state in the USA. If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate in contacting us.
South Dakota: This is an expansive, sparsely populated midwestern U.S. state where rolling prairies give way to the Black Hills National Forest, where it is the home of 2 historical monuments carved right into towering granite peaks: Mt. Rushmore, the depiction of 4 revered U.S. presidents, and Crazy Horse Memorial.
Wades Gold Mill: You will have an outstanding experience and definitely recommend Wade’s Gold Mill for those with young children. This is truly a hands-on and authentic experience panning for gold and rocks. You are immediately greeted when you pull up the driveway and are invited to watch a brief video about the history of the Wade family gold mill which gives a great but brief history of the mill. From there, you can decide to pay for a panning experience for the family, in particular the children. We would recommend a personal guide that will walk you through the proper planning process. He will assist, and then let the children do it on their own. But then he will double-check to be sure nothing was left behind. You may actually find gold flakes/specks and are able to take them home. Your guide will then have the kids fill a pan with ore and take you down to the creek to do some additional panning. Drive to Hill City, S. Dakota to enjoy this adventure.
Cultural Heritage Center: Not your typical museum structure, this one is built into the side of a hill, and much of it is underground. A contemporary version of a traditional Native American dwelling, this beautiful building features Native American (mostly the Sioux tribes) and pioneer exhibits, with many rare artifacts tracing the history of South Dakota. This center is one of a kind. From the moment you walk through those doors, you are transported back in time to the history of pioneers, Native Americans, and even to the cold war, where you learn about S. Dakota’s role and missile silos. If you love history, this is definitely worth your time when you visit Pierre.
Adams Museum: The Adams Museum is the Black Hills’ oldest history museum. In 1930 pioneer businessman W.E. Adams founded the Adams Museum in downtown Deadwood with the purpose of preserving and displaying the history of the Black Hills and is home to some of the Black Hills’ greatest treasures including Potato Creek Johnny’s gold nugget, beloved American illustrator N.C. Wyeth’s pencil sketch drawing of Western legend Wild Bill Hickok, the mysterious Thoen Stone record of the Ezra Kind party’s discovery of gold in the Hills in the 1830s and a one-of-a-kind plesiosaur (marine reptile). In addition to exhibits on all three levels, the Adams General Store is located on the main floor. Visit this museum in Deadwood.
Tatanka: Story of the Bison: This is a great place to learn about the history of the Bison (American Buffalo) and the Native Americans of this area. There’s a short film you’ll want to see about how Tatonka came to be. Do some research about Kevin Costner and his dream before you go, watch “Dances With Wolves”, then visit this awesome place and put yourself in that time period and soak it all in! Located one mile north of Deadwood.
Trial of Jack McCall: Buy your tickets in advance to secure your admission to the “The Trial of Jack McCall”, one of the longest-running plays in the nation. Based on a true story of the namesake historical figure and his trail. This stop is for the people who want the really western museum feel. They have a HUGE gun collection that is awesome as well as a basement full of wagon and buggies! The play is presented in the historic Masonic Temple in Deadwood, on your chosen day.
Days of ’76 Museum: Live re-creations of the town’s rich history started in 1924 through the Days of ’76 celebration and award-winning rodeo. The celebration began as a way to honor Deadwood’s pioneers – the prospectors, miners, and muleskinners who poured into the Black Hills in 1876 to settle the gold-filled gulches of Dakota Territory. Deadwood’s newest museum documents the celebration and rodeo. The Days of ’76 Museum features exceptional displays of carriages, firearms, American Indian artifacts and illustrates Deadwood’s enduring friendship with Buffalo Bill Cody. The Days of ’76 Museum is wheelchair accessible and located in Deadwood.
We at Travelkatz are looking forward to answering your questions and putting together a memorable vacation for you and your family to South Dakota. You can “chat” online or call at 352-277-7300.
South Dakota Festivals – Head up north to enjoy all the winter fun you can have…don’t forget your skis, snow shoes and Ice skates. You just never know…a few of these festivals take place in 2020.
Winterfest: Folk and fine art, entertainment and lots of food. In Aberdeen; Nov 23 – 24.
Festival of Trees: Come to the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead for this annual vintage holiday celebration. Amidst a beautifully decorated lobby, foyer and theater, you will enjoy mingling through the building, viewing heavily decorated and designed Christmas trees, wreaths and unique vintage items. The event also includes a silent auction and live music. Admission is Free. Lead; Dec 4
Winterfest: Add some sparkle to your mid-winter by joining the locals for their annual snow festival. This Winterfest celebrates all things winter on and off the mountain. Jam packed with events and activities for all ages it’ll be more fun than you might be able to handle. Celebrate in Lead; Jan 31 – Feb 2, 2020
6th Annual Frost Fest 2020: Celebrate the season and embrace the big chill! Frost Fest is back; highlighting our amazing attractions and everything they offer, both indoors and out! Frost Fest is truly a collaborative event featuring several local attractions, businesses and organizations to host events at various locations throughout the community – As you’ll notice with all the co-hosts. Brookings; Feb 15, 2020.
44th Annual Coyote Jazz Festival: Since 1975 the USD Coyote Jazz Festival has featured high school music programs from South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. A competitive festival, the event is also an excellent opportunity for performing groups to receive written and recorded feedback from exceptional jazz educators and performers. Trophies are awarded for outstanding performances in each class. University of South Dakota, Vermillion; March 17, 2020.
Siouxland Renaissance Festival: Here you can travel back in time to the glorious reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Come one, come all goode lords and ladies, merchants, yeomen, players, musicians, and peasants. See the sights, hear the sounds, and taste the food. Learn what it was like to live over 400 years ago as you take part in our historically flavored festival. The festival takes place on the grounds of the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds/W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds in Admission: $10 for adults (13-65), $5 for seniors (65+) and children (4-12), and free for children 3 and under. Sioux Falls; June 6, 2020.
40th Annual Black Hills Bluegrass Festival: Help celebrate the 40th anniversary of this Bluegrass Festival. The three-day event features concerts, jam sessions, workshops, kids’ activities, concessions and a Sunday Gospel Music Show. Sturgis, June 26-28, 2020.
Get ready for some winter weather and sports and music. Travelkatz will be happy to put a wonderful winter vacation in South Dakota just for you. Give us a call at 352-277-7300 and we will make it happen for you.
PLACE OF INTEREST
Wilder Welcome Center: Along with a very knowledgeable driver, you’ll see Silver Lake (By the Shores of Silver Lake), Lakes Henry and Thompson (These Happy Golden Years), Almanzo Wilder’s homestead and tree claim (The First Four Years), You will learn about sloughs and why certain homestead land parcels were more desirable than others. After this tour you will be ready to head to the Ingalls’ Homestead to continue “living like Laura.” The tour guide takes you all over the town as well as many different parts of the county side to explore things related to Laura Ingalls Wilder that you won’t be able to find otherwise. One of the favorite parts is being able to get out and walk alongside the Silver Lake and around the Cemetery. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and gears the tour to what we were most interested in and let us stop wherever we wanted to take pictures. The tour lasted about 2 hours. This tour comes highly recommended!
Ingalls Homestead: Experiencing the way it was at the Ingalls Homestead. If you were/are an avid viewer of the popular Little House on the Prairie television series, a visit to the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota, should feel like a trip to Disneyland. The series, starring Michael Landon, was lightly based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series of Little House on the Prairie books published in the 1930s and 1940s, a tale of life on the prairie. At Ingalls Homestead, you learn about Laura Ingalls Wilder and pioneer history by participating in a series of activities, like driving a covered wagon or twisting hay sticks or grinding wheat or driving a pony cart or washing clothes or making a jump rope or a corn crib doll. Participate in a one-room schoolhouse session to learn about what school was like for children growing up in Dakota Territory in the 1880s. Laura lived on this 157.25-acre homestead for four years. When you visit, you can move through the exhibit buildings and activities at your own pace. Great staff, fabulous grounds and history. Fun, interactive things to do like to drive the team! Great gift shop. If you don’t know much about Laura, you should learn. Her legacy is truly remarkable! They have rebuilt the original house according to Pa’s original plans, and other historic buildings have been moved on site. This produces a very authentic feel for what life would have been like on the Prairie. Everything is well laid out and it is easy to spend the day wandering around homestead. The homestead offers Wagons to sleep in, and the site has 4 RV sites with water and electric hookups.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial: We invite you to visit the historic homes of famous author, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Have a fun filled day visiting the Surveyors’ House from By the Shores of Silver Lake. Attend class in the First School of De Smet, the original school that Laura and Carrie attended and visit the home that “Pa” built in 1887. Visit the Discovery Center for Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes pioneer activities! Try to sew on a treadle sewing machine, dress like a pioneer, and learn to read Braille. Each summer a new exhibit is on display of original belongings of Laura and her family. Upon her death in 1957, friends and former classmates formed a historical society and founded the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial that established a museum that displays more than 2,000 photographs, books, documents and other objects and artifacts of Laura and her family and offers tours of the 1887 Ingalls home on 3rd Street, the Surveyor’s House and the schoolhouse that Laura attended.
De Smet Cemetery: Highly recommend stopping by the cemetery on your visit to De Smet. What a lovely final resting spot for Pa, Ma Mary, Carrie and Grace and her husband Nathan. Laura and Almanzo’s infant son is buried here too. I imagine when they picked these spots originally, they did so for the serene beauty of this place, which still exists there today.
A flight to Sioux Falls where you rent a car will get you to DeSmet. Just give Travelkatz a call at 352-277-7300.
PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA
Originally called Matto, from the Dakota name ma-to-nakpa, meaning “Bear’s Ear,” Pierre was renamed in honor of 19th century settler and fur trader Pierre Chouteau in 1880. Brothers Anson and John D. Hilger pushed to rename the city for Chouteau, who helped create a booming fur trade in the region, and built a trading post called Fort Pierre Chouteau not far from present-day Pierre.
State Capitol: The state capitol has different organizations from around the state decorate the “organizational theme” on different trees, as well as the regular decorations for the capitol. It is classic in design and very well maintained in its original condition plus additions. The stained glass is particularly interesting. Beautiful grounds and building. Pierre is a small city and in the middle of the expansive prairies, but worth the drive to see this part of the country. Located on a picturesque lake with several memorials – one for our Service men & women as well as honoring the Police, fire and EMT folks who have died working for the safety of those who live in SD! Lovely lady in the gift shop who will explain the State bird and flower. The dome is very impressive too. Well worth the trip.
Cultural Heritage Center: It is not a huge place as far as the museum section goes but it is packed with a wealth of real artifacts and history. The tour starts with a brief history of prehistorical stuff and move right into the Native American cultures. There is a lot of info here, not just book info but real life writings, historical input, tons of Native artifacts right through to the demise and start of reservation life and now. Same with the French trappers, settlers, Army, wars, etc. Then you move into the 1900’s with the people who made the Dakota’s (especially South) what they are today. Live the war years from Indian to present, see the contributions this state made. Very well laid out with items, dioramas, authentic wagons, weapons, personal effects of everyday people. A tipi to visit and then stop in a settler’s sod house, see an original stage coach move on to gold panning and mining. A few interactive activities for kids. The admission was very reasonable. Well worth the time.
South Dakota Discovery Center: There are many hands-on exhibits to educate the kiddos on nature and elemental forces, giving young students insights into many aspects of practical value such as electricity. There is a wide variety of exhibits and it is amazing just how much fun they’ve managed to fit in such a compact space. This is a safe fun place for the whole family!
South Dakota National Guard Museum: They had some big things housed outside airplanes tanks etc. They had displayed an old Military large wood stove complete with a cook book showing how much is needed to feed a 100 people. It is free for everyone and the lady who manages it does a fantastic job taking you around on a tour. There is a lot to look at, even with small children. They also have a kid’s corner for them to dress up in different military uniforms. Original weapons, vehicles, artifacts…and in an arena where anyone that is working there will likely give you a personal tour because they are working out of passion rather than punching a clock. The Sherman tank and A-7 are extraordinarily accessible because they’re right out front but the weapons and militaria inside are worth calling ahead to confirm open-hours – expect to see weapons from the U.S., Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia.
La Framboise Island: Once called “I’ll humored island” by Lewis and Clark has been maintained as a natural preserve. There are hiking trails into the woods. You can enjoy the trail by the river, which is excellent for running, walking, or biking. Located right in Pierre, it’s super convenient and beautiful.
South Dakota State Historical Society Museum: The State Historical Society has created an unusual and very interesting display of artifacts, stories and visuals about the history of the Dakotas and its pioneering people. This museum is good for adults and children. The historical society’s extensive archives are housed in the same facility, and the staff is both very knowledgeable and helpful. The park area surrounding the facility is beautiful, great for walking around in and for picnics. The State’s beautiful government buildings are in the same area and can be toured.
From TPA, you need to fly into Sioux Falls Regional Airport. There is not a direct flight but visiting Pierre is well worth the trip. Sioux Falls is a short drive in your rental car. Give TravelKatz a call at 352-277-2700 and we will be happy to make this a special vacation for you and yours.
SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION PACKAGE MADE EASY
Another option for our South Dakota Vacation Package is the Natural Wonder. See our selection of choice below to see if it fancies your style. Please don’t hesitate in contacting us with any questions or concerns.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Badlands National Park
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