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.
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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