South Dakota, one of the Great Plains states, is a colorful place to visit for its attractions both large and small, and by no means ordinary.
The most recognizable of these tourist spots is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with the 60-foot granite faces of US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the side of the mountain. As "America's Shrine to Democracy," it was built in1927 to immortalize America's greatest leaders and the principles on which the nation was built.
Just 17 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore is another spectacular sight, the Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to the great Lakota warrior. Still under construction after being started in 1948, it is intended to be the world's largest sculpture—563 feet high and 641 feet wide.
A "small" tourist attraction, but no less popular, is Deadwood. It is reputed to be one of the most famous small towns in the world, thanks to the many stories surrounding it. Now a National Historic Landmark, this is the town where notorious gunman "Wild Bill" Hickok was killed while playing poker. At the time, his hand was a pair of aces and eights—thus, the term "dead man's hand."
De Smet is another "small" but interesting stop, home to author Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little House on the Prairie books. On display are Ingalls family memorabilia and artifacts, the largest collection in existence.
If you're into motorcycles, you'll want to visit Sturgis, home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. For some family fun, visit World's Largest Corn Palace located in Mitchell. Murals about South Dakota are designed by local artists and made with ears of corn, grains, grasses, straw, and oats. A new mural is made every year.