No question about it — it’s a long way across South Dakota! If you take Interstate 90, there’s 410 miles worth of South Dakota between Minnesota and Wyoming… 410 miles of vacation fun, if you know what’s coming your way.
Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city, a prairie metropolis with a reputation for fine eating and great shopping. The star attractions are the waterfalls of the Big Sioux River and the Great Plains Zoo.
Seventy miles west on I-90 is Mitchell, home of the world-famous “Corn Palace.” It’s a stunning, whimsical civic center, decorated inside and out with more than 2,000 bushels of corn and 40 tons of other grains! Eleven different shades of corn are used for the designs, which change every year.
It’s quite a sight when you hit the Missouri River. From east bank bluffs, there’s an expansive view (we checked… the western horizon is 9.3 miles away!) of both the Great Plains, and the Great Lakes of South Dakota.
If there’s a walleye fisherman in your party, you might as well relax and let him get it out of his system! These are the legendary walleye waters he’s read bout in national fishing magazines.
Just across the Missouri River Bridge, take advantage of the five-cent coffee at Al’s Oasis, the biggest watering hole along I-90.
Stop at Murdo and chances are, you’ll also be personally welcomed to South Dakota by Dave Geisler when you stop in at the Pioneer Auto Show and Antique Town. About 15 miles west of Murdo, you’ll encounter South Dakota’s 1880 Town, an entire village of authentic pioneer-era structures.
Just west of Murdo, you enter into Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) and gain an hour.
You’ll start getting first glimpses of badlands formations near the town of Kadoka (Exit 150 and 152). Kadoka is home to Badlands Petrified Gardens, an extensive exhibit of fossils, petrified wood and minerals found in the area.
Exit 131 is where westbound travelers exit Interstate 90 to tour Badlands National Park.
Wasta is located off Interstate 90's Exit 99, along the Cheyenne River, about 35 miles east of Rapid City. Food, gas and lodging are available. The Sioux Indians called this location "waste'" (wash-tay) or "Good!" because of the sparkling clear springs of cold water that seep from the base of the river bluffs. We pronounce is "whah-stuh." In addition to the town, there is a riverside Interstate Rest Area and visitor info center at this location.
New Underwood is a ranching community located 17 miles east of Rapid City along I-90 at Exit 78. Founded in 1906, ranching has been the mainstay of the town's economy for more than 100 years. New Underwood offers a general store for food supplies and lodging for overnight guests.