South Dakota Flights:
Flights to South Dakota
The US state of South Dakota is in the American Midwest and is most famous for Mount Rushmore which attracts visitors to South Dakota from all over the world.
South Dakota has two major airports: Sioux Falls Regional Airport (airport code: FSD) and Rapid City Regional Airport (airport code: RAP). Flights to South Dakota from South Africa are indirect with one or two stops. Delta Air Lines offers one stop flights to South Dakota’s Sioux Airport from South Africa via Atlanta. Airlines such as KLM, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, United Airlines, and Lufthansa provide flights to South Dakota from South Africa with two stops.
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The Tourist Attractions in South Dakota:
As previously mentioned, South Dakota is most famous for Mount Rushmore which attracts about 2 million visitors per year and is the state’s top tourist attraction. The 60 feet (18 metre) high sculptures of four of America’s greatest presidents was carved out of the granite rock of the Black Hills between 1927 and 1941. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers carved the faces of the four presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
National Parks in South Dakota
As well as several sites operated by the National Parks Service, South Dakota has two actual national parks, Badlands and Wind Cave National Park.
Badlands National Park features eroded rocks which have been eroded to show the different layers of rock, jagged edges, pinnacles and spires. The nearby Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is also administered by the parks service. This is a Cold Ware era missile silo, which, although decommissioned, was not destroyed and left as an attraction and reminder of this important time in history.
Wind Cave National Park, as the name suggests, protects a cave with fairly unique formations inside it – Boxwork and frostwork formations. The cave system is currently the fourth longest in the world at over 131 miles (nearly 211km) and an additional 4 miles (6.4km) is being discovered every year.
The capital city of South Dakota is Pierre (pronounced peer). It’s the second smallest state capital in the country in terms of its population, but has been the state capital since South Dakota gained statehood in 1889, and was chosen because it’s in the centre of the state.
Although only a small city, Pierre contains a huge State Capitol Building which was completed in 1910, which is impressive both inside and out.
The largest city in South Dakota is Sioux Falls where the top attraction is the city’s namesake. Situated on the Big Sioux River, the falls are within Falls Park. Don’t expect Niagara Falls, but Sioux Falls are impressive all the same, as are the historic buildings in the area.
Other attractions in Sioux Falls include the Old Courthouse Museum, the Northern Plains Gallery, and the Great Plains Zoo.
Rapid City is the second largest city in South Dakota and is popular as a base for visiting Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and Badlands National Park. When not visiting the aforementioned attractions, Rapid City also has Dinosaur Park where you can see concrete dinosaurs, the Journey Museum, and Reptile Gardens.
When Should You Visit?:
Being situated in the centre of the country it’s not surprising that South Dakota has a continental climate. This means the state has four distinct seasons, which range from hot summers to cold winters.
Taking Sioux Falls as an example – July is the hottest month with an average high of 30C (86F). January is the coldest month when the average high is just -3.8C (25F) and the low -16C (3F). Summers however can suffer from sever thunderstorms and tornadoes.