South Dakota is a truly underrated state. The entire western half of the state is filled with parks, monuments and endless wildlife. Rapid City specifically has tons of history and culture that is worth exploring. The town also acts as a perfect home base for exploring a variety of different parks all within day trip distance. Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Rapid City, South Dakota!
Badlands National Park is one that I had neither heard much about nor had at the top of any bucket list. After taking a full day to explore this park, I'm glad to say that the Badlands is well worth the trip out to explore. The park is located in South Dakota which I believe is a rather underrated state. Since we had traveled up from Florida and through endless states of corn fields, we were happy to see scenery changes, especially ones as out-of-this-world as the Badlands. You can absolutely spend more than one day exploring this park but if you have only 24 hours in the area, here's an itinerary to follow so you can make the most of you time here!
So we've been on the road for a month and a half now and have stayed in a WIDE variety of campsite locations and overnight options. There are paid campgrounds, free campsites in forests, Walmarts, Breweries, Casinos, and more. I figured It'd be fun to do a pros and cons comparison of all the different places we stayed between Florida and South Dakota.
When you think of BBQ, Kansas City is definitely one of the top cities that comes to mind. When we were planning our big US road trip, we wanted to integrate BBQ into the trip as much as possible. Originally we had the trip carving along the south through Texas but when we flipped it to go counter clockwise instead, we instead got to treat ourselves to Kansas City!