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• • • S O U T H   D A K O T A • • •
Presidents of Mt. Rushmore
Mt. Rushmore

A 60-foot long face sounds pretty scary, doesn't it? Now imagine four of them...carved out of rock, looking majestically across South Dakota's vast forests. And once you look up 500 feet and realize the faces are those of famous presidents at Mount Rushmore, it's not so scary, but rather patriotic. Construction on this colossal art project (known as the Shrine of Democracy) began in 1927 and took 14 years to complete. Costing a mere $1 million, it's now deemed priceless to the scores of visitors who gaze up at the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

In South Dakota, you can also explore the Badlands Wilderness Area, which covers 64,000 acres and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. Badlands National Park also contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old. Another national beauty that shouldn't be missed is the Black Hills National Forest, a sea of pine trees so dense they appear black from a distance.

If you're seeking a unique meeting place in South Dakota, look no further than Mitchell. There you will find the World's Only Corn Palace, an exhibition hall topped with onion-shaped towers and annually covered with 600,000 ears of corn and 3,000 bushels of grains and grasses to form a wildly popular international tourist destination.

C O N V E N T I O N   V I S I T O R S   B U R E A U S

Check out the South Dakota Tourism website, where you can explore the state's events and attractions. You can even see live pictures from all over South Dakota with the site's web cams!

Historical Note: By late August of 1804, the Lewis & Clark expedition entered present-day South Dakota, which some have called the "Garden of Eden." The captains’ journal entries for this region described lush vegetation and wildlife, not to mention unusual sights like barking squirrels, burning river bluffs and immense herds of buffalo. The journals also tell of first-ever councils with Sioux and Arikara tribes.