Mount Rushmore Symbolism

Mount Rushmore Symbolism

As we celebrate Independence Day, I was  thinking about the Midwest attraction that best symbolizes America. Mount Rushmore represents four presidents who were instrumental in our nation’s development, preservation, growth, and development. Read more

Prairie Homestead: Original Sod House and White Prairie Dogs

Prairie Homestead: Original Sod House and White Prairie Dogs

Sod houses and white prairie dogs are both rare. But at Prairie Homestead in South Dakota, an original, sod house, dating back to 1909, is still intact, and an entire colony of white prairie dogs live on the property. Read more

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

12 Fun Facts You May Not Know about the Midwest

One fun part of travel is learning interesting facts about the places you visit. Following are bits of trivia I’ve picked up about each of the Midwest states: Read more

Badlands National Park: Land Beautiful

Badlands National Park: Land Beautiful

Native American Lakota referred to the area as mako sica, or “land bad.” When I visited the Badlands National Park in western South Dakota, I saw “land beautiful.” Read more

Driving Through Bear Country USA

Driving Through Bear Country USA

Bears are the stars, of course, at Bear Country USA, home to the world’s largest collection of privately owned black bear. However, bears aren’t the only animals you’ll see as you take the three-mile drive through the 200 acre attraction. In fact, we didn’t see any bears for quite a while as we traversed the trail. Read more

Old-Fashioned Western Fun: Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show

Old-Fashioned Western Fun: Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show

When I’m in a tourist area, I tend to stay away from souvenir shops, buffets and most things that cater strictly to tourists. But once in a while a little lighthearted entertainment geared to tourists is a fun way to spend an evening. That was the case with the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show near Rapid City in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Read more

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup: A Close-Up View

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup: A Close-Up View

Bumping along in the bed of a pickup truck, standing and hanging onto the rack with one hand, shooting photos with the other, we bounced over the hilly terrain in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. The aroma of sage filled the crisp air on the late September morning as our group of travel writers rode in a caravan to the starting point of the annual Buffalo Roundup in the park’s pastures. Read more

A Day in Downtown Rapid City

A Day in Downtown Rapid City

Traveling to South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and all the natural beauty in the Black Hills and Badlands, you’ll most likely fly into or drive through Rapid City. The walkable downtown area of Rapid City itself is worth a visit, whether you spend a day at the beginning of your trip or take a break from Mother Nature mid-trip. Read more

6 Reasons to Visit Rapid City’s Kitschy Dinosaur Park

6 Reasons to Visit Rapid City’s Kitschy Dinosaur Park

Dinosaur Park. The name says it all. It’s a park with dinosaurs—seven dinosaurs, to be exact. Seven life-size cement dinosaurs. Is it worth stopping at this kitschy Rapid City, South Dakota, roadside attraction? Absolutely. Here are six reasons why: Read more

How Reptile Gardens Blends Beauty and Beast

How Reptile Gardens Blends Beauty and Beast

Reptile Gardens seems an oxymoron to me. I think of gardens as plant life, beautiful colorful flowers. The word “reptiles” brings to mind exactly that: snakes, lizards and alligators. How can the two possibly coexist in one attraction? The Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota, does it well, combining a botanic garden with the largest collection of reptiles on the planet, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, with 225 species and subspecies, over 1,000 animals altogether. Read more