Home to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States of America, South Dakota offers urban attractions as well as unique natural landscapes. Located in the centre of America, its terrain is varied and scenic.
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota's most popular tourist attraction, was carved into the side of the mountain with the heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The monument is brightly lit up in the evening and is followed by a patriotic ceremony. For a closer look, there is a 0.6-mile Presidential Trail that provides access to visitors. Natural spots include the Badlands National Park which consists of uniquely formed hills and pinnacles made from the erosion of clay and sand. A large herd of bison roams freely within the park, which allows for wildlife viewing. It is one of the last remaining intact prairie landscapes in North America.
Another important destination is the Wind Cave National Park, located just north of Hot Springs, is home to a huge karstic cave system, thought to be among the largest in the world. For palaeontology enthusiasts, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs accounts for a large number of Columbian mammoth bones. More than a staggering 60 mammoths, which include three woolly mammoths, can be found at the site. When visiting, guided tours are available wherein tourists can view the partially-covered mammoth bones- in the state in which they were found.
The National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is another place with a rich history. It displays thousands of American, European, and non-Western instruments from various places and from various historical time periods. The history of Dakota itself can be witnessed in the Old Courthouse Museum, which is a restored 1800s quartzite building with three floors. It showcases murals on the walls that show what life was like in Dakota. South Dakota has access to a variety of unique and stunning landscapes as well as culture and history. It ranges from the famous Mount Rushmore to one of the few remaining prairie landscapes that still exist in North America.
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