Custer state park (south of Rapid) - can see buffalo roaming free and in huge herds. Prolly the only chance you will ever have to experience America this way.
I agree on that! Plus if you go to Hot Springs there is Evan's Plunge, a natural free flowing spring/indoor pool that is about 95 degrees year around. Since it is indoors, it open even in the winter. Custer has many attactions in their town, along with gold panning, and in the evening the deer come right out.. tons of 'em. Needles highway is superb!! Great camping at many of the local lakes, and streams in the Black Hills. You'll like it is much you might contemplate moving there! BTW, I grew up just south of there near Crawford, NE. Spent more time in the Black Hills than many other parts of this country.
Caves! As well as tourist places like Rushmore Cave, you can find lesser-traveled sites of beauty which are gorgeous in their own right (not just because of fewer tourists!)
Sturgis motorcycle rally? If that's not your thing, steer far away, but if you're into it, it can be a blast!
I agree to that! The cave are phenomenal! Wind Cave is so large, in depth and labrinths, that it actually breathes. A guy from Hot Springs was looking for some strayed cattle and heard a whistling sound and went into this gulley and seen the leaves of some brush really moving, so he looked into this small hole and it blew his hat off his head. It was LOW pressure system at the time (weather) and the cave was expelling air to regulate itself to the air pressure. So he goes back into town and finally convinces a bunch of folks to come out and look at this spot in the ground that has such a large volume of air coming out. They all load up in their wagons and horseback (many years ago), and head out there. He goes to demonstrate to them how the hat will swish up in the air for them all to see so he throws his hat over the center of the cave entrance (hole). However, the weather system had changed and now a HIGH pressure system had come over the Black Hills and now the air was really GOING IN to the cave and it sucked his cowboy hat in to the cave, and they have never found it to this day.
Wind Cave is right in Custer State Park, and you can see plenty of Buffalo and Prairie Dogs and other assorted "critters" there roaming free.
The biggest question is when your road trip is, the winter we do have some smaller skiing hills and snowmobiling. But the summer there is a lot to do and see. The east side of the state has the corn palace and laura ingles wilder's childhood home. The central part has fishing on the missouri. The west side has a ton of tourist places in the hills.
The people are great. I'm in the military and have traveled all around the world, and you'd be hard pressed to find friendlier people than you will in the midwest. I never thought I'd say it, but I think I'm going to miss South Dakota!