South Dakota/North Dakota
Best of the Dakotas
Watch for bison along winding roads in the Black Hills and take in moonscape views in the Badlands as you explore the history and heritage of the Dakotas from the Ice Age to today.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22815RJ
10 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The 60-foot faces of four U.S. presidents gaze out over the Black Hills. Recognized worldwide, Mount Rushmore stands as a symbol of American democracy. Experience this national icon and more as you explore the best of North and South Dakota, from the winding roads of the Black Hills to the other-worldly moonscapes of the Badlands. Visit national and state parks, memorials, monuments and museums as you discover the history and heritage of the Dakotas, from the Ice Age to the American Indian Wars. Learn about the influence of local legends like Lewis and Clark, Theodore Roosevelt, Sacagawea and Crazy Horse, and take in the splendor of the wide-open spaces of the western frontier.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to two plus miles today on mostly flat terrain, some climbing stairs and in and out of the motor coach numerous times a day.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Visit world-renowned parks, memorials and monuments like Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Devil’s Tower and learn more the region’s history at places like the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.
  • Learn about the history, culture and people of the Dakotas as you visit both states’ capitals, and find out more about the native and presidential history of the Badlands on both sides of the border.
  • Appreciate the massive metal art sculptures along the Enchanted Highway, and attend the Greatest Show in the West, The Medora Musical, featuring real horses, cowboys, song and dance.
Featured Expert
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J. Foster Sawyer
J. Foster Sawyer is a geologist and groundwater hydrologist with a bachelor’s and master’s in geology and a PhD in geological engineering. He worked for the South Dakota Geological Survey for over twenty years, during which time he coauthored the Geologic Map of South Dakota along with many other geological and hydrological reports and maps. Dr. Sawyer has participated in two research expeditions to Antarctica and recently served as the national president of the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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J. Foster Sawyer
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Suggested Reading List
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