America the Strange: South Dakota’s 5 Wackiest Attractions
Our Jurnii through America’s mid-west continued as we crossed the border into South Dakota. While this state may be most famous as the home of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, we discovered a whole bunch of other fantastic attractions to visit; some wonderful and some just plain wacky.
So come and join us in our adventure and discover what all the fuss about South Dakota is actually about.
1. Devil’s Gulch – Jesse James Jumped Here: Garretson, South Dakota
While not many natural attractions generally make the cut of being weird and wacky, Devil’s Gulch makes a fair attempt at it.
Allegedly the very spot where Jesse James, famous American outlaw, fell to his untimely death, Devil’s Gulch inspires a certain amount of awe and will have you hanging on for dear life at the very thought of crossing the gorge.
2. Porter Sculpture Park: Montrose, South Dakota
Big things on the side of the road are something America does particularly well. Wayne Porter is no exception to this rule and will make this clear from the moment you first lay eyes upon his monolithic structures.
Marvel at the Egyptian cow head, the pink Chinese dragon, the Grim Reaper and the Screaming Man and you’ll soon realize this isn’t just weird: this is art.
3. 1880 Cowboy Town: Buffalo Ridge, South Dakota
While it may not have actually been constructed in 1880, Cowboy Town now looks like it was made a lot longer before, with its unique collection of battered buildings and paint peeled sets.
If staged gun fights, live hangings and pilgrim shrines are your thing, this is definitely the attraction for you.
4. Dinosaur Park: Rapid City, South Dakota
It’s no Jurassic Park but hey, it comes pretty close. While the adults might not think much of the green (somewhat unrealistic) structures, the kids are sure to love them.
The park is home to 5 dinosaurs in total; the Apatosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brontosaurus. Each is a mouthful to say and an eyeful to take in.
5. Petrified Wood Park: Lemmon, South Dakota
As far as strange things go, this one comes pretty close to the top of the list. The park is slightly eerie in its resemblance of a petrified forest, with strong evidence of many years of hard labor apparent.
A hundred conical structures are spread throughout the park, with some standing up to 20-feet tall. The museum itself is also pretty fascinating and gives you the chance to take a piece of the park home with you.
Know of any other weird but wonderful South Dakota attractions? Let us know about them in the comments below.