Day 1

This tour starts in Brookings, where stops in this university town can include the Children's Museum of South Dakota; the South Dakota Art Museum and the State Agricultural Heritage Museum; McCrory Gardens, one of the top 10 small botanical gardens in the United States; and South Dakota State University, well-known for its agricultural research facilities.

Continue on to Watertown, the city of lakes. Visit the Mellette House, home of South Dakota’s first governor; talk to the animals at Bramble Park Zoo; test the action at the tribal casino or visit the Redlin Art Center, home to original artwork by "America’s Most Popular Artist," Terry Redlin. Overnight in Watertown.


Day 2

North of Watertown is Sisseton and the 75-foot Nicollet Tower, named after the famous French mapmaker Joseph Nicollet who explored the area in 1839. The tower allows visitors a breathtaking view of three states, six counties and the north-south Continental Divide. Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is a restored 1864 cavalry outpost with 14 original buildings. Each June, the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival brings the fort to life with cavalry drills, and Native American and pioneer shows.

Side trips might include the Waubay National Wildlife Refuge or the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Aberdeen is the last stop of the day. Popular nursery-rhyme and fairy-tale characters can be found at Storybook Land. Pioneer history exhibits are showcased at Centennial Village and the Dacotah Prairie Museum. Tours of a Hutterite Colony are also available. Overnight in Aberdeen.

Day 3

South and west of Aberdeen is the Carousel City of Faulkton. Tour groups can enjoy rides on the nostalgic Happy Times Carousel. The 1882, 20-room Pickler Mansion is another unique home.

Stops in Huron, home of the South Dakota State Fair, include Hutterite Colony tours, murals and museums.

De Smet is the "Little Town on the Prairie" made famous by author Laura Ingalls Wilders’ pioneer adventure books. Visit the Ingalls home and the Surveyors’ House as well as 16 other sites mentioned in Laura’s books. For evening entertainment, consider the tribal casino in Flandreau. Overnight in Brookings or Sioux Falls.

Next Up: Black Hills Five-Day Tour