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When it comes to offbeat roadside attractions, South Dakota has some of the best, including world’s only Corn Palace. Historic, odd, and nostalgic at times, the roadside stops in the Keystone State are one-of-a-kind experiences that are well worth the stop.
Take your time as you visit the iconic tribute to America’s founding fathers at Mount Rushmore, and make sure you take plenty of pictures during your time in Keystone. Of course, no trip through South Dakota is complete without a visit to the legendary Corn Palace found in Mitchell. This fun stopping point – coated in decorative corn – is home to sporting events, musical performances, and the Corn Palace Festival, held annually in August.
When passing through Rapid City, Dinosaur Park will catch your eye with its dominating skyline. The park features prehistoric replica dinosaurs that are great fun for kids to climb and slide on. This free park is open May through October.
Another fun stop is Wall Drug Store in Wall, South Dakota. As you approach, you will have passed the billboards for miles a nearing the attraction. What was once a small-town pharmacy is now a city block-sized entertainment emporium with restaurants, gift shops, an art gallery and playground for the kits.
Opened in 1921, the Corn Palace is a unique multi-use center serving the Mitchell community and state of South Dakota. The "World's Only Corn Palace" pays tribute to South Dakota's agricultural heritage.
The original building, "the Corn Belt Exposition", was established in 1892 as a place for local settlers to proudly display their harvest. Each year, the Corn Palace Festival Committee selects which murals, designed by local artists, adorn the exterior of the building.
The murals use over 275,000 ears of corn in completing the decorations. Step inside to see the pictures of the previous year's murals. Time your visit to attend the annual August Corn Palace Festival, boasting of five days of live entertainment.
Completed in 1962, the Oahe Dam rises 245 feet and provides power to five states. Its immense size created Lake Oahe, the fourth-largest reservoir in the United States, and is a major resource for nearby Pierre. Tours of the dam are available from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Any visit to the Oahe Dam usually complements some time spent at the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area. It's the body of water fed by the Oahe Dam, and it's a popular spring and summer destination for visitors. On your next trek through central South Dakota visit Oahe Dam.