Places to stop between Sioux Falls and Rapid City, Part II

As promised, here’s the second half of my list of favorite places to stop along Interstate 90 between Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

In the first half of the list, I wrote about places between Sioux Falls and the Missouri River. Today, I’ll list my favorite places between the river and Rapid City:

  • Pioneer Auto Show, Murdo: See a great selection of cars, motorcycles and tractors at this auto museum, located about an hour west of Chamberlain. The collection includes one of the late Elvis Presley’s motorcycles.
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Cactus Flat: Out of all the places on the two parts of my list, this is one of my top-two recommendations. Here, you can see an underground launch facility and a missile silo — with an unarmed, 60-foot-tall test missile in it — that formerly stood ready for a nuclear attack against the Soviet Union. This is an incredibly intriguing and educational experience. The site is located about two hours west of the Missouri River, right alongside I-90.
  • Badlands Loop Road, Badlands National Park: This is the other of the top-two recommendations. You’ll need to make some time for this if you want to drive the loop, but it’s well worth it. You can get on the 38-mile loop at Cactus Flat, which is the same exit you’ll need to use for the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. The loop goes south and west through a good-sized chunk of Badlands National Park, which is a scenic treasure. The loop will then turn north and bring you back onto I-90 at Wall.
  • Wall Drug, Wall: How do I begin to explain Wall Drug? Well, it’s a tourist trap, for sure. But it’s one of the biggest and coolest tourist traps you’ll ever see. Wall Drug is basically a tourist’s mall, with shops offering everything you could ever want to buy for your South Dakota vacation, from trinkets with South Dakota logos to South Dakota-related books to expensive camping and hiking gear. There’s also a great restaurant and a "Backyard" full of fun things for the kids to climb on.
  • South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Box Elder: Located just seven miles east of Rapid City, this museum celebrates and commemorates the history of military aircraft and gives visitors the chance to learn a little about Ellsworth Air Force Base, an active installation near the museum.

Once you get to Rapid City and the Black Hills, there are more things to do than could possibly be listed here.

So there you have it: A list of things to do along I-90 between Sioux Falls and Rapid City that you can pick and choose from to keep you busy for any amount of time, from an hour to a couple of days.

Categories: Western SD

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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