This is a fun feature I plan to run every Thursday. I'll take a category and try to rate the Top 5. I'll mostly do South Dakota categories, but it won't be limited to just SD stuff.
Today's Top 5 is South Dakota Attractions.
Honorable Mention - Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
I had originally wanted to put this on the list, but it's only a week-long event as opposed to the others which are year-long attractions. But still, I wanted to acknowledge Sturgis as an important SD attraction.
5.) Wind Cave National Park
Out of all the places in the world, you'd never think of South Dakota as having a big, underground cave.
This place is cool. It's one of the only places in the world where you can find boxwork calcite formations.
4.) Wall Drug
My family went on many trips to the Black Hills while I was growing up. The goal of the trips was to see Mt. Rushmore, but I almost looked forward to some of the stops along the way even more. I still have fond memories of the animatronic Cowboy Orchestra.
3.) Badlands National Park
Growing up in the relatively flat southeastern part of the state, I've always had a fondness for places that aren't flat. So it comes as no surprise that one of my other favorite parts of trips to Mt. Rushmore were going through the Badlands. I swear, I could stare at that terrain forever.
2.) The Corn Palace
I have to admit that, when I was a kid, I thought the Corn Palace was silly. I don't know why, I just didn't like it. But it certainly is a unique attraction. So much so, that it averages 500,000 visitors a year. And I love that they use it concerts and other community events. Now that I'm grown up (kind of), I appreciate this landmark as one of South Dakota's treasures.
1.) Mount Rushmore
Was there ever a doubt about which attraction would be #1? Millions of people from all of the country and world come to Rushmore every year to pay homage to America's greatest presidents.
Is it weird that most of our major attractions are on the western end of the state?
Anyway, these are my picks for Top 5. Do you agree? Disagree? Care to suggest new categories for future columns? Don't be afraid to let me know!