Eastern South Dakota -- where should we go?

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Rctonnie

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Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, United States
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My son (4) and I are taking a trip up to northern Minnesota next week.
Our primary route will be along i-29, but we are planning to drive ~1-2 hours west or east of 29 for camping spots along the way (probably will camp 2 or 3 nights).

I saw an area around Watertown, SD, that seemed to have some interesting places to check out and possibly some free camping spots for our overnights.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

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ThundahBeagle

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Sioux Falls. Lots of nice little restaurants and stuff during the day. I do highly recommend hitting western South Dakota if you can. Wow. Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Caves.
 
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MegaBug

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The westernmost part of the state certainly has a lot more going for it. In addition to what's mentioned above there is also Deadwood (old west town), Iron Mountain Road (pig tail bridges), Spearfish Canyon, Sturgis (of motorcycle fame), Ellsworth AFB (museum, B1 bombers and Minuteman missiles)) and just across the border in Wyoming is Devil's Tower (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)..... and the Black Hills are spectacular!
A little western detour is highly recommended.
 
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North end of Sioux City is an Iowa state park called Stone State park. Nice tree covered hills and a nature area just to the south. Also in Sioux city I believe there is a train museum some place. Haven't been to it though.

There are several South Dakota State parks along the way. Newton Hills, Palisades, Walker's Point, Lake Herman, oakwood lakes, Lake Thompson, and probably some I'm forgetting. A lot of the smaller towns have city campgrounds as well. But all the State parks require day fees or annual pass. And can be difficult to get a sight on short notice. Not a lot of free camping along that route in SD. At least that I know of.

Brookings has a decent kids museum play deal.
 

Rctonnie

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North end of Sioux City is an Iowa state park called Stone State park. Nice tree covered hills and a nature area just to the south. Also in Sioux city I believe there is a train museum some place. Haven't been to it though.

There are several South Dakota State parks along the way. Newton Hills, Palisades, Walker's Point, Lake Herman, oakwood lakes, Lake Thompson, and probably some I'm forgetting. A lot of the smaller towns have city campgrounds as well. But all the State parks require day fees or annual pass. And can be difficult to get a sight on short notice. Not a lot of free camping along that route in SD. At least that I know of.

Brookings has a decent kids museum play deal.

Really helpful thank you!!
 
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