Places to Visit Within 50 Miles of Brookings
Legend has it that the notorious outlaw Jesse James made a daring escape at this site located within Palisades State Park. After robbing a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James made his way to Split Rock River. To elude the lawmen that were chasing him, Jesse jumped the 15 foot split in the rocks, now known as Devil’s Gulch, and escaped to Missouri. A small footbridge now spans the gap of this infamous jump.
Fly a space shuttle, touch a tornado, and play with lasers. Housed within the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Kirby Science Center features more than 80 hands-on exhibits for science enthusiasts of all ages.
Explore the habitat of over 800 free-flying butterflies from around the world. Meet scorpions, tarantulas, frogs, and more. The Butterfly House & Aquarium has the only public saltwater aquarium in the Dakotas. This Sioux Falls attraction is open year-round.
The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is a 45-acre zoo and museum located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The zoo’s collection includes tigers, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, snow monkeys, and more.
The Center for Earth Resources Observation and Science offers guided tours Monday through Friday. Learn how EROS began and discover what they do. View a large-format camera that was actually in space, a half-scale model of the Landsat 7 Satellite and satellite imagery from around the world.
When you visit the Bramble Park Zoo, located in Watertown, SD, you will encounter approximately 600 animals representing 130 species from around the world and those native to South Dakota.
Places to Visit Within 100 Miles of Brookings
Explore the grounds where the officers’ quarters, stone barracks, powder magazine, guardhouse, and other buildings remain at frontier Fort Sisseton. This 1864 fort is a rare reminder of the western frontier. This National Historic Landmark, located near Lake City, South Dakota, is a restoration of a frontier army outpost. The fort’s name comes from the nearby Sisseton Indian Tribe, and it is now a picturesque state park with campground facilities.
The Indian Village in Mitchell, South Dakota entices visitors to imagine what it was like to live in a 1,000-year-old former plains village. The Indian Village provides a link to native people who lived during the era of earth lodges and tepees and today’s American Indian communities. Visitors will have the opportunity to view an active excavation site. Discover engaging, and educational activities for the whole family.
These rolling hills (pronounced she-cha) were left after the last glacier receded less than 20,000 years ago. Through the centuries, these hills have become the subject of many legends. A journey through the area still reveals the natural occurrences that fueled the legends. Swamp gas and stumps glow in the dark, and small waterfalls are heard echoing as trapped air escapes. Horse trails and camping round out the activities at this National Natural Landmark.
Our great state is also known for:
- Badlands National Park: A place of striking beauty that contains one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Find bison, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and the most beautiful scenery.
- Black Hills National Forest: An “Island in the Plains” that contains forested hills, canyons, gulches, and unique rock formations.
- Corn Palace: A folk art wonder where people can gather for stage entertainment as well as artistic murals made from corn.
- Crazy Horse Memorial: The world’s largest mountain carving considered The Eighth Wonder of the World in progress. It will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing to his tribal land.
- Custer State Park: Encompassing 71,000 acres in the Black Hills, Custer State Park is home to camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, and abundant wildlife, including a herd of 1,400 bison.
- Mount Rushmore: A colossal sculpture of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln
- Wall Drug: A drug store, gift shop, and eaterie located in Wall that is a must-stop for travelers.
For tourism information, visit the following sites:
There are four state regional associations that have travel information as well: