Despite dealing with all of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic for the last year, things are looking good for South Dakota's status across the country as a top travel destination.

Even with a large number of people staying home in droves since March of 2020, South Dakota still welcomed nearly 13 million visitors over the past year. Those visitors generated $3.4 billion in spending and $276 million in tax revenue.

And now with the inclusion of places like Wall Drug, Badlands National Park, and Reptile Gardens in the Academy Award Best Picture winner Nomadland, the state is poised for a tourism boost in 2021.

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Travel+Leisure agrees. They've listed the Black Hills of the Mount Rushmore State as one of the top 50 places to travel in America.

The website lists Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, and Rapid City as top destinations in the hills, and touts cyclingglamping, and the Black Hills Pow Wow as some of the can't miss experiences in Western South Dakota.

TRAVEL+LEISURE'S TOP PLACES TO TRAVEL IN 2021 (in alphabetical order)

  • Alaska’s Coast
  • Astoria, Oregon
  • The Berkshires
  • Big Sky, Montana
  • Black Hills, South Dakota
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Vermont
  • Cape May, New Jersey
  • The Catskills
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Delaware
  • Lower Highlands - Denver
  • Florida’s Middle Keys
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Galena, Illinois
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante, Utah
  • The Gulf Coast
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Lopez Island, Washington
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Nantucket
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York City
  • North Carolina’s Triangle
  • Northern Minnesota
  • Northwest Arkansas
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Park City, Utah
  • Rhode Island
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • The Rockies
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • The Sea Islands
  • Sonoma, California
  • Hill Country, Texas
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • The U.S. National Parks
  • Washington, D.C.
  • White Sands, New Mexico
  • Wyoming

2021 POLAR PLUNGE