South Dakota’s Best ‘Under A Grand': Murdo, Population 488
I've driven by Murdo a thousand times. I've stopped in a hundred times.
OK, I'm kind of ballparkin' those numbers, but I've been there a bunch. And always loved it.
I guess I first went to Murdo back in the 1970's. I was working at KWYR in Winner (a piece down the road) and was doing High School sports play-by-play in those days. Every winter over the holidays Murdo would host the 'Murdo Invitational' basketball tournament, a two day (or was it three? It's been a few years) event that featured teams from through the region. In fact, our senior senator was playing in High School back then (How old am I?).
That was my introduction to Murdo.
Over the years I spent a considerable amount of time there. In fact, I got to know Dave over at the Pioneer Auto Museum, which by the way, should be on your 'must-see' list when traveling South Dakota.
But there's so much more to this great community of 488 friendly folks.
Of course it's one of those 'can't miss it' towns in South Dakota, right there off Interstate 90. Yep, it's on the way to Rapid City and the Black Hills or, if you're heading the other way, on the way to Sioux Falls.
Murdo is called the 'Magic City'. Why? Well, I think their website says it be:
It is a place where strangers become friends, history comes alive and the future is embraced. Stop in at the The Covered Wagon Cafe or the Pioneer Auto Show to meet the 'locals'. They will share stories of our county history and lore about this charming community.
Oh, and by the way, I know from my time in Winner that hunters absolutely love the town and the area!
But there's one more thing that i think makes Murdo one of South Dakota's best 'Under A Grand'. I can remember often seeing stories about, when one of those nasty South Dakota blizzards would hit, people would pull off the Interstate into Murdo...and folks would open their arms and welcome them in until the weather got better. Truck Stop, church, business, home...they'd all take in these strangers, who wouldn't be strangers very long.
You see, it's what they do in Murdo...it's what we do in South Dakota.
So do yourself a favor, the next time you're motoring about 80 MPH down I-90 and you see the Murdo exit sign, go ahead, pull in. Do a little old fashioned visiting. And meet some of the nicest people in this state or any state.
Here, take this 5 minute tour of Murdo: