Memorial Day Weekend, a day set aside each year to honor all the brave men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces protecting our freedoms.

Memorial Day Weekend is also known as the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.

Now that most everyone has sent COVID-19 packing, many of us will be loading up the family in our own version of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and hitting the holiday road this weekend.

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If your plan is to hit the vacation highway, here are the Top 5 Memorial Day Weekend vacation spots in South Dakota according to the gang at has identified the city of Hot Springs has to be one of South Dakota's favorite Memorial Day Weekend vacation destinations. Located in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills, Hot Springs has no shortage of fun things to do. While in Hot Springs, Evans Plunge should be atop your to-do list. You and the family can take a dive into a massive indoor pool featuring water from the local mineral springs. You should consider taking a tour of the Battle Mountain Sanitarium. A famous South Dakota sanitarium that was well known for taking care of returning injured servicemen through the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

Another popular South Dakota Memorial Day Weekend vacation spot is Deadwood. Is there another city in South Dakota that does a better job of depicting the look of the old west? Probably not. Each time you visit Deadwood, you almost expect to see Wild Bill sitting at one of the blackjack tables in the city's many casinos. One wouldn't be surprised running into Seth Bullock and Calamity Jane still wandering its historic streets as well. If you're a fan of the old west, Deadwood is a must-see.

Rapid City is another popular summer vacation spot in the state according to Close to the faces of Mount Rushmore National Park and not too terribly far from the Badlands, Rapid City has the reputation for being one of South Dakota's premier tourist trap locations. While in Rapid, make sure to take a walk downtown to see all the sights and the statues of past American presidents. A very cool thing to do, especially if you love presidential history. And if you love all things that slither, you can't leave Rapid without making a stop at Reptile Gardens on US-16 south of Rapid.

Of course, South Dakota's largest city had to make the list of the top 5 South Dakota Memorial Day Weekend getaways. Named after the stunning waterfalls found in Falls Park, Sioux Falls is packed full of fun things for a family to do. A visit to Falls Park should probably top your list. I would also highly recommend the Great Plains Zoo. And don't think about leaving without first making a stop to see all the sculptures that line the streets of downtown Sioux Falls on Phillips Avenue. Sioux Falls also boasts a number of awesome walking trails that help to showcase the scenic beauty that surrounds the city.

Rounding out the Top 5 favorite South Dakota Memorial Day Getaways is the city of Custer. Located in Custer State Park, Custer truly is the home to the natural beauty that is the Black Hills of South Dakota. There's wildlife galore. If you're a lover of horses and horseback riding, Rockin’ R Trail Rides is the place for you. They offer guided half and full-day trail rides along with lessons for beginners. My cousins Randy and Peggy run the place, and I promise you will not be disappointed with the experience you'll get.

Anyone that lives in the Rushmore state knows South Dakota has an infinite number of other fun vacation spots that are perfect for the Memorial Day Weekend or any other vacation day throughout the summer months.

Whatever you might be up to this Memorial Day Weekend, please remember to honor those who have served this great nation. Have a safe and happy 3-day weekend, everyone. Welcome to summer!


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