South Dakota Tourism shares 2019 monumental milestones and the latest in accommodations, food and beverage and experiential offerings across the state.
Among the monumental milestones for 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the historic Custer State Park. Custer State Park is South Dakota’s first and largest state park, and is home to abundant wildlife including one of the country’s largest bison herds. 2019 also marks the 80th anniversary of Badlands National Park. The landscape features a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires that can be seen by traveling along the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway.
New accommodations opening in 2019 include Hotel Phillips and Wagons at Rushmore Shadows. Hotel Phillips, Sioux Fall’s first boutique hotel, is slated to open this spring, converting a century-old bank to a 92-room property. The lobby will retain the original 24-bolt bank vault door. Guests can enjoy on-site amenities including a library, spa, social room and more. Wagons at Rushmore Shadows in Keystone allows guests to experience frontier life in comfort in a traditional covered wagon that sleeps four to six people. The accommodations have all the fun of the Old West, but with the amenities of today.
Spanning the length of a football field over the Big Sioux River downtown, the highly anticipated Arc of Dreams is expected to be completed this May and will serve as the capstone for the renowned Sculpture Walk, which is a year-round exhibit of outdoor sculptures. The installation pays tribute to the dreamers who helped build the town. At the City of Presidents in Rapid City, the bronze sculpture of former President Barack Obama by local artist James Van Nuys will be unveiled this summer.
New opportunities to explore around the state include the Great Plain Zoo's Australia exhibit, which will debut this summer and feature kangaroos, wallabies, emus and more. Also, Riibe Outdoors in Yankton introduced a full-service bow fishing tour, where both newbies and experienced fishermen alike can fish and boat along the Missouri River. The experience includes gear, boat rental, guidance from local experts, and lunch.
New culinary experiences in South Dakota include Lone Pine Kombucha and Parlour Ice Cream House. Lone Pine Kombucha, located in Rapid City, is the state’s first and only licensed producer and distributor of kombucha. Lone Pine’s small-batch kombucha is unpasteurized and 100 percent living, with a variety of sweet, tangy and acidic flavors on tap. Parlour Ice Cream House in Sioux Falls is owned by world champion pastry chef Chris Hanmer. The parlor serves small-batch flavors like the “Opening Day,” a brown butter ice cream with lemon pound cake and blueberry jam.