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With a theme of "Great Faces, Great Places," South Dakota more than lives up to its hype. The Great Faces, of course, are the famed 60-foot visages of four presidents - George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt - carved into mighty Mount Rushmore. Near Custer, a mountain is being sculpted into a massive image of Sioux warrior Crazy Horse astride his horse. To compare the unprecedented scale of Crazy Horse, all four Presidential heads on Mount Rushmore would fit inside just Crazy Horse's head - with room to spare. Other legends who have made their mark on this spectacular land include Wild Bill Hickok who was ...

With a theme of "Great Faces, Great Places," South Dakota more than lives up to its hype. The Great Faces, of course, are the famed 60-foot visages of four presidents - George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt - carved into mighty Mount Rushmore. Near Custer, a mountain is being sculpted into a massive image of Sioux warrior Crazy Horse astride his horse. To compare the unprecedented scale of Crazy Horse, all four Presidential heads on Mount Rushmore would fit inside just Crazy Horse's head - with room to spare. Other legends who have made their mark on this spectacular land include Wild Bill Hickok who was shot and killed in Deadwood's Saloon No. 10 and Calamity Jane who is buried next to Hickok above Deadwood in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. Then there's Sue, the most intact Tyrannosaurus ever found, uncovered near Faith, and the amazing Corn Palace in Mitchell. Paying homage to South Dakota's agriculture heritage, the Corn Palace’s exterior walls feature murals created each year from grains, grasses and more than 3,000 bushels of locally grown, multicolor corn. With its 71,000 acres, Custer State Park is home to one of the largest herds of bison in the world. About 1,500 bison freely roam the park, often stopping traffic on the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The great outdoors of South Dakota boasts an assortment of wonders - ponderosa pine-covered Black Hills, rolling prairies, a sacred volcanic formation, sky piercing granite peaks, awesome buttes, lush mountain meadows, underground caves, eerie badlands and reminders galore of its Old West heritage.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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