When I was a kid growing up in California, we came to South Dakota for one reason, and one reason only - to see Mount Rushmore. Sure you drove by some nice stuff along the way, but you were there to see those faces, check that off your 'bucket list', and get back on the interstate to head somewhere else.

A lot of tourists are guilty of that.

It took me living in South Dakota to finally take the time to explore everything the Black Hills have to offer - beyond Mount Rushmore.

The folks at the website Thrillist argee with what most South Dakotans already know - the Black Hills are grossly overlooked. In their story '22 Underrated American Places You Need to Spend More Time In', Thrillist says:

It’s basically a gigantic, serene cluster of small towns amid enough crazy geographical features to populate an entire planet, all scattered within an hour or two of one another. Not bad for a place most associated with having a gigantic wall of presidential heads looking over it.

Ironically, the one thing they recommend as a 'must do' isn't even in South Dakota - Devil's Tower. But, the Wyoming landmark is just 50 miles from the South Dakota border, so we''ll give them a pass. Just make sure you had back to the Mount Rushmore State when you're done!

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