If there was ever a town where you could check off a full American experience, Hot Springs, South Dakota would be it. Founded on historic discoveries and built on leisure this small town has it all. Let’s get down to it and carve out the ideal weekend experiencing the American West!
This article was created in partnership with the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce, South Dakota. Photos courtesy of Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce.
Day One Morning
Start out by diving into the history and exploring the millions of years old mammoth site the town was founded on. Having unearthed 61 mammoths, both Woolly and Columbian, this site is known for having the greatest concentration of mammoth remains. Still an active site, this is possibly one of the oldest such ruins in the U.S. and brings in over 100,000 people each year.
Day One Afternoon
Follow the first half of the day with a little exploration of the town itself. Let the Freedom Trail guide you a little over a mile to discover downtown Hot Springs. Along the way, you’ll pass a couple of parks as well as some fantastic art work. While walking the town, take note that many of the buildings were constructed of a beautiful local pink sandstone by pioneers in the late 1900s.
This gem of a community has many shops, restaurants, museums, and galleries to enjoy. You may even consider a quick game of mini golf or bowling. After discovering what the unique downtown community offers make sure to get a good night’s rest. Day two will really display why pioneers settled and frequented this area.
Day Two Morning
Start the day by visiting the Evans Plunge mineral springs. The waters feeding into the pools stay at a consistent and warm 87 degrees year round and are a true mineral spring without the sulphur smell. During the summer—and especially in the winter, everybody can appreciate Evans Plunge in an indoor or outdoor pool. Children have slides and areas where they can play, while adults can choose to relax with access to a spa, health club and sauna.
As an alternative to Evan’s Plunge don’t be afraid to get away from the crowd and appreciate other outdoor attractions. The local golf course offers some spectacular views of the surrounding Seven Sisters Mountain Range and is a wonderful way to spend the morning.
Day Two Afternoon
This friendly community truly appeals to people of all ages. After a hearty lunch you can continue and get more immersed in the endless outdoor activities. Plenty of water and surrounding trails offer a different perspective from the pool. Nearby springs and lakes give way to water activities such as paddle boarding, boating, and fishing.
Another way to enjoy the outdoors is to observe and connect with wildlife by visiting Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Here, wild mustangs roam free on 11,000 acres of open land. Book your tour in advance to experience the wild west of South Dakota.
Not to be forgotten are the parks nearby. Hot Springs is only 10 minutes away from Wind Cave National Park and a short distance from Custer State Park. The southern Black Hills still offer more with Crazy Horse Memorial and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation all within short road trip distance.
Hot Springs truly has it all. This resort town may be small, but you can find more than enough to do and immerse yourself in a truly American experience.