If you’re a motorcyclist looking for an unforgettable adventure, look no further than the Corn Palace Run in South Dakota. This thrilling journey takes you through some of the most picturesque roads in the state, offering incredible scenery and a chance to visit unique attractions along the way. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a novice biker, the Corn Palace Run is an experience that will leave you with lasting memories.
South Dakota is known for its stunning landscapes, and the roads on the Corn Palace Run showcase the state’s natural beauty. Imagine riding through sweeping curves and rolling hills, with fields of golden corn stretching as far as the eye can see. These roads are a motorcyclist’s paradise, allowing you to feel the wind in your hair and the freedom of the open road.
But the Corn Palace Run isn’t just about the roads—it’s also about the unique attractions you’ll encounter along the way. One of the highlights of the journey is a visit to the iconic Corn Palace in downtown Mitchell. This historic building is adorned with vivid murals made entirely of corn, and it’s a one-of-a-kind sight that can only be found in South Dakota.
Another must-see attraction is the Dignity sculpture at the Chamberlain Visitor Center. This breathtaking artwork honors the Lakota and Dakota cultures and stands as a symbol of hope and unity. As you ride through South Dakota, you’ll have the opportunity to explore these fascinating landmarks and learn about the rich history and culture of the region.
Whether you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or simply someone who loves to experience the beauty of the open road, the Corn Palace Run offers a unique and unforgettable adventure. So gear up, hop on your bike, and get ready to explore the stunning roads and attractions of South Dakota. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss.
Attractions Along Interstate 90
Embark on a road trip along South Dakota’s iconic Interstate 90 and discover a myriad of captivating attractions and pit stops along the way. From quirky sculptures to cultural landmarks, this scenic route offers something for every traveler.
- Oversized Concrete Teepees: As you venture through the Interstate Information Centers, be sure to marvel at the towering concrete teepees that pay homage to Native American culture and history.
- Porter Sculpture Park: Prepare to be amazed by the whimsical and eccentric metal creations at Porter Sculpture Park. This outdoor art gallery showcases larger-than-life sculptures that captivate the imagination.
- The World’s Only Corn Palace: Make a stop in downtown Mitchell to witness the vibrant and ever-changing corn murals adorning the walls of the World’s Only Corn Palace. This unique attraction celebrates South Dakota’s agricultural heritage.
- Dakota Discovery Museum: Delve into the past at the Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell. This interactive museum offers a hands-on learning experience, showcasing the history and culture of the region.
- Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Museum: Step back in time at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Museum and explore the archaeological wonders of the area. Unearth the stories of South Dakota’s early inhabitants through fascinating exhibits and artifacts.
- The Dignity Sculpture: Pay homage to the Lakota and Dakota cultures at the breathtaking Dignity sculpture. Located at the Chamberlain Visitor Center, this iconic statue represents strength, resiliency, and the cultural heritage of the Native American people.
Off the Beaten Path in Murdo and Okaton
When exploring the scenic roads of South Dakota, don’t miss the hidden gems of Murdo and Okaton. These charming towns offer unique and fascinating attractions that will transport you back in time.
1. Pioneer Auto Show
One of the highlights of Murdo is the famous Pioneer Auto Show. This expansive complex houses a remarkable collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, trucks, and antiques. With its roots dating back to 1954, the Pioneer Auto Show has become a beloved destination for travelers. As you stroll through the buildings, you’ll be in awe of the assortment of classic vehicles and nostalgic memorabilia. It’s no wonder that the Pioneer Auto Show was even featured on the popular show American Pickers.
2. 1880 Town
Just a short drive from Murdo is the enchanting 1880 Town. Step into the Old West as you explore this replica village filled with authentic buildings and props from the movie Dances With Wolves. Wander through the streets and visit the saloon, church, schoolhouse, and train depot. Every corner of 1880 Town is steeped in history, offering a glimpse into the past. Keep an eye out for the skeletal man taking a leisurely stroll with his dinosaur statue in the nearby field. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget.
Uncover the hidden treasures of Murdo and Okaton on your South Dakota adventure. From the impressive vintage cars at the Pioneer Auto Show to the immersive experience of 1880 Town, these attractions are sure to leave you with lasting memories. Hop in your car, hit the open road, and let the charm of these off-the-beaten-path destinations captivate you.
History and Capital City Charm in Pierre
A detour to the capital city of Pierre is a favorite among travelers who enjoy visiting state capitol buildings. Completed in 1910, the South Dakota State Capitol is one of the most well-preserved state capitol buildings in the country. During the holiday season, the Capitol is beautifully decorated with Christmas trees from across the state. Pierre, the second-smallest capital city in the country, offers a charming and historic atmosphere, with the added bonus of not being served by an interstate highway, making it a unique stop along the Corn Palace Run.
If you appreciate architectural beauty and historical significance, a visit to the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre is a must. This impressive building showcases the state’s rich heritage and serves as a symbol of governmental power and pride.
As you explore Pierre, you’ll discover a city that embraces its history while offering modern amenities. Walk along the streets lined with charming historic buildings, visit local museums to learn about South Dakota’s past, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Missouri River that flows through the city.
Exploring Pierre’s Historic Landmarks
Pierre is home to several historic landmarks that highlight the city’s significant role in South Dakota’s history. Take a tour of the Cultural Heritage Center, which houses interactive exhibits and artifacts that showcase the state’s diverse heritage. You can learn about the Native American tribes, pioneers, and explorers who shaped the region.
Another must-visit attraction is the Oahe Dam and Reservoir. This engineering marvel stands as a testament to human ingenuity and provides breathtaking views of the Missouri River. Take a scenic walk along the dam, go fishing in the reservoir, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
Pierre: More Than Just a State Capitol
While the state capitol building is a major draw for visitors to Pierre, the city offers much more to explore. Discover the local culinary scene with its diverse restaurants and cafes, or browse the charming shops and boutiques for unique souvenirs and gifts.
“Pierre’s small size adds to its charm, creating an intimate and friendly atmosphere that welcomes visitors with open arms. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying a relaxed day by the river, Pierre has something for everyone.”
For those seeking outdoor adventures, Pierre is surrounded by natural beauty. From hiking and camping in the nearby state parks to boating and fishing in the Missouri River, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in South Dakota’s scenic landscapes.
Make sure to schedule enough time in your Corn Palace Run itinerary to fully experience the history and capital city charm of Pierre. This hidden gem of South Dakota will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for the state’s heritage.
“A visit to Pierre is a step back in time, where you can explore the legacy of South Dakota and get to know the heart of the state.”
Lewis and Clark and the Great Plains
A rest stop along Interstate 90 west of the Corn Palace leads to an unexpected discovery: an interpretive center dedicated to the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition. This center provides hands-on exhibits and educational displays that bring the history of the expedition to life. Learn about the challenges faced by Lewis and Clark as they traversed the Great Plains, encountered unusual wildlife, and made crucial decisions about their journey. The center offers a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world and gain a deeper understanding of the explorers’ experiences.
Wall Drug and Rapid City’s Attractions
No trip along Interstate 90 in South Dakota is complete without a stop at Wall Drug, one of the most famous roadside attractions in the country. Originally a small-town pharmacy, Wall Drug now spans an entire city block and offers everything from restaurants and souvenir shops to art galleries and a playground.
In Rapid City, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the prehistoric statues at Dinosaur Park or the whimsical nursery rhyme characters at Storybook Island. Both attractions provide fun and entertainment for the whole family.
Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, delicious food, or fascinating art, Wall Drug has something for everyone. Explore the numerous souvenir shops, where you can find everything from quirky trinkets to authentic Native American crafts. Indulge in a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants, ranging from classic American comfort food to international cuisine. Don’t forget to try the famous homemade donuts that have been pleasing visitors for decades.
“Wall Drug is more than a tourist attraction; it’s an experience,” says John Smith, a frequent traveler. “You can easily spend hours exploring the shops, enjoying the entertainment, and immersing yourself in the unique atmosphere that makes Wall Drug so special.”
After your visit to Wall Drug, make your way to Rapid City, where even more adventure awaits. Dinosaur Park is a must-see for dinosaur enthusiasts, with its towering dinosaur sculptures and panoramic views of the city below. Discover the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the area and learn about their fascinating history.
For a whimsical and enchanting experience, head to Storybook Island. Explore the beautifully landscaped park filled with life-sized statues of beloved nursery rhyme characters. From Cinderella to Humpty Dumpty, children and adults alike will delight in this magical setting.
Whether you’re traveling with family or embarking on a solo journey, the attractions in Wall Drug and Rapid City will leave you with unforgettable memories and a greater appreciation for South Dakota’s unique charm.
Scenic Beauty and Sculptures in the Black Hills
As you enter the Black Hills of South Dakota, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking natural beauty and iconic landmarks. This picturesque region is a must-visit destination along the Corn Palace Run, offering a unique blend of scenic vistas and cultural attractions.
One of the highlights of the Black Hills is the Crazy Horse Memorial, an ongoing carving project that pays tribute to Native American history. This monumental sculpture depicts Crazy Horse, a renowned Lakota warrior, and is set against the backdrop of the Black Hills. Standing as a symbol of Native American pride and heritage, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a testament to the region’s rich cultural significance.
Another iconic landmark in the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore. This famous national memorial features the faces of four U.S. presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—carved into the granite mountainside. As you marvel at the intricate details of these massive sculptures, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the history and patriotism of the United States.
For a taste of the Wild West, head to the historic town of Deadwood. This charming destination offers a unique blend of casinos, museums, and preserved historic buildings. Step into the past as you explore the streets where legendary figures like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane once roamed. Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant atmosphere of Deadwood, and try your luck at the casinos that harken back to the days of the Gold Rush.
“The Black Hills region is a treasure trove of natural beauty and cultural significance, with iconic landmarks like the Crazy Horse Memorial and Mount Rushmore. Don’t forget to explore the historic charm of Deadwood, where the spirit of the Wild West still lingers.”
The Black Hills region offers a perfect blend of awe-inspiring scenery and captivating sculptures. Whether you’re captivated by the towering statues at the Crazy Horse Memorial, in awe of the masterful craftsmanship of Mount Rushmore, or enchanted by the historic streets of Deadwood, this region is sure to leave a lasting impression. The Black Hills are a crown jewel of the Corn Palace Run, showcasing the beauty and cultural heritage of South Dakota.
Quirky Roadside Attractions Across the Country
While the Corn Palace Run focuses on South Dakota’s unique roadside attractions, there are also many other quirky stops across the country worth visiting on a road trip.
Cawker, Kansas: The Largest Ball of Twine
Take a detour to Cawker, Kansas, and witness a marvel of oddity. Here, you’ll find the largest ball of twine, an ever-growing creation that has captured the fascination of locals and travelers alike. Feel its whimsical charm and marvel at its eccentricity.
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas: A Tribute to Automotive Art
For a dose of automotive surrealism, head to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. This peculiar art installation features ten Cadillacs buried nose-down in the ground, creating a striking visual spectacle. Visitors are encouraged to leave their mark by spray painting the cars, making each visit a unique experience.
These offbeat attractions offer a fun and memorable experience for travelers looking to explore the unusual side of America.
Roadside Wonders in North Dakota and Utah
While the Corn Palace Run takes you through the scenic roads of South Dakota, neighboring states also offer their own mesmerizing roadside attractions. In North Dakota, a must-visit drive-by attraction is the Enchanted Highway. This captivating stretch features larger-than-life scrap-metal sculptures that span a 32-mile journey, showcasing the artistic brilliance of the region.
In Southwestern Utah, another fascinating wonder awaits: the Hole in the Rock in Moab. This extraordinary home carved into a massive rock formation is a testament to human creativity and determination. As you marvel at the unique architecture, you’ll be transported to a world where nature and human ingenuity merge seamlessly.
These lesser-known attractions in North Dakota and Utah add an extra layer of excitement to your road trip adventure. Explore the Enchanted Highway’s scrap-metal wonders and witness the hidden gem of Moab’s Hole in the Rock. Immerse yourself in the natural and artistic wonders of these two states, making unforgettable memories along the way.
Unique Artistic Tribute in Southern California
If you’re looking for a truly unique and inspiring stop to conclude your Corn Palace Run, make sure to visit Salvation Mountain in Southern California’s picturesque Imperial County. This extraordinary hillside art installation, lovingly created by the late artist Leonard Knight over three decades, is a testament to the power of creativity and faith.
Salvation Mountain sprawls across the desert landscape, covered in vibrant paint, biblical references, and religious scriptures. With a resounding message of love, the mountain serves as a religious tribute that captivates and uplifts visitors from all walks of life.
When you visit Salvation Mountain, you’ll have the opportunity to explore this vibrant work of art up close. Take in the panoramic views of the surrounding desert as you immerse yourself in the sheer beauty and devotion that went into creating this masterpiece. It’s a true testament to the intersection of art and spirituality.
Located in Imperial County, California, Salvation Mountain stands as a shining example of human creativity and the power of following one’s passion. Don’t miss the chance to experience this awe-inspiring destination that will leave a lasting impression on your Corn Palace Run journey.