23 Feb 2017 Which of the Great Eight would you do First?

South Dakota: Which of the Great Eight would you do First?I loved seeing the presidents of Mount Rushmore at the Den on Sunset at Travel Massive Los Angeles. I never expected to selfie with them on a Thursday night. Thanks to Kelley, Jim, Mara, Katlyn, Gina and a special thanks to Wanda for all her help on my first trip to visit part of the GREAT EIGHT!

What is the GREAT EIGHT? These are top sights to visit in South Dakota! I saw some of them and cannot wait to go back to finish the list!
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park
  • Badlands National Park
  • Historic Deadwood
  • Which of the Great EIGHT would you do FIRST?Custer State Park
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Jewel Cave National Monument

VideoOn the Road to Rushmore

Lisa, Jason and Scott continued on to South Dakota and made a stop in legendary Sturgis, including the Knuckle Salon and Trading Post where the annual Harley Davidson festival is held! The Wild West really comes to life here, especially in the “Badlands” and its cemetery, which holds the remains of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane.

Video: Mt Rushmore at Night Summer 2015

Here Lisa and the team toured the sights by moonlight for a look at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The touching ceremony at the end of each night honors US troops with the lowering of the flag. There’s so much to learn from the past and this monument will forever be an important part of the American history and present.

Video: Sunrise at Mount Rushmore

After getting a taste for the Wild West, it was time to set off to Mount Rushmore. Here Lisa and the team toured the sights by sunrise for a look at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. There’s so much to learn from the past and this monument will forever be an important part of the American history and present.

Though Mount Rushmore holds much historical significance, it’s also a place to come and unwind! The Adoba hotel in Rapid City is the winner of several Trip Advisor awards for excellence and offers comfortable, spacious rooms. The local restaurant, Enigma, serves the freshest organic food from land and sea including pomegranate-braised lambshank and broiled walleye; all complemented by live music!

VideoCuster State Park, South Dakota Summer 2015

Custer State Park in South Dakota is amazing. I loved it. There are 71,000 acres here. We drove the 18 mile Wildlife loop road. There are 1300 bison or buffalo in the park. They can weigh up to 2000 pounds. I had no idea we would be able to see them so close. I highly recommend this adventure! I loved our day in the park. We also saw Praire Dog Town and the burros that live in the park.

VideoCrazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota Summer 2015

Lisa and the team made a stop at the Crazy Horse memorial in Western South Dakota. The memorial to this important Lakota leader was carved by Korczak Ziolowski into the granite Black Hills mountain range as part of a 100-year project. The impressive head sits 219 feet high and watches out over the valley with its multitude of stories from past times.

VideoBadlands Helicopter Adventure, South Dakota

Badlands Helicopter Adventure, South Dakota: The Badlands of South Dakota are a designated national park and close to 65,000 acres act as a wilderness area for the re-introduction of endangered species. After hopping onto a tour with Black Hills Aerial Adventures, Lisa was on her way to a bird’s eye view of 243,000 acres of buttes, pinnacles and spires, not to mention the world’s richest Oligocene fossil bed!

If a helicopter ride doesn’t appeal, there is plenty of hiking to take advantage of in the Badlands; see more than 7,500 stars in the clear night-sky. Becoming a volunteer in the Night Sky Program is a great way to experience this on a deeper level!

*** March 2017 update: The Rapid City’s Adoba Hotel where I stayed is now The Rushmore Hotel. *****

Which of the Great 8 would you do FIRST?

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Lisa Niver

Lisa Niver is a travel expert, writer, artist, entrepreneur, and on-camera host who has explored 96 countries. Niver has established a following through her written and video content, garnering over one million video views on YouTube, Amazon Fire Tv and Roku. Niver is the founder of a top 100 travel blog, We Said Go Travel, that reaches more than 200,000 annually and is in the top 1/8 of the top 1% of all sites in the United States. In her tri-annual international travel writing competitions, she has published nearly 2000 writers from 75 countries. She was invited to the United Nations as a Champions of Humanity ambassador, to the red carpet at the Oscars with United Airlines and to New Orleans for a project with American Express and Starwood Hotels. Her recent stories include Dutch designer villas for Luxury Magazine, interviewing Fabien Cousteau for Delta Sky, skiing with the blind for Sierra and scuba diving in the Solomon Islands for Smithsonian. She also contributes to USA Today, Wharton Business Magazine, the Jewish Journal and is verified on Twitter. Niver was a 2012 nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and a 2014 nominee for the Charles Bronfman Prize.

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