Summer escape: Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota
By David Hanson
The unique landscape of Badlands National Park dazzles South Dakota visitors.
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
(Cottage Living) -- This remote, relatively unknown region hides a fascinating, unique landscape. In "Travels with Charley," novelist John Steinbeck says of the area: "It was so beautiful that I stopped near a thicket of dwarfed and wind-warped cedars and junipers, and once stopped I was caught, trapped in color and dazzled by the clarity of the light."
Few natural sites surprise the first-time visitor like the crumbling, fantastical shapes -- like massive drip castles -- tucked into the calmly swaying expanse of prairie land. Plus, just a few hours west, the Black Hills rise out of the Badlands, inviting exploration of rock spires, clear lakes, cool forests and main-street-strolling towns.
Where to sleep
Rent a cottage
Audrie's Bed & Breakfast, (605) 342-7788 or audriesbb.com. Just outside Rapid City, this B&B rents seven separate cottages at surprisingly low prices.
So you're not into roughing it
State Game Lodge and Resort, (800) 658-3530 or custerresorts.com. It's not the Ritz, but the stone and timber architecture feels grand, and the rooms are comfortable. Choose from lodge rooms or creekside cabins, all with an ideal location for easy access into the Black Hills.
You love camping
At Sage Creek campground, http://www.nps.gov/badl/pphtml/camping.html, in Badlands' remote western corner you'll feel like a plains pioneer. It's worth a night on the ground just to see the carpet of stars above the spires' imaginative silhouettes and the ridges' wrinkles against the deep blue horizon. No frills -- the show is in the setting.
Where to eat
Dry Creek Coffee, (605) 574-3500 or drycreekcoffee.com. Strong coffee and warm baked goods set the day straight on your way through Hill City to explore the Black Hills.
Our picnic pick
Main Street Market, (605) 341-9099 or themainstreetmarket.com. In the Badlands, where you won't find much in the way of groceries, the all-natural, all-gourmet selection of health foods is a welcome oasis to travelers in need of a granola fix.
Corn Exchange, (605) 343-5070 or cornexchange.com. A former head chef at Brooklyn's Seasons restaurant, M.J. Adams, decided she had to bring good food to a place like South Dakota, and she's brought quite a gift. You could search the country and you'd be hard-pressed to find better hidden food gems. It's fresh, wholesome, rustic goodness. Be sure to make a reservation.
Sage Creek Grill, (605) 673-2424. Visit Mount Rushmore, then take a 20-mile drive to this restaurant in Custer, where you'll find huge salads, hearty soups and creative sandwiches.
Firehouse Brewing Company, (605) 348-1915 or firehousebrewing.com. Microbrew beer, burgers and a patio -- any questions?
More summer escapes:
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.