Spring in the Dakotas

Spring in the Dakotas

Mount Rushmore, The Black Hills & Custer State Park

This 12 day tour is packed full of sights and activities. En route we'll explore the Cleveland Aquarium, The revitalized Cleveland downtown district & the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Chicago Sky Deck and The Sioux Falls Sculture Walk. In the Dakotas we will see the Badlands National Park and take the scenic loop drive, Visit Black Hills Gold and Tour the workshop, Visit Bear Country USA, Where in the Spring we'll see all kinds of baby animals, including the bear cubs. This trip is highlighted with a 3 night stay in Custer State Park at the State Game Lodge. Of course we are visiting Mount Rushmore, during the day and again at night for an illumination, Crazy Horse, Lead and the Open Stake Mine andthe Landmark City of Deadwood.  We'll enjoy a hay ride & cowboy dinner in Custer State Park, with great views of the landscape and the buffalo with their new calves. Wall Drug and The Mammoth site are fun additions to our visit and a Silo tour at Ellsworth Airforce base wraps up the Dakotas. En Route home we will enjoy a guided tour of Falls Park in Sioux Falls, The Mayowood Mansion Tour in Rochester, A luncheon cruise on the Chicago Odyssey, The Duquesne Incline & LeMont Lucheon in Pittsburgh and end our trip with a visit to the Flight 93 memorial's Crescent Embrace. 19 meals are included.

Day 1

Depart with a breakfast stop en route "on own"
Today we will stop in Cleveland OH, where we will visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The Aquarium Occupies the historic FirstEnergy Powerhouse building located on the west bank of the Cuyahoga River in the city's Flats district, the aquarium which opened in January 2012 consists of approximately 70,000 square feet of exhibition space and features exhibits representing both local and exotic species of fish. Next we’ll check into our hotel located in the heart of the revitalized downtown district. Here you are within walking distance of dozens of restaurants, clubs and shopping, the 4th street Gateway District is just 3 blocks away.

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Day 2

Enjoy Breakfast and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame today before we depart for Chicago. Overnight here with the evening "on your own" at the Ameristar Casino.

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Day 3

Depart for The Chicago Skydeck. You can’t visit Chicago without experiencing real Chicago style Pizza, we’ll enjoy a group luncheon before the Skydeck experience. Take a ride to the top of the Skydeck - Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) is a 110 story building in the heart of Chicago’s downtown. Willis Tower is not only one of the tallest buildings in the world, it is also a magnificent icon, impossible to miss within Chicago’s skyline and the view from the top is amazing. Next we’ll depart for Rochester MN with a Dinner stop en route “on own”

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Day 4

Depart for Sioux Falls SD where you can get out and stretch your legs! Take some time to enjoy the Sculpture Walk and grab a bite to eat at your leisure. In a 3 block radius of downtown Sioux Falls you will find about 50 amazing sculptures. These change every years so even if you have been before, you will see something new. Back on the road we are headed for Wall, SD. Enroute we’ll take the 240 Loop through the Badlands National Park to see the hills. Hoping for a sunset timing. Arrive in Wall and check into the hotel, freshen up before we visit a local landmark for dinner—Wall Drug - One of the world’s most well-known roadside stops, it’s hard to believe this tourist attraction got its start with something so simple. FREE ICE WATER. Now a favorite of Locals and tourist – we’ll enjoy Dinner, shopping and The jackalope!

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Day 5

Depart after Breakfast- we’ll get to view this amazing landscape en route to Mount Rushmore Blackhills Gold shop, here you we’ll have a factory tour where we’ll learn about the ancient process of lost-wax casting, how diamonds are cast in molten gold and the intricate art of diamond cutting. You can shop or enjoy a free cup of coffee and cookies after the tour. After a quick stop for lunch "on own" we will arrive at Bear Country USA, One of the best things about Spring is BABY ANIMALS! At bear country USA, you will see them all! Nestled over 200 acres amidst towering pines and along rolling meadows, Bear Country U.S.A. offers visitors intimate views of most North American mammals. Take a leisurely three-mile drive through several enclosures and encounter black bear, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, dall sheep, pronghorn and buffalo. At this, the home of the largest collection of privately owned black bear in the world, Bear Country U.S.A. guests are guaranteed to see more than they bargained for. From the comfort of our coach, you can watch as these clowns of nature frolic in a pool, climb trees and amble across the road in front of the vehicle.
Depart for Custer State Park - we are lodged at the entrance to the park for the next 3 days at the State Game Lodge. Unpack, relax and prepare for your included dinner tonight at the resort.

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Day 6

Depart for Crazy Horse~The Memorial is located in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills. The Mountain is 6,532 ft and ranks 27th highest mountain in South Dakota. It is made of pegmatite granite and was chosen by Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski & Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear for the Crazy Horse Memorial in 1947. The project began in 1948 and is still in process. Here you may visit the Indian Museum of North American, Explore the Welcome Center, grab a bite in the Laughing Waters Restaurant or the snack shop before we take the ‘bus to the base’ for an up close look at Crazy Horse. Next we are visiting the center piece for this amazing trip ~ Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This is an experience you must-see in your lifetime. The faces of four American presidents: George
Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, are carved from a granite mountainside high above the treetops of the Black Hills. These carving took 14 years to complete and cost $1 million dollars. Take your time to explore the visitor’s center & memorial. Return to the Lodge and prepare for your chuckwagon dinner. At the Blue Bell lodge, you will depart for your Hayride and Chuck Wagon Cookout - Be part of a Blue Bell tradition. This old-fashioned hayride takes you on a 45-minute scenic drive on the park's beautiful backroad to a mountain meadow canyon for a chuck wagon feast. On the way, you can sing along to classic country and folk music and maybe catch a sighting of the wildlife!

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Day 7

Depart for a Day in Deadwood & Lead ~ In Lead we will visit the Homestake Gold Mine 'Open Cut'- Prospectors began arriving in the Black Hills in the mid-1870s. Very quickly, Lead City was transformed into a thriving community built around the gold-mining industry. Generations of miners broke the rocks producing a seemingly limitless stream of riches. However, in December 2001, that limit arrived. Homestake mined its final ore and left behind more than 370 miles of tunnels from the surface to the 8,000-foot level. Today, those caverns house world-leading research that seeks to understand the riches of the universe. Enjoy a tour of historic Lead and a surface tour of Sandford Underground Research Facility.
Upon arrival in Deadwood we’ll have a wild west guide step on board and give us a tour of the town, including a visit to Mt. Moriah Cemetery. You will hear all about Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Potato Creek Johnny, to name a few. This afternoon is yours to explore Deadwood ~ There is a reason the entire town of Deadwood is a National Historic Landmark. You’ll find every building, corner, street and hillside holds some kind of legendary story. For an even closer look at Deadwood’s storied past, Use the self-guide walking tour brochure to see everything. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat before we depart.
Tonight we’ll visit Mount Rushmore one more time for the evening Illumination, Your last chance to enjoy this amazing site and highlight of our trip for the last time.

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Day 8

Depart towards home. We’ll stop in Hot Springs at the Mammoth Site. The Mammoth Site boasts the largest concentration of mammoths in the world. We will tour this indoor active dig site and view Ice Age fossils. Next we’ll visit the Ellsworth Airforce base and take the Air Force Base Silo Tour and visit the air and Space Museum. Later depart for Sioux Falls w/ dinner stop en route "on own".

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Day 9

Depart for a Walking Tour of Falls Park & Lunch at the Overlook. The Falls of the Big Sioux River have been a focus of life in the region throughout history. Native American peoples were the first to visit the falls and bring stories of them to European explorers. They have been the center of recreation and industry since the founding of the city in 1856. Depart for Rochester, MN for an overnight and local dinner.

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Day 10

Depart for a tour of Mayowood.Mansion ~ If walls could talk, Mayowood's might direct you to the white oak tree beneath which Dr. Charles H. Mayo designed the 48-room mansion. In 1911, the family moved in, and for the next nearly 60 years, three generations of Drs. Mayo lived in the stately home in the countryside near Rochester, MN. ~ The Mayos furnished their mansion with treasures, many collected during travels abroad. Lunch on your own at 4th and 4th downtown, where you will find all kinds of restaurants and shops to explore in the Mayo Clinic area.
Travel to just outside of Chicago for an overnight stay with a dinner stop en route "on own"

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Day 11

Arrive at the Navy Pier and explore before your 12 noon boarding of the brand new Odyssey Chicago River for a luncheon cruise. There’s no better way to see the Chicago skyline than from the water. Snap pictures of the John Hancock Center and Willis Tower while you dine. After your cruise depart for Canfield OH for an overnight stay.

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Day 12

Depart for Pittsburgh, here you will take a ride on the Duquesne Incline and enjoy the mini museum at the top, walk next door to to LeMont Restaurant, enjoy lunch here with an amazing view of 3 Rivers that is 2nd to none. Depart for the Flight 93 memorial where you will be able to walk and enjoy the memorial’s Cressent Embrace. Depart with dinner stop en route "on own" 6:30 PM Approximate return to Harrisburg

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B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details Times
Harrisburg 4300 Linglestown Road Harrisburg PA 17112
Out from Weis Markets - Closest to Sheetz
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Mechanicsburg - Sams 6520 Carlisle Pike Mechanicsburg PA 17050
Sam Club Lot closest to Silver Spring Diner
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