South Dakota is a must-visit vacation destination when you want to see Mount Rushmore, as well as other historic landmarks. You can look forward to exploring quaint small towns, lake communities, and bustling cities. When it’s time to start planning your next romantic weekend, book a stay at a South Dakota vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway. Take a look at the top eight romantic weekend vacation spots in the state.

1. Aberdeen

pond hgeese aberdeen south dakota
Source: Flickr/Joanna Poe

Filled with Midwest charm, Aberdeen makes a great place for a weekend away with your true love. Hold hands as you explore the Hagerty and Lloyd Historic District with its brick buildings, kitschy shops, and locally owned restaurants. If you arrive in the summer months, visit the Aberdeen Aquatic Center with its pools and slides to keep you cool. Take a tour of the Dacotah Prairie Museum for a look at the town and surrounding area’s history through its permanent and temporary exhibits. In the evening, enjoy a romantic dinner together at Minerva’s Restaurant and Bar with its menu of American classics and extensive wine list.

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2. Yankton

boating at lewis and clark recreation area
Source: southeastsouthdakota.com

Learn about the rich history of Yankton when you spend a romantic weekend on the banks of the Missouri River. Everywhere you look, you can find another historical home or building. At the Yankton Visitors Center, pick up a map that highlights all the best places. You can walk the tour or drive the route. The Meridian Bridge crosses the Missouri River and offers amazing views of the town when you walk across it. After a busy day, rekindle the romance at The Landing, and ask for a table on the patio to enjoy the river views.

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3. Pierre

south dakota state capitol
Source: Flickr/Drew Tarvin

Pierre offers all the trappings of a capital city, from the historic landmarks to the trendy shops and restaurant scene. Enjoy the grandeur of the South Dakota State Capitol building with its marble staircase, display of miniature gowns worn by First Ladies, and the sixteen images of the Tree of Life. Explore the cultural history of the state at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center with its three permanent collections on display. Hold hands while strolling around Capitol Lake, and make sure to see the Flaming Fountain Memorial that honors the veterans of past wars.

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4. Custer

jewel cave national monument
Source: Flickr/Murray Foubister

Breathe in the fresh air and look forward to a weekend outdoors, spending time as a couple in Custer. This area is a haven for hikers, rock climbers, and cave explorers. Jewel Cave National Monument is home to the third largest system of caves in the world, and you can sign up for a tour at the visitor’s center. There are three different tours available, from an easy stroll on paved walkways to squeezing through tight spaces. Sit side by side in a booth for dinner at Black Hills Burger and Bun Company, and enjoy some of the best burgers you’ve ever had.

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5. Rapid City

mount rushmore
Source: Flickr/Christian Collins

Make Rapid City your base, and check out such national treasures as Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park. In town, learn more about the city and see the best spots with a ride on the City View Trolley, or opt for the Rapid City Historic District Tour that takes you past all the historic buildings and statues of past presidents throughout the downtown area. Relax and play together at the WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort. Float without purpose holding hands on the lazy river, or race to see who can slide down a towering water slide first.

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6. Deadwood

deadwood forest south dakota
Source: deadwood.com

Experience your ideal Wild West experience in the town of Deadwood that reflects what life was like in this town and others in South Dakota during the settling of the west. Find a secluded spot to snuggle close together for the daily Main Street Historic Street Show put on by the city and featuring a shootout. If you visit in the winter months, schedule a snowmobile rental from Black Hills Off-Road Rentals to see the backwoods, and return to your vacation rental to cuddle up in front of a roaring fire.

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7. Mitchell

corn palace mitchell south dakota
Source: Flickr/brx0

Mitchell is a small agricultural town, and you can learn more about this way of life during your romantic stay. The Corn Palace is one of the most unusual museums that you’ll ever visit with its displays and exhibits dedicated to growing corn. At the Prehistoric Indian Village, learn more about the Native Americans that inhabited the area as long as 1,100 years ago. The Mitchell Area Community Theatre puts on performances at the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts, so check the schedule to see if they have a show planned during your stay.

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8. Sioux Falls

falls park sioux falls
Source: Flickr/PunkToad

Sioux Falls offers a curious blend of city life and an outdoor haven with its location on the Big Sioux River. For breathtaking scenery, stop by Falls Park and check out the gorgeous falls that flow through it. You can use the walking trails or enjoy a picnic lunch close to the base of the falls. The USS South Dakota Battleship Museum provides tours that teach you about this World War II battleship and the brave men who served on it during wartime. Bring your skis in the winter months, and zoom down the slopes at the Great Bear Recreational Park.

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