Dog-friendly roadside attractions in South Dakota

Looking up at the palace made of corns

South Dakota is exploding with endless dog-friendly adventures. After our rejuvenating hiking day in Sioux Falls, we headed out to Rapid City, South Dakota. We had a few stops to make on the way, starting with one of Mom and Dad’s favorite quirky roadside attractions in America: the Corn Palace.

Mom’s favorite picture from the Corn Palace

The locals in Mitchell, South Dakota, are extremely proud of their palace of corns, and boast that it is the “world’s only corn palace.” It was built in the 1800s to show the abundance of corn present in South Dakota and to attract new residents to the area. Every spring, this building is completely adorned with thousands of bushels of corn from South Dakota, and the art is changed annually. To be honest, staring at the corns just made me super hungry.

Me with my spirit animal

We stopped at another quirky roadside attraction, Wall Drug, after being on the road all day. Wall, South Dakota, is a massive tourist trap town, with tons of little shops to get local souvenirs and delicacies such as chokecherry jelly.  Mom took some hilariously weird pictures of me in their backyard area.

Me with the derpy version of Mount Rushmore

We drove 10 minutes from Wall, and we stopped at one of our new favorite national parks in America: the Badlands.

A view of the beautiful Badlands

I could not keep my head inside the car! My jowls were blowing in the wind, but I didn’t care. The Badlands were like nothing I’d ever seen before. Mom said the geology of the Badlands is made up of intricate pinnacles, spires, buttes, and grassy prairies. The park is home to buttloads of prairie dogs, white-tailed deer, bison, and more. I wanted to play with the prairie dogs, but they kept chirping angrily at me, so Mom and Dad vetoed my plan. Plus, dogs have to stay on a leash and aren’t allowed to hike through the park because of the dangerous wildlife.

White-tailed deer chillin’ on the side of the road
Picture of Dad lookin fly
Picture of Mom taking pictures

We went off the beaten path and met a bison. He smelled delicious!

Here is the big-belly bison
Dad took a pretty shot of the Purple Pie Place

After a long day of nature-watching, we drove a bit out of the way to get to Bobkat’s Purple Pie Place near Mt. Rushmore. Mt. Rushmore doesn’t allow pups, but Mom and Dad had already visited. Mom and Dad think the Purple Pie Place has the yummiest raspberry rhubarb jalapeno pie, and I even got to indulge in some vanilla ice cream. I always cry when I eat ice cream; it’s just that amazing. We met a purple pig, and Mom was a little overexcited to make me pose with it.

Awkward moment

We finally ended our long, quirky day at the Best Western Ramkota hotel in Rapid City. The hotel had a rustic lodge-style theme, buttery beds, and, the best part, no pet fees or breed restrictions. We had a lovely, cozy night before our last long drive out to Portland, Oregon.

We will definitely make a point to visit South Dakota again in the future for its raw and rugged beauty and dog-friendly, fun activities.

Sweet landscape Dad shot at the Badlands

Ratings for South Dakota: 

The Corn Palace:


The Corn Palace is a silly and quirky destination for people, but pups will be bored and confused by the stop. If you decide to go with your pet, I recommend making it a quick pee and picture stop.

Wall Drug:


Wall Drug is another quirky roadside attraction with some interesting local delicacies. The backyard area is pet friendly and you can take silly pictures with your pup.

Badlands National Park:


As stunning and gorgeous as the park was, unfortunately it was not as dog-friendly as we hoped. There are no hiking trails for dogs due to the dangerous wildlife and enormous prairie dog population. However, taking a drive through with your pup and having a picnic lunch would be well worth the trip.

Purple Pie Place:


The Purple Pie Place had remarkably delicious food, and the owners are so sweet, they will bring pups out their own water bowls.

Best Western Ramkota Hotel:


Best Westerns are a great dog-friendly hotel chain. Not every Best Western allows pups, so make sure to call in advance, see if they have dog-friendly room availability, and check that they don’t have expensive pet-cleaning fees. I gave this particular location two paws up because it had a fun theme, the beds were great, and there were no pet fees or breed restrictions.

Stay tuned for my next blog post, where we finally move to Portland, Oregon!


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30 thoughts on “Dog-friendly roadside attractions in South Dakota

  1. Scarlett, Your travel blog is so precious. I love your advice and focus to detail on your visit to Walls Drugs, the hotel destination, The Badlands and most important, stopping at the great food restaurants in the Sioux Falls area, in the great State of South Dakota. I give the visit, two hands up!♡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My jowls would also be blowing in the wind if I were heading towards Badlands! It looks absolutely stunning and reminds me a little of The Olgas in Australia. I love the wildlife, especially the bison, they just look so cuddly! The Purple Pie Place looks awesome, but I just love food! So glad you gave plenty of paws up to South Dakota 😀 #feetdotravel

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post – I have been lucky to visit most of the places here in 2015 and South Dakota is one of my favourite states. Loved the Corn Palace and Wall Drug Store and of course hiking in the stunning Badlands! That ice cream must have been delicious too!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved our trip through South Dakota especially the Purple Pie Shop. Did you get a chance to visit the Crazy Horse memorial? Loved that too. Just a great state a must see Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love you hanging your head out the window with your jowls blowing in the wind! Your posts always make me smile. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha ha – what a great post – ‘Picture of Dad lookin fly’. I have a dog – Bingo; he’s a Jack Russell Terrier, but he’s half human and doesn’t like dog food. South Dakota looks lovely. I’d like to visit the ‘Badlands’ – sounds like a great place!

    Liked by 1 person

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