22. Rapid City, SD
Why South Dakota: Rapid City serves as a gateway to the nearby Black Hills area, where you can get your wild animal fix. Custer State Park—which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year—is home to one of the largest bison herds in the country (1,300 strong), and the park’s cinnamon calves are a huge draw to the destination each year, along with young elk, deer, and bighorn sheep.
Where to stay: Stay on theme at the Rushmore Hotel & Suites in Rapid City, where the 34 rooms are inspired by Black Hills hot spots like Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Sylvan Lake and more. Or book a room at the State Game Lodge, which was built in 1920 in the heart of Custer State Park.
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