June 14, 2022 - June 23, 2022

The Dakotas

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Tour Video

Tour Description

Your package includes deluxe transportation and accommodations, all listed tour fees, and 13 meals.

Making Memories is heading north to big sky country as we take our red bus to The Dakotas. Filled with diverse destinations, iconic landmarks, picturesque parks and unique architecture, this adventure showcases the true beauty of North and South Dakota!  

Day 1:

Our first day is usually reserved for travel, but we are so excited to get started that we just couldn’t wait! After picking up our fellow adventurers, we arrive at The Steamboat Arabia Museum, located in Kansas City, Mo. The subject of a real-life treasure hunt, the Steamboat Arabia sank in 1856 with 200 tons of mystery cargo. After over 132 years of searching, these artifacts were finally recovered in 1988 and put on display in Kansas City. Pre-Civil War clothing, tools, guns and even children’s toys are showcased here, allowing a unique way to connect to America’s past. We hop back on the bus and make our way to Council Bluffs, Iowa for our first night.        

Day 2:

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today, we arrive in South Dakota with our first stop in Sioux Falls. We sit down for a delicious, included lunch at the Falls Overlook Café, which—as the name indicates—overlooks the falls of the Big Sioux River. After lunch, feel free to explore the park and take pictures of the roaring waters. Once you’ve had a few minutes to stretch your legs, we make our way to the world’s only Corn Palace. This attraction is uniquely mid-western, using an artistic medium that can be seen everywhere: Corn. Local artists use this humble plant to weave magnificent murals that change every year! But the artwork is not the only thing local artists create. The structure itself changes year to year, sometimes sporting dozens of spires and other times displaying circular domes. Our overnight tonight is in Pierre, S.D.          

Day 3:

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

The journey continues as we venture to the South Dakota State Capitol for a guided tour. This ornate structure is over 100 years old and features a copper dome, decorative columns and native granite walls. The interior also displays a variety of different murals, paintings and sculptures dedicated to the men and women who made settling this area of the country possible. We continue north with a few picture stops along the way and arrive at the North Dakota State Capitol in Bismark, N.D. As you will see upon arrival, North Dakota’s state capitol has a more modern look. After visiting the state capitol, we freshen up at the hotel before boarding the Lewis and Clark Dinner Cruise. Enjoy mouth-watering food as you lazily float down the Missouri River and enjoy the beauty of Bismarck. We return to our hotel to prepare for another day of unique Dakota adventures.    

Day 4:

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Natural history awaits us this morning at the Dickinson Museum. The exhibits here display an array of dinosaur skeletons, fossils and Ice Age mammals found in the four-state region (Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas). Marvel at “Larry,” a near-complete Triceratops skeleton; stare at a T-Rex’s razor-sharp teeth, and gaze at the towering Albertosaurus. Along with pre-historic terrors, the museum also explores the taming of the grasslands with exhibits about early settlers and the introduction of the railroad. After learning about the area’s past, we get a chance to explore its natural beauty ourselves when we stop at the Painted Canyon Visitor’s Center in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Departing here we arrive at the Badlands Hotel to freshen up before we enjoy the Medora Musical and Dinner Theater. During this unique dining experience, cowboy chefs load up pitchforks with 12 oz. steaks and fondue them western style. This delicious treat is followed by the rootin’-tootinest, boot-scootinest show in all the Midwest! This live musical performance ends with a bang—literally—as fireworks light up the sky! You’re sure to return to the hotel with your toes tappin.’            

Day 5:

Meals: Breakfast

We start the day off with some free time in Medora, so feel free to sleep in, explore some of the local shops, enjoy the scenery and grab a bite to eat at one of Medora’s many fine restaurants. After lunch, we climb back aboard our carriage and head back south to Rapid City, S.D., where we will be overnighting.  

Day 6:

Meals: Breakfast

We hope you enjoyed your laid-back day yesterday because today is jam-packed with history, adventure and fun! The day begins at America’s largest sculpture: Mount Rushmore. This colossal work of art was carved into the face of Mount Rushmore and depicts the busts of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. It took a team of over 400 men 14 years to create this iconic work of art! After marveling at America’s artistic legacy, we arrive at the 1880s Train Keystone Depot for a scenic ride on an authentic steam-powered train. With a resounding hiss, this classic method of transportation takes us on a journey through the Black Hills, immersing us in the towering trees and rolling terrain that can only be found in South Dakota. We disembark and head over to another mountain sculpture that is still in the process of being created: The Crazy Horse Memorial. When it is completed, this depiction of Crazy Horse riding a stallion will be the world’s largest sculpture! Local Native Americans fought to create this monument to educate people from all over the world about their rich culture. Our overnight tonight will be in Rapid City, S.D.          

Day 7:

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

The morning begins with a scenic drive through Spearfish Canyon. This 19-mile gorge is flanked by rock walls of pink, gray and tan limestone and sporadically dotted with cascading waterfalls. This is not a non-stop drive. We will take our time, stopping along the way so you can take pictures of this magnificent terrain. The canyon ends and leads us to Deadwood where we will have a guided tour of the area before enjoying another night of food and fun at the Fort Hayes Chuckwagon Dinner Show.  

Day 8:

Meals: Breakfast

Step back in time to explore the Ice Age at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, S.D. At this indoor, active dig site, scientists continue to uncover fossils from the Ice Age, including the bones of prairie dogs, camels, short-faced bears, and—of course—mammoths. The majority of the fossils exhibited at the Mammoth Site are from this dig site, but there are also displays of Ice Age fossils from Southern China and Australia. We depart our historic exploration to see a modern take on an ancient structure. At Carhenge in Alliance, Neb., local residents became inspired by England’s Stonehenge and decided they wanted one of their own. They began working on this monumental project, but instead of using stones, they used cars! We take some time to explore this unique, artistic display. We continue making our way homeward and stop in North Platte, Neb. for the night.  

Day 9:

Meals: Breakfast

We explore the beauty of Nebraska today as traverse the North Platte River, not by boat, but by a stock tank! Though it is very wide, the North Platte River is very shallow, making the use of traditional boats almost impossible. Using their ingenuity, the people of Nebraska used stock tanks to navigate the shallows. And tanking was born! We hop aboard and lazily float down the river passing towering trees, scurrying animals and leaping fish. Leaving Nebraska’s natural wonders, we make our way to Lincoln, Neb., for a guided tour of the Capital. Unlike many other capital buildings, this structure combines the art-deco-style of the 1920s with classical arches and domes, making its architecture very interesting and memorable. Our last night will be spent in Lincoln, Neb.  

Day 10:

Meals: Breakfast

Our adventure comes to an end as we arrive back in Missouri and go home. Take the morning to reminisce with fellow travelers and enjoy the memories you have made.