BringFido’s Best of South Dakota

Posted by Lauren Barker

Looking for the dog-friendliest things to do in South Dakota? Well, you've come to the right place. The editors at BringFido have dedicated themselves to digging up the most dog-friendly places to visit in The Mount Rushmore State, as well as the rest of the country. In the latest edition of our book, Ruff Guide to the United States, you'll find our collection of the best places to stay and play with your dog in all 50 states. You can order a copy today for just $10.00 (a savings of 63% off the retail price) when you use the discount code BEST.

Read on to learn about some of the South Dakota attractions that rose to the top of our list this year.

Best Dog-Friendly Brewery

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WoodGrain Brewing Co. in Sioux Falls is a casual micro-brewery that welcomes dogs inside the inviting, comfortable taphouse and on the outdoor patio. Fido can nibble on a treat and wash it down with a bowl of refreshing water, and you can try something a little stronger on draft. The tap menu at South Dakota’s best dog-friendly brewery includes year-round faves, seasonal brews and a selection of specialty one-offs and rare beers. Order lunch from the neighbors at M.B. Haskett Delicatessen.

After closing time, skip the drive and walk to your room at the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls City Centre.

Most Dog-Friendly State Park

Photo by @mochi_the_ny_westie

If your dog likes to walk on the wild side, he will love hiking the trails carved out by early pioneers at Custer State Park in the Black Hills. You’re likely to encounter prairie dogs, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and deer on the trails at the most dog-friendly state park in South Dakota, but the park is most famous for being home to one of the nation’s largest free-roaming bison herds. The best way to see them is by driving the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road in the early morning or late evening, just before sunset.

Cozy up to your pup at one of the nine Custer State Park Campgrounds. For rustic digs with modern amenities, book a log cabin retreat at Gold Camp Cabins.

Most Dog-Friendly Attraction

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If you’ve been guilty of feeding Fido too many treats, a visit to The Splash Bark by SDK could help him get back into shape. Life’s a beach at this tropical “pawradise” and most dog-friendly attraction in South Dakota. The only water park of its type in the country caters to canines who love to splash, fetch, and make new friends. Being able to swim isn’t a requirement at this wet and wild indoor dog park, where the water is only three inches deep. This fun pool is designed for splashing and paddling, rather than diving and freestyle. While your pooch chases beach volleyballs in the water, sit back and relax on an Adirondack chair under the shade of a faux palm tree and enjoy the show.

Reserve a room at the Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center. Four-legged guests receive pet amenities such as bowls and beds, plus Falls Park is within walking distance.

Most Dog-Friendly Campground

Photo by @bolt.elkins

Roll through the Black Hills of South Dakota on a summer road trip and pitch your tent, park your camper, or reserve a pet-friendly cabin at Hart Ranch Camping Resort. Four-legged campers will enjoy the two fenced dog runs and many hiking trails, and you’ll be close to unique dog-friendly attractions like Bear Country USA and Dinosaur Park. Your canine can also join you for live music and festivals throughout the camping season. Membership to South Dakota’s most dog-friendly campground resort is required, and there are many options to choose from. Dogs are always permitted for no additional fee.

Best Dog Park

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Bring your four-legged family members to Family Park Dog Park to meet distant cousins on the grassy hills that dominate the landscape. Located west of Sioux Falls, this three-acre, fenced play area in the countryside makes a great pitstop on a pet-friendly road trip through The Mount Rushmore State. Inside the fenced area, you and your pooch will find walkways, open space, shade structures, drinking fountains, dog wash stations, and natural dog play features like tunnels and logs for climbing, making this South Dakota’s best dog park. Dogs are also allowed in the northeastern section of Family Park, where there are approximately twenty-two acres of open space commonly utilized for dog training.

Take time out from fetch at TownePlace Suites by Marriott Sioux Falls. This affordable hotel has a grassy relief area outside for convenient bathroom breaks.

Top Trail to Hike With Your Dog

Photo by BringFido/Ian

Located in the epic Black Hills region of The Mount Rushmore State, the trails at Custer State Park were carved out by early pioneers. South Dakota's top trail to hike with your dog, Black Elk Peak Loop, is a seven-mile hike that leads to awe-inspiring views of rock formations called needles and the Black Hills Wilderness. This hike is rated moderate due to steep inclines to the top.

State Game Lodge once served as the ‘Summer White House’ during President Calvin Coolidge’s administration. Now, you and your pup can be a guest of the lodge in one of the property’s 19 pet-friendly cabins.

Best Pet-Friendly B&B

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Bavarian Inn Black Hills in Custer offers visitors to the beautiful Black Hills region of South Dakota a place to rest their heads after a day of discovery. Book an exterior room at South Dakota’s best dog-friendly B&B and enjoy doors that open up into the outdoor space and give easy access to walking paths. If you’re around in the afternoon, head to the lobby for Cookie Happy Hour. Then, take Fido for a scenic wildlife drive on the 18-mile Wildlife Loop at Custer State Park. The closest entrance to the park is just five minutes from the inn.

Bavarian Inn Black Hills accepts two pets of any size for an additional fee of $25 per pet, per night.

Can’t Miss Dog Event

Photo by Deadwood

Bring Fido to learn about Deadwood’s checkered past, explore the historic downtown and take part in the K9 Keg Pull on Deadwood Street. Every January, Deadwood Street is cleared of traffic for South Dakota’s can’t miss dog event. Canine contestants are cheered on by excited crowds and owners who run beside them. Dogs are assigned a division and keg size based on their weight.

Warm Fido’s bones at Holiday Inn Resort Deadwood Mountain Grand, where ground-floor rooms are pet friendly and canines receive a treat at check-in.

Ready for a Road Trip?

Life’s “ruff.” Photo by Linda Segerfeldt

If our Best of South Dakota preview left your dog drooling for more, we hope you check out our book - Ruff Guide to the United States. Remember to use gift code BEST to get a copy for just $10. Happy Travels!

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