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Where should I stop for the night?

Trumbull...
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675 posts
9 reviews
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Where should I stop for the night?

Ok, after MUCH debate about where to go on vaction this summer, we have finally settled on the Black Hills/Badlands area of South Dakota. We are flying into Omaha, NE, because it is $1000 cheaper (in total) than to fly into Rapid City. I also checked out Sioux Falls, and it's still $500 cheaper to fly into Omaha, and for the extra couple of hours of driving, it's a huge savings. My question is, should we plan on driving straight through to Badlands NP (the plane lands at 12:15, and then we have to get the rental car), or should we stop for the night in either Mitchell or Chamberlain? The only stop we really plan to make is at the corn palace, but I don't think that will take too much time(?). Thanks in advance.

Rapid City, SD
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1. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

It's about a 5.5 hour drive from Omaha to Chamberlain. Add an hour (if that) in for the Corn Palace and that puts you in the Chamberlain area at about 7-8 p.m. There aren't a whole lot of nice places stay between Chamberlain and the Badlands.

When searching for hotels in Chamberlain, try "Oacoma" for the city. The newer places are technically in Oacoma which is across the river from Chamberlain.

My favorite place to stay near Chamberlain is the Cedar Shore Resort.

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2. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

We stayed at the Thunderstik Lodge in Chamberlain: a wonderful log lodge out in the fields. They mainly book for weddings and large parties, so we stayed in a house out behind. It was not as nice, but it was still a pretty area with a view of the river. Downtown has about 2 restaurants and is pretty bleak, but certainly different from what I'm used to in New England.

I would love to stay at Thunderstik in the main lodge. It looked lovely.

Trumbull...
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675 posts
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3. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

Thanks to you both. I guess we should definitely not try to push all the way through our first day. I have more lodging questions, which I will post under a separate heading. Thanks again.

Littleton, CO
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4. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

Have you thought of flying into Denver. It's only a 6-7 hour drive to the hills.

Trumbull...
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675 posts
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5. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

Hi Kelster,

Yes, I checked into Denver, but it's about $100 more per ticket verses flying into Omaha. Thanks!

Illinois
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6. Re: Where should I stop for the night?

Hi-we've gone to South Dakota 3 times, last trip was in August. Have driven from Illinois each time. This last trip weren't sure if we should stop in Sioux Falls, Mitchell or Chamberlain for the first night. I did LOTS of research-I think I checked every hotel! Anyways, the distance between each wasn't that great, I think an hour to an hour 1/2 drive time between each so I went with where I could find the cheapest hotel. We wound up staying in Sioux Falls, due both to cost and the fact we were travelling with people who didn't want to drive as far as we did but I do remember that Mitchell seemed to be less expensive than Chamberlain. Also, if you want to see the Corn Palace it would make sense to stay overnight in Mitchell, hit the Corn Palace first thing in the morning, and then head on. The Corn Palace is nothing wonderful but worth it just to say you've been there! If you're getting there in the evening I'm not sure it will be open.

Other notes: this sounds weird, but stop at the rest area in Chamberlain-the view is wonderful. When you're in the Badlands, be sure to drive thru at dusk and in the morning-I saw on your other post that you're planning on staying in the park so that should be doable for you. The wildlife is more active at dusk-we had an entire herd of pronghorns cross the road in front of us-amazing. Also, be aware that there are not a lot of dining options around the Badlands. This last trip we ate at some family restaurant in Wall which was fair yet pretty expensive. We've also eaten at the place in the Badlands, also not great, but on par with whatever you may find in Wall. Plan on mediocre or hit the DQ or Subway.