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Mount Rushmore and the Badlands

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Woman looking at Mt. Rushmore (Photo: South Dakota Tourism)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 14, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Anacortes, golf, hiking, Molly Feltner, mountain, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Pebble Beach, San Diego, Savannah, shopping, South Dakota, spa, vacation package, women's travel, Zion National Park.

Provider: Women Traveling Together
Length: Five days
Price: $1,620

For more than 10 years, Women Traveling Together has worked to create a travel business that feels more like a wide circle of friends who vacation together than a corporation. The tour company has hundreds of members (although membership is not required to go on a trip) and runs dozens of trips each year, ranging from dog-sledding adventures in Minnesota to European Christmas Market tours. While the focus of each trip varies greatly, all share small group size, attentive group leaders, use of carefully selected accommodations, and a good balance of activities.

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This summer, Women Traveling Together is planning a new trip to a beautiful but often overlooked part of the country: South Dakota. "This trip is a slice of Americana that many of us have never seen nor experienced," says company Founder Debra Asberry, who got the idea to plan a trip centered around Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

"We've designed a tour that includes Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument (also a mountain carving still in the making), Wind Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, a stay at a resort in Custer State Park, and a visit to a woolly mammoth fossil excavation site," says Asberry. You'll tour each site as a group and have some free time for hiking, horse-back riding, and other activities.

Trip planning

This trip departs August 11. The full tour price is $1,695, but if you pay the $45 Women Traveling Together annual member fee, the price comes down to $1,620. Even if you're not interested in other member benefits, you'll save $30 by joining. The trip cost covers accommodations, airport transfers from the Rapid City airport and ground transportation, admission fees and sightseeing, some meals, and a tour leader.

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