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History and local charm in South Dakota’s Black Hills

SmarterTravel

A translation of the Lakota phrase “paha sapa,” the Black Hills earned their name because of the dense pine forests covering their ancient granite peaks. With a wealth of Native American heritage, incomparable scenery, and loads of outdoor activities, the area has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful spots in the country.

Spearfish, located just within the borders of the park, is a town filled with culture, history, and charm. Built in 1892, the Secret Garden Bed and Breakfast will make you feel at home for only $95 per night. Historic decorations in the rooms, a sprawling garden (with the modern touch of a hot tub), and friendly service make it the perfect place to stay while you explore the Black Hills.

The Bay Leaf Cafe in Spearfish has been charming diners and critics with its eclectic comfort food since 1993. Dinner starts at an amazing $7.95, and the focus is on local ingredients in dishes ranging from fresh Dakota Elk to delicious vegetarian specialties. Two doors down is the Bay Leaf’s newest venture, Berry’s Best desserts, which specializes in pastries and homemade chocolates.

From July 18 through 20, you can enjoy Festival in the Park, one of the largest summer arts festivals in the Midwest. Run by the Spearfish Arts Center, the festival includes musical performances, a beer garden, and 150 booths emphasizing local, handmade arts and crafts. Admission to the festival is free.

For more planning tips, go to the Black Hills Badlands & Lake Association website.

Read more of the 50 Affordable Stateside Escapes.

Have a recommendation for the Black Hills, or another great getaway in South Dakota? Post your comment below.

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