By: May Ling Stella, Greenheart Exchange Work and Travel Employer Services Coordinator

A few weeks ago, I got the chance to visit South Dakota with one of my coworkers, and was able to stop in to say hello to a variety of our participants spending their summers in the state! While there, I discovered there is so much hidden beauty in South Dakota, and so many things to do!

  1. See the roaming bison (aka American buffalo)

Did you know that bison, also known as American buffalo, are not actually directly related to the buffalo?! They do, however, look similar, which is why they are now referred to as buffalo. You can learn more about the difference between buffalo and bison here. While I was at Custer State Park, I saw a herd of over 100 bisons roaming around!

  1. Custer State Park

It’s not just the hundreds of bison who call Custer State Park their home, but quite a lot of other wildlife too! From elk to deer, to prairie dogs, and mountain goats, there were so many different species in the park! I also recommend stopping by one of the lodges, restaurants, or gift shops in the area to say hello to one of the many Greenheart Exchange participants that choose South Dakota as their Summer Work Travel destination!

  1. Explore the Black Hills

Here’s another fun fact I learned in South Dakota — the so-called ‘hills’ are actually an isolated mountain range spanning across South Dakota and into Wyoming! The Black Hills were given their name due to their dark appearance from a distance. This imagery comes from the trees covering the landscape.

  1. Rock out in Rapid City

The population of the entire state of South Dakota may be less than a million, but Rapid City has everything you could want in a small metropolis. The quaint city displays its own rich history through local native artists and craftsmanship. There are also plenty of restaurants, diners, bars, and cafes to explore there as well!

  1. Mount Rushmore and MORE!

If the impressive sight of Mount Rushmore isn’t enough to convince you, do not fret! There are a variety of quaint towns all around the national memorial, which are just waiting to be explored, such as Keystone, Hill City, Deadwood, Sturgis, and so much more!

If you haven’t yet visited, I encourage everyone to make a trip to South Dakota at least once!

Do you want to explore the United States, see some new animals, and marvel at the faces carved into Mount Rushmore? Check out Greenheart Exchange and their different programs today.