5 days in Nebraska, South Dakota & North Dakota Itinerary

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— 1 night
Rapid City
— 1 night
— 1 night


Lincoln — 1 night

Lincoln is the capital of the U.S. state of Nebraska and the county seat of Lancaster County. Kick off your visit on the 9th (Fri): ponder the world of politics at Nebraska State Capitol, then see the interesting displays at Museum of American Speed, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Sunken Gardens. Here are some ideas for day two: have fun and explore at Lincoln Children's Museum and then examine the collection at Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum.

For more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Lincoln trip planner.

New York City to Lincoln is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from New York City in June, you will find days in Lincoln are a bit warmer (86°F), and nights are about the same (63°F). Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Rapid City.
Museums · Parks · Childrens Museums
Side Trip
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Rapid City — 1 night

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, then identify plant and animal life at Bear Country USA, and then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Big Thunder Gold Mine.

To find traveler tips, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, use the Rapid City trip planner.

You can fly from Lincoln to Rapid City in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Lincoln to Rapid City. Traveling from Lincoln in June, expect Rapid City to be a bit cooler, temps between 78°F and 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can go by car to Bismarck.
Parks · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums
Side Trip
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Bismarck — 1 night

Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): get a sense of history and politics at North Dakota State Capitol Building.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Bismarck trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Bismarck takes 5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Rapid City to Bismarck. In June in Bismarck, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 54°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 12th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling home.
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Nebraska travel guide

Aquariums · History Museums · Shopping
The Cornhusker State
Situated in the heartland of America, Nebraska is home to a large number of small rural communities and masses of farmland. The state's two main cities, Omaha and Lincoln, are abuzz with youthful energy and cultural delights. Your itinerary can include a trip to the cities' museums to learn about the state's past, or tours of the area's important pioneer and Native American sites. The state's central location means that it has been crossed by many trails, but it was the California Gold Rush of 1848-1855 that originally brought large numbers of non-indigenous people to the area. Scenic river valleys offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor vacation activities, while Nebraska's agricultural towns charm visitors with their all-American spirit.

South Dakota travel guide

National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.

North Dakota travel guide

National Parks · History Museums · Historic Sites
Geographic Center of the North American Continent
A primarily rural state, North Dakota is the ancient home of the Lakota tribe. Norwegian settlers once made up the European population, and one of the state's major attractions is the Norsk Høstfest, the largest Norwegian festival in the United States. The vast plains and never-ending sky inspire the many orchestras that call the state home. The spirituality of the music is second only to the spirituality of the people, as the state has the nation's highest percentage of churchgoing residents. The state's open fields are conducive to fishing, hunting, and winter activities.