Pierre Travel Guide

Located in the center of South Dakota on the banks of the Missouri River, unsophisticated Pierre is the second least populous state capital and a major transportation hub for the state. Pierre has a famous memorial hall although the majority of travelers come here for the outdoor activities around the city.

Pierre makes a great base for visiting the attractive surroundings, of which the Big Sioux Recreation on the Big Sioux River is a big hit. There are some great hiking trails along here as well as great kayaking and canoeing on the river. Big Sioux is also good for fishing, as are the James and Missouri rivers.

In addition to the immediate surroundings, there are a number of parks within a few hours drive of Pierre, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Bear Butte State Park, Custer Park, Devils Tower National Park and Wind Cave National Park. Although lacking the sophistication of other US capitals, the town has plenty of decent hotels and guesthouses, and some good shopping at Pierre Mall.


Cultural Heritage Center: this part-subterranean Native American looking abode is a natty museum featuring Sioux tribe and pioneer exhibits.

Pierre State Capitol: is the most fully restored capitol building in the US and is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. Free guided tours are available.

South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium: is a good one for families with kids with its fun interactive exhibits and colorful fish.

La Framboise Island: sits in the middle of the Missouri River just south of downtown Pierre and is great for strolling. It is connected to the mainland by causeway.