Evergreen Media Q&A
Every June 5, South Dakotans celebrate 605 Day. The unofficial “holiday” was created by the South Dakota Department of Tourism in 2016. Did You Know? South Dakota is one of twelve states with a single area code (605). This annual celebration is a great way to pay tribute on social media by using the hashtag #605Day.
The Evergreen Media as you can guess are ‘Big Fans’ of this great state and in honor of this wonderful 605 Day, we’d like to share some fun facts and fave craves about the state we call home (or home-away-from-home for our remote teammates).
Ready for a day of exploration? Name your favorite South Dakota destination:
Dolsee: I love love love Rush Mountain Adventure Park! I would be there all the time if I could. I keep hoping they’ll give me a special pass so I can stay on the mountain coaster and go again and again.
Ruth: I’m overdue for a bike ride through the Badlands; there’s no better way to take in the scenery.
Stephen: I’ll always love the Wildlife Loop at Custer State Park. Every time we drive through there, we see some new animal or a new view or something. Custer State Park is a miracle, and it can be as leisurely or as intense as you want it to be.
Aftin: If we have the whole day we start at the farthest north point at Spearfish Canyon and Bridal Vail Falls and then take the entire 385 Scenic Hwy to Keystone, past Mount Rushmore to the Needles Hwy for a little climbing around.
Jesse: I don’t believe in picking favorites! South Dakota has so many amazing places for exploration and each one offers its own unique characteristics. But having said that, I never get bored exploring the Badlands National Park. It offers incredible views that cannot be seen anywhere else and it has this amazing ability to take me back in time whenever I am out there.
What is a secret gem in South Dakota you want to share with the world?
Dolsee: People might make fun of me for saying this, but I really had a good time at the Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon! I also really want to go to Faulkton and see the grain elevator murals.
Stephen: I live in Rapid, and one of the things I love most about the city is all of the amazing parks. But there are a few in town that people just don’t know about. My favorite little-known gem of a park is Mary Hall over by West Middle School. The creek runs through it, there’s a little playground and it’s always so peaceful and beautiful.
Ruth: I don’t think it’s too much of a secret but Jenny Gulch in the fall as the leaves are changing colors is an incredible sight between the turquoise water, green and yellow leaves, and blue sky. The best way to get there is by mountain bike through the woods.
Aftin: We experienced the Rushmore Tramway in Keystone for the first time a few years ago and our whole family had a fantastic time. You could spend a whole day there and Grapes & Grind across the street has delicious Gelato.
Jesse: The Black Hills themselves are a secret gem! Everyone needs to see them for themselves to truly appreciate their subtle (and at times, not so subtle) beauty.
What South Dakota event do you look forward to every year?
Dolsee: I was involved with a lot of events when I was at the Custer Chamber, and one of the best ones was Gold Discovery Days. I enjoy seeing my nieces and nephew having fun at the carnival each year.
Stephen: I think that I should have been born on a farm because I love all the ag stuff at the Central States Fair. Walking through the buildings and checking out poultry, rabbits, and farm animals each year is so much fun. I’m always tempted to buy a racing pigeon, but I don’t ever do.
Ruth: The Pine Island Gravel Odyssey bicycle race every June; hometown races are special.
Aftin: Our family is from Pierre originally and the Fort Pierre 4th of July celebrations are really spectacular, but we experienced the firework display in Custer at the Pagent Hill a few years ago and this has become our new family tradition.
Jesse: South Dakota has plenty of events all year long, but the Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival is something we look forward to every year. It is held in Hot Springs and we love that we get to get up close and personal with all the Balloons and their crews.
A day of dining is in store. What restaurants are a must-try?
Dolsee: Outside Wall Drug Donuts, I always take people to Mt. Rushmore Brewing Company/Pounding Fathers and Begging Burro in Custer. However, Red Water Kitchen in Spearfish has the most amazing Brussels sprouts!
Ruth: If it’s a full day of dining then of course I’ve gotta go to Tally’s for breakfast.
Stephen: I love SUMO in Rapid City. Phenomenal sushi and everyone’s so nice there. I would do anything for a bowl of their miso soup.
Aftin: We would start a breakfast full of fresh fruit and ingredients from The Market, head to the Bestro for lunch and then dine at Vertex Sky Bar for an exceptional cocktail, view, and dinner.
Jesse: If you are in the Northern Hills and love Mexican food, then you must stop at Guadalarja’s Restaurant in Spearfish. . . Amazing authentic dishes with friendly service. Some other favorite places of mine to eat are Killian’s, also in Spearfish, and the Alpine Inn in Hill City has the best steaks around!
Your family from far away has never visited SD. Where are you taking them?
Dolsee: Always have to make a trip through Custer State Park to see the buffalo and feed the burros.
Ruth: Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Rd, and the Sylvan Lake area for a drive and some hiking and biking.
Stephen: All the big ones: Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Badlands. We’d have to do all of the fun animal attractions, too — Bear Country, Reptile Gardens, Old MacDonald’s. There would be so much more, but I probably don’t have room for it here.
Aftin: We would have to start the day heading to Bear Country or Reptile Gardens then off to Mount Rushmore to get an up-close photo with the monumental Presidents, take a stroll around Horse Theff Lake, and end the day with a viewing of the “Legends in Light” the Crazy Horse Memorial®.
Jesse: If I had to pick one location to take visiting family for the first time, it would have to be Sylvan Lake. Not only is it the most picturesque lake in the Black Hills but the trip there takes you through the heart of the Black Hills and all its beauty.