Gay Country Rank: 23/50

Consistently ranking as one of the happiest states, South Dakota has a rich history that fascinates travelers. Known as the “land of infinite variety”, each region has a unique landscape reflected in the rolling prairies, calm lakes, towering pines, majestic peaks, vibrant cities, and old western towns. The Black Hills and Badlands to the west are home to the spectacular mountain carvings of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, and Deadwood.

Local Expert: Gay Scene in South Dakota
Sioux Falls Pride first took place in mid-2000 and was then hosted by the Center for Equality in Sioux Falls. The Center for Equality, now known as Sioux Falls Pride, was the leading LGBTQ-focused non-profit organization that provided support and advocated for the LGBTQ community of Sioux Falls and surrounding areas.

In 2019, Sioux Falls Pride held the first-ever pride parade in the state of South Dakota. Over the last several years, the festival has grown to welcome nearly 10,000 visitors from all over the region. Sioux Falls Pride has also expanded festival offerings by growing family-friendly events, adding in Pride Week, and diversifying marketing and community engagement efforts.

MUST DO South Dakota Attractions & Activities
Natural beauty awaits you in South Dakota. Discover the land of the southeast and its bustling cities, quiet country escapes, and family attractions. Hike the Badlands or ride ATVs through the Black Hills. Learn about Native American history at local museums or discover fossil beds at the archaeological sites. Visit renowned attractions like Mount Rushmore National Memorial or explore Wind Cave National Park.

MUST EAT South Dakota Gay-Friendly Dining
South Dakota’s heritage is a combination of indigenous peoples and the settlers including Native Americans and Scandinavians who came to the region over the last centuries. In a state where traditions vary, dishes such as chislic, tiger meat, Indian fry bread, walleye, lefse, mocha cakes, and buffalo burgers gather people around the table to eat and drink as neighbors.

You haven’t truly experienced South Dakota until you’ve had a proper plate of chislic. Chislic is a dish consisting of skewered cubes of red meat, traditionally mutton or lamb, although venison and beef steak can also be used. Named the state's "official nosh" in 2018, no single dish is more strongly associated with South Dakota than chislic.

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