So what is the difference between a tourist attraction and a tourist trap? It has been described as the level of disappointment you feel after you plan a whole trip around something, only to be let down by the experience. Tourist attraction = Good. Tourist trap = Not so good.

But once again, it all depends on your expectations and also on the other elements of your trip or vacation. Prior planning and research can help you avoid some of the disappointment when you get to your destination.

24/7 Wall Street recently surveyed travel blogs and websites to come up with the 18 Worst Tourist Traps in America. Surprisingly, and in my opinion, unfairly, they targeted two of South Dakota's iconic vacation stops.

Mount Rushmore
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Mount Rushmore and Wall Drug came in 14 and 15 on their list. They admit that 2 million people make the trip to Mount Rushmore every year. But they contend once you see the amazing granite carving that's all there is to do.

I think they're forgetting about all the awesome vacation spot opportunities that the Black Hills area contains.

Wall Drug South Dakota
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As far as Wall Drug goes, no visit to the Badlands National Park is complete without a stop there. Is it kitschy? Yes? Are there some pretty wacky displays beginning with the giant Jackalope? Yes? Is it worth a stop for some cool ice water and maybe a burger before you head over to the park? Absolutely.

READ MORE: Vermillion is hosting a brand new film festival this fall.

I don't care what they say about these two South Dakota tourist places, to me they most certainly are tourist attractions and not tourist traps!

Mount Rushmore's Secret Chamber

Many of us have had the pleasure of visiting South Dakota's most famous monument, Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills.

But, did you know there's a secret chamber in Mount Rushmore?

Gallery Credit: Andy Gott

What Was It like to Vacation in South Dakota’s Black Hills 60 Years Ago?

This time of year our thoughts often turn to planning that perfect getaway to enjoy the warmer weather and extended daylight.

For a lot of us in South Dakota, that means a trek to the Black Hills and all of the things they have to offer.

But vacationing in western South Dakota is hardly a new concept. People from all over the globe have been coming to the area for decades.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Harkness/

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