We may not have surfing cities but South Dakota will put our lake towns up against any other when it comes to beauty, openness, and friendly neighbors. In this part of the world, we say hello to everyone.

There are dozens of little gems around the state and you still may not have discovered all of them. Here are just a few that are popular with the locals and visitors.

Yankton-Is a growing city that features the Missouri River and Lewis & Clark Recreation Area with numerous campgrounds, beaches, and riverfront property. A great downtown area with unique shops and eats. The Riverfront area is beautiful. About an hour’s drive from Sioux Falls, you will be right on the border with Nebraska so don't be intimidated between Coyote Red and Husker Red.

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Chamberlain-Lake Oahe, it's all about the mighty walleye. Our state fish brings anglers from all over the world for this tasty treasure. Not to be outdone, the view across the open bluffs and plains is breathtaking. This part of the state also caters to other outdoor enthusiasts' desires like upland birds and big game hunting. You can pack up and be on the river in about two hours from Sioux Falls.

Madison-Waterfront property is a premium here that is surrounded by some of the most beautiful lake homes in the state. It could be your weekend retreat or permanent residence. Either way, this popular community is also home to Dakota State University which has a nationally leading cybersecurity education and research program. Golfers enjoy two great courses with the Lakes Golf Course right on Lake Madison. And don't forget about Lake Herman.

Pierre- The capital city with historic monuments right in the middle of the state is also on the Missouri River with the La Framboise Island Nature Area a must-see. If you have ever traveled from central or southern Minnesota, the scenic route will be on Highway 14 which will take you to Pierre and through to the Black Hills. But if you are pulling a really big camper or driving an elevated loaded trailer BE AWARE of the Pierre Street railroad bridge overpass that has an undefeated record.

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