We are quite accustomed to South Dakota being overlooked when it comes to being a tourist attraction.

It seems at times that if it wasn't for Mount Rushmore and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that we wouldn't get any love at all from anyone outside the state.

But that's not the case in one recent article on a major national travel website.

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Badlands National Park
Dana Davis via Unsplash
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In her Travel + Leisure story 'The Best U.S. Destinations to Visit in Your 30s', author Stacey Leasca began her list with a South Dakota attraction giving it high praise:

'Badlands National Park is criminally underrated.

Somehow this spot doesn't get the hype of more well-known national parks but packs just as much of an awe-inspiring punch as places like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

It's rugged and serene, quiet and striking, and absolutely massive.

Badlands clocks in with more than 240,000 acres, making it an ideal place for solitude and contemplation.

Come camp in the unique geologic formations, and if you visit in summer, head to the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater in the evening for a ranger-led stargazing class, so you know what you're looking up at each night.'

BEST U.S. DESTINATIONS TO VISIT IN YOUR 30's (Travel+Leisure)

  • Badlands National Park, South Dakota
  • Vail, Colorado
  • Joshua Tree, California
  • The Overseas Highway, Florida
  • New York, New York
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Kauai, Hawaii
  • Healdsburg, California
  • Big Sky, Montana
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Your Hometown

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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