17 Best & Fun Things to Do in Hot Springs (SD)

Hot Spring city is the county seat of Fall River County in South Dakota. It has been well known for its warm springs for thousands of years and is believed to be a holy area by the people of Sioux and Cheyenne. 

In 2020, Hot Springs’ population was 3,395. The European dwellers constructed in the 19th century several resorts such as the Evans Plunge, an indoor pool with warm spring waters.

The city has several unique attractions. The Paleontological sites in Hot Springs discovered many properly conserved mammoth bones. The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary preserves the local habitat and a herd of undesired and neglected horses.

Get your bags ready as we take you on this journey of exploring Hot Springs,

Check out the best and fun things to do in Hot Springs, SD.

Things to Do in Hot Springs, SD

1. Bison Express Tours

Bison Express Tours
Credits: Zack Frank / Shutterstock
Bison Express Tours

You sure do not want to miss out on the Bison Express Tour, an 8 to 9-hour Black Hills tour cutting across Mt. Rushmore, Custer State Park, Iron Mountain Road, Crazy Horse Wind Cave National Park, and the State Game Lodge.

The Bison Express provides visitors with day tours that start with exploring the Wind Cave National Park, where you can find animals such as antelopes, deer, bison, prairie dogs, and others. Subsequent stops include Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.

It is an exciting trip for anyone who wants to have a great experience with wildlife while admiring the beauty of nature.

Address: Hot Springs, SD, United States

2. Evans Plunge

Evans Plunge
Credits: Bradley Gordon / Flickr
Evans Plunge

Exploring the Evans Plunge is one of the best things to do in Hot Springs, SD. It is an indoor pool featuring the local warm mineral thermal springs.

The Evans Plunges was constructed in 1890 across several beautiful springs and a large mineral water spring.

At the north end of the Plunge, you will see the largest spring called the “Original Indian Spring.” This spring was a source of drinking water for the Native Americans; they also bathed in the spring.

Evans Plunge and many other mineral springs in this region were believed to be a remedy to several illnesses and a famous tourist destination.

Address: 1145 N River St, Hot Springs, SD, United States

3. Pioneer Museum

Pioneer Museum
Credits: Pioneer Museum, Hot Springs, SD / Facebook
Pioneer Museum

Pioneer Museum is situated in the previous elementary school, a four-story sandstone building located on a hill in the central area of the town.

The Fall River County Historical Society controls the Pioneer Museum. It consists of several authentic artifacts from early times. The exhibits here tell the story of Fall River County.

The exhibits comprise artworks created by local craftsmen, such as sculptures and paintings obtained from marble, sandstone, and alabaster. 

It also has many significant photos of Hot Springs and the Black Hills, coupled with popular prints and luxury tapestries and quilts from the early days.

The Museum also features tools used in the everyday lives of the early farmers and ranchers, like locally made tools, old washing machines, wood cook stoves, and kerosene lamps. If you are a historian, you should consider this item on your bucket list of top things to do in Hot Springs, SD.

Address: 300 N Chicago St, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

4. Mammoth Site of Hot Springs

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Credits: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs

One of the best things to do in Hot Springs, SD, is to check out the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. It is a functional paleontological site and museum close to Hot Spring, South Dakota.

The site is nestled within a prehistoric sinkhole that was formed and was subsequently filled with debris at the time of the Pleistocene. The debris filling the sinkholes comprises fauna and flora that were conserved by burying them in the sinkhole.

The Mammoth Site comprises the remnants of 61 Mammoths, three woolly mammoths, and 58 North American Columbians; this site has the highest number of mammoth remains worldwide.

The museum surrounding the mammoth site was founded in 1974, and the bones discovered that were found then now make up a vast collection of mammoth remnants. This site provides visitors with guided trips, summer educational classes, and a gaming app.

Address: 1800 US-18 BYP, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

5. Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
Credits: StompingGirl / Shutterstock
Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

Dayton O. Hyde established the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in 1988. It is a famous private wilderness area in the country. 

The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary occupies a private land area of 11,000 acres. It is controlled by the Institute of Range and American Mustang. The Sanctuary is devoted to conserving the ecological community of the Southern Black Hills.

The primary aim of this destination is to preserve this historic land once filled with incredible Native American and Early settlers from destruction, to maintain this natural space for local wildlife species that stay, and to create an abode for undesirable American Mustangs.

The Sanctuary is also the abode for unwanted wild horses and a research site devoted to helping manage wild horse herds. Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is among the best places to visit in Hot Springs, SD.

Address: 12165 Highland Rd, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

6. Lucy and the Green Wolf

Lucy and the Green Wolf
Credits: Lucy and the Green Wolf / Facebook
Lucy and the Green Wolf

Lucy and the Green Wolf is an organic shop where you can shop for all your needs that are 100 percent eco-friendly. Lucy and the Green Wolf are great advocates for a sustainable environment, as many of their products are environmentally friendly.

It has a mini library in the store. Make sure not to be in haste to leave as there is lots of fascinating stuff to do in this small shop.

Their products range from jewelry to ornamental made from renewable materials, repurposed and revamped items, tree paper goods, and recycled paper.

A visit to Lucy and the Green Wolf is essential for anyone who prefers sustainable products with zero waste.

Address: 740 Jennings Ave, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

7. Sage Meadow Ranch

Sage Meadow Ranch
Credits: Virrage Images / Shutterstock

As an outdoor lover, among what to do in Hot Springs, SD, is to go horse riding at the Sage Meadow Ranch. The Sage Meadow Ranch is located on a vast acre of grassland, rolling hills, and pines.

It is situated close to the picturesque and historic Red Canyon. Animals such as antelopes, deer, and elk can be seen roaming the grassland. You might be lucky to see a mountain lion as well.

Make sure to bring the kids along to have a great time saddling their excellent horses. The owner of this Ranch, Holly, pays much attention to people’s safety, so follow the guidelines for a great horse riding experience. 

The horses here are friendly, and be sure you will have a great time horse riding.

Address: 26840 Iron Shoe Trail, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

8. Fall River Fibers

Fall River Fibers
Credits: Fall River Fibers / Facebook
Fall River Fibers

The shop is filled with many yarns and natural fibers for weaving and spinning. It also has hand-spun yards, used looms and name brands, supplies and wheels, and dye.

The Fall Rivers Fibers offers customized programs for people and small groups. It also has a room where Terry Slagel makes handcrafted home decorative items. If you love fiber items, there should be a must-see when you visit.

Their staff are excellent at discharging their duties and are always available to help you have a beautiful fiber experience. You can get all the help you need from them and even ask questions.

Address: 631 N River St, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

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9. Southern Hills Golf Course

Southern Hills Golf Course
Credits: Gualberto Becerra / Shutterstock

It is the perfect place to be if you want to hone your skills in swinging and shooting.

Golfers here are advised to play from suitable tees to have the very best golfing experience. Make sure to come with your friends as golfing is most enjoyed as a group.

The Southern Hills Golf Course provides guests with leagues for players of all skill levels and ages throughout the season.

There is a Clubhouse at the Southern Hills Golf Course, which provides a beautiful setting for different kinds of events such as weddings, Bachelor and bachelorette parties, family reunions, class reunions, holiday and Christmas parties, Birthday parties, and Graduation parties. 

Address: 1130 Club House Rd, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

10. Red Rock River Resort

Red Rock River Resort
Credits: Red Rock River Resort / Facebook
Red Rock River Resort

Red Rock River Resort is situated in the central area of the Hot Spring iconic district. The Resort is made of one of the magnificent sandstone structures designed and constructed by local craftsmen.

The building has a history that stretches back to 1891 when myriads of tourists came to experience the warmly dry climate and healing waters.

The Resort offers complete spa services and comfortable rooms. The place is visited by many people worldwide.

Make sure to visit their Spa Minnekahta, as they have all you need to de-stress yourself, rejuvenate, and relax. “Minnesota” is a Lakota Sioux language that means “warm water.”

The Resort is also ideal for hosting special events, including weddings, corporate functions, etc. This destination overlooks the gorgeous Minnekahta Valley and the Fall River.

Address: Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

11. Earth Goods Natural Foods

Earth Goods Natural Foods
Credits: Bradley Gordon / Flickr
Earth Goods Natural Foods

Among the fun things to do in Hot Springs, SD, is grocery shopping at the Earth Goods Natural Foods in the gorgeous Southern BlackHills.

The grocery store was founded in 1996, providing the best fresh, natural foods that are free from preservatives and artificial ingredients and have no GMO ingredients.

It also provided guests with a vast amount of herbal and vitamin supplements, considerable-free bread, pasta and cookies, organic products, natural body products, baking mixes, and family products.

From time to time, the store carries out seminars on Naturopathic medicine. So make sure to stop by when you visit and enjoy this place’s many opportunities.

Address: 738 Jennings Ave, Hot Springs, SD, United States

12. Wooly’s Grill and Cellar

Woolly's Grill and Cellar
Credits: Woolly’s Grill and Cellar / Facebook
Woolly’s Grill and Cellar

The Wooly’s Grill and Cellar began as a drive-through spot providing its patrons with Freshly made smoothies and coffee in Southern Black Hills in Hot Springs, SD. Today, it has transformed into becoming a well-known farmhouse kind of restaurant.

It is a well-to-do restaurant with a comfortable, warm interior, many beautifully furnished dining spaces, an outstanding Cellar, and incredible dishes prepared by a master chef.

Wolly’s Grill and Cellar is a favorite spot for locals, especially for celebrations and unique occasions. The restaurant is devoted to preparing charbroiled steaks, and grilled foods served together with baked potato, Texas toast, green beans, rice pilaf, buttered corn, and baked beans.

It features a salad bar with the best fresh seasonal local products. The restaurant also provides visitors with gourmet coffee and smoothie bars during regular business periods.

Address: 1648 US Highway 18 (Truck Bypass), Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

13. World Fossil Finder Museum

World Fossil Finder Museum
Credits: World Fossil Finder Museum / Facebook
World Fossil Finder Museum

Another important place to see, especially for historians, is the World Fossil Finder Museum. The Museum is family oriented to educate children and adults about the earth’s natural wonders. 

The Museum also provides hands-on learning experiences for everyone throughout the year. It has a 10-week program that educates kids on Black Hills Paleontological History, the geological formations of these Hills, and more.

The World Fossil Finder Museum houses many local and international fossils. Make sure to visit, and check out the remaining American Mastodon, the fantastic White River Group creatures, and the biggest Tylosaurus in South Dakota called “Debby Sue.”

Address:719 Jensen Hwy, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

14. Cold Brook Canyon Trail

Cold Brook Canyon Trail
Credits: Maridav / Shutterstock

Hiking along Cold Brook Canyon Trail is one of the fun things to do in Hot Springs, SD, especially if you want to immerse yourself in nature.

The Cold Brook Canyon Trail is a family-friendly destination. It features wildlife, bird watching, river and creek, picturesque views as you hike along the trail, and more.

Be expectant to see an active population of birds and a robust colony of prairie dogs as you walk along the route. In addition, from time to time, bison are seen around this area.

Visitors are advised to bring their water as there is no water to drink on the trail. The wildlife here is fantastic; you can get a camera to take amazing photos of this area.

Address: Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

15. Heartsong Quilts

HeartSong Quilts
Credits: HeartSong Quilts / Facebook
HeartSong Quilts

Heartsong Quilts 2008 was established by Ann and Brian Powers to offer their quota and idea of quilting and crafting to the Black Hills community.

This quilt shop is famous in the country. It provides visitors with excellent fabrics such as Marcia Derse, Australian Aboriginals, Kaffe Fassett, Frond, and primitive moderns.

They are focused on creating Jen Kingwell patterns, quilting kits, and the materials needed to create them. They also have local fabrics, books, quilt kits, and more.

If you intend to kick-start your journey of quilting or you’re already an expert, be sure to visit this place and check out all the amazing stuff it has installed for you.

Address: 345 N River St, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

16. Angostura Recreation Area

Angostura Recreation Area
Credits: TeodorLazarev / Shutterstock

Angostura Recreation Area, one of the vast-sized reservoirs located in western South Dakota, is one of the best places to visit in Hot Springs, SD. The Lake’s crystal clear running waters and aquatic life make it an ideal place for water activities such as boating, swimming, and fishing.

The Bureau of Reclamation constructed the Dam in 1949 over the Cheyenne River. The dam also led to the successful establishment of a recreation area. Angostura is a Spanish word that means “narrows.”

The Augusta Reservoir is a paradise for water lovers while offering captivating and scenic views. Visitors who would love to go fishing might be able to catch various kinds of fish, such as crappie, smallmouth bass, and walleye. The reservoir is also a habitat for northern pike, perch, bluegill, and largemouth bass.

The Recreational Area also features Boat ramps, campgrounds, cabins for campgrounds, concession stands, picnic tables, and more.

Address: 13157 N Angostura Rd, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

17. Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons

Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons
Credits: topseller / Shutterstock

The Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons offers visitors a one-of-a-kind trip and a chance to explore the beautiful panoramic vistas of the Southern Black Hills via a hot air balloon. 

During the flight, you might be able to view wild turkeys, deer, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Upon landing on the ground, your trip will be celebrated with a bottle of local champagne, a non-alcoholic alternative, and an after-flight dish. At the same time, you listen to a few stories of ballooning from the pilot.

This destination also provides guests with private flight tours, party flights, mixed rides with other tourists, or no mixed group flights. A regular flight takes just an hour, while the entire flight period, from pre-flight preparation to post-flight experience, takes about 2 to 3 hours.

Make sure to be part of this activity, as it promises to be fun and exciting. As you search for what to do in Hot Springs, SD, remember to add an adventure with Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons to your itinerary.

Address:​Hwy 18 Bypass, Hot Springs, SD 57747, United States

Have more time in South Dakota, do not miss exploring the top attractions and things to do in Mitchellthings to do in Aberdeen and things to do in Yankton.

Plan Your Trip to Hot Springs

If you plan a vacation, one place to consider is Hot Springs, SD. This place gets you covered with unique attractions and exciting things to do.

It is perfect for a family trip, so ensure to visit with your family. A fun vacation awaits you!