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Artesian sits in the southeastern quadrant of South Dakota, not too far from Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city. It was founded in the late 19th century and received its name from the numerous artesian wells that provided clean drinking water in the town’s earlier days. When you book an RV rental in Artesian, you’ll have access to some of America’s most unexplored countryside that’s perfect for travelers hoping to avoid the crowds.
While there may not be any big-name attractions nearby, you’ll surely enjoy the quiet beauty that comes with such an off-the-beaten-path destination. If you need a taste of the city, Sioux Falls is just down the road on Interstate 90 and has all the restaurants and nightlife that you might be missing when getting an RV rental in Artesian, South Dakota. Not far from town, there are also quite a few interesting recreation areas if you’re searching for outdoor adventure.
While many picture South Dakota as a vast expanse of rolling plains, Artesian is near the state’s eastern border, abutting Minnesota and its many lakes. If you like to canoe, kayak, or fish, there are beautiful lakes to explore not far from Artesian. Lake Herman State Park is one of the more popular places to paddle, but it’s also an excellent site for swimming on a hot summer day.
There’s also Pipestone National Monument just over the border in Minnesota. Native American tribes frequented the area to quarry red pipestone rocks to be carved in pipes and sacred objects. If you’re interested in learning more about the Dakota area’s Native American tribes while taking a beautiful hike, this is the place to do it.
However, if you’re hoping for a quiet stroll in a beautiful location, you can’t do much better than McCrory Gardens near the town of Brookings. The gardens are always in bloom with some sort of seasonal flora – tulips for Mothers Day or evergreens for Christmas. It’s the sort of place that’s perfect for a picnic with the family, especially during the spring when everything is just beginning to grow.
Most of the area's campgrounds are located near Interstate 90, a short distance to the south. The closest is R and R Campground and RV Park. It’s run by a hotel chain and offers a few dozen sites with full hookups, laundry facilities, showers, a playground, and a dump station. Its location on the interstate makes it one of the more convenient places to stay when you book an RV in Artesian and want to explore other parts of the state.
There’s also Dakota Sunsets RV Park and Campground, which is close to I-90, near its intersection with Highway 81 and the town of Salem. Many of their sites have full hookups for your travel trailer rental from Artesian, and they also have a playground, laundromat, and a small camp store for picking up essentials. The bucolic setting is a great spot for whiling away the day with a good book, but if you’re looking for attractions nearby, the Porter Sculpture Park is just a little way down I-90 and is a truly unique art installation erupting from the prairie.
Due to its small size, there aren’t really any attractions to enjoy in Artesian itself. Fortunately, the town of Mitchell is only a short distance to the south, at the intersection of I-90 and Highway 37, and it has plenty of great things to do. To brush up on some history, check out the Dakota Discovery Museum, which houses some of the most interesting artifacts from South Dakota’s pioneer days. It also touches on the region’s Native American history and some of the tragedies that occurred during America’s quest for westward expansion in the 19th century.
For a look at some even earlier history, take the Artesian camper rental to the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village, an archeological site that dates back nearly a millennia. It sits on the banks of Lake Mitchell and includes the actual dig site, a museum explaining some of the things found there, and a gift shop selling handicrafts from the area’s current Native American residents.
For a less serious stop in Mitchell when you rent an RV, make a visit to the Corn Palace - one of the most famous performance venues in eastern South Dakota. It’s a must-see road trip stop when traveling through the west as the venue's outer walls are ornately decorated with corn kernels, stalks, and husks to create magnificent murals. This place is worth seeing for its sheer uniqueness.