If you’re looking for a quintessential small-town America experience, head to Mitchell, South Dakota.
This charming community is located in the southeastern part of the state and offers visitors a host of interesting attractions, including the world’s only Corn Palace.
The city is also home to several other museums, archeology sites, and a popular zoo.
Plus, with plenty of outdoor activities including hiking and biking trails available in the area, Mitchell is perfect for nature lovers and explorers alike.
Also Read: Best Things to do in South Dakota
Best Things to do in Mitchell, SD
Mitchell, South Dakota is a small town with a population of just over 14,000 people.
It is home to friendly locals and plenty of activities to keep you busy.
From parks and museums to shops and restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Mitchell.
Here are the best things to do in Mitchell, South Dakota on your trip.
Visit the spectacular Mitchell Corn Palace
Mitchell, South Dakota is home to one of the most unique tourist destinations in the country—the Mitchell Corn Palace.
The Mitchell Corn Palace has been a staple in the city of Mitchell for over 100 years.
This palace is made entirely out of corn and features murals and designs made from different types of corn.
It is truly a sight to behold!
Each year, a new design is created on the corn palace during harvest time.
Visitors can come see the stunning designs at any time, but one of the best times to visit the corn palace is during the annual corn festival in September!
Dig for an arrowhead at the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village
Did you know that South Dakota is home to one of the most well-preserved ancient Native American village in the Midwest?
The Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village is a popular archeological site located on the banks of Lake Mitchell.
It is over 1000 years old and one of the top attractions!
It is open to public and offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Plains Indians.
On a visit, you can see archeologists working at the Thomsen Center Archeodome.
The on site Boehnen Memorial Museum is a great place to learn about Native American history, tour reconstructed buildings, and see excavated artifacts.
It is also the only archaeological site in the state where kids can also dig for artifacts like arrowheads!
If you’re interested in history or archaeology, be sure to add the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village to your list of must-see destinations!
Take a walk through history at the Dakota Discovery Museum
Be sure to spend some time at the Dakota Discovery Museum when you visit Mitchell!
This small but engaging museum has exhibits on the ecology, geology and history of the Dakota territory including South Dakota and North Dakota.
You can see a variety of exhibits related to the Gold Rush, fur trade, bison hunting, Native American settlements, railroad, Wild West towns, as well as the Great Depression era.
The Dakota Discovery Museum is especially good for kids, with interactive exhibits that let them explore the history around them.
Enjoy outdoor adventures at Lake Mitchell
Lake Mitchell is a great place to spend time in nature.
Several miles of hiking and biking trails are located along the lake for visitors.
Activities on the lake such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are popular during the summer months.
Lake Mitchell Campground overlooks Lake Mitchell and offers numerous camping sites if you want to spend the night.
Check out the guns at the Guns of History Gun Gallery
A must for history, war, and gun enthusiasts!
At this unique museum, you can see a vast variety of historic guns.
See the guns used by famous Sioux and Cheyenne warriors including Crazy Horse’s Winchester Rifle and a shotgun belonging to Sitting Bull.
Spot the guns used by General Custer’s and learn about the history of firearms in the early 19th century at this amazing gun gallery.
Check out the McGovern Legacy Museum
The George McGovern Legacy Museum is a must-see for any history buff.
The museum contains historical photographs and memorabilia related to the life of statesman George McGovern.
You can enjoy interactive exhibits about his political life including attempt at presidency and other roles he played in the Senate.
The musuem is located on the campus of the Dakota Wesleyan University.
Explore history of Mitchell at Carnegie Resource Center
Carnegie Resource Center is located near the Corn Palace and is free to visit.
The Carnegie Resource Center features a fascinating, permanent exhibit dedicated to the Corn Palace that traces the history of this unique building from its very beginnings.
The museum is also filled with an extensive collection of memorabilia of local history, Mitchell area heritage, and past events.
Visit the Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle
Looking for something unique to din Mitchell?
Visit Valtiroty Shiloh’s Tabernacle!
Located in what looks like a historic castle, this attraction takes you on a spiritual journey through the Castle Bible Land museum.
Inside you can visit the bible land walk through diorama which has scenes including Moses parting the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments.
Kids can run around at the Castle Play Gardens and you can get souvenirs at the Castle Gift Shop.
Attend the Corn Festival
The Mitchell Corn Festival is a yearly event.
It celebrates the harvest of one of South Dakota’s most important crops each August.
The Corn Palace and its design is the obvious highlight!
Visitors can also enjoy live music, food, and kids activities including a petting zoo and hay maze during the festival.
Best Time to Visit Mitchell
Summer is peak season to visit Mitchell because of the warm weather and outdoor attractions.
Fall is another great time to enjoy the Corn Festival.
Be prepared for cold wind and freezing temperature from winter to spring.
Regardless of when you come, make sure to check out Main Street and the Corn Palace!
If you’re looking for a quiet place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of big cities, Mitchell is definitely worth checking out.
Plus, with its close proximity to Sioux Falls and Rapid City, Mitchell makes a great stop to add to your South Dakota road trip.
We hope you liked our guide to the many historic and cultural attractions in Mitchell, South Dakota.