Places to Explore Close to Grand River Casino & Resort

Grand River Casino Logo and Nearby Attractions

Grand River Casino Resort features a phenomenal array of slot machines, blackjack, and poker games. Along with its stellar promotions, Gold Club, dining, and lodging options, it fares as one of South Dakota’s better casinos.

But the town of Mobridge near which the casino sits boasts a few cool attractions and historic attractions, including the Sitting Bull Memorial and the Klein Museum. But given its small size, you won’t find too much fun in the area.

However, if you’re willing to drive between 20 and 45 minutes from Mobridge, odds are that you’ll have just as much fun as you will at the casino. And today’s post will share those attractions, which will allow you to transform your stay at Grand River Casino & Resort into an unforgettable getaway.

Are you ready to discover what’s waiting for you in Mobridge and the surrounding area? Let’s get after it.

Lake Oahe

If you’re not looking to venture far from the casino, make sure you venture to nearby Lake Oahe. Featuring the largest lake in the region, it comprises two boat ramps, a campground for both primitive camping and RVs, and it serves as one of the best places in the area to fish.

Lake Oahe South Dakota

Here, you can fish for walleye, northern pike, chinook salmon, channel catfish, rainbow trout, and bass.

If you’re into water-related sports, the lake also serves as a fine attraction to take part in water skiing, tubing, riding personal watercraft, and so much more.

Grand River Convenience Store

If you’re looking to embark on a fishing trip in the area, make sure you stop at the casino’s convenience store. While it’s strange to place such an outlet on an area attractions list, this convenience store features tackle, bait, licenses, and more.

If you’re heading out onto the water, this is the best place to stock up for food and drinks. Plus, they sell hunting and camping supplies. So if you’ve forgotten anything of note, or if you’re looking to spice up the camping trip near the casino on Lake Oahe, take a quick pit stop.

The Grand River Convenience Store and Lake Oahe are both within walking distance from the casino. However, if you’re looking to head out into Mobridge, the following two attractions are within a short driving distance.

Klein Museum

Take a step back in time at the Klein Museum. Here, you’ll find a plethora of historical artifacts that tell a chilling tale of the area. With a cheap price, it’s more than worth admission if you’re one who loves to attain history lessons on areas that you travel in and out of.

You’re in for a well-organized presentation, featuring well-maintained displays amidst a clean setting. Local artifacts include old photos depicting differing time periods throughout the town’s history, war bonnets, books, and more.

Klein Museum South Dakota

Other attractions on the site include an old dental operatory, barber’s shops, tracker’s cabins, two- and three-bedroom houses, and more. You’re getting a grand tour and an idea of what life was like in the area when you visit the Klein Museum.

The Klein Museum is a great place to visit when you need an afternoon off from the casino games at Grand River Casino Resort. However, our next two places to explore comprise perhaps the finest roadside attractions in the area—one of which contains a familiar name.

Sitting Bull Memorial

Not only will you find a sobering experience at the Sitting Bull Memorial along with a chilling inscription accompanying it, this attraction near Grand River Casino Resort is the ideal location to view the surrounding prairie lands and river banks.

Sitting Bull Memorial offers a scenic view like none other in the area. So, if you’re into natural beauty, queue right up at the Sitting Bull Memorial.

It’s also one of those attractions that make for an excellent roadside stop when you’re heading to and from the casino. You won’t spend much time here. However, when you need to get out and stretch your legs during a long casino road trip, despite the closeness to your destination, you now know where to stop.

Timber Lake Museum

It’s one of those smaller museums full of local history. You will find the venue about 30 minutes from Mobridge and it contains an expansive collection of fossils, historical artifacts, and so much more.

Reviewers on TripAdvisor have praised the museum not just for its display; but for the detailed labels accompanying each. One reviewer even claimed free admission to the museum, which would be great if you didn’t hit it big at the slots.

Whether or not it’s still the case today, odds are, you’re paying a tiny price of admission at most. When you’re exploring the area around Grand River Casino Resort, Timber Lake Museum is a cost-effective and interesting place to visit.

Dakota Sunset Museum

You’ll find the Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg, South Dakota. And it features a collection of further historical artifacts, mainly in the military sector. Most reviewers have stated that you’ll spend an hour here exploring the museum. But if you’re a history shark, expect to spend a little longer at this location than advertised.

Dakota Sunset Museum Exhibit

They also have a cool “Little House on the Prairie” era schoolhouse at the site, along with a barn and blacksmith site. So, if you’re looking to gain further insight on life in the 19th century, head on over to this small yet vibrant attraction about a half-hour away from Grand River Casino Resort.

Cowboy on the Walleye

If you’re looking for one of the cooler road attractions in the Midwest, make sure you pay a visit to Cowboy on the Walleye. This attraction, composed of scrap metal, isn’t a place you’ll spend more than a few minutes in.

Cowboy on the Walleye remains a popular stop for anyone traveling in and out of Mobridge. Whether you’re on your way to or from Grand River Casino, it’s more than worth paying a visit.

This site is a historic roadside attraction, however, the next section shows attractions on today’s list are also in the heart of Mobridge and have graced a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Let’s learn about them.

Historic Places in Mobridge

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, this 100-year-old hotel features a 300 by 50-yard foot dimension, making it nearly as large as an American football field. As an enterprise of Albert H. Brown, the building comprises simple Arts and Crafts architecture.

So, while the building does not pop such as what you see with Queen Anne, Classic Revival, Greek, Gothic, or Roman architecture, the simple design holds its own.

Another historic location in Mobridge acted as a donation from Brown, known as the A.H. Brown Public Library. Added to the NRHP in 1978, you’ll find Tudor Revival and English Medieval architecture gracing this location.

A.H. Brown Public Library

The reasoning behind its spot on the NRHP is because of the fact of its importance during the time, providing a strong example of prevalent architecture during the period in which they built it back in the 1930s.

And our final historic spot in Mobridge comprises Egyptian Revival architecture, the Mobridge Masonic Temple. Added to the NRHP back in 1977, it’s a must-see if you love building designs that grant a “definite Egyptian appearance.”

Built during the 1920s when such a design was popular, you’re in for perhaps the finest architectural treat at this final historic stop in Mobridge.

Now that we’ve touched on Mobridge itself, the next sections will take us out of town and into the surrounding area. Here, you’ll find two museums and a phenomenal historic site.

Welk Homestead State Historic Site

It’s about 45 minutes from the casino. However, the Welk Homestead State Historic Site serves as perhaps the area’s largest attraction. It’s well worth the drive if you’re looking to spend an entire afternoon off the casino floor.

Welk Homestead State Historic Site tells the story of the Welk family, a German-Russian family who immigrated to South Dakota from Odessa, Russia in 1893. They were one of over 120,000 German-Russians who left the area over the course of a 50-year time span from 1870 to 1920.

Like many, the free and cheap land in the Dakotas drew them, and they carried remnants of the German-Russian culture with them to the US. The Welk Homestead remains the most popular of many that sprung up in the area at the time.

The six-acre site features a house built with dried mud and brick known as batsa. You’ll also find a summer kitchen, outhouse, blacksmith shop, and granary.

Conclusion

While Mobridge, South Dakota, is a small town, it boasts more than its fair share of attractions. Both within the town limits and in the surrounding perimeter, history, architecture, and culture lurk. If you’re planning a casino trip here, you must at least set a day aside to view the above attractions.

Plus, visiting a few of these gems hidden in the American Heartland gives you a prime opportunity to explore the prairie lands.

Have you gone to Grand River Casino Resort? And if so, did you explore the area? Did you visit any of the above attractions? Tell us your stories in the comments. We cannot wait to hear from you.