Royal River Casino & Hotel boasts a phenomenal and diverse gaming experience, and it serves as one of the finest attractions in Flandreau, South Dakota, and its nearby areas. But it’s far and away not the only thing to get excited about in the area.
Today’s post will give you a few exceptional ideas regarding vacation destinations in the region. All of which you will find in proximity to Royal River Casino & Hotel. If you’re looking to transform your casino experience into a full-blown vacation, keep reading, because this area has a lot to offer.
Ready to take the ultimate tour of the area?
Let’s get after it, starting with a place that you can gain quite a history lesson. But you’ll also find nature-based attractions and even destinations within destinations.
1 – Moody County Museum
Let’s begin our tour at the Moody County Museum. Here, you’ll discover a bold collection of historical files, a library and archives, along with local artifacts, photos, and even research center collections. It’s one of those smaller museums that tells the tale of local history, but it does so in an interactive setting.
They dedicated departments to local Native American tribes, military history, and even the farming and manufacturing industries. So, despite the Moody County Museum’s small size, there is a lot to see here and so much history to go around. It’s an ideal stop if you identify as a history buff.
2 – Pipestone National Monument
You’ll find the Pipestone National Monument about 15 miles away in nearby Pipestone, Minnesota, as you’ll notice is the case with the rest of the places listed below. You’re also in for quite the visual experience with scenic cliffs, waterfalls, deciduous forests, and geological structures.
The monument depicts various quarries among its local Native American tribes, and along the trails, you will find signs that reflect on the events that had taken place here.
So, like the Moody County Museum in Flandreau, this scenic experience also holds its fair share of history.
They keep park rangers on-site for anyone who needs help or would like some background information on the park. The park rangers have also supplied literature which reviewers on TripAdvisor have found informative. And if you ask, they will give you an explanation of the grounds.
3 – Keepers of the Sacred Tradition of Pipemakers
This is another gem in the Pipestone area and yet another place full of interesting history. Here, you will learn the history of Native American tribes that frequented the vicinity, and they also have a stellar gift shop on the site that reviewers on TripAdvisor rave about.
It’s ideal if you’re looking to pick up some Native American-inspired gifts for yourself and for others.
There is a lot to see here if you’re looking to tour the park and view the peace pipe replica. As with the Pipestone National Monument, you will find this popular vacation destination about 15 miles from Flandreau, so it’s just a short drive from Royal River Casino & Hotel. And it’s more than worth the visit.
4 – Main Street of Pipestone, Minnesota
As mentioned in the intro, you will find attractions within attractions in the area. And if you already visited the Keepers of the Pipes and the Pipestone National Monument, why not visit more of Pipestone, Minnesota? This time, we’re talking about all you will find in historic Main Street.
It includes unique architecture made from local stone, so for the architecture enthusiast in you or someone in your travel group, it’s more than worth the stop.
But they also feature shops, theaters, hotels, and even carvings of historical figures, so you’re getting a lot of this attraction.
Odds are, you’ll spend a few hours here, so make sure you’re not craving to return to that casino floor soon. Best yet, it’s often quiet in this part of town. If you’re looking for a peaceful setting to frequent during an afternoon in Pipestone, it’s an ideal place to go.
5 – Split Rock Creek State Park
If you’re into outdoors and recreational activities, take a day to visit Split Rock Creek State Park. You will what reviewers on TripAdvisor refer to as a “hidden gem” in nearby Jasper, Minnesota, and it offers a scenic experience unlike any other in the area, besides all the activities in which you can take part in.
Take a quick hike around the park and just a few landmarks you’ll find include an old stone bridge, and dams. Best yet, you don’t need to be an experienced hiker if you’re looking to stretch your legs. Reviewers have praised the ease of the walk, along with all there is to see.
If you’re into nature or bird watching, it’s also a treat to frequent Split Rock Creek State Park. Plus, you can even rent a kayak and hit the water. And if you’re into camping, the park contains some phenomenal places to set up shop.
The consensus? It’s arguably the finest park in the area, and a must-visit when you’re looking to entwine yourself in the region’s natural beauty.
6 – McCrory Gardens
You’ll also find peace and quiet here at the McCrory Gardens. You’ll have a bit of a drive, as they’re located about 21 miles away in Brookings, South Dakota. However, if you’re into epic scenery, it’s more than worth the trip if you’re looking to get out and about in the area.
Here, you’ll find perfectly aligned evergreens, colorful trees flanking walking trails, gardens, ponds, open fields, and even cottages. You’ll feel as if someone transported you straight into your favorite fairy tale story that you read when you were a kid, especially during those crisp days in the fall.
It costs a few dollars for admission, with one reviewer stating they paid $6, but it’s more than worth it. If you love diverse flora, a delightful, forested setting, and an overall peaceful setting, find time to drive out to the McCrory Gardens and experience paradise under the South Dakota sky.
7 – Eponymous Brewing Company
If you’re looking for the area’s hottest brewery, you will discover it in Brookings and in proximity to the McCrory Gardens. So if you made the trip into paradise, you’ll find even more of it in a place that reviewers on TripAdvisor describe as a “neighborhood atmosphere.” Can someone say Cheers?
You’ll find the microbrewery on Main Street in Brookings, and it’s a fine place if you’re looking to mingle with the town’s locals, or if you’re just looking to sample local beers. You can also glimpse at how they prepare each craft, as photos on TripAdvisor have shown.
8 – Children’s Museum of South Dakota
If you’re looking for a family-friendly atmosphere in the area, head over to the Children’s Museum of South Dakota. It’s yet another vacation destination on today’s list in Brookings and about 25 miles from Royal River Hotel and Casino. And it’s perhaps the area’s most interactive attraction.
Your kids will love the exhibits, which feature dinosaurs, mail deliveries, and other cool hands-on activities that include shopping, vehicle mechanics (not real cars, so no worries), a play park, and so much more. It’s absolute paradise to any guest 12 or under, and odds are, you’ll have fun, too.
Whether your kids are looking to head indoors or if they’d rather visit everything the museum offers in an outdoor setting, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota will provide. They offer reasonable prices of admission, and many reviewers have said it’s an absolute steal.
If you’re looking for an entertaining set of activities to do with your family featuring the best bang for your buck, look no further.
Our Conclusion on the Flandreau, South Dakota Area
Royal River Casino & Hotel has a lot to offer, but so does Flandreau, South Dakota, and its surrounding areas—especially if you’re looking to hop over the state line into Minnesota or sneak into Brookings, South Dakota.
And whether you love nature, history, or science, the area offers something to do for guests of all ages and interest levels, giving it a well-rounded, family-friendly region to take the entire crew on vacation. So, before you head out to the area, build that vacation itinerary.
Have you been to Royal River Casino & Hotel? If so, did you visit any of the vacation destinations listed in today’s post? Let us know what you did in the comments and tell us about your experience. We can’t wait to read your stories.