Pierre, the capitol of South Dakota, is the second least populated capitol in the United States. The small town on the banks of the Missouri River is surrounded by natural beauty. The La Framboise Island Nature Area and the Farm Island Recreation Area are both located on the river directly across from the town. Many of Pierre’s downtown wedding venues take advantage of the river views. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Pierre Wedding Venues: Clubhouse Hotel and Suites

Pierre Wedding Venues: Clubhouse Hotel and Suites
© Clubhouse Hotel and Suites

The Clubhouse Hotel and Suites is among the most luxurious hotels in South Dakota’s capitol, Pierre. Flexible events space can host up to 200 people for a seated reception, or can be split into two rooms for smaller events. An interior courtyard is accessible from the indoor event spaces and offers an expansive grassy lawn, fire pits, and patio areas for entertaining. Catering is available from the on-site restaurant, the RedRossa Italian Grill. Each of the signature dishes features the old-world dishes of Italy using fresh, authentic ingredients. Blocks of guest rooms may be reserved at discounted rates. Family-friendly suites are available that sleep up to six people.

808 West Sioux Ave, Suite 100, Pierre, SD 57501, Phone: 605-494-2582

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2.Wedding Venues in Pierre, South Dakota: Ramkota Hotel

Wedding Venues in Pierre, South Dakota: Ramkota Hotel
© Ramkota Hotel

Pierre’s Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center is located on the banks of the Missouri River near the Pierre State Capitol building. The dog friendly hotel offers a full sized indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, bike rentals, free parking, and two options for on-site dining. Over 6,000 square feet of ballroom space is available for weddings and events, and can accommodate 50 to 450 guests for either plated or buffet-style meals. Smaller events may make use of the interior courtyard, a sunlit space decorated with living greenery. Wedding reception catering packages are available at two different price points and include tables, chairs and linens.

920 W Sioux Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501, Phone: 605-224-6877

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3.Wedding Venues in Pierre: RedRossa Italian Grill

Wedding Venues in Pierre: RedRossa Italian Grill
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Pierre’s RedRossa Italian Grill is located adjacent to the capitol city’s Clubhouse Hotel and Suites. The Italian restaurant severs old-world Italian cuisine made to order with the freshest ingredients. RedRossa is gluten-free friendly and offers an inspired catering menu suitable for everything from small casual luncheons to large formal events. Events may make use of the restaurant space, or the meeting rooms and courtyard at the neighboring hotel. Plated dinners include a soup or salad and choice of an entrée. Popular entrée options include the sirloin with gorgonzola cream sauce, a grilled salmon topped with gremolata butter, and the famous house lasagne stuffed with beef, sausage and three types of cheeses.

808 West Sioux Ave, Suite 200, Pierre, SD 57501, Phone: 605-494-2599

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3 Best Wedding Venues in Pierre, South Dakota

Attraction Spotlight in SD: Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave in Custer, South Dakota, is the third longest cave system in the world. With a variety of guided tours that help guests better see and understand the cave, this attraction is both fun and educational for even the most thrill-seeking of visitors.


Jewel Cave has more than 195 miles of surveyed, mapped passageways full of fragile formations and beautiful colors. It is managed by park rangers employed through the National Park Service. Originally surveyed by Albert and Frank Michaud in 1900, the brothers first described the cave entrance as a hole that was too small for humans to enter with cold air blasting from it.

After enlarging the cave with the air of dynamite, they were the first to see the sparkling jewels and immediately submitted a mining claim to the “Jewel Tunnel Lode.” After learning that the jewels had little to no commercial value, they turned it into a tourist attraction. The brothers developed the trails, built a lodge, and even held a dance club inside Jewel Cave.

The cave was preserved as a natural resource in 1908 and became part of the park service in 1939, when park rangers took over as tour guides. In 1959, two additional miles of cave system was discovered, and the additional tours were developed to showcase all that the cave had to offer.

Permanent Attractions

Due to the elaborate and lengthy passageways that make up Jewel Cave, the only way to see the cave system is by taking a guided tour. These cave tours are scheduled throughout the year at times that are listed on the Jewel Cave website.

- Scenic Tour - This tour is the most popular offered at Jewel Cave. It takes guests through various cave passages and chambers while showing them some of the more beautiful and elaborate speleothems (various types, including one affectionately known as “cave bacon”) and calcite crystals considered the “jewels” in the cave (two different types, in fact, the dogtooth spar and the nailhead spar). A knowledgeable trail guide will talk about the geology, discovery, formation, and other cave related facts. The trail is both paved and lit, and entrance and exit to the cave system is made by elevator. It takes just under an hour and a half and is classified as “moderately” strenuous (there are over 700 total stairs during this tour).

- Discovery Tour - The shortest cave tour, clocking in at just around 20 minutes from start to finish, the Discovery Tour introduces guests to the cultural and natural history associated with Jewel Cave in one large chamber. It is rated as being “easy” and was designed to be wheelchair accessible. See the cave “jewels” - dogtooth and nailhead spars - as well as other geological formations like paleofill and manganese. Tour guides will also explain the way the cave was formed and about its discovery in 1900. This tour is considered the best for children.

- Historic Lantern Tour - For the more adventurous, the Historic Lantern Tour is the way to go. Led by tour guides dressed in authentic, 1930s uniforms, guests will learn more about how early cave tours were done. The tour will both enter and leave Jewel Cave through its historic, unpaved entrance, and the only light provided will be the handheld lanterns given to the tour visitors. This tour takes just under two hours and will visit either the Heavenly Room or the Dungeon Room. Rated a “strenuous” tour due to its length (half a mile), the many stairs (around 600 total) and the frequent stooping and bending required, the age limit (guests must be at least six years old) is strictly enforced. These tours are only offered from June to September.

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- Wild Caving Tour - Offered only in from June to August, the Wild Caving Tour must be taken with a hard hat and a headlamp in order for cave tour guests to see the cave in its most natural state. Guests will travel through Hurricane Corner (make sure to feel the wind blow), ascend into Martha’s Kettle, crawl down through the Roller Coaster, and squeeze themselves into the Brain Drain. Tour guides will show everyone the place where the hydromagnesite balloons were originally discovered (make sure to pay attention to the earring) as well as various other cave structures and formations. The longest tour in both length (? of a mile) and in time (clocking in at anywhere between three and four hours), this cave tour is rated as “extremely strenuous” due to vertical rope climbs and required belly crawls. The tour guides will also teach guests about low impact caving techniques and caving safety. Be aware that this tour is not good for guests with claustrophobia.

Surrounding Jewel Cave are three different self-guided hiking trails. Information on all of the trails can be picked up for free at the Visitor Center as well as at the ranger cabin (in the summer only).

- Walk on the Roof Trail - Taking about 30 minutes and a quarter of a mile in length, this trail shows hikers how Jewel Cave’s surface interacts with its sub-surface features and resources. The trail leads guests through Ponderosa pine trees and features an overlook with a beautiful view of the canyons and forest. It has a moderate incline and is not wheelchair accessible.

- Canyons Trail - A much longer trail (about three and a half miles in length and taking between two and four miles for the full hiking loop), Canyons Trail leads hikers through Hell Canyon on unpaved roads and meadows. It features a close up look at the surface resources and other geological features. There are plenty of natural features to look out for - deer, bats, birds, and wildflowers galore. There are moderate to steep inclines on this trail, and it is not wheelchair accessible.

- Hell Canyon Trail - Maintained by the United States Forest Service, Hell Canyon Trail is just over five miles long and takes between two to four hours to complete on average. It is also the highest elevation of the hiking trails, at between 5400 and 5700 feet. It is a very strenuous trail to complete and is not wheelchair accessible.

Educational Opportunities

Due to the wealth of historical, geological, and cultural information to be learned at Jewel Cave, it is the perfect place for a field trip. However, field trips aren’t all that the park rangers at the cave offer to curious students.

Teacher trainings and workshops are offered every fall at the Visitor Center. These trainings help teachers, home school leaders, and other educators and academic professionals learn about the cave so that they can incorporate that information back into their lesson plans. The workshops provide and teach hands-on interactive activities and lesson plan ideas that teachers can take back to their students. There is a fee required for these programs.

Teachers can also apply for the Adopt a Classroom program, which will allow their students to be “adopted” by the park rangers at Jewel Cave. The partnership will last for years (often through graduation), and include a variety of different classroom programs, educational opportunities, field trips, and more as the students work directly with the park rangers assigned to their classroom. It is a competitive program, but the rewards are worth the effort it takes to apply.

There are also many different on-site field trip and educational opportunities available at Jewel Cave. These field trips range from a few hours to all day experiences. Many of them do not require a fee and, for those that do, academic fee waivers are available for those who qualify.

In addition, off-site educational opportunities are also available. Available for classrooms that are within a “reasonable” driving distance from the park ranger station in Tucson, rangers will come in and teach about the cave system. They offer a variety of educational, hands-on activities about the cave’s geology and wildlife (predator-prey relationships, adaptations, and bats). It is a great way to learn about the cave without having to take the children out of the classroom.

Dining and Shopping

There are no food options available near Jewel Cave. The closest town to the cave system is Custer, which is over ten miles east. Food and drink is not allowed inside the cave. However, there is a bookstore located in the Jewel Cave Visitor Center. The books that are offered for purchase all relate directly to the cave. A few available books are The Jewel Cave Adventure and an e-book called The Story Behind the Scenery.All purchases directly impact the financial requirements of maintaining the cave and employing the park rangers who take care of it. There are also other small souvenir items available, like key chains and bumper stickers.

11149 US-16 B-12, Custer, SD 57730, Phone: 605-673-8300

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Attraction Spotlight in SD: Adams Museum

The Adams Museum is located in Deadwood, SD. Visitors to the town of Deadwood will learn the history of the town through the Adams museum at four separate properties located throughout the area. In 1930 W.E. Adams established the Adams Museum in Deadwood. Its purpose was to display and preserve the Black Hills history.


He then gifted the museum to town of Deadwood and it grew into the non-profit institution known as Deadwood History, Inc, that it is today. The museum spans four properties: Adams Museum, Historic Adams House, Days of ’76 Museum, and Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center.

The Days of ’76 celebration was started in 1924 in order to honor the first pioneers of Deadwood. They were the miners, muleskinners, prospectors, and madams who came to the Black Hills in droves in 1876 to settle the Dakota Territory that was filled with gold. The Days of ’76 museum was established to store the stagecoaches, carriages, horse-drawn wagons, clothing, archives and general collectibles that were created by the festivities.

The Historic Adams House was constructed in 1892. It was built in the Queen Anne-style and is renowned for the stained-glass windows, hand-painted canvas wall tapestries, oak interiors and its modern nineteenth century plumbing, telephone service, electricity, and original furniture. The house stayed empty for over fifty years after Adams death in 1934 and was bought by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission in 1992. It was then restored in 2000 and opened as a house museum.

The Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center houses the country’s biggest collection of archival materials on the Black Hills. It also works to preserve these materials as well as provide access to the public. The materials date from 1870 to modern day and contain photos, personal journals and diaries, maps, legal documents and correspondence, gold production and exploration reports, business records and ledgers, and more.


The four properties that make up the museum contain several exhibits that provide insight into the history of Deadwood and the Black Hills.

The Adams Museum- The Legends Gallery provides visitors the opportunity to learn about Deadwood’s legendary outlaws such as Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Seth Bullock, and Charlie Utter. Visitors will get to examine the artifacts, personal effects, and other collectibles from these figures. The museum digs deep into the history of crime, gambling, and prostitution of the area.

The Days of ’76 Museum- This property covers the transportation system of the Old West and the firearms used in the Black Hills and in American History.

· Deadwood: A Story of Movement and Change- This exhibit takes up seven thousand square feet of space and examines how early systems of transportation helped the Old West to be settled. The walls are covered with panoramic photos of the western landscape and vehicles are placed in front of representations of Deadwood’s Historic main street. The exhibit boasts hands-on displays, opportunities for photos, and other interactive displays.

· The Firearms Exhibit- This exhibit explores the guns used in the Black Hills and all through American History. The display contains about one hundred long arms and twenty handguns. Each display is completed with a background of diagrams, photos, and illustrations.

The Historic Adams House- The Dining Room and Parlor stand as a testament to the customs of the time period with original furnishings.

Past Perfect Online Database- Deadwood History has been working on digitizing their collection for visitors to view anywhere. The online database includes more than one hundred thousand artifacts, photos, and other archival material.

Educational Opportunities

Deadwood History offers opportunities for furthering education.

Collections- The Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center offers finding aids for those involved in research to download and view.

· The Days of ’76 Celebration Records Finding Aid- This finding aid contains organizational and administrative records about the Days of ’76 Celebration dating back to its beginnings in 1924. The collection includes contacts, correspondence, event programs, financial records, photos, videos, and other promotional materials,

· Homestake Mining Company Collection- This collection contains records generated and linked to the Homestake Mining Company. The Company was headquartered in Lead, South Dakota for one hundred and twenty years.

· Yuill/Sundstrom Collection- This collection contains records associated with the Black Hills that were created and used by Camille Yuill and Jesse Sundstrom. Some of these materials include maps, manuscripts, photos, and other archival materials.

Field Trips- Deadwood History provides customized tours for students in grades kindergarten through twelve.

Special Events

Deadwood History puts on theDays of ’76 event every year. The event commemorates the first pioneers of Deadwood: miners, prospectors, madams, and muleskinners. All headed out to gold-filled Black Hills in the Dakota Territory. The event the includes a PRCA Rodeo and a historic parade.

150 Sherman St, Deadwood, SD 57732, Phone: 605-722-4800

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