“Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .” – C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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Yankton, SD – Today’s menu features a small town that has a ton of historical significance, folks. We haven’t covered South Dakota too often, we have to admit, but that’s our fault and we’re aware of it. That’s why this time we decided to talk about Yankton; a town that has a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Located on the Missouri River, Yankton is often called the “River City.” The name comes from the Yankton tribe of Nakota (Sioux) Native Americans and was the first capital of Dakota Territory. Today it boasts a population of some 22,000 souls, all of whom are proud to be called residents of this historically significant location.

Tons Of History, And Then Some

Speaking of history, this town is also known as the “Mother City of the Dakotas.” This is because of the early important role it had in the creation and development of the Dakota Territory. Later on, this territory became the 39th and 40th U.S. states of North and South Dakota. Not interesting enough? Challenge accepted.

History isn’t the only thing on offer to tourists in town for a Yankton vacation. For example, the NFAA Archery Complex and Archery Ranges boast an out-of-the-box recreational opportunity. You’ve also got swimming, courtesy of the Fantle Memorial Park Municipal Outdoor Pool, as well as the Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery & Aquarium. 13 aquariums, complete with aquatic animals, displays and exhibits are offered to visitors.

But Why Should Your Yankton, SD Vacation Be All About Learning?

If family entertainment is what you’re after during your Yankton getaway, try the Karttrax Family Fun Park. An arcade, a kiddie train, kiddie go-karts, bumper boats, bumper cars and the like await fun-seeking families. The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is a staple of South Dakota Tourism, and offers everything from jet skiing, fishing and camping to waterskiing, tubing and swimming.

Also, those who are young (as well as young at heart) should not miss the Summit Activities Center. We say this because of the 134’ water slide and zero depth pool. And it also has two performing arts theaters, an indoor pool, a strength and fitness area, soccer fields, football fields and anything else you can imagine! Also, what’s a Yankton family holiday without some parents vs. kids laser tag? The Laser Barn Laser Tag offers just that, complete with two R.C. racetracks and countless other amenities.

Lodging And Dining Are Always On The Menu

Vacationing in this small town is guaranteed to take more than a couple of days because this place has so much to offer. And that means you’ll need somewhere to stay. The town is home to countless lodging opportunities. These include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, campgrounds and anything else you can imagine. Our favorite was the Lewis and Clark Resort, though we’ve had pretty good experiences with the Days Inn and the Riverfront Event Center & Hotel and River Rose Hotel.

There are over 50 Yankton restaurants and we’re pretty sure they’re all exquisite. However, since we didn’t have the chance to visit all of them, we’ll just give you some tried and tested establishments. The Hy-Vee Kitchen is a food court, mind you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of your attention. It was certainly worthy of ours. Murdo’s Aten Resort is also another favorite, complete with awesome views of the Missouri and signature walleye. And Willa B’s Bistro & Emporium is another noteworthy contestant. Other than these, all bets are open, so choose carelessly!

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