Mount Rushmore! As you gaze up at George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, the enormity of the project suddenly meshes with the enormity of the landscape, reinforcing the significance of these four presidents in our country's history. Awe-inspiring, and absolutely worth a detour to this national park, in Keystone.
Badlands National Park! The scientific explanation for the park's unique terrain is eons of erosion through storms, water, wind, and harsh climate. Or it could just be a creator with a sense of humor! Long before it was a national park, the Badlands was Native American land. In fact, the Lakota tribe still administers a part of the park, making it a great place to acquaint yourself with Native American culture. The park also features an enormous monument-in-making: the Crazy Horse Memorial, a 172-meter-high monument complex, currently being carved out of solid rock. Catch glimpses of the under-construction project at Thunderhead Mountain.
Check out 196 South Dakota rent to own homes for sale, which may include auction properties, for sale by owner, and more.
Fewer than a million people! When you think of South Dakota, you think of vast grasslands and endless wilderness. The fifth-least populous state in the country, South Dakota is the perfect place to live in if you want tons of breathing room. Rapid City, the state's largest and most populous city, is home to fewer than 70,000 residents. Few people means that if you're looking for rent-to-own homes, you'll find plenty of deals, besides wide swathes of land to live in.
Wall Drug! Wall Drug is like "Gangnam Style" set to "Harlem Shake" with lyrics borrowed from "Call Me Maybe"--something you just can't get out of your head. It's a cowboy-themed shopping mall in the city of Wall that ranks among the state's most popular tourist attractions, with two million visitors annually. What began as a drug store expanded into a commercial complex. Years of aggressive self-promotion and the kind of ironic delight hipsters love have turned this tiny place into a must-visit destination in the U.S. It's loud, kitschy, unforgettable, and easily identifiable, thanks to a giant dinosaur model out front!
Taxes-or lack of them! South Dakota is one of only seven states with no individual income tax. There is a statewide sales tax on most purchases and cities have the right to impose sales taxes. Overall, however, the tax rate is low. Although home prices are rising, they are still mostly reasonable: A statewide authority collects property taxes based on 85 percent of assessed value.
Home ownership is valued! This is a state that values traditional American values of home, family, and community. The rate of home ownership is 68.7 percent. Housing values are on the rise as well, with an average increase over the last 12 months of 3.35 percent, making it a great place to raise children.
Start your engines in Sturgis! Every year since the mid-20th century, motorcycle enthusiasts gather in Sturgis for a weekend of partying, racing, and bike stunts. The event has now become a huge tourist attraction, bringing in as much as $800 million to the state. If the sound of motorcycle engines, racing, and all-night partying is your thing, you'll love every moment here.
Deadwood! The legendary Wild West towns of Deadwood, Homestake Mine, Mount Moriah, and the associated history of early life in Dakota Territory is preserved in the only whole town that has earned a National Historic Place designation. Brought back from ruin by a local initiative that included reinstating gambling, Deadwood is thriving, with a renewed sense of pride in its somewhat-seedy past. It's also the inspiration for the critically acclaimed HBO TV show of the same name!
Mitchell's Corn Palace! Now 100 years old, Mitchell's Corn Palace--a huge building decorated with real corn--was originally built as a way to proclaim the state's agricultural health. At the end of the 19th century it was a local attraction. Today, a somewhat refurbished version attracts 500,000 visitors annually.
Laid-back lifestyle: Throughout South Dakota you'll find pleasant neighborhoods, rent-to-own houses, and an easy commute to work. The mean travel time to work is less than 17 minutes. You can probably even go home during your lunch break!
Mammoth Site and Wind Cave! In prehistoric times, South Dakota was the favorite haunt of gigantic woolly mammoths. At Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, you can see the bones of these huge creatures being lifted from the earth and also visit the enormous mammoth research center located nearby. Then go below ground to see the intriguing formations of Wind Cave, established in 1903 as the seventh U.S. National Park--the first cave in the world to be honored with this distinction. Enormous in size, parts of the cave still lie unexplored.
The defense industry! There are few places in the world where you can visit an actual missile silo and see a disabled Titan rocket left over from the Cold War. It's a sobering experience to realize that once this state was peppered with launch sites, and how often we came to nuclear catastrophe.
Low cost of living! With the economy in recovery, South Dakota stands to benefit from its reasonable cost of living coupled with generally affordable homes for sale. Rental prices also remain very reasonable. Employment opportunities are encouraging, with the unemployment rate well below national average at just 4.0 percent.
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