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South Dakota State Capitol

Pierre (pron. "peer") (Lakota: Čhúŋkaške, lit. "fort") is the capital of South Dakota and the seat of Hughes County.



The city is named after Pierre Chouteau, Jr., a fur trader and entrepreneur of French heritage.


The area that now comprises the city was first discovered during Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804. Sioux Indians were the majority in the area before European immigrants started settling in permanently.

Around the 1810s, fur trading entrepreneurs established a trading post in the city, which is commonly regarded as the first "permanent settlement" in the city. It wasn't until the 1880s when the city became part of the western terminus of the Chicago and North Western Railway and was named "Pierre".

When South Dakota was admitted to the union in the 1880s, Pierre was chosen as the permanent capital of the state. As the capital of South Dakota, many of the city's inhabitants work for the local government.

Pierre is one of the least populous state capitals in the United States; as of 2022, the population is 15,000.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in[edit]

Map of Pierre

By car[edit]

Pierre is not served by an Interstate highway or by any major expressways.

  • If you are driving from North Dakota, take US Route 83 and then take US Route 14.
  • From Interstate 90 Pierre is another 35 mi (56 km) north along US Route 83 from Vivian (Exit 212 of I-90).

By plane[edit]

There is only one airport in the city.

By bus[edit]

  • 2 River Cities Transit (Operated by Community Coordinated Transit), (office/bus garage) 1600 E Dakota Ave (E Dakota & S Harrison. Public entry at north/northwest side of the main building from S Harrison. Map marker is approximately where the entry is), +1 609 945-2360. (office hours) M-F 8AM-5PM; Sa Su 1-3PM. Daily connections from Pierre to Highmore through Blunt, Harrold and Holabard along US Hwy 14. They also sell tickets and connect with Jefferson Lines in Vivian.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

As Pierre is one of the smallest cities in the United States, you can very easily cover the city by car. A trip to the Capitol from the airport will take you 7-10 min depending on traffic conditions.

By foot[edit]

A lot of attractions are within walking distance.

If you're up for the challenge, you can literally walk to Ramkota Hotel from the airport and it'll take you around 60-65 mins!


  • 1 South Dakota State Capitol, 500 E Capitol Ave, +1 605 773-3688. 8AM-5PM, daily. Volunteers lead building tours every day with reservation 48 hours (business days) in advance. Free. South Dakota State Capitol (Q2919981) on Wikidata South Dakota State Capitol on Wikipedia
  • 2 Fighting Stallions Memorial, 500 E Capitol Ave (east/southeast of the Capitol grounds). A memorial dedicated to eight South Dakotans who perished in an airplane crash.



Launch down the Missouri River and catch some fish! The Missouri River provides plenty of fishing opportunities.


South Dakota has a deep hunting history, and Pierre offers plenty of hunting opportunities. Pierre is a good place to breed and develop your hunting skills.


  • 1 Northridge Plaza, 1615 N Harrison Ave. M-F 9AM-8PM; Sa 10AM-6PM; Su noon-5PM. Alley Exchange, Bath & Body Works, Karl's TV & Appliances, Hibbett Sports, Hobby Lobby, Maurices, etc. Northridge Plaza (Q110643719) on Wikidata




Go next[edit]

Routes through Pierre
Rapid CityWall  W  E  MillerBrookings
BismarckSelby ← Jct  N  S  → Jct W EMissionNorth Platte

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