Discover Chamberlain

When William Clark stood on a bluff in 1804 looking out over what is now Chamberlain, he saw a sweeping panorama of river, bluffs, plains, sky and wildlife. “Vast herds of Buffaloe deer Elk and antilopes were seen feeding in every direction as far as the eye of the observer could reach,” he wrote in his journal.

More than 200 years after Lewis and Clark marveled at that scenic beauty during their journey up the Missouri River, modern visitors are still marveling at what they see in Chamberlain. In fact, visitors to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (at the Chamberlain rest area between I-90 Exits 263 and 265) can stand on a bluff overlooking the river and feel Clark’s observations come to life. The center also has a replica keelboat and other exhibits related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Down the hill in Chamberlain proper, other marvels await. Not far from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is the South Dakota Hall of Fame, where legendary South Dakota natives such as former presidential nominee George McGovern, USA Today Founder Al Neuharth and World War II flying ace Joe Foss are enshrined.

From there, drive north up Main Street into the heart of Chamberlain and consider stopping at some of the specialized shops in the city’s picturesque downtown.

At the far north end of Main Street, you’ll cross a river inlet and come to American Creek Campground, a great place to camp or play on the beach. Go a bit farther north to check out one of the more unique museums in the state: The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center, on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School. Displayed there is a fascinating array of Indian artifacts, artwork and educational items.

Just past the Akta Lakota Museum and up a hill is Roam Free Park, which offers another opportunity to sit atop a river bluff and enjoy breathtaking views of the Missouri River.

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