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South Dakota's 1880 Town takes you from I-90 to the wild west

Just off South Dakota's I-90 at Exit 170, 1880 Town takes you from the monotony of the interstate to the excitement of a true turn-of-the-century cowboy town...


If you’ve ever traveled the long expanses of some of the country’s east-to-west highways, you’ve seen plenty of advertisements for “Old West Towns.” It seems like every rancher with some old clapboard buildings has offered up his homestead as a bonafide tourist attraction. With so many out there, it’s hard to know which ones are worth a stop.

1880 Town in South Dakota is.

Right off I-90 (roughly 22 miles west of Murdo, SD), 1880 Town is a thoughtfully created wild west town of 30+ buildings, all from the late 1800s to early 1900s.

We stopped by 1880 Town with a few of our friends… By a few we mean a few thousand MINI owners as they barreled across the country in the 2016 MINI Takes the States. Despite bombarding the place with hundreds and hundreds of cars in just a few hours, 1880 Town was plenty big enough to handle the crowd, and it didn’t take long for the MINI owners to start making the most of their time there with all sorts of photo ops...

1880 town south dakota mini

Want your picture “behind bars” in the town’s old jail? No problem.

 1880 town south dakota jail

Want to rent some period costumes and pretend the whole family is back in the 1800s? They have you covered.

1880 town south dakota costume

Despite being just a stone’s throw from the highway, the folks at 1880s town do a good job of creating the impression you’re back on the desolate plains, just you and the other townspeople wandering the streets with the centerpiece of the town, the chapel, shooting into the blue sky.

Be sure to check out the Casey Tibbs exhibit and the many Dances with Wolves props before heading back out to the the parking lot.

Of course, the fun isn’t done… Run over to the 1950s dinner train for a bite to eat or grab some souvenirs from the gift shop before hitting the road.

At $12 for adult admission, 1880 Town is an affordable place to stretch your legs as the dogged miles of I-90 start to wear you thin.

Interstate 90, exit 170 22 miles west of Murdo, South Dakota Facebook



Our South Dakota adventures were part of a crazy, awesome road trip called MINI Takes the States. For 2 weeks, MINI owners rallied across the country hitting up cities like Green Bay, race tracks, and everything in between. We had the pleasure of driving both a MINI S convertible and a MINI John Cooper Works, both with 6-speed manual transmissions. It’s pretty much the most fun you’ll ever have.

The best part? The whole trip raised over 1,000,000 meals in partnership with Feeding America. Learn more here.

More from 2016 MTTS:


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