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7 South Dakota State Parks and Recreation Areas with Cabins and Lodges for Big Families

    South Dakota has 56 state parks and recreation areas and six national park sites. Seven of the 56 parks offer cabins or lodges to sleep big families. An additional five recreation areas or marinas offer accommodations for big families that are operated and managed by third-party companies. Plan a family trip to explore the state’s prairies, back-country mountains, woods, and lakes.


    Modern Cabins

    The upgraded amenities in modern cabins keep families comfortable during longer stays.  Each modern cabin features two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen as well as heating, air conditioning, and electricity.


    Oahe Downstream Recreation Area

    Located 7 miles upstream of Piere, the state capital, the park is home to the largest constructed reservoir in the United States. Perched along the shoreline, guests are treated to a beautiful view and shoreline access for swimming, canoeing, or other types of water recreation. Sleeps 8.


    Mina Lake Recreation Area

    Nestled along the wooded shores of Mina Lake, Mina Recreation Area has plenty of room for boating, fishing, and swimming. When you leave the water, a hiking trail and several picnic areas provide hours of family fun. Sleeps up to 6-8 people; 1 queen bed and 2 full beds, 2 twin beds. Bed coverings included no linens.



    Lodges are a great place for big families at any time of the year. Lodge fees do not include entrance fees, which are required year-round. A two-night minimum stay is required.


    Lake Thompson Recreation Area

    Once a farmhouse, the five-bedroom facility now houses guests to one of the state’s most popular recreation areas. Sleeps 12.


    Newton Hills State Park

    Built in 1915, the lodge has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, furnished kitchen, heat, and airconditioning. Sleeps 12.


    Palisades State Park

    This park’s lodge has four bedrooms that sleep up to 12 people. The lodge offers a full kitchen, dining area and relaxation room. The back deck has a great view of the creek and Sioux quartzite rock formations.


    Shadehill Recreation Area

    The three-bedroom lodge at Shadehill Recreation Area is a favorite for family getaways. Lodge offers a full kitchen, air conditioning, and heat. Sleeps 12.


    Sheps Canyon Recreation Area

    Nestled along Sheps Canyon Bay, Sheps Canyon Campground is the newest campground on Angostura Reservoir. It offers great access to the boat ramp and excellent shore fishing opportunities. The lodge offers four bedrooms, linens are not included. Amenities include wireless internet, phone, and satellite TV. Sleeps 12.


    Resorts and Marinas

    Several state park areas have resort and concession areas in the park. Each offers unique accommodations and services to help round-out your stay, with many featuring accessible facilities. Marinas and resorts are privately operated under agreements with the Division of Parks and Recreation.

    • Cedar Shore Resort and RV Park
    • Custer State Park
    • Dock 44 Marina
    • Indian Creek Recreation Area
    • Lewis & Clark Recreation Area

    Looking for a big family friendly hotel?

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa Jorgensen is a mother to four children including twins. She recognized the necessity for a comprehensive resource of hotels that cater to big families with rooms and suites for 5, 6, 7, or 8 people in a single room while traveling with her own family. In 2008, she established SixSuitcaseTravel to compile a database of such hotels. Over time, the website has grown to include travel advice, itineraries, road trip suggestions, national park guides, and more. Theresa takes pleasure in assisting other big families in creating unforgettable travel experiences.