ABERDEEN, S.D. – Once upon a time, family vacations were about spending time together, not standing in long lines. Memories didn't cost hundreds of dollars. Instead they were fueled by imagination.
"Amidst an uncertain economy, travelers are looking to find the most value for their dollar, including free and affordable options in unique places," said Nancy Krumm, Executive Director of the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Visitors to author L. Frank Baum's former hometown will find just that."
Located in northeast South Dakota, Aberdeen offers everything families need to plan a storybook vacation, including Storybook Land and Land of Oz, which is a tribute to one-time resident, L. Frank Baum, author of 'The Wizard of Oz.' Baum spent several years in Aberdeen, and his book was inspired by a tornado that occurred while the author was a resident of the city.
The Aberdeen area also offers a variety of other cultural and recreational opportunities for visitors. Krumm offers a few of the most affordable and unique:
- Wylie Park – 210 acres of recreational opportunities, including Storybook Land, bumper boats, balloon rides, camping, playgrounds, mini golf, go-cart track, bike rentals and recreational trails.
- Aberdeen Aquatic Center – 9,000 square foot leisure pool with waterslides, lazy river, lap pool and diving boards.
- Dacotah Prairie Museum – Step back in time more than 100 years to witness the people, progress and natural history that combined to propel the prairie region into existence.
- Granary Rural Cultural Center – Historic wooden granary converted to an exhibition facility and art gallery. Artists display their work to celebrate the culture of the Northern Plains.
- Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge – Birdwatchers, anglers, photographers, hunters and nature lovers all find refuge here. The refuge includes a 108-foot observation tower and is home to more than 266 species of birds, 40 mammal species and a variety of fish, reptiles and amphibians. As many as 1,000,000 birds can be seen here during the spring and fall migrations.
- The Yellowstone Trail was the first transcontinental automobile highway that spanned the northern United States. It started as an idea of a few South Dakota businessmen who wanted a decent road stretching from Aberdeen to Ipswich.
- Wylie Park was named one of the top 10 Lawns for Family Fun (#2 to be exact) in the nation.
- WildBird Magazine named Sand Lake National Refuge as one of the "Top 15 Birding Sites in North America."
Nancy Krumm, Executive Director, Aberdeen CVB, 800-645-3851, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanda Goodman, Media & PR Manager of the SD Office of Tourism, 605-773-3301, email@example.com
* All photos must be credited to the South Dakota Office of Tourism.