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Things to do in Chamberlain-Oacoma

This is the ultimate ‘To Do’ list for your vacation.  You can check them off one by one.  Do you know of something we missed?  We would love to hear about your favorite ‘to do’ in our area.

  1. 4th of July “Rock the Bluffs” Firework Display, part of our down-home 4th of July Celebration, The display over the Missouri River is held at 10:20pm
  2. Akta Lakota Museum– located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Indian School. Art, artifacts and educational displays in the museum’s collection honor the proud Lakota (Sioux) heritage and culture.  The museum also houses a Collector’s Gallery, which gives local artists a venue to display and sell their work.  While on the campus relax next to the fountain and listen for the bell chimes fro Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel
  3. Al’s Oasis still boasts 5¢ Coffee!
  4. American Creek Beach– relaxing in the sun, take a swim or build a sand castle.  The beach is located next to the park with fishing pier, picnic shelters, and a playground.  Perfect for a family retreat.
  5. American Creek Campground Rentals– Rentals include campers, boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddleboats and bike rentals . Call 605-234-5151 for info!
  6. American Island Days – A fun-filled weekend for the entire family. Annually held on the third weekend in August. The major portion of the events are held the American Creek Campground and includes vendors, entertainment, and a Little Miss American Island Pageant.
  7. Antiques- Visit one of our unique antique shops. Locations in Chamberlain are Downtown Antiques, Fabulous Finds,  FB Antiques, Then & Again. Antique shops in Oacoma include The Old West Trading Post and Bullseye Collectibles & Antiques.
  8. Archery Range- Try your luck at the Missouri Bluffs Archery Club, located on Hwy 16 on the way to Oacoma.  Not a shooter, follow the course for a scenic hike through the hills.
  9. Barger Park – Barger Park offers a spectacular view of the river.  Located along the bike/walking trail,  have a seat on one of the many benches along the bike path and watch time go by or  throw a penny in the fountain for good luck.
  10. Bike Trail- Follow the bike trail from Barger Park to Roam Free Park.  One great view to the next!
  11. Bird Watching- Enjoy seeing one of our 414 species of birds.  We have everything from bald eagles, to loons to robins.  See how many you can spot!
  12. Boating- The Missouri River is great for boats.  Wide open rivers allow plenty of room for water sports, fishing, or a leisure cruise along the banks. Local boat ramps located at American Creek Campground, American Creek Marina, Dude Ranch and Cedar Shore Resort.
  13. Bowling Dome- Try your hand at a game of ten pin. Call 605-234-6802 for more info!
  14. Breakfast- Are you an early riser?  Many of our fast food restaurants serve breakfast on the go.  Have time to enjoy it?  Sit down and eat at one of our fine restaurants.
  15. Buffalo at Al’s- Take your picture next to the world famous buffalo.
  16. Burning Brule- Travel down the river and see the “smoking” bluffs.
  17. Campgrounds- Stay at one of our many campgrounds to enjoy the great outdoors: American Creek Campground, includes cabins 605-234-5151 , Cedar Shore Resort, includes cabins 605-734-6376, Oasis Campground 605-234-6959
  18. Cedar Shore Resort- Enjoy a river view room, supper at Bridges Bar & Grill, sit on the deck with a glass of fine wine. Cedar Shore now has cabins! For reservations, call 605-734-6376 or visit www.cedarshore.com.
  19. Chamberlain High School Native American Club Powwow- This club will be hosting yearly powwows and events.
  20. Christmas On the River begins on Thanksgiving weekend and goes through the Christmas season and includes the Annual Downtown Chili Supper, Parade of Lights, Winter Wonderland and retail shopping promotion.
  21. Churches- The area is home to 9 churches.  Many different denominations are represented in our area. Visit our list by clicking here.
  22. Crazy Days- Every summer is celebrated with this retail extravaganza.  It is a great opportunity to get in on some good deals!
  23. Downtown Shopping- What can be said about our Main Street?  Unique & specialty shopping.  It is an opportunity to see real hometown shopping & service.  We are proud of our diverse stores and goods provided. To view our shopping directory, click here.
  24. Dude Ranch- This is a great place to drop in your boat, camp, swim, or spend the day fishing.  Plenty of shoreline and a beautiful backdrop. “roughing it camping is available without ammenities!
  25. Fall Festival – an annual event held the last Saturday in September with different activities throughout Chamberlain and Oacoma. Events include a Scavenger hunt for kids, Pumpkin Patch Pictures, Pumpkin Decorating contest. the Punkin’ Chunkin’ contest and more.This ties in with Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center’s Annual Health and Safety Fair.
  26. Feed the Ducks at the American Creek Marina/Marina Bay – right off the shore.  There are even geese and once in a while a swan will come and enjoy a snack!
  27. Fishing- Fishing off the boat docks at Cedar Shore Resort or the 2 fishing piers in Chamberlain. One is located at the American Creek and the other at Marina Bay. For more fishing information, click here.
  28. Fishing Tournaments- Chamberlain is known for its’ great fishing.  We are proud to host many tournaments every summer. Visit http://gfp.sd.gov/ for more information on fishing tournaments.
  29. Flea markets- Annual fleas markets are a delightful way to spend the day looking for hidden treasures. Every year Chamberlain and Oacoma are part of the 90 mile “Scavenger’s Journey” which is held in June.
  30. Fossils- The area is home to many fossils.  “Lucky Mo” – a 16 foot,  78 million year old sea lizard know as a Mosasaur was unearthed here in 1992. Since that time other mosasaurs along with many ancient sea turtles and other marine creatures have been discovered – since the “Lucky Mo” find the SD School of Mines has a “dig” every summer in our area.
  31. Galleries & Showrooms – if you like art, crafts, authentic one-of-a -kind pieces, check out the Akta Lakota Museum on the St. Joseph’s Indian School campus, Dakota Plains Gallery and Gifts, SD Hall of Fame and The Quilt Shop. All house unique treasures!
  32. Geocaching- use your GPS to find treasures all over the area. Go to geocaching.com and type in zip code 57325.
  33. Golden Buffalo Casino- Just 20 minutes north from interstate 90 exit 248 in Lower Brule, it is a good place for supper, gambling, and entertainment. Call 605-473-5577 for more information.
  34. Golf Course- The Chamberlain Country Club offers you nine holes of pure fun.   With golf cart and club rentals, you don’t have to worry if yours are at home.  Stop into the clubhouse after the game for a drink and some dinner.  You can also check out their driving range. For additional information, call 605-734-4451.
  35. Gun Show- The Chamberlain-Oacoma Gun Club hosts an annual gun show.  Stop in to see new, old, and unusual guns. Contact Terence Hickey at 605-734-6097 for more info!
  36. Hiking along the river- With miles of shoreline, the river offers and excellent marker for a hike.  The bluffs along the sides provide homes to many birds and foliage.  Enjoy the beauty of nature and remember “Don’t take anything, Don’t leave anything”. This is especially easy to do after the water levels drop in the fall to prepare for winter runoff.
  37. Horse Shows- The Annual Brule County Horse Show is held in June.
  38. Horseshoes- Try your luck. Horse Shoe Pitches available at Swimming Pool Park, American Creek Campground and Cedar Shore Resort
  39. Hot Rod Car Show- There are a few car shows, one, the Mighty Mo Car Show is usually held early in June. On the 4th of July after the parade, there is a Show & Shine in the parking lot of Great Western Bank. The Lakers Car show is held the third Saturday in August as part of American Island Days at American Creek Campground Beach Area.
  40. Hunting services- Whatever you’re looking for we got it.  Pheasants, turkeys, deer, geese, and prairie dogs are just a few of the hunting opportunities our guides can lead you to. Visit our hunting page!
  41. Ice Fishing – during the winter months, when the cold weather freezes the local waterways, many ambitious individuals brave the elements to test their luck with ice fishing.
  42. Lawnmower Races- WHAT?!?!  Looking for something on Saturday night?  Head over to Pukwana for the riding lawnmower races.  The Crazy Racers fire up their engines and race around the track. Visit their Facebook Page!
  43. Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center– The state of the art rest area and information center is a traveler’s favorite.  From the 55 foot replica keelboat, to the interpretive panels the center provides a history lesson for Lewis & Clark’s journey through South Dakota.  If you’re looking to stretch your legs a bit, follow one of the trails that overlooks the Missouri River. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is at the Chamberlain rest area on Interstate 90 between Exits 263 and 265.
  44. Library- The Cozard Memorial Library offers a different rest for the traveler.  With a summer reading program, book sales, and internet access; it provides a nice, quiet place to curl up with a good book. Visit http://www.cozard.org/ for more information on hours and the services available.
  45. Lode Star Casino- The Lode Star Casino is located in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, 20 minutes north of Chamberlain, on the east side of the river.  The casino offers food, gambling and entertainment. Stay at the Lode Star Inn.  Contact 605-245-6000 for any questions!
  46. Manicure & pedicure at one of our fine salons.  Pamper yourself with a manicure and/or a pedicure.
  47. Mighty Mo Car Show- Part of the American Island Days celebration. It is held at the beach area of the American Creek Campground the third Saturday in August and features the Lakers Car Club
  48. Native American Scenic Byway– As you pass through the green-gold hills of this Byway, its many memorial markers, monuments, museums and sacred sites commemorate the heritage of the Sioux Nation and help you hear history from the Native American point of view.
  49. Need to get your workout in while in Chamberlain? Visit River City Fitness 24-7. Located on Sorenson Drive, River City Fitness has all of your fitness and tanning needs. View their webpage.
  50. Paddle boarding – Stand up on what look likes a surfboard and try your strength and determination to paddle your way around the river. This is a physical challenge like no other. Rental available at American Creek Campground Rentals.
  51. Parade of Homes- Every December the Sparkle Committee hosts a tour of area houses to showcase their holiday decorations.
  52. Parade of Lights- Black Friday is not so dark in Chamberlain!  A great way to kick-off the Christmas Shopping Season! The day after Thanksgiving, the Chamberlain-Oacoma Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a chili feed followed by the Parade of Lights. The atmosphere is like a big family reunion with so many exteded family members coming home for the holidays!
  53. Picnicking- Choose from one of our many parks to have a picnic with your family. Shelters/Picnic areas are scattered throughout both communities – to name a few: Swimming Pool Park, Avenue of Flags Park, American Creek Campground Day Use Area, Marina Bay Park, Marina Bay,Roam Free Park, Oacoma City Park the Dude Ranch area and others!
  54. PowWow’s– There are several Native American Powwows held annually throughout the area:  St. Joe’s Indian School (September), Lower Brule Sioux Tribe(August), Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (August) and the Chamberlain High School Native American Club(May). Spectators are welcome!
  55. Pontoon Boat and other equipment rentals- Want to play around on the water?!  Rent other devices  from Cedar Shore Resort (605-734-6376) or American Creek Campground Rentals (605-234-5151) and get wet!
  56. Punkin’ Chunkin’ – build a trebuchet (catapult) and compete in the annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ contest held during the Fall Festival on the fourth Saturday in September. There is also a manual pumpkin toss with trophies give out for the greatest distance in 3 categories.
  57. Race on the River-  Competitive and non-competitive runners and walkers of all ages are welcome!  The Race on the River includes a 10k and a 5k race/walk and a 1 mile Fun Run/Walk.  There is also a kid’s race. This is just one of the  foot races held monthly during the summer month in Chamberlain. For additional events check out the Chamberlain City Recreation homepage.
  58. Relay For Life– A night filled with games, raffles and a lot of walking with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. This event is held on Main St, and at the same time inside the Chamberlain Community Center. The event begins at 6pm with the Survivor Lap. Stay around for the Luminary Ceremony, slated for 9pm – to honor/remember loved ones who have battled and survived or to remember those who lost the battle.
  59. River City Band Festival- more than 20 bands from a 200 mile radius gather in Chamberlain, SD to compete in street competition starting at 10am  and field competition at football field beginning at 1:30pm
  60. River Kids Fest at Cedar Shore- An annual  party for the kids!
  61. Roam Free Park- What a view!  Roam Free Park is a hiking/walking trail formed along the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River featuring the plant and animal life that exists within the area. It connects to downtown Chamberlain by the bike path. Great location with a panoramic view of the area and features picnic shelters
  62. Rodeos- Experience authentic cowboys as they rope, wrangle and ride some of the fiercest animals.
  63. Sanford Chamberlain Medical Center’s annual Health and Safety Fair, held in conjucntion with the Fall Festival
  64. SD Hall of Fame- Do you know any famous people from South Dakota?  I bet you do! Take a stroll down the Walk of Fame and see who you recognize.  Learn about the people who have made South Dakota what it is today. The park is located right of I-90 exit 263. Click the link to go to their website.
  65. SD Veteran’s Park – a beautiful park located at the south end of Chamberlain’s Main Street next to the South Dakota Hall of Fame – this is an impressive tribute to the many men and women who have served in the different military branches and have given of themselves to serve our country.
  66. Soccer Field- Schoenhard Field is home to the Chamberlain soccer field.
  67. Softball Games- Throughout the summer Chamberlain is host to many softball games. We have men and women’s leagues.  There are several area ball fields.
  68. St. Joe’s Fishing Spot- a very hidden treasure that provides some of the best fishing off the rocks.  You just drive through the campus back to the “honey hole”!
  69. St. Joseph’s Indian School Powwow- St. Joseph’s Indian School has hosted this powwow on a September weekend since 1976, It is an opportunity to learn about the Lakota culture and heritage and we’re proud to share the festivities with friends from around the nation.
  70. Stagecoach Park- A small park right on Main Street, Stagecoach Park includes a stagecoach pulled by four colorful horses. It is a beautiful place to relax while the kids have fun.
  71. State Theatre- Located on Main Street and equipped with over 12,000 video titles to choose from, so you can find the movie you are looking for at the State Theatre. The State Theatre also boasts showing current movies with two shows each night, usually at 7 and 9pm
  72. Sunsets are amazing with plenty of photo opportunities
  73. Swimming Pool & Park – If you don’t want to swim in the river, try our local pool. Located on South Main St, it is a brand new facility with an incredible water slide and a zero entry end.
  74. Taxidermy- Get that trophy from the field mounted so you can always remember your hunt in South Dakota!  We have numerous taxidermists who will make that memory last.
  75. The Quilt Shop- It’s just like Grandma’s house.  The Quilt Shop, located on Main Street, is full of quilts and various materials available to make your own. You can also purchase beads and other craft supplies.
  76. Thunderstik-  Want a breathtaking view of the river for your next event?  Try Thunderstik Lodge, it is not only for hunting! Visit their website, http://www.thunderstik.com/, for complete information.
  77. Tour of St. Joe’s- You can have a guided tour of St. Joe’s Indian School.  Just call 1-800-983-0822 ahead to reserve your time.
  78. Tours of the Dam- Drive to Fort Thompson and get a tour of the Big Bend Dam. Tours are available twice per day when the campground is open during camping season.
  79. Tractor Museum in Kimball- Go and see how the pioneers of the west used to farm.  The Tractor Museum in Kimball has antique farm equipment on display.
  80. Trap Shooting- Perfect your shot at the Trap Range in Oacoma.
  81. Triathlon- Try your athletic ability at our Triathlon.  The race course is a beautiful, challenging out and back course.  ¼ mile swim, 12 mile bike and a 5 k run.  It will be sure to test your limits!
  82. Tubing- For those of us that can’t quite figure out how to stay up on those skis, try tubing.  Even kids can do it!
  83. The Picket Fence- Located on Main Street, Chamberlain is proud to be home to the 2006 & 2007 Floral Designer of the year.  Be sure to stop in and see what treasure’s you can find! View their webpage.
  84. Wake boarding- Just one more thing to do on the river!
  85. Water skiing- Next to fishing, water skiing has been one of the most popular activities to do on the river. There ar plenty of “perfect” water days usually before the summer begins and after Labor Day. As the water cools down, you may want to bring a wetsuit.
  86. Winter Wonderland – a Christmas light display with syncronized music that is held at the Day Use Area of American Creek Campground, featured 14 light displays its very first year. Will continue to grow, looks different with snow on the ground than without so you may want to visit a few times.

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