All bases of wine production, procurement, and enjoyment are covered at the Great Dakota Wine Fest. Guests can practice age-old winemaking techniques by hopping into a barrel and stomping grapes or by stabbing each one with an empty quill. Then, upon entering the wine tasting room, they can grab a wine glass emblazoned with the Great Dakota Wine Fest logo and begin testing pours from various South Dakota winemakers, all while live performances from various musicians add melodious din to the spirited sipping and schmoozing.
Prairie Lanes hosts bowling bacchanalia across 12 lanes of oily, family-friendly revelry. Automated scoring leaves crucial brainpower untapped for tying the included pair of shoes and not accidentally throwing the ball like a shot put (up to a $3 value each for games and a $2 value each for shoe rentals). A 108-inch projection screen hangs above the lanes, keeping players informed of the goings-on of less important sports. Fuel up with a soda (a $1.75 value) before knocking over planetoid pins during cosmic bowling, or sidle over to the arcade to play foosball, pool, or video games. Open until midnight seven nights a week, Prairie Lanes provides a post-dusk activity preferable to teaching streetlights to waltz.
The Bluffs Golf Course plots a 6,684-yard path through groves of trees and around waterways for a challenging 18-hole layout. A session at the onsite driving range prepares swings and sleep-deprived 9-irons in time for the upcoming pin-hunting odyssey, where water comes in play on five of the first six holes. Duffers can redeem a disappointing round at the 18th hole, a 570-yard behemoth that entices aggressive, satisfying drives and lacks the aquatic hazards that temper bold play on prior holes. A relatively difficult course when played from the tips, the course offers four color-designated tee options to cater to players of all handicaps as well as those with an irrational allegiance to red.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Length of 6,684 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 72.5 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 128 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
A golf cart calmly rolls over the footbridge of a creek, its soft motor interrupted only by the pings of golf balls cutting through the air. At The Bridges at Beresford, the creek babbles alongside all but two of the course's nine holes. In keeping with the aquatic obstacles, two large ponds crowd the action between the second and fourth and the sixth and eighth fairways. Though only one of the four par 4s extends beyond 400 yards, the two par 3s are daunting, measuring 194 yards and 175 yards from the back tees, respectively. Strategically placed bunkers further complicate the terrain, forcing players to dial in their approaches and write SOS whenever they get lost.
Course at a Glance:
The Prairie Inn's clean rooms, coziness-inducing amenities, and warm, amicable staff invite visitors to rest their minds and be taken care of. Offering many of the creature comforts of home, the inn's staff sets guests up with free WiFi, 32-inch LCD TVs, and a laundry room, in addition to offering translation services when leaving messages at home for one's dog. In-room coffee and a complimentary continental breakfast open the day in the Vermillion area, and six nearby eateries—including local Chinese buffet Chae's and Pro’s Bar & Grill—ensure guests have a variety of refueling options during their stay. A small onsite fitness center also lets guests keep up their exercise routines or help them bulk up before easing back into hibernation.
Cherry Street Grille specializes in omelets, with 101 different varieties flipping from frying pans seven days a week and 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays. Each omelet contains four eggs with flavor combinations that range from the classic denver to a chili, cheese, and onion concoction. Sweeter options include an omelet with bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter. Gravy-slathered biscuits constitute an alternative breakfast, as do massive pancakes the size of a typical medium pizza, dubbed “Mancakes” based on their macho size rather than their ability to sprout five o’clock shadows. Burgers and fried chicken sandwiches complement breakfast fare, as do succulent 10- and 14-ounce slabs of prime rib.