© City of Sturgis. Bikers line up their motorcycles in downtown Sturgis.

Family Vacations in South Dakota: Sturgis

For 51 weeks of the year, Sturgis, South Dakota, is a sleepy town of about 6,000. But for one week in August, it hosts one of the biggest and best parties on the North American continent. The Sturgis motorcycle legacy began in 1936 when local merchant J. Clarence "Pappy" Hoel purchased a franchise from the Indian Motorcycle Company. His shop became the leading Indian dealership (per capita) in the nation.

The first rally was launched in 1938. The event has always involved touring cycling shows, races and competitions, and a couple of beers afterward. The rally attracts enthusiasts from hard-core bikers to doctors, lawyers, soldiers, police officers, and philanthropists, all dedicated to having a good time. The rally customarily begins with an enormous pancake breakfast and goes on to motorcycle demos, cycle exhibits, vendors selling motorcycle-themed art, parades, concerts, mobile malls, light shows, and a lot of happy local Sturgis merchants.

Sturgis Information

Address: Main St. and Middle St., Sturgis, SD

Telephone: 605/720-080

Hours of Operation: First week in Aug.

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • South Dakota State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in South Dakota, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.