The Mount Rushmore State is famous for the scenic wonders of the Badlands, the Black Hills, many interesting caves and, of course, Mount Rushmore. South Dakota is also home to the World's Only Corn Palace (which is, no lie, a huge building covered in actual corn). It's a land of prairie, grassland and farms, where the biggest city has hardly more than 100,000 residents. South Dakota is a great place to look for apartments for rent if you want a slower pace of life, friendly communities and beautiful scenery.
South Dakota's legacy begins with gold. Custer's army found gold in the Black Hills in 1874, and it didn't take long for word to travel back east and attract prospectors. Within a few years, the area exploded with prospecting towns. Today, gold is still mined here and the state remains one of the largest gold producers in the nation.
Agriculture has long been another important factor in the economy, with flaxseed, sunflower seeds, hay and rye among its chief farm products. But the largest industries are in durable-goods manufacturing and private services. Tourism is another significant source of income, with visitors to the state spending over one billion dollars every year. The major draw is Mount Rushmore, the world's largest mountain carving. The 60-foot-high faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln look out over the western landscape from 500 feet up.
Quality of life in South Dakota is good, especially when it comes to finances and education. The overall cost of living is 4% below the national average, with housing--including apartment rentals--coming in at 16% below average. The state enjoys a very beneficial tax situation, with residents paying less per capita than any other state in the country, including no corporate or personal income tax, no personal property tax and no inheritance tax. South Dakota puts a high emphasis on education, and the result has the state ranking first in high school completion and first in number of students per Internet-enabled computer, among other distinctions. Unfortunately, the weather doesn.t rate at the top of many people's lists. Summer is hot and cloudless, and winter brings blizzards that cover the land with snow, so make sure you look for apartments with good heating and cooling systems.
A small city with only 14,000 residents, Pierre is the capital of South Dakota and home to several interesting sites, including several Lewis and Clark historic trails, Farm Island, an arboretum and many scenic parks. Pierre's economy centers on agriculture, tourism and the state government. Pierre's school district reflects the state's commitment to education, ranking among the top 20% in the country. The school system has a computer education program that has become a model for the rest of the state, and features networked computer labs in all buildings.
South Dakota's largest city, Sioux Falls consistently receives high ratings from various publications on lists of the best places to live in the United States. Recently, it has been graded A+ on the Kid-Friendly Cities Report Card, named the third "least stressed" city by the Ladies' Home Journal and been rated the fifth-best small metro area in the country to start a business or career by Forbes Magazine. A strong community spirit, healthy environment and thriving economy contribute to the high quality of life. The cost of living is a very comfortable 32% below the national average, and there are lots of choices when it comes to finding apartments for rent. The median price for apartments is $520 overall. Average monthly rent for studio apartments is $325-450; for one-bedroom apartments it's $350-550; for two-bedroom apartment rentals it's $450-800; and for three-bedroom places the average rent is $620-850.
Rapid City, the second largest city in South Dakota, promises to be "Real. America. Up close." And it certainly lives up to its slogan. You'll find plenty of things to see and do, from Mount Rushmore to the Crazy Horse Memorial to the beautiful Black Hills National Forest. Rapid City's economy includes flour mills, lumbering, ranching and mining, in addition to a large tourist industry. The median rent price for apartments is $500 per month.