Eat, Drive and Walk the Meridian Highway

Highway 81 is called the Meridian Highway because it was designed in 1911 to connect Winnipeg, Manitoba, to the Gulf of Mexico along the Sixth Principal Meridian. Thanks to the Interstate Highway System it no longer stretches from border to border, but the route slices through southeastern South Dakota just as it always has. Start a mini-road trip at Historic Prairie Village in Madison (open May 2 through Labor Day), a collection of turn-of-the-century buildings gathered from towns around the state. The village’s signature event — an annual steam threshing jamboree — is held in late August.  Grab a signature pizza from Charlie’s Pizza House and if you see a food truck parked outside of Backspace Brewing Co. or Ben’s Brewing Co., don’t pass it up! Calories are not a concern when you follow up your meal with a stroll over Yankton’s Meridian Bridge, a double decker walkway that spans the Missouri River.

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