Listed alongside far-flung towns like Ketchikan, Alaska, and Islamorada, Florida, Vermillion made the list for its rich musical history and unique cultural experiences. The Smithsonian Magazine article brings particular attention to the National Music Museum (NMM).

Located on USD’s campus, the NMM is recognized as a "Landmark of American Music" by the National Music Council and is home to one of the largest collections of musical instruments on the planet.

Originally named the Shrine to Music, the museum is an epicenter for musical-instrument research and holds more than 15,000 instruments, from priceless Italian violins to celebrity guitars, from organs to orchestrion, from harps to harpsichords, from dombaks to didgeridoos, from Les Paul to Sgt. Pepper, from Stradivari to Elvis.

The NMM is currently going extensive renovations, with a special exhibition “As Good As Gold: The First 50 Years” open through Oct. 2023 and seven first-floor galleries slated to open to the public in Aug. 2023.

The Smithsonian Magazine highlights additional experiences and sites unique to the Vermillion and USD communities, including the W.H. Over Museum, South Dakota's oldest natural and cultural history museum, and the annual South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, a four-day event with programming ranging from Bard trivia to a professionally produced full-length Shakespeare performance.

Read the full Smithsonian Magazine story online.

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