Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Things to do for a Black Hills Vacation

I LOVE my hometown so much, and it is awesome that you are going to visit! I compiled a quick list of some of my favorite things to do in Rapid City, South Dakota and its surrounding areas. Bon voyage!
Be sure to check out my other posts:

Mt. Rushmore
An obvious must-see. It is truly a wonder. You shouldn't come to Rapid City without a visit to Mt. Rushmore. You do have to pay to park and get in, but its not too much, and is worth it! One of our family's favorite things to do is drive around the parking lot and look at all the license plates. It's cool to see where everyone has traveled from! Another tip- we love to go at night. They've got a large amphitheater, where they show a neat video and have a ceremony. It's very patriotic. You can also visit during on the 4th of July and see the fireworks, so incredible. Plan to get there fairly early in the morning to get a parking spot.

{My family a few months after we moved to Rapid City... sheesh, my hair is really long! This is what I looked like when I first met Troy. And to think, he actually married me... teehee!}

Crazy Horse
Not too far from Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse is a great big rock sculpture, that when finished, will be a memorial honoring North American Indians. It's pretty cool to visit and see the progress they've made (it was started back in the 1940's). If you're lucky, you'll see them blast rock. One of my favorite things is the Crazy Horse Volksmarch, a once a year hike you can take, right up to the base of Crazy Horse.

This is a little town on your way up to Mt. Rushmore. There's lots of touristy things to do here, its really cute.

This a really charming, old west town. There's lots to do and see; one of my favorite things was when we had old-fashioned family pictures taken at a special studio. You get to play dress up with olden day lacy dresses, huge hats, leather chaps, for the guys, vests, etc. You can also eat at Kevin Costner's restaurant, Jakes. It is so nice. I think you need to make a reservation before going.

This place is so cool! The kids will love it. You get to see so many cool animals, with indoor and outdoor exhibits, and some really cool shows. Think alligators, crocodiles, tortises, snakes, lizards, frogs, exotic plants, even prairie dogs. I think this place is really fun!
If you're in the mood to be silly, this is the place for you!

This is a drive through park, and is awesome. You get to see tons of animals, things like buffalo, reindeer, mountain goats, cougars, and of course bears. At the end of the drive, you get out of your car to visit the neat gift shop, and the best part is the little walk you take to see the baby bear cubs. They are so cute. I love this place!

Not your average petting zoo. A cute, fun place for kids.

You could spend days at Custer State Park, and never want to leave. This is one of the prettiest places on earth. There's hiking (Harney Peak!), camping, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and scenic drives to see wildlife. It's totally a must-do to get the full South Dakota experience. This is where you'll see my favorite- buffalo and prairie dogs. 

These pictures pretty much say it all (or, they don't do it justice). People who visit will always remember the badlands. It's amazing!

Wall Drug
About an hour outside of Rapid City in Wall, SD, is the infamous Wall Drug Store. It is fun to drive out there, just to say you've been there. The billboards laced across the state are highly amusing, if you enjoy cheap thrills like I do.

Useful Websites:

***South Dakota friends, or anyone else for that matter, if I've missed something or have something wrong, feel free to add it to the comments below!***


  1. I fell in love with your town a few years back... did all the tourist things, stood on the deck over the Black Hills, Mt Rushmore was amazing then promised myself to get back there to see how Crazy Horse is coming along.. soon!
    Very nice post!

  2. My husband has been saying for years that he wants to take a vacation to SD. After seeing your post, I'm ready!

  3. I just found your blog today and LOVE it. I currenlty live in Georgia,but my mom, stepdad, siblings, and more are all in Rapid City. SMALL WORLD!!!! I hope to come home for a visit soon!!!


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♥Rach H