About Our ListsOn this web site, we try to list things that we think are useful to you. We have compiled this list based on many years of personal experience and the experiences of others as well as, in a few cases, published sources such as attraction brochures.
We have personally visited almost all of the listed attractions. ...and, we do so annonymously. When we go to an attraction we pay our own way, just like you would. We don't tell the operators that we a researching information for this web site. We do that so we are not beholding to anyone. Thus any opinions we voice here are our own based on our own personal experience.
Our lists do not have a hidden agenda. We don't recommend a place or attraction because somebody paid us or gave us some inducement to pass on their promotional material. We don't charge anyone to have their attraction listed. We don't accept gifts or payments or any other incentive to move somebody's place higher on our lists. And we don't accepts payments or favors to write glowing reviews.
In fact, the growing commercial placements on the Internet is one of our great gripes. Too many web sites have obvious agendas and their information is thus tainted. For instance, how valuable is a web site that lists only information about business that pay to have listings? Do you really think that information can be impartial. And if a web site accepts paid ads, do you think they are really going to level with you about their advertisers?
We also offer this as something of an antidote to user reviews posted on the Internet on sites such as TripAdvisor, Epinions, Yahoo and the like. In our own experience we've found that user reviews tend to be highly polemic. Users tend to either praise something to the hilt or viciously condemn it. Also, real users are more likely to post a negative review than a positive review. Call that human nature. Also, more and more, all kinds of businesses game the system with on-line review sites either by posting their own fake reviews or hiring specialist companies that promise to "improve" on-line ratings. Here, we try to be balanced.
We started these lists in 1996 as a service to our guests and we've been at it ever since. Our guests are still the people we place first when it comes to presenting this information. Over the past 17 years we've remained true to the belief that the only way to remain impartial is to do it completely free. We don't charge you. We don't charge the attractions. We don't even trade links unless we think the link is to a site that is genuinely useful to the readers of this web site. Our hope is that if you find this information useful, that you will consider staying at the Roosevelt Inn when you visit the Black Hills.
In general, attractions that have the "AAA Family Approved" rating are usually worth an effort to see -- but an AAA rating is no guarantee that you'll be satisfied. In our opinion AAA ratings tend to be rigid, dated and inconsistent. The point is that there's no guarantee you'll be totally satisfied with any particular attraction. We know of cases were the same attraction won rave reviews from one person hate mail from the next. It just goes to prove you can't please everyone.
We list free and low-cost things on the same scale as attractions you have to pay to get into. There are however a few must sees, and these generally don't cost very much. Who could come to the Black Hills, for instance, and miss Mt. Rushmore? There is a parking charge to visit Mt. Rushmore. The only free parking is along a highway pull-out a quarter mile beyone Mt. Rushmore. Custer State Park, in our opinion, is another must see. The 2012 cost was $12 for a windshield sticker that's good for five days. If you have four people in a car and you spend two days there -- easy to do -- that's very reasonable.
We no longer attempt to list the entrance fees for commercial attractions because these fees tend to vary by date and the widespread use of coupons and discounts. When we started in 1996, most attractions did not have web sites so listing fees seemed useful. Now, it's rare if an attraction doesn't have a web presence so instead of listing fees we simply direct you to thier web sites.
Many of the things to do in the Black Hills are free. (We know, that's a strange word these days.) The 1.2 million acre Black Hills National Forest includes hundreds of miles of trails and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and there's no charge or user's fees (although some trails require registration fees). In virtually all cases trail-head parking is free and plentiful.
Finally, we don't list other hotels, motels, campgrounds -- gee, whoda thunk that! Nor do we list restaurants. Aside from the fact that such lists are difficult to maintain, we just don't feel it would be right for us to comment other hotels, places to stay or restaurants.
OK, that's the general stuff, now the specifics. Distances are measured from the Roosevelt Inn in Keystone to the major point of interest. For instance the distance to Mt. Rushmore is given as 2 miles, which is to the visitor center, even though the entrance is only a quarter mile up the road.
If you are not staying at the Roosevelt Inn, you can figure the distances as being from Mt. Rushmore.
Time figures do not include travel time unless travel is a major factor or the listing is for a driving tour. For instance, it takes a little more than an hour to drive to the Badlands National Park, so the two-plus hours round trip from Keystone is counted as time needed. The best time for viewing is another subjective thing. On Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, for example, the best times usually indicate when the sun is in the better for photographs.
Here is a list of the lists:
This is the only commercial you are going to get:
The Roosevelt Inn is a small, independent, family owned and operated hotel. Our guests have told us that we are similar to small the family owned and operated hotels of Europe, except that we have the amenities that American travelers expect, such as a pool, hot tub, off-street parking and modern guest rooms. We're not a bed and breakfast or a "charming country inn" but we do strive to provide our guests with pleasant, clean surroundings at a reasonable price.
NOTE: Google searches may contain paid advertisments. These ads are placed by Google, not us. We do not in any way endorse or recommend the products or services listed in Google Advertisments.