|Mt Rushmore, 27 miles
Sturgis, 35 miles
Crazy Horse Memorial, about 45 miles via US16
Custer State Park, about 50 miles via US16 to the Needles Highway
Deadwood, about 50 miles via I-90 and US14 (Boulder Canyon)
Badlands National Park, about 60 miles via I-90 to Wall
Spearfish, about 65 miles via I-90
Wind Cave National Park, about 65 miles
Jewel Cave National Monument, about 65 miles
Hot Springs, about 70 miles via SD79
Devil's Tower National Monument, about 90 miles via I90
|Time Needed:||Give it a morning or afternoon|
|Best Time To Go:||Anytime|
|Directions:||US16A East to US16 East then 25 miles|
|Highlights:||Dinosaur Park, Storybook Island, The Journey Museum, Chapel in the Hills|
Open All Year
Fine Arts Center
are open all year
| Although Rapid City is the commercial
Western South Dakota there's relatively few tourist
attractions in the
city itself. But if you want to shop, see a doctor, get
your car fixed, visit a bank or get your fast food fix,
Rapid City is usually your best bet.
Our favorite spots in town are Dinosaur Park on Skyline Drive (not hard to find, just look up) and Story Book Island, a children's playground on the West side just off Jackson Blvd. Another good bet is the Journey Museum on New York Street.
Golfers may enjoy the Rapid City municipal golf course on Jackson Blvd. which has been rated as one of the top 50 courses in the US by Golf Magazine. If you need a little help with your game you might pray for divine intervention at the nearby Chapel of the Hills -- a replica of an 800 year old Scandinavian church. Black Hills Caverns and Crystal Cave are also near Rapid City, just west on Highway 44. If artwork is more to your taste you can check out the Dahl Fine Arts Center.
Many first-time Black Hills tourists choose to stay in Rapid City because there is an abundance of franchised food and lodging near the I-90 exits 59 and 61. Some guide books recommend Rapid City as the place to stay when touring the Black Hills. We think the writers have never been here.
Regular visitors to the Black Hills often avoid Rapid City, however first-time visitors may assume that things are either more convenient or cheaper in Rapid City but this untrue. Most hills communities actually have lower lodging costs. (Keystone is the exception.) As for convenience, Rapid City, is many miles away from almost all Black Hills attractions. Custer State Park, for instance is 50 miles away which results in a 100-mile round-trip just to get there.
On the other hand, if you must be near your favorite fast food franchise or big-box store, Rapid City is a good choice. After all, the city does have two WalMart stores.
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