Things to do in Rapid City

This beautiful property is located on the road to Mount Rushmore. The cabin is on a slight hill so you can see the rolling hills, farmers market, and a pumpkin patch right next to the road. You will be just minutes to Rapid City.


Sylvan Lake
​Located in the middle of all those beautiful pine trees and granite spires is a picturesque lake that was created after the Sylvan Lake Water Dam was built across Sunday Gulch Creek. The area offers prime picnic spots, rock climbing, small rental boats, swimming and hiking trails. If you’ve got a love for hiking, consider venturing the Sunday Gulch Trail. The trail is a strenuous 3-mile loop that descends through the gulch alongside a flowing creek with handrails to help you keep your balance. This trail is difficult and can take 2-3 hours to complete, so be sure to pack shoes that can get wet, a lot of water and any other supplies that you’ll need to keep energized and safe.

Hippie Hole
The best kept secret spot and a popular hangout for locals, Hippie Hole is nestled in the hills on Battle Creek just a short hike off South Rockerville Road. The spot is a popular area for cliff jumping, swimming and sunbathing on the rocks. Many cliff jumpers leap off the top of the waterfall, but always be wary of the rocks below and the many dangers of jumping if you are not familiar with the area.

Wildlife Loop
Start your Black Hills adventure by exploring Custer State Park, a 110 sq. ft wildlife preserve that is home to a herd of 1,500 free-roaming bison, the famous “Begging Burros,” elk, coyotes, deer, mountain goats, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, river otters, cougars, and more. Starting from the east park entrance, wind through the 18-mile Wild Life Loop and enjoy a slow, relaxing ride of scenic wildlife.

Devil's Tower

Terry Peak

Bear Butte

Black Elk Peak

Roughlock Falls Trail

Buzzard's Roost

Sites to see

Mount Rushmore Monument
The most iconic symbol of the Black Hills and an absolute must-see if you’re visiting for the first time. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is free admission with a parking fee of $10 for cars. The pass is valid for 7 days, so you stop a few times throughout your trip. In the memorial you can check out the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center to watch a film about the amazing process of carving Mount Rushmore. Take a walk on the Presidential Trail to get up close views of the stone faces then take a stop at the Carver’s Studio to see the original scale model of Mount Rushmore and learn even more about Gutzon Borglum and his team.

Crazy Horse Monument

Badlands National Park
Located an hour west of Rapid City on I-90, the Badlands National Park features dramatic landscapes of layered rock formations, steep canyons and towering spires. The distinguishable sedimentary layers boast a gorgeous mixture of purple, yellow, red, orange, tan and gray colors. The Badlands National Park preserves the world’s greatest fossil bed of ancient animals such as three-toed horse, saber-toothed cats and giant rhinoceros-like creatures. The Badlands Loop Road winds past many scenic lookouts and areas to hike along trails. The land couldn’t be more opposite of the neighboring Black Hills, so make sure you add this stop to you itinerary!

Needles Highway
After you’ve spent the morning petting the friendly burros, loop around to the Needles Highway entrance and prepare yourself for the most beautiful cruise of your life. This National Scenic Byway is a 14-mile stretch that features sharp turns, narrow tunnels, and granite spires known as “needles.” There are many areas to stop along the way to snap pictures of the beautiful views.

Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Start your day off by stopping at the D.C Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery. Located a mile north of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway entrance, you can explore a museum, fisheries railcar, underwater viewing windows, and feed the fish in the large fish ponds — all for free! Then, buckle up for a 22-mile journey of beautiful canyon waterfalls, picture-perfect pull-offs, thousand-foot-high limestone palisades, and breathtaking landscapes. Spearfish Canyon is beautiful any time of the year, but the fall season offers the most colorful drive as the leaves change. Hikers enjoy going off the beaten path with popular trails such as Devil’s Bathtub or 11th Hour Gulch — be sure to pack the water shoes for these hikes. Bicyclists also love Spearfish Canyon for its wide-shouldered roads and slow-paced traffic. Bicycling Magazine named Spearfish Canyon as one of the top 50 scenic bike paths in the country!

Wind Cave National Park
Head to the southern hills again for a fun-filled day of South Dakota’s most popular attractions. Known as the world’s largest concentration of rare boxwork formations, Wind Cave National Park is a centuries-old maze that whistles to the curious passersby. Tour tickets for the cave are limited and typically sell out so be sure to get here early in the morning to purchase your tickets.

Hot Springs Mammoth Site
Consider visiting Hot Springs, SD to visit the Mammoth Site, home to the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world. The active dig site offers guided tours to watch paleontologist at work and you can even learn excavation techniques yourself.

Custer State Park

Art Alley in Down Town Rapid City

Chapel in the Hills

Dinosuar Park

Hotel Alex Johnson

Fun Activities

Reptile Gardens
Reptile Gardens is the home of the ‘World’s Largest Reptile Zoo’ and some of the world’s deadliest snakes. Experience the unforgettable thrill of nature’s most beautiful, but often most misunderstood creatures.

Bear Country
Bear Country offers a drive through wildlife exhibits to observe black bears, elk, mountain lions, buffalo, reindeer and wolves in their natural habitat. After your drive, take a walk through the park to view the offspring exhibits (baby bears!).

Down Town Rapid City

Storybook Island

Pirate's Cove Mini Golf

Wa Tiki Water Park
Stop at WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort to splash and play in South Dakota’s largest indoor waterpark. With over 30,000 sq. ft of pools and waterslides, an arcade, and an on-site bar and restaurant, your kids are sure to have a totally tubular time. Plus, there’s four awesome attached hotels!

1880 Train in Hill City

Rush Mountain Adventure Park

Rushmore Tramway Adventures

South Dakota Air & Space Museum
As you head back east, consider stopping at the Air & Space Museum near Ellsworth Air Force Base to experience the fascinating past and present history of aircraft technology. The legendary exhibit showcases astonishing artifacts of the American journey into space and the military personnel who have sacrificed so much for our country throughout history.

The Journey Muesum & Learning Center

Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries

Evans Plunge
The oldest tourist attraction in the Black Hills, relax and soak in the 87-degree mineral water from the natural hot springs below. The natural springs fill the gravel bottom pool at Evans Plunge with 5,000 gallons of crystal-clear water per minute. The pool also offers slides, hot tubs, and a steam room.


Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
The small town is flooded with over 500,000 riders, concert-goers, and entertainment enthusiast every year during the first two weeks of August. You can explore Main Street and check out the many t-shirt shops, bars and motorcycle attractions.

Black Hills Pow Wow

Hills Alive Fesitval

Central States Fair

Black Hills Round Up


Rapid City
A popular destination for Black Hills travelers, there are many things to do in Rapid City, SD. Check out Storybook Island for a free stroll through the park with the most iconic story book characters, or take a walk through downtown with the City of Presidents tour featuring life-sized bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents. The downtown area has a wide variety of shops from Native American art galleries to giant toy stores. Towering 11-stores high, be sure to explore the iconic Hotel Alex Johnson to view its 1920s charm, unique rooftop bar, and Native American décor. End your evening at one of the many downtown breweries, wineries or restaurants for live entertainment and an exciting night on the town.


Once you’ve made your way through the scenic byway, turn west at Cheyenne Crossing and make your way toward the rough and rowdy town of Deadwood. Wild West outlaws, old mining camps, museums and exciting casinos, you won’t find another place like it. Explore Main Street and the one-of-a-kind gift shops or watch a real-life reenactment of Deadwood’s famous gunslingers. Get in on the action of blackjack, poker and slot machines, or learn more about the Black Hills Gold Rush, the iconic figures of Deadwood, and the many hardships the town has faced with one of the many museums. There’s so much to do in this little historic town!

Hill City
End the fun-filled day by making your way through Hill City to check out the awesome shops, restaurants. and the 1880 Train. If you’re craving a glass of wine or cold brew, be sure to check out the many breweries and wineries in town —most offer free taste testing!

After a day of adventure in the Black Hills, hit up the many shops in the city of Keystone. From handmade saltwater taffy to one-of-a-kind gift shops, there’s so much to do and see in this little tourist town. If you’re looking for more thrills, check out Rushmore Tramway Adventures for a scenic chairlift ride, alpine slide, zipline tour, jump tower and an exciting climbing course.

Hot Springs


Colonial House
Black Hills Bagels

Ichiban Sushi
Fire House Brewery
Piesanos Pacchia
Pacific Rim *Custer, SD
Black Hills Burger

Sabatinos Italian
Bars and Beer
Dakota Point
Prairie Berry Winery
Miner Brewery