Tour Rapid City with stops at the free Stavkirke (Chapel in the Hills), a replica of an 830-year-old church in Norway; The Journey Museum, with exhibits on traditional and contemporary Native American culture; the Museum of Geology, another free attraction with skeletons of giant prehistoric marine reptiles; the Dahl Arts Center; a Black Hills Gold jewelry factory tour; and the City View Trolley that makes several narrated stops throughout town and gives a fantastic view of Rapid City along Skyline Drive. Spend some time downtown with the City of Presidents and get your picture taken with life-size bronze statues of our nation’s presidents. Overnight in a Rapid City.
Start the day by heading south on Highway 16 to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, our shrine of democracy and the highlight of any Black Hills tour. On the way to Mt. Rushmore, you may wish to make a stop at Bear Country USA and make a trip through their wildlife park. Move on to Crazy Horse Memorial, a gigantic carving of Lakota leader Crazy Horse being blasted from a mountain in the Black Hills. The Crazy Horse complex also contains the beautiful Indian Museum of North America. Continue on to 71,000-acre (28,400 ha) Custer State Park for a tour of the wildlife loop. If you are adventurous, try the Buffalo Jeep Safari. Evening entertainment can include a hayride/supper or a visit to the Black Hills Playhouse. Overnight in Rapid City.
Drive west via Interstate 90 to Sturgis with a stop at the Black Hills Motorcycle Museum or the Fort Meade Museum, then on to Spearfish, home of the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery. Start the day with a drive through Spearfish Canyon, a National Forest Scenic Byway. Stop in the Lead/Deadwood area to visit attractions like the Black Hills Mining Museum or the Homestake Visitor Center in Lead or Deadwood’s Mount Moriah Cemetery, where the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried. Take a city tour of Deadwood where more than 80 gaming casinos beckon with slots, blackjack and poker. Return to Rapid City via scenic Highway 385. Overnight in Rapid City.
Depart Rapid City via Highway 44 east to Badlands National Park, 244,000 acres (97,600 ha) of eerie, haunting topography. After touring the Badlands, a popular stop is a world-famous drug store in Wall. This tiny store, built in 1931, has boomed to become block-sized and internationally known. While in Wall, also visit Wounded Knee:The Museum and learn about the last, bloody conflict between Native Americans and the US Army Cavalry. This route covers the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with stops at the Red Cloud Indian School, the Wounded Knee Massacre Site, and the Oglala Lakota College. After visiting the reservation, head back to Rapid City for dinner or visit one of our area chuckwagons. Overnight in Rapid City
Head west today on scenic Highway 44 toward Hill City for a ride on a historic 1880 train and see works by local artists in main street shops. On the way, stop at the Cleghorn Springs Fish Hatchery on the outskirts of Rapid City, or the Prairie Berry Winery and sample some of our area’s locally made wine. Further south on Highway 87 is the city of Hot Springs, home of The Mammoth Site and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Overnight in Rapid City before departing South Dakota.
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Rapid City tourism & sightseeing