It’s almost here! Warm weather, burgers on the grill, green grass and travel season are right around the corner. March is the perfect time to plan your next vacation, and today we’ll be kicking off our five-part series on some of the best travel experiences the U.S. has to offer.
We’re starting with a place near and dear to us, Rapid City and the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. You may know it as the home of Mount Rushmore, and while the monument is certainly a sight to behold, the Black Hills have a ton to offer as a summertime destination. Besides breathtaking vistas and abundant wildlife, there are plenty of dining, camping and entertainment options to make the Black Hills one of the best vacation havens in the U.S.
Midwest Outdoor Resorts offers a fantastic home base from which to explore the Black Hills. Rushmore Shadows Resort is minutes from all the can’t-miss landmarks and provides cabins, tent sites and RV stations. Complete with free Wi-Fi, swimming pool, a convenience store and plentiful family activities, it’s a unique place you’ll find you don’t want to leave. Here are some must-see spots for a one-of-a-kind Black Hills adventure:
These are not your average zoos. Bear Country offers an up-close look at North American animals like bear (of course), elk, moose, wolves and buffalo during a three-mile drive in the animals’ natural habitat. There’s also a baby bear exhibit where you can watch the cubs frolic and play.
Reptile Gardens is the world’s largest reptile zoo. Just down the road from Bear Country, there are reptile, amphibian and bug exhibits, botanical gardens and numerous shows guaranteed to make you laugh. Both are located on the road to Mount Rushmore (Highway 16, as is Rushmore Shadows).
Of course we couldn’t leave out the monument that gave South Dakota its nickname! If you’ve never seen Mount Rushmore in person, pictures don’t really do it justice. Keystone, the town at the base of the mountain, has many restaurant options, Old West shows and even an adventure park.
One of the largest state parks in the U.S. at 71,000 acres, Custer State Park is famous for its history, scenic drives, buffalo herds and fishing lakes. You can easily spend a day just exploring the park, or you can drive right down the road to Crazy Horse Memorial, which will become the world’s largest sculpture when completed. Also located in the memorial is the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Cultural Center.
The Heart of the Black Hills is one of the most memorable towns around in the area. Filled with excellent dining, museums, art and other attractions, Hill City is a hidden gem. Stop by the iconic Alpine Inn for a decadent Reuben sandwich for lunch, or enjoy their appetizing filet mignon dinner. There are five art galleries in Hill City (check out the Jon Crane Gallery) as well fun attractions like the 1880 Train.
If you’re traveling to the Hills, you can’t miss out on Rapid City. The second largest city in South Dakota boasts a ton of entertainment options. Check out Tally’s Silver Spoon for the best breakfast in the region, or shop at Prairie Edge for gorgeous jewelry and art. On Thursdays in the summer, Rapid City offers Summer Nights from 6-9pm, with live music and festivities.
This is just the beginning of all the Black Hills has to offer. There is gaming in Deadwood, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Black Elk Peak, Sylvan Lake, hiking, biking, fishing and much more. Contact us toll-free at (800) 231-0425, we’d love to help you plan your Black Hills adventure!