Well, I am here to help answer all those questions for you, er… that is, if you happen to be planning a visit to the beautiful Rapid City, South Dakota. I will be doing a four post series on what’s hot in Rapid City and surrounding areas. I’ve done a bit of research to put together a list for you; I even rallied my fellow SD facebook friends to help write this inclusive post on what there is to do in Rapid City. Why? Because Rapid City is my hometown, and I LOVE IT. Of course, what’s awesome to me might not be so awesome to someone else, so these opinions are my own. If there is something you feel I may have missed, please leave it in the comments section for future readers who are planning their visit to the greatest place on Earth! (I’m sure there’s someone out there who would dispute that statement, but I can’t help it. I love my hometown)!
1. Storybook Island
I loved this place when I was a kid. It was almost as good as Disney World! Little kids will be entertained for hours. They’ve got a ton of story-book themed playground equipment, a petting zoo, a childrens theater, and a little train going through the park.
2. Dinosaur Hill
For a really pretty view of the city, drive to the top of Skyline Drive and take some fun pictures with these cement dinos.
3. Art Alley
An amazing display of tagging, and a perfect photography location. I’m kind of obsessed. I took my little sister’s prom pictures here.
4. Black Hills Gold Tour
One of the most characteristic things about the Black Hills is the gold. It is also one of South Dakota’s biggest industries. You can see how it is made, what makes it special, and buy some jewelry. My wedding ring is Black Hills Gold. Love!
5. Canyon Lake
I adore this place. It’s a really fun walk, place to feed the ducks, has lots of pavilions for picnics, playgrounds, just relaxing and fun.
6. Fish hatchery
I took my daughters here once, and they had the best time! We called ahead and were given permission to feed the fish, buckets and buckets of fish food. We took a behind the scenes tour. It was really exciting for me and the kids!
7. Civic Center
I love checking out what’s going on at the civic center. They’ve got anything from rodeos to craft shows, hockey games to dance recitals, concerts, broadway shows, etc. My husband and I saw Brian Reagan perform last winter.
It is not huge, but Main Street and St. Joseph are so incredibly charming, with a lot of neat shops and great places to eat. Take the President’s Walk, a tour featuring several of our nation’s presidents in bronze statues.
9. Ellsworth Air Force Base Air and Space Museum
Free. Interesting. Awesome.
10. Outdoors- hiking, camping, fishing, boating, climbing, caving, mountain biking, wakeboarding, hunting, skiing
(Um, sheesh, maybe I should do an entirely separate post just on the outdoors. I’ll add that to my list. Until then, here’s a few pictures of us having fun in the great wide open).
***There are obviously a lot of important things left out of this list (Mt. Rushmore!). This list is just about free things to do. Check out my other Black Hills vacation posts here below!
One last thing…