Rapid City, South Dakota Press Kit
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South Dakota Made Products
Made in South Dakota products are a refreshing alternative to gifts usually found on store shelves. From jewelry and furniture to wine and gourmet foods, products created by a diverse group of South Dakotans are available online and through retail partners throughout the state. Visitors can take home souvenirs from South Dakota artisans, authors and more.
Unique Things to Do in Rapid City
Check out a 200-foot canvas mural depicting 200 years of American history. A year is a lot to cover in 12 inches, but the mural at the Dahl Arts Center manages the task.
Visitors may doubt their senses after a visit to the Cosmos Mystery Area where they can see balls and water roll uphill, change their height on level platforms and sit on the walls on a tour where mystery and science meet.
Tucked in the foothills at the western edge of Rapid City, the Stavkirke is a replica of the 830-year-old Borgund Church in Norway. The Chapel in the Hills is a free attraction and is open until dusk. Worship services are conducted nightly in the summer.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial's complex includes a museum, sculptor’s studio, bookstores and hiking trails, just a 30 minute drive from Rapid City. Parking: $11.
The Journey Museum & Learning Center showcases the natural and historical evolution of the Black Hills area. Admission: $10 or less per person.
Americana on a Budget: Free Attractions for Families
Rapid City, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is a nice option for family road-trippers on a budget who don’t want to skimp on wonder.
Good Places To Stop In And Around Rapid City
Storybook Island is a theme park with more than 140 interactive fairytale sets, including the Wizard of Oz and Snow White.
Dinosaur Park features huge concrete re-creations of a Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex and more on a hilltop overlooking Rapid City.
Stavkirke is an exact copy of the famous 830 -year-old Borgund Church in Norway. The church features intricate wood carvings, strange dragon heads and pegged construction that make it as beautiful as it is unusual.
The City of Presidents is a series of life-sized bronze statues of our nation's past presidents on street corners throughout Historic Downtown Rapid City.
Wall Drug is about 50 miles east of Rapid City on US Interstate 90, and is a wacky must-stop for road trippers on their way to or from Rapid City. The 76,000 sq. ft. attraction includes photo props, interactive displays, shops and food. Wall Drug got its start during the Great Depression when wise entrepreneurs offered free ice water to thirsty travelers.
See some of the over one million trout and salmon raised by the Cleghorn Springs Hatchery and used to stock in-state fishing waters.
Touch a piece of history in Memorial Park. All that we ask is that you refrain from taking your sledgehammer to our section of the Berlin Wall.
Travel The Open Road
The Black Hills region is one of the country’s most beautiful areas for viewing fall foliage. Scenic drives through Highway 385, Vanocker Canyon and Spearfish Canyon National Scenic Byway reveal flowing waterfalls surrounded by vibrant autumn colors and wildlife. The fall colors usually reach their peak in early to mid-October.
Rapid City is a base camp for driving in and around the Black Hills area. Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway winds in front of Mount Rushmore through the pigtail bridges of Iron Mountain Road and the granite spires of the Needles. Nemo Road runs alongside pine forests, meadows and mountain creeks and joins with Highway 385 leading to the historic mining town of Deadwood.
Road warriors can also enjoy unique autumn events such as the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup, one of many events featured on Autumn Expedition.
At the Buffalo Roundup, visitors will feel the thunder of 1,300 buffalo as they are gathered by cowboys and park staff and placed in corrals. Following the roundup, guests can watch park crews brand, sort and vaccinate the herd.
Native American Artwork
At Sioux Pottery on St. Joseph Street in Rapid City, Sioux artists craft pottery from red clay found in the Black Hills. Intricate designs and symbols painted on wedding vases, pots and peace pipes represent important cultural ideas and events. The factory welcomes visitors to meet the artists and watch them work.
Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries
The Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries features an extensive collection of Native American art, crafts, books, music and cultural artifact reproductions. The gallery founders had two goals—to educate the public about and preserve the heritage of North Plains Indians, and to provide artists an outlet for their goods at a fair price. Artists from throughout the region are able to showcase museum-quality pieces that include painted buffalo robes, headdresses, ceremonial drums, beadwork, jewelry and quill work.
The Journey Museum & Learning Center
The Sioux Indian Museum, one of several separate museum collections under the Journey Museum & Learning Center’s umbrella, pays homage to this important historical period with a spellbinding collection of Native American artistic artifacts and photographs. There is also a holographic storytelling display featuring the late “Grandma” Nellie Two Bulls, a respected Lakota educator, singer and storyteller. The showpiece of the exhibit is a full-sized, walk-in tipi.
Biking In Rapid City
Within Rapid City, visitors will find 13.5 miles of trails winding along Rapid Creek. The 109-mile Mickelson Trail takes riders from the northern to southern Black Hills. The trail was previously a railroad line that has been resurfaced with crushed limestone and gravel.
Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park lies in the heart of Rapid City is home to more than eight miles of trails. Hikers and bikers can enjoy exploring 300 acres of Black Hills wilderness without leaving the city limits. Riders can conquer a trail fitting their skill level, whether they enjoy gentle grades or steep, rocky paths. Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park is also known as M Hill or Cowboy Hill.
Almost 6,000 miles of fire trails, logging roads and abandoned railroad grades crisscross the backcountry, wind down canyons and climb to the top of the Black Hills. In 2008, National Geographic Magazine named Rapid City as one of its 50 Next Great Adventure Towns.
Some of the most popular rides around Rapid City are to Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Spearfish Canyon, and the Badlands Loop Road. All have some steep grades and long climbs, but the scenery is worth the effort.
We don’t like to brag, but we do want you to know that Rapid City is a great place to visit. Check out the media who have given Rapid City a pat on the back.
|South Dakota Tourism||Ben Black Elk Award (Michelle Lintz)||2013|
|South Dakota Tourism||Excellence in Innovation||2013|
|Upper Midwest CVB||Bruce Riley McDaniel Award||2012|
|Outdoor Life Magazine||35 Best Sporting Towns||2012|
|Regional Addys||Gold Addy for Non-Traditional Advertising (Mascots)||2012|
|Regional Addys||Judges Choice Award (Mascots)||2012|
|Byways||Mount Rushmore #5 of top 15 man-made attractions||2011|
|Byways||Black Hills #4 of top 5 natural attractions||2011|
|Byways||Top 30 group tour states (#14)||2011|
|Midwest Living Magazine||Top Places to Eat||2011|
|Best of the Road||Most Patriotic Small Town - Rand McNally, USA Today||2011|