Make the road to Mount Rushmore an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. This 25-minute drive from Rapid City goes up Mount Rushmore Road which is full of unique and fun stops you won’t want to miss out on. To give you a better idea, we’ve selected a few to show what your day could look like on your way to the memorial!
Black Hills Bagels
It’s hard to beat a day that starts with Dark Canyon Coffee and homemade bagels from Black Hills Bagels. When you see a large neon sign of a cowboy riding a bagel, you’ve found it. They open their doors bright and early at 6am to offer a delicious variety of freshly made bagels with cream cheese options or bagel sandwiches! Locals can’t narrow it down to just one suggestion for favorite bagel flavor, because you can’t go wrong with any, but here are a few popular ones we know about. Sweet: Cinnamon Swirl or Chocolate Chunk. Savory: Cheddar or Spinach Parmesan. Check out their full menu here.
Stop in to the cozy and welcoming atmosphere of the Colonial House Restaurant and Bar. A popular spot for locals, Colonial House serves up a large menu of delicious options for breakfast lunch and dinner. Local suggestion: Chicken Fried Steak. Breakfast suggestion would be what is known as the “irresistible caramel rolls” and for good reason. These melt in your mouth rolls are available every morning, that is until they sell out. See everything they offer here.
Mount Rushmore Gold and Factory Outlet
Witness the creation of Black Hills Gold! Join in for a free 30-minute tour to discover how this beautiful and unique jewelry takes shape by hand. No two pieces are identical, but all feature the colorful grape-styled leaves found on every piece of Black Hills Gold.
Mostly Chocolates and Pottery 2 Paint
This one stop holds two exciting options, the first one being chocolate. Walk through the heavenly doors of Mostly Chocolates to find a place that constructs chocolate delights ranging from gourmet chocolate Truffles to chocolate buffalos. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll find this stop delectable. Next door, let your creative spirit out to play! At Pottery 2 Paint you can select of piece of pottery to paint with your own personal flair. Once the pottery is complete, they’ll fire it so you can take your masterpiece home.
Don’t miss the turn off for Dinosaur Park. This free park is open year-round and features seven cement dinosaurs and 100-mile views of Rapid City and the surrounding area. Dinosaur Park was built during the Great Depression and was one of Rapid City’s original tourist attractions. If you’re visiting during the summer season make sure to check out their Gift Shop and Visitor Center!
Fort Hays Chuckwagon
Go back in time with a stop at the Fort Hays Chuckwagon. Here you can stroll the boardwalk during your free, self-guided tour of the Dances with Wolves film set, shop in the gift shops and witness craftsmen making tools, ropes, and more all by hand! Bring your appetite and enjoy some cowboy pancakes for just 99 cents or join for the Chuckwagon Supper and Music Show!
Wander through four acres of formal gardens and gazebos in Wilson Park. Wilson Park is also home to the West Boulevard Summer Festival, an arts and crafts festival that is fun for all ages, and the Wilson Park winter lighting ceremony, where trees illuminate the park with sparkling Christmas lights!
Skyline Wilderness Area
Surround yourself with nature within city limits! Located on the hill next to Dinosaur Park is the trail system of Skyline Wilderness Area. Covering 150 acres of undeveloped forest and meadows, this park features numerous trails for mountain biking or hiking with great views of Rapid City and the Black Hills.
The road to Mount Rushmore can be a lot more than just a pretty drive. Make it more memorable with these local stops and discover more along the way. You can also stay right on Mount Rushmore Road at one of the great hotels like The Rushmore Hotel and Suites or the Comfort Inn and Suites to make your route to the memorial a breeze! See what else is waiting to be explored on the road to Mount Rushmore by checking out the Mount Rushmore Road Group’s website!