Ramp-Up Your Rapid City Adventure With These Excitement-Boosting Pit Stops
Falls Park | Sioux Falls, SD
4 H 50 MIN to Rapid City
South Dakota Department of Tourism
Stretch your legs and take in scenic views at Falls Park. This pet-friendly park offers the perfect photo-op against a serene backdrop of beautiful, rushing waterfalls and over 100 acres of picnic-perfect green.
Corn Palace | Mitchell, SD
3 H 50 MIN to Rapid City
Places like The World’s Only Corn Palace are so unique that they’re practically impossible to pass. After all, who can really say they’ve visited the world’s only anything? Explore rich, agricultural tradition with a free visit to this one-of-a-kind national icon.
Dignity Statue | Chamberlain, SD
2 H 55 MIN to Rapid City
Gazing out across the Missouri River, Dignity, a 50-foot-tall, stainless steel statue, represents South Dakota’s rich, Native American cultures and communities with open arms and silent, powerful grace. She is also featured on the South Dakota Sculpture Trail with other larger-than-life works located in Rapid City.
Badlands National Park
60 MIN to Rapid City
Jagged peaks cut into the crisp, blue sky. You find yourself surrounded by beautiful, unforgiving terrain with rules of its own. You take in the incredible view, speechless, and begin your first Do Big Things adventure. Welcome to the Badlands.
Discover Badlands National Park, a 60-mile stretch of vibrant, desolate, rugged terrain. Featuring striking rock formations, vast prairies and spectacular night skies, Badlands National Park promises unforgettable adventure, anytime. Whether you choose to cruise Badlands Loop Road or explore the 244,000 acres of unrivaled natural landscape, Badlands National Park is a must for any Black Hills vacation and the perfect complement to local attractions in Rapid City. Explore the Badlands Tapestry Garden of Rapid City’s Main Street Square Sculpture Project and enjoy a colorful recreation of the iconic ridgeline in an impressive Main Street mural.
Wall Drug | Wall, SD
50 MIN to Rapid City
What started with “Free Ice Water!” just became your new go-to. As you bite into that ridiculously good, cake doughnut, it hits you— It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from or how long you’ve been on the road; if you wind up at Wall Drug along the way, you’re headed to the right place… Even if you don’t really get the whole, you know, giant Jackalope thing.
Known as the World’s #1 Roadside Stop, Wall Drug Store’s heartwarming beginnings, friendly personality and to-die-for doughnuts have become a staple source of comfort and welcome getaway from the behind-the-wheel grind. Enjoy signature Free Ice Water, warm up with a 5¢ coffee and savor classic frontier flavor with cake doughnuts in traditional, maple, chocolate or vanilla. As for giant Jackalopes, while you won’t find any in Rapid City, you’ll notice a shared passion for flavorful experiences and giant legendary creatures. Check out Rapid City’s Dinosaur Park and discover seven giant dinos overlooking the Black Hills. Or visit Firehouse Wine Cellars in Downtown Rapid City to enjoy a bottle of Mythical Beast Wine.
Headed to Yellowstone? Add Rapid City to your Yellowstone tour and some Do Big Things adventure to your road trip!
The Mammoth Site | Hot Springs, SD
1 H 5 MIN to Rapid City
If someone told you that stopping to stretch would mean taking a trek through time and prehistoric discovery, you probably wouldn’t have believed them— or pictured anything like this. Dig into The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs and unearth colossal adventure.
Visit America’s Ice Age Treasure, The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, and experience South Dakota’s very own, active paleontological site on a journey 26,000 years into the past—when mammoths roamed the High Plains of North America. Today, this site holds the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world. If The Mammoth Site piques your paleontological curiosity, you can hone your fossil-finding skills at The Journey Museum and Learning Center in Rapid City. Head to the museum’s Paleontology Field Tent and enjoy a hands-on experience as you dig for dinosaur fossils!
Wind Cave National Park
60 MIN to Rapid City
A vast prairie transforms into a complex, rocky corridor descending deep beneath the earth and reaching far into the past. If your drive was beginning to seem dull, the light at the end of the tunnel might just be the tunnel itself.
Wind Cave National Park is one of the longest, most complex caves in the world— and one of the oldest parks in the country. With 28,000 acres of golden prairie above, and intricate, underground passageways waiting below, Wind Cave National Park showcases all-natural beauty on and beneath the surface. And while you’re checking off one-of-a-kind, record-setting sites, visit the world’s largest collection of reptiles at Rapid City’s Reptile Gardens and the largest collection of privately owned Black Bears at Bear Country USA.
Custer State Park
40 MIN to Rapid City
From driving alongside wild bison to enjoying up-close encounters with other local wildlife, Custer State Park offers the perfect place to explore incredible natural beauty (and meet some of its animal residents) throughout the Black Hills.
With bison herds, historic sites, abundant wildlife and an expansive trail network across 71,000 acres of diverse, awe-inspiring landscape, Custer State Park is a must-see destination on any Rapid City vacation and the highlight of any great-outdoors adventure. Named one of the World's Top Ten Wildlife Destinations, Custer State Park promises rare, exciting encounters with a variety of Black Hills' wildlife— most notably, the bison. To learn more about South Dakota’s bison population when you arrive in Rapid City, explore their historic impact on Native American culture and art at Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
35 MIN to Rapid City
This is the final leg of your journey to Rapid City, so if you’re going to make one last stop— make it big, make it iconic.
Mount Rushmore is perhaps the most famous of South Dakota’s attractions and it lives up to its reputation by delivering an experience that is nothing short of monumental. With hiking trails, attractions and dining options, Mount Rushmore is one adventure you don’t want to rush. So, whether you’re taking a break from your drive or making a point of paying a visit, Rushmore’s four, presidential faces are always worth the pit–stop. And when it comes to the in-person, presidential experiences in Rapid City, you can find life-size versions of the Fab Four and more throughout Downtown Rapid City’s City of Presidents.