The Road To Rapid City
Exciting roadside attractions greet you upon every turn on your route to Rapid City, South Dakota. Ramp-up your Rapid City road trip adventure with these excitement-boosting pit stops!
Falls Park | Sioux Falls, SD
4 Hours 50 Minutes to Rapid City
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 inviting green grass.
Corn Palace | Mitchell, SD
3 Hours 50 Minutes 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 location.
Dignity Statue | Chamberlain, SD
2 Hours 55 Minutes 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 Minutes to Rapid City
Jagged peaks cut into the crisp, blue sky in the stunning landscape of Badlands National Park. Find yourself surrounded by beautiful, unforgiving terrain with rules of its own. Whether you choose to cruise Badlands Loop Road or explore by foot on one of the trails, these 244,000 acres are an unrivaled natural landscape and a must for any Black Hills vacation. The beauty of the Badlands can also be found in Rapid City at the Main Street Square Sculpture Project called the Passage of Wind and Water, and through a colorful recreation of the iconic ridgeline in an impressive mural seen from Main Street Square.
Wall Drug | Wall, SD
50 Minutes 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 and friendly personality 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 creatures. Check out Rapid City’s Dinosaur Park and discover seven giant dinosaurs overlooking the Black Hills.
*Starting October 1, Dinosaur Park will be closed for construction to create accessible pedestrian routes, update safety features, and upgrade visitor amenities including site interpretation. The project is expected to last approximately seven months. You can explore more stunning views of Rapid City from Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park or see actual dinosaur fossils at the Museum of Geology.
US I-25 North
The Mammoth Site | Hot Springs, SD
1 Hour 5 Minutes to Rapid City
If someone told you that stopping to stretch would lead to a prehistoric discovery, you probably wouldn’t believe them— or picture anything like this. When you dig into The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs you’ll unearth a colossal adventure. This Ice Age Treasure is an active paleontological site that will take you 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 sparks your paleontological curiosity, you can add to the fossil-finding fun at The Journey Museum & 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 Minutes 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
30 Minutes to Rapid City
From driving alongside a herd of more than 1,400 bison to enjoying up-close encounters with other local wildlife, Custer State Park offers the perfect place to explore incredible natural beauty. With an expansive trail network, scenic drives and more spanning 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 Hill’s 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 Minutes 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 a Presidential trail, museums 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, these 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.