Fairfield Inn & Suites - Rapid City

1314 North Elk Vale Road, Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701, United States
Fairfield Inn & Suites - Rapid City
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  • Families66
  • Couples70
  • Solo90
  • Business72

More about Rapid City


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Chapel in the HillsChapel in the Hills

Rapid City, SDRapid City, SD

Forum Posts

Need your help in South Dakota

by irvbur

We are long retired, fairly well-travelled, and are finally ready to take our long-delayed tour of the parts of the U.S. we've never visited. Part of our 8000 mile, 5-6 week trip will take us from Mt. Rushmore to Minneapolis MN. I'm familiar with VT tips as I have read & written many over the years, but I still need help in discovering interesting stops in and between these 2 cities. You can check my homepage for our preferences and/or check our posting in the United States forum for our preliminary itinerary. We will be traveling the southernmost states first.

Re: Need your help in South Dakota

by montanabob

After the western states driving through the plains can be a bit tiring. I 90 is the fastest way across the SD. After crossing the border take Hwy 23 north to Hwy 212 (at Granite Falls), head east to Olivia (the Corn Capital), stop at City hall and ask for Bob. Olivia is about 95 miles from Minneapolis.

Another route is a highway west of Wall that takes you into Pierre, a pleasant drive through ranching and small grain farming then there are a number of roads into the Twin Cities.

Re: Need your help in South Dakota

by tarced

We drove along Hwy 14 from eastern South Dakota through most of Minnesota. DeSmet, SD is on Hwy 14 and is where the Ingalls family settled. On their old homestead, they have many ideas from pioneer life. Into Minnesota is Walnut Creek (another stop of the Ingalls family). Just south and west of Walnut Creek is Curry, MN where there is an End O Line Museum. If you're into trains at all, it's worth the short drive off the highway. Farther east is the Jeffers Petroglyphs (which aren't actually in Jeffers). If you like puzzles and/or are interested in Native American history, you'll enjoy your time there. Also on Hwy 14 is a sod house. They rent it out as a B & B or you can just check it out. It was built in conjunction with the History Channel and there is a short video you can watch of how they made it. Of course just south of Minneapolis is the Mall of America - we spent a whole day there and still didn't see everything. Enjoy your trip! I have tips on some of these things (not all) - feel free to ask any other questions you might have!

Re: Need your help in South Dakota

by mikelisaanna

While you are in South Dakota, visit the Crazy Horse monument, which is bigger than Mount Rushmore, but still under construction. Also, drive through the Badlands National Park. If you have a sense of humor, you have to stop at Wall Drug (world's tackiest and largest tourist trap, but a fun break from the road, nonetheless) and the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Re: Need your help in South Dakota

by SteveOSF

You might try visiting Deadwood South Dakota as it is not too far from Mt. Rushmore. Deadwood is a historic mining town that even has legalized low stakes gambling. Also near Mt Rushmore at Rapid City is Bear Country. Bear Country is an animal park where you drive thorough the exhibits, in which the animals are wondering about. I would also second the Crazy Horse Monument and Badland National Park near Wall.

Travel Tips for Rapid City

You must drive up to Mt...


You must drive up to Mt Rushmore and see the Presidents faces etched on the side of a mountain that was carved by primative means, no power tools on any kind were used just chissels and picks, which was done many decades ago. There are many things to keep you busy in and around Rapid City. Some of my favorites are the Reptile Gardens which takes many hours to see all the animals there. Not just reptiles are there they have exotic birds which put on a demonstration , as well as lots of exhibits such as the tropical rain forest which you can walk through at your leasure and see wildlife moving freely while you walk through the area. The closest thing in this area to the rain forrest. Also they have domestic animals there which you can go into the petting zoo for hands on petting. It took us over 5 hours to go through the whole Reptile Gardens and see all that was there to see. It is lots of fun for kids as well as adults alike.

Badlands National Park

by Hopkid

Well it's not exactly in Rapid City as the main Visitor's Center is near the east entrance which is about 1.5 hours east of Rapid. But the drive is definitely worth it to see the strange geologic formations that make up the boundary between the upper and lower prairie in this area. The variation in the colors of the layers in the formations are spectacular.

Definitely take the 30-mile Badlands Loop Scenic Byway and stop at the numerous overlooks. Also take one or more of the hiking trails that originate at some of these overlooks. While gawking at the scenery, try to image what it must have been like for settlers in early 19th century when they came across these formations.

Visiting the Lakota

by wolf1964

"Going to a Pow wow"

The Lakota were one of the last tribes of the first Nations to be imprisoned on reservations by the americans.

The people are welcoming and friendly. Accomodation on the smaller reservations is down to what you carry on your back - ie a tent. There were two camp sites near the Porcupine reservation that offered cheap camping (around $5 a night in 2003). The Powwow was held at Porcupine and the atmoshpere was amazing. The drumming and chanting and the light of night fires was mesmerising.

Wounded Knee memorial is just a little way down the road form the rez. The site was initially recored as the battle of wounded Knee until the truth came out. On 29 Dec 1890, 500 troops of the US 7th cavalry massacred 300 Lakota men, women and children. Around 150 Lakota were believed to have escaped and perished in the cold, dying of exposure.

There is a high level of poverty in the area. As with nearly all of the first Nations that I have heard of, any young that survived were forced to embrace christianity and forbidden to speak their given names, their language or follow their customs and live by their culture.

It's only relatively recently that Lakota children have been taught the ways of their people again.

Pinewood Reservation is further down the road and the biggest Lakota Rez I went to. I was honoured to have shared some food with elders that Aunt winfred Janis had introduced me to.

I was then shown the Black Hills area by Ernie LaPoint, a relative of Chief Tatanka Yotanka, and his lovely wife (thanks guys:))

Rapid City, SD, is your way to the area by private cab. I think it cost me about $160 to get the ride. If you want to explore the area, Badlands, Black Hills, other reservations etc - I'd hire a car as part of your flight package.


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 Fairfield Inn & Suites - Rapid City

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Fairfield Inn & Suites - Rapid City Hotel Rapid City

Address: 1314 North Elk Vale Road, Rapid City, South Dakota, 57701, United States