Rapid City Travel Guide

  • Rapid City
    by roamer61
  • Old 1 room school house
    Old 1 room school house
    by roamer61
  • Cretacious Crabs
    Cretacious Crabs
    by roamer61

Rapid City Things to Do

  • Wall Drug

    The world famous Wall Drug was founded way back in 1931 and has remained in the same family ever since. The establishment really began the rapid climb to fame during the war years when free iced water was given to travelers.Today, it has become something of a major tourist destination with a café, an ice cream fountain, numerous shops and a mini...

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  • Prarie Homestead

    Built in 1905, this is one of the last remaining pioneer sod houses built on the great plains during the late 19th and early 20th century. You can venture inside and look around and see how these people lived over 100 years ago. There is also a root cellar and a barn with live animals. A small entrance fee is charged at the entrance.

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  • Badlands National Park

    Another popular daytrip is to visit Badlands National Park, which is situated about 45-60 minutes east. These multicolored bluffs were once part of an inland sea and later, was the grazing ground for a wide array of prehistoric mammals. The main road through the park has numerous lookouts and one can also visit the visitor center. There, you can...

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  • Custer State Park

    A popular day trip is to drive to Custer State Park, near the town of Custer, south of Rapid City. The attraction here is the nearby Needles Highway and the Wildlife Loop. On the latter, one can see Buffalo, Pronghorn Antelope, wild burros and occasionally, Elk, deer and Bighorn Sheep.There are camp grounds, cabins and lodges for those who wish to...

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  • Alex Johnson Hotel

    This historic hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Rapid City. You can visit the lobby and go to one of the shops. The hotel itself was founded in 1927 by Alex Johnson, the Vice president of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. The hotel is amongst Americas Historic Hotels and is also on the register of Historic Buildings.For those interested...

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  • The Journey Museum

    This great museum is actually 4 in one. The geology and prehistory, the American Indians, the story of the west and the settlers who emigrated here and finally modern history. Interspersed with wonderful exhibits, the museum also has many interactive areas designed to enrich the visit for children. There is a short film detailing the history of the...

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Rapid City Hotels

Rapid City Restaurants

  • Decent food and good service

    Very similar to nearby Colonial House, this chain features an assortment of popular American fare including burgers, steak and fish dinners. But their real claim to fame are their freshly baked pies and desserts. Thus, the full name of the place is Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery. Being in the mood for salad, I had one of their dinner entrée...

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  • Great Home Cooking

    This is a classic family restaurant which has locales around the country. Yes, its a chain. But the food and service is very good. Its a great place for salads, burgers, ribs and other fare. Here, its on one of the main roads near many hotels and motels. This makes it very convenient for visitors. Their dry-rubbed barbequed pork ribs are delicious...

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  • A dozen sandwich delights.

    Not being from Chicago, I was intrigued by the name "Taste Of Chicago." Seeing the grand opening sign was just the invite I needed to bust on in.Walking up to the entrance I see a Hot Dog or Sausage applying Ketchup to his head and a cone of fries holding a sign. Whimsical. But the food inside was substantial! I am ahead of myself.A dozen sandwich...

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  • Paneer Kahai?

    Paneer (puh-neer), a fresh cheese of Indian origin, is an unaged, non-melting farmer cheese that is lacto-vegetarian and an Indian protein source for vegetarians. A Kadai is a deep cooking pot similar to a oriental wok. Traditionally made of cast iron, they are now made from stainless steel, copper, and are even non-stick coated. Newer models are...

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  • Good steak dinner!

    Prairie Wind Casino is located 12 miles east of Oelrichs, SD on Hwy. 18 and 12 miles west of Oglala, SD. I had a steak dinner and it was gorgeous. Didn't have to wait long. There was also a buffet available as well as the menu.

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  • Good Food, Poor Service

    Denny's is pretty consistent in the preparation of the food. I normally like the Tilapia and I enjoyed it here too. Everything was about what you expect for a Denny's except the service which was substandard. My waitress seemed more interested in talking with her coworkers than serving customers. It was right across the street from my hotel, so it...

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Rapid City Nightlife

  • Basaic's Profile Photo

    by Basaic Updated Dec 14, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Boston's was a restaurant/sports bar right across the street from my hotel, by Denny's. It specializes in Pizza; but I had alreadyeaten at Denny's. The decor was sports related with sports and beer posters and TVs showing a variety of sporting events. The Rum and Coke was good and not too weak. Service was average. Not a bad place to stop for a drink or to watch a ballgame.

    Dress Code: casual seemed the norm, with lots of jeans and sports related T-shirts.

    Boston's restaurant and Sports Bar
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Beer Tasting

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Rapid City Transportation

  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    by roamer61 Written Jul 1, 2014

    The Rapid Transit Trolley is an easy and inexpensive way to get around town and to most places of interest in Rapid City. Though it only runs during the summer season. It makes a number of stops at 1 hour intervals starting at mid morning and ending around 5:00. Adult fare is $2.00. As you drive, recorded commentary gives you the background and history of the area. You can also request a pass which will enable you to hop off and on.

    Hours and complete schedule can be found on the web.

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Rapid City Shopping

  • Dymphna1's Profile Photo

    by Dymphna1 Updated Jul 20, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Specialty chocolate, ice cream, and other things are made and sold here.

    What to buy: Truffles
    Assorted Chocolates
    Carmels
    Fudge to drop dead over
    Assorted nuts
    Ice Cream
    Gelato

    What to pay: How many calories can you afford - never mind - spend it anyway.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Rapid City Local Customs

  • Meeting Elders or people

    It's customary to make a gift of tobaco to elders that you visit. Hau Kola is the greeting (means 'hello friend'. Toksha means 'later' (the Lakota have no word for goodbye).also DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL while you're there.

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  • Rapid for Short

    The locals call their home Rapid for short. Example: "Do you live in Rapid?" or "Are you in Rapid on business?" Unlike the folks in San Francisco, the locals in Rapid City don't mind this nickname for their fair city.

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  • Rapid City Hotels

    44 Hotels in Rapid City

    1 Reviews

Rapid City Warnings and Dangers

  • A Warning on the "Warning or Danger"...

    I've lived in Rapid City for 13 years and I personally don't appreciate the blatent lies people write about my town. Stock Show riots? Closest thing to a riot I've ever seen at the stock show was when a bull got loose last year and ran up Omaha St. Illegal aliens on street corners? They make it sound like there's roaming groups of marauding...

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  • South Dakota is a very...

    South Dakota is a very beautiful state. Scenery is breath-taking. But BEWARE! They are at times curvy, 'can't see around this bend', kinda roads. Many deers and other animals in the road. As you drive, you see tons of signs saying 'Watch for falling rocks'.

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  • If you come during the tourist...

    If you come during the tourist season (memorial day to labor day) exspect to pay high prices for hotel and motels. Watch out for the first full week in August too, it is the Sturgis Bike Ralley and all hotels are usually booked solid.

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Rapid City Tourist Traps

  • Jewel Cave

    We had to go on the Discovery Tour since there were no tickets left for the other tours. It turned out to be nothing but a tourist trap. We had to wait for nearly one hour and there was really nothing worth seeing. The explanations would have been just as good in the hall of the Visitor Center.A lot of time and a little money wasted. Make sure you...

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  • Keystone, SD. The actual...

    Keystone, SD. The actual location of Mount Rushmore. Tiny city full of gift shops, restaurants GALORE! Can't walk out of this city without a few bags of souvenirs :)

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  • Crazy Horse Monument, near...

    Crazy Horse Monument, near Rapid City. I thought this was a bit of a rip off because it cost $19 per car to get in! Most folks would only have 3 or 4 people to a car so this works out very expensive. Once you are in, there is a bus (very rickety and dangerous looking) which takes you closer to the monument. This is an extra $3 per person. There is...

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Rapid City Off The Beaten Path

  • Spokane Ghost Town

    Founded in 1890 and abandoned in 1940, this gold rush boom town was quite prosperous in its day, reaching its zenith in 1927. From then on, it was downhill. Situated behind a gate off a dirt road enroute to Custer, what one see today are the frame of a house, a large 1 room school house, several old vehicles rusting in the fields and some other...

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  • Badlands National Park

    East on I-90 is Badlands National Park. Best known for being blazing hot, it is the home of fossils from the Cenozoic era (that the large mammals, after the dinosaurs died off). It is a broken rugged line of cliffs facing south into the Sioux Reservation. Here the buffalo still roam and prairie dogs have colonies tucked away in the grasslands.See...

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  • Devil's Tower National Monument

    About an hour and a half to the northwest is Devil's Tower. Located in the Bear Mountains of Wyoming, this is really the northern extension of the Black Hills. Made famous by the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the tower is a natural monument that attracts climbers from around the world. It's not uncommon to find someone from New Zealand,...

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Rapid City Favorites

  • Get a National Park Service Passport

    These are really fun and spark interest in the National Park Service system. The brainchild of a marketing genius, the purchaser can get a stamp from each of the NPS sites he or she visits. The collection of these stamps, similar to postal cancellation postmarks (which include the name of the park and the date visited) become fun to collect. It's a...

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  • The absolute MUST see of this...

    The absolute MUST see of this city is definately Mount Rushmore. But on your way there, there are so many off the side of the road activities, you will find plenty for the family. Born and raised in North Dakota, the flattest state ever! South Dakota was breath-taking and I fell in love instantly with the landscape, scenery, monuments,...

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  • Go to Wall Drug before you ge...

    Go to Wall Drug before you ge thtere, if you're coming from the east. The Black Hills is a great area with lots of neat towns. If you can't go to Mt. Rushmore (too many people) just take a hike through the forest and get a view from further away. The drive through Custer St Pk is cool. Go out to the Badlands for a day trip and if you want to go to...

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Explore Deeper into Rapid City
Geology Museum
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