South Dakota

South Dakota

13 Fun & Best Things to Do in Rapid City, South Dakota

13 Fun & Best Things to Do in Rapid City,

Rapid City is likely to be finest referred to as the gateway to Mount Rushmore, however this pleasant location has lots to supply in its personal proper.

There are a wide range of issues to do in Rapid City that vary from thrilling out of doors adventures to top-notch museums and eating places. Attractions such because the nationwide parks, beautiful Black Hills Mountain Range, and plenty of South Dakota historical past are certain to show any go to to the Mount Rushmore State into an incredible journey!

Whether you’re a lone traveler or touring with family and friends, you’ll discover one thing in Rapid City that may draw you in. It is likely to be the full of life downtown Rapid City environment or close by Wind Cave National Park. Maybe will probably be horseback driving or one of many space’s superb guided excursions. Or maybe you’ll wish to benefit from the rugged fantastic thing about the Black Hills Caverns or the enjoyable of local people occasions.

Regardless of what brings you to Rapid City, South Dakota, you’ll discover it’s an incredible place to go to! Here are the enjoyable and finest issues to do in Rapid City, South Dakota.


  • Most important landmark – Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Best park – Badlands National Park
  • Best free exercise – South Dakota Air and Space Museum
  • Best exercise for teenagers – Reptile Gardens
  • Best exercise for adultsMount Rushmore Tours
  • Best meals – Murphy’s Pub and Grill
  • Best nightlife – Downtown Rapid City
  • Best all-around lodgingRushmore Hotel & Suites, BW Premier Collection

Fun & Best Things to Do in Rapid City, South Dakota

1. Downtown Rapid City

Rapid City Scenery

Address: 512 Main St., Suite 980, Rapid City, SD 57701

Downtown Rapid City is the place every little thing occurs! This is the right place to begin your exploration of town since it’s residence to many outlets, eating places, and bars.

The aroma of tasty meals from downtown eateries like Murphy’s Pub & Grill will make you wish to strive every little thing the realm has to supply! And when evening falls, the downtown space comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. You can take pleasure in stay music on the Firehouse Brewing Company and Independent Ale House.

Downtown Rapid City additionally options many native outlets and boutiques. These promote every little thing from jewellery and classic clothes to presents and books. While you’re procuring, any youngsters in your group will take pleasure in taking part in in Downtown Rapid City’s splash fountains and open areas or exploring the superb artwork at Art Alley.

This distinctive downtown attraction is a good place to take images and get a style of the native artwork. You’ll additionally wish to view the bronze statues of previous American presidents like George Washington and John Adams when you’re within the space.

You’ll have extra peace of thoughts touring Downtown Rapid City should you even have a close-by place to remain. Fortunately, the Rushmore Hotel & Suites, BW Premier Collection, is situated within the coronary heart of this historic vacation spot. Book your accommodation and luxuriate in all the realm has to supply!

See Related: Best Things to Do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

2. Main Street Square

Address: 512 Main St., Suite 980, Rapid City, SD 57701

Although Main Street Square is situated within the coronary heart of Downtown Rapid City, it deserves a point out of its personal. The Square has turn into probably the most iconic landmarks in Rapid City, South Dakota. It can also be one of many free issues to do in Rapid City, because it gives the right environment to loosen up and benefit from the open air.

The dancing water fountain is the centerpiece of the Square. The water park creates an ambient environment, and the lights change colour in keeping with the music. The space can also be residence to a number of public artwork installations, with sculptures making a altering visible panorama that makes the setting much more inviting.

Main Street Square additionally hosts common occasions and live shows. Examples embrace the annual pumpkin competition and the Downtown Trick-or-Treat occasion. This is a good place to take your loved ones for fall and Halloween enjoyable! Make certain to examine their web site to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the group occasions at this vacation spot.

3. Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens Entrance
Paul R. Jones /

Address: 8955 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702

Are you questioning what to do in Rapid City, South Dakota as a household? If so, you’ll wish to add Reptile Gardens to your record. This prime Rapid City attraction is a must-see for animal lovers of all ages. It gives alternatives to take pleasure in each indoor and out of doors displays in addition to a present store that gives enjoyable and academic merchandise.

Reptile Gardens is residence to tons of of animals, together with snakes, crocodiles, lizards, and Komodo dragons. The gardens are additionally residence to a bald eagle exhibit the place guests can meet Cheyenne, a wonderful instance of the United States National Bird.

In addition to the various animals, guests will even benefit from the colourful botanical gardens. These function vibrant blossoms, well-manicured lawns, and luxurious vegetation. Reptile Gardens additionally has the Sky Dome, which harbors a tropical rainforest. It has varied tropical crops and free-roaming animals like frogs and lizards.

In addition to those partaking displays, Reptile Gardens is residence to Prairie Dog Town. Wondering what a Prairie Dog Town is? It’s a maze of underground tunnels that open up into underground bubbles, permitting you to see these lovable little creatures up shut. Your youngsters will love the chance to expertise some hands-on enjoyable with the animals after they contact the enormous tortoises and different reptiles!

Looking for a spot to remain when touring the Reptile Gardens? There are quite a lot of VRBO listings within the space. Check them out and e book a property that fits you.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Pierre, South Dakota

4. The Journey Museum & Learning Center

Address: 222 New York St, Rapid City, SD 57701

The Journey Museum & Learning Center is without doubt one of the finest locations to be taught concerning the historical past of the Black Hills. As you enter, you’ll be transported again in time to life within the Black Hills because the Native Americans first skilled it.

You’ll additionally be taught concerning the earth’s crust and the rock layers beneath the floor. You can contact and really feel all of the gems and rocks that present a glimpse of the Black Hills’ geologic beginnings.

If you wish to evaluation the historical past of the dinosaurs, the Journey Museum offers you that chance too! You can contact dinosaur bones and consider the fossil lab within the museum’s paleontology space. Once you end with the dinosaurs, head over to see the superb beadwork of the indigenous Lakota individuals, then be sure to take a look at the tipi!

The unbelievable Journey Museum & Learning Center is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Rapid City with youngsters. The vacation spot has toddler time and discovery expeditions for kids of all ages. Your youngsters will even love dusting off bones and spending time on the rotating planetarium.

Accommodations are usually not an issue when visiting the museum. The metropolis of Rapid City, South Dakota has loads of motels, motels, and mattress and breakfasts. Book your stay right here for a hassle-free expertise.

5. Bear Country USA

Address: 13820 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702

The final time you noticed a bear was most certainly in a zoo. But what if we advised you that you can see them of their pure habitat? That’s precisely what this amazing experience gives!

Bear Country USA is a drive-through wildlife park the place you’ll be able to see animals in a extra pure setting. However, bear in mind that this can be a seasonal attraction and is simply open from spring to late fall.

Bear Country USA is residence to grizzly bears, black bears, and polar bears. You can see them roaming round or swimming within the ponds. Though chances are you’ll not wish to encounter one among these enormous animals within the wild, you’ll love seeing them within the park!

In addition to bears, you’ll discover many different animals, together with reindeer, elk, pronghorn, cougars, and Rocky Mountain goats. You will even see Dall sheep, bighorn sheep, buffalo, coyotes, and extra. 

If you’d wish to expertise the animals in a extra intimate setting, you’ll be able to take a safari trip or take pleasure in strolling guided excursions. When you’re able to take a break from all of the animals, cease by the present store and seize one thing to recollect your time at Bear Country USA.

If your youngsters are 4 and below, visiting Bear Country USA might depend as one of many low-cost issues to do in Rapid City. Admission for kiddos in that age vary is free! Check the vacation spot’s web site for extra particulars about tickets, guidelines, laws, and pet coverage.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Yankton, South Dakota

6. Black Hills Caverns

Address: 2600 Cavern Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702

The Black Hills Caverns is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Rapid City, SD should you’re in search of an journey. This thrilling attraction is an ideal place to take the household on a scorching summer time day. Visiting this vacation spot can also be a superb approach to be taught concerning the historical past and science of the caves within the space.

The Black Hills Caverns are man-made caves that have been created by mining operations within the late 1800s. The caves are actually a preferred vacationer vacation spot identified for his or her stunning rock formations.

Black Hills Caverns gives two tour choices, together with:

  •  The Adventure Tour: This is extra complete and takes about an hour. This tour lets you discover three cave ranges masking about three-quarters of a mile. You will see the very best number of cave formations throughout this tour.
  • The Crystal Tour: This is the simple choice which takes about half an hour and covers about 1500 ft. You will see calcite crystals and be taught concerning the cave formation course of.

The temperature contained in the cave is a cool 50 levels Fahrenheit, so deliver a jacket!

Kids will even take pleasure in a go to to the caverns. They may even take part in gemstone panning and get to maintain no matter treasures they uncover!

7. Mount Rushmore Tours

Mount Rushmore

Address: 2255 Fort Hayes Dr., Rapid City, SD 57702

Fort Hays gives Mount Rushmore Tours for individuals who wish to see the well-known landmark up shut. Plus, should you’re nonetheless excited about issues to do in Rapid City for {couples}, Mount Rushmore Tours will supply a romantic expertise.

Other alternatives embrace an prolonged tour that options supper, breakfast, and a cowboy-themed music present. Or, should you’re a wildlife lover, you’ll be able to take part within the Buffalo Roundup Tour. Adventure and nature lovers might be delighted with the Mount Rushmore Sightseeing Tour.

Knowledgeable tour guides will take you thru the Black Hills National Forest. The guides will recurrently cease for wildlife footage and different picturesque moments. You will even take pleasure in a greater view of Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park.

Once the ranger-guided tour returns to Fort Hays, you’ll be able to discover the Old West Town Square. In Fort Hays, you will discover traditionally correct outlets that function taxidermy, Old West clothes, and extra.

You may find out about varied historic processes in the course of the tour by testing your abilities at spinning a tin plate or rope making. You may even watch the scorching technique of forging scorching iron.

If you’re prepared to sit down down and loosen up after a full day of sightseeing, take a look at the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper and Music Variety Show. It operates seasonally and gives good meals and household enjoyable!

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Yankton, South Dakota

8. Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Address: 25216 SD-240, Interior, SD 57750

You can’t be fearful about what to do in Rapid City, South Dakota when Badlands National Park is simply an hour away! The park is a popular destination to tour for individuals who love nature and wildlife.

Badlands is residence to bison, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, and extra. The nationwide park additionally has scenic drives for guests to take pleasure in. These drives supply beautiful views of the Badlands.

Make certain you drive by way of Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240). This highway will take you thru a few of the finest surroundings within the park.

You’ll see improbable rock formations, canyons, and prairie canines. If you wish to get out and discover, there are many climbing trails to select from. Some of those trails supply an unbelievable view of the Badlands while you attain the highest!

While in Badlands National Park, you’ll be able to go to the Fossil Preparation Lab. The paleontologists right here might be pleased to point out you round and reply any questions you might have. You may cease by the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.

It options instructional displays on the historical past and geology of the Badlands. To benefit from the park at evening, you’ll be able to keep late sufficient to take part in nighttime astronomy viewings. Astronomy volunteers and park rangers will arrange telescopes and provide help to discover constellations and different attention-grabbing evening sky objects.

9. Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial
forcdan –

Address: 12151 Avenue of the Chiefs, Crazy Horse, SD 57730

Located about 1 hour’s drive from Rapid City, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain sculpture and iconic landmark within the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is devoted to the Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse. It was began in 1948 by Korczak Ziolkowski.

Following his demise in 1982, his spouse and youngsters continued his work on the memorial. The sculpture remains to be within the technique of being accomplished and is at present the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. Upon its completion, the memorial will turn into the world’s second-tallest statue.

Visitors can take a tour of the carving website and be taught concerning the historical past of the mission. They may go to the Indian Museum of North America, situated on the mountain’s base.

After exploring all this vacation spot gives, you’ll be able to retreat to the Laughing Water Restaurant. The restaurant gives a wide range of American and Native American dishes. Be certain to strive the Tatanka stew and the Native American Taco. You’ll additionally wish to take within the each day cultural efficiency, which options Lakota storytellers, singers, and dancers.

If you don’t thoughts hanging out on the memorial till after darkish, you’ll be able to view the colourful Laser Light Show. It is projected onto the facet of the mountain and tells the story of Native Americans and the realm’s cultural range.

See Related: Best Things to do in Custer State Park, South Dakota

10. Cosmos Mystery Area

Address: 24040 Cosmos Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702

The Cosmos Mystery Area is a enjoyable and mysterious place to go to in Rapid City, South Dakota. The space is filled with unusual optical illusions that may depart you baffled. Once you enter the thriller space, the legal guidelines of physics and nature will not appear to use.

You will notice that water can movement uphill, your tall buddies will seem shorter, and what seems degree at first will cease being degree. As you go deeper into the Cosmos Mystery Area, you’ll benefit from the thrill of with the ability to stroll up a wall, and whereas hanging completely, a mysterious pressure will push you sideways. 

The thriller space is a good place to take footage and have enjoyable with family and friends. You may take a self-guided tour the place you’ll be taught concerning the historical past of the realm and the science behind the optical illusions.

If you need a snug place to remain after a protracted day of mysteries, Book the nearby Powder House Lodge to your lodging.

11. Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries

Address: 606 Main St, Rapid City, SD 57701

One of the enjoyable issues to do in Rapid City, South Dakota, is to go to the Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries. This vacation spot is a Native American artwork gallery specializing in up to date and conventional artwork.

Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries is without doubt one of the largest artwork galleries of its type. The gallery has an unlimited assortment of work, pottery, sculptures, jewellery, and extra.

If you wish to be taught extra about Native American tradition, you’ll be able to take a free gallery tour. The educated workers will share their insights concerning the paintings on show. You may additionally have the possibility to see a few of the artists working of their studios.

The Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries is extra than simply an artwork gallery. If you’re in search of a singular memento, you should buy one of many retailer’s handcrafted objects. The retailer sells varied arts and crafts, together with dreamcatchers, pottery, and jewellery.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to Do in Deadwood, South Dakota

12. South Dakota Air and Space Museum

South Dakota Air and Space Museum
EQRoy /

Address: 2890 Davis Dr., Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706

You could also be involved that there are not any free issues to do in Rapid City, South Dakota. Don’t fear, there are many free actions, and one among them is touring the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.

This prime Rapid City attraction is situated on Ellsworth Air Force Base. It’s among the best locations to be taught concerning the historical past of aviation and area exploration. The South Dakota Air and Space Museum has over 30 plane on show, together with a B-1 Bomber.

It additionally gives excursions of an intact missile silo that was used to coach upkeep personnel between the Sixties and Nineties. Touring the silo offers you a uncommon alternative to get a really feel for what navy preparation was like in the course of the Cold War.

Beyond wartime historical past, on the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, you’ll be able to be taught concerning the aviation business’s pioneers. You will perceive how far aviation know-how, engineering, and science have come over the previous century by viewing displays that vary from the primary time the Wright brothers touched down to the current day.

13. WaTiki Water Park

Address: 1314 North Elk Vale Road, Rapid City, South Dakota 57703

If you wish to take pleasure in all of the enjoyable of a tremendous water park with out worrying a few sunburn, come benefit from the indoor WaTiki Water Park! This moist and wild expertise not solely gives a wide range of water-based sights, however options an arcade as properly.

The arcade gives 50 arcade and video video games that vary from common classics to trendy favorites. The selection ensures that each youngsters and adults will take pleasure in hours of play!

The 30,000-square-foot indoor water park additionally gives hours of enjoyable with its many themed water rides and sights. These embrace swimming swimming pools, a lazy river, the Oasis Hot Tub, Maui’s Body Slide, Parrots Plunge, and Koko’s Kingdom. There can also be an exercise pool and a number of other sights which are appropriate for youthful swimmers.

The WaTiki Water Park isn’t just a water park and arcade, it’s a full resort. There are a number of eating places and motels on website for anybody wishing to spend extra than simply at some point having fun with every little thing WaTiki has to supply!


What is the very best factor to do with youngsters in Rapid City, South Dakota?

You can take your youngsters for a wildlife tour on the Reptile Gardens or Bear Country USA. They may find out about aviation historical past and area journey on the South Dakota Air and Space Museum. Kids may additionally love a visit to Bear Country USA.

What are some enjoyable issues to do in Rapid City, South Dakota?

If you’re in search of some enjoyable issues to do in Rapid City, you’ll be able to hold with the bear at Bear Country USA, discover the mysteries on the Cosmos Mystery Area, go on one of many Mount Rushmore Tours, or expertise the fantastic thing about Custer State Park.

What are some issues to do in Rapid City, South Dakota, when it’s raining?

If you’ll be able to’t have out of doors enjoyable, you’ll be able to go to the Journey Museum, the indoor WaTiki Water Park, or take pleasure in good meals and a present on the Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper and Music Variety Show. You may find out about Native American tradition on the Indian Museum of North America.

What are the very best vacationer sights in Rapid City?

The finest vacationer sights in Rapid City embrace touring Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Downtown Rapid City, and the Black Hills Caverns. And should you’re in search of issues to do in Rapid City for adults, you’ll be able to discover the climbing trails within the Badlands National Park.

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