Rapid CityUnited States of America

Serving as the Midwest’s gateway to outdoor adventure, this South Dakota city is also regarded as a hub of arts and culture.

Located in southwestern South Dakota, Rapid City is a popular destination because of its close proximity to several famous landmarks. Mount Rushmore National Memorial is only 25 miles (40 kilometers) away, Crazy Horse Memorial 35 miles (55 kilometers) and Badlands National Park 60 miles (95 kilometers). Black Hills National Forest is nearby as well. These outdoor destinations are all accessible day trips.

The city and surrounding area are laced with walking and hiking trails. Cyclists travel from across the country to bike along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway and Needles Highway. Iron Mountain Road, which stretches between Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, is widely regarded as one of the state’s best scenic drives. Enjoy other popular activities including golf, rock climbing, horseback riding and fishing.

Treat your family to a thrilling experience at Reptile Gardens, a park where children can pet tortoises, watch a snake show or stroll through the Sky Dome. Next, step back in time at Dinosaur Park, where you can learn about archaeology and climb atop some of the center’s massive dinosaur statues.

Originally called “Hay Camp," Rapid City was a resting spot for mid-1800s explorers headed to the Black Hills in search of gold. Although the city is now a comfortably modern destination, vestiges of its “Wild West” past remain in its historical downtown. Learn about the city’s past at the Journey Museum, which is filled with interactive exhibits everyone will enjoy.

Main Street Square, the heart of Rapid City, features year-round events ranging from free concerts to ice skating. After visiting the area’s galleries, shops and breweries, stroll down Art Alley, a nationally renowned public art space. Pose next to your favorite president in the City of Presidents community artwork, life-size bronze statues scattered throughout downtown.

Rapid City’s downtown is compact so it’s easy to walk between attractions in the area. City View Trolley is another way to get around, offering an old-time ride to the area’s top sites. Domestic flights arrive and depart daily from Rapid City Regional Airport. Interstate 90 runs alongside the city, making it easily accessible if you are traveling by car.

Top Hotels in Rapid City

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rapid City, SD
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rapid City, SD
3 out of 5
2321 N Lacrosse St, Rapid City, SD
The price is $119 per night

Situated near the airport, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Rushmore Mall and Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf. Journey Museum & Learning Center and Central ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,322 reviews)

"Our GrandKids loved the pool. Location was central to restaurants and highways"…"

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rapid City, SD
The Rushmore Hotel & Suites, BW Premier Collection
The Rushmore Hotel & Suites, BW Premier Collection
3 out of 5
445 Mount Rushmore Rd, Rapid City, SD
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $129 per night

Located in the heart of Rapid City, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Art Alley and Main Street Square. Dinosaur Park and Regional Health are also within ...

4.2/5Very Good! (979 reviews)

"Great room, awesome decor, comfy bed, and right in the heart of downtown Rapid City close to tons of cool restaurants and bars. Would definitely return here in the future!"…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2020

The Rushmore Hotel & Suites, BW Premier Collection
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City
2.5 out of 5
950 North St, Rapid City, SD
The price is $93 per night

Located in the heart of Rapid City, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Berlin Wall Exhibit, Journey Museum & Learning Center, and Main Street Square. Art Alley ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (964 reviews)

"I understand covid mitigation steps but the breakfast bags with microwaveable ham and cheese hot pockets threw me off. Hot Pockets does make breakfast pockets too. Otherwise it was a GREAT stay and I was thankful for the breakfast too."…"

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2020

Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City

In order to explore the wilderness around Rapid City with ultimate freedom, rent a car. There are numerous rental companies in town. Public transportation in the downtown area includes the Rapid Ride network, a fleet of buses with bike racks attached so you can combine cycling and bus travel. For a vintage travel experience, ride the City View Trolley, a classic streetcar which includes a narrated tour.

Popular places to visit in Rapid City

Bear Country USA
Image for Bear Country USA

Bear Country USA

4.5/5(378 reviews)

You can spend an afternoon exploring the galleries in Bear Country USA during your trip to Rapid City. Check out the notable monuments and top-notch restaurants in this family-friendly area.

Reptile Gardens
Image for Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens

4.5/5(261 reviews)

Enjoy an outing to Reptile Gardens during your stay in Colonial Pine Hills. Attend a sporting event or simply visit the area's notable monuments.

Art Alley
Image for Art Alley

Art Alley

4/5(43 reviews)

You can spend time browsing the exhibits at Art Alley in Historic Rapid City. Visit the notable monuments and shops in this family-friendly area.

Top things to do in Rapid City

Black Hills & Mt. Rushmore Tour from Rapid City
Image for Black Hills & Mt. Rushmore Tour from Rapid City

Black Hills & Mt. Rushmore Tour from Rapid City

$87
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Rapid City Scavenger Hunt: City of Presidents
Image for Rapid City Scavenger Hunt: City of Presidents

Rapid City Scavenger Hunt: City of Presidents

$20
Per adult
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Black Hills w/Champagne
Image for Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Black Hills w/Champagne

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Black Hills w/Champagne

$325
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Rapid City

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1003
5 - Excellent 42.77185501066098%
4 - Good
1099
4 - Good 46.865671641791046%
3 - Okay
221
3 - Okay 9.424307036247335%
2 - Disappointing
12
2 - Disappointing 0.511727078891258%
1 - Terrible
10
1 - Terrible 0.42643923240938164%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2020

Would be nice if Everything was open, with no restrictions, but we understand why some places are closed or limiting access.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Considering moving here for retirement!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Rapid City has many restaurants and a very nice downtown area. It is easy to navigate and the people are friendly.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 1, 2020

So much more to do than we would have thought or planned for. Would love to go back as it has lots to do in town and is a great central place for all of South Dakota's National parks and monuments.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 31, 2020

Close to MT Rushmore and Deadwood. Great Mall too.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 30, 2020

Friendly with lots of shopping. Close enough to everything yet just out of the tourist traffic.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Rapid City

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Traveling the world one postcard-ready place at a time

Traveling the world one postcard-ready place at a time
Traveling the world one postcard-ready place at a time
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Inspiring vacation destinations for this August

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