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About Rapid City Rapid City was founded in 1876, 2 years after gold was discovered in the Black Hills. Rapid City now functions as a trading center and tourist headquarters for the Black Hills area. The Black Hills were the backdrop for the Academy Award-winning 1990 film “Dances with Wolves.” Formal gardens at Halley Park, Sioux Park, Memorial Park and on Canyon Lake Drive grace the city.

The ongoing City of Presidents project has the goal of placing a life-size bronze statue of each of the past presidents of the United States on downtown Rapid City streets; to date, there are 42 presidential pedestrians. The free City of Presidents—Presidents Information Center at the corner of Main and 7th streets is open Mon.-Sat. noon-9, June through September; phone (800) 487-3223.

Main Street Square, in the heart of downtown, presents free evening concerts on summer Thursdays as well as during special events. Summer activities include movies under the stars, while an outdoor ice-skating rink entertains in winter. Main Street Square also features “Passage of Wind and Water,” a series of carved granite blocks by sculptor Masayuki Nagase. The granite sculptures feature abstract designs inspired by South Dakota's Badlands and Black Hills.

The Black Hills Powwow in early October is a celebration of Native American culture and heritage. The focus of the festival is the native dance competition, which draws contestants from throughout the United States and Canada. Iron Mountain Road, a scenic stretch of US 16, winds 28 miles southwest of Rapid City, intersecting with US 385 near Custer State Park.

Visitor Centers Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau 444 N. Mt. Rushmore Rd. Rapid City, SD 57701. Phone:(605)718-8484 or (800)487-3223

Self-guiding ToursThe City Tour and Historic Districts is a self-guiding driving tour of Rapid City's attractions that starts at the Black Hills Visitor Information Center, off I-90 exit 61. The tour is outlined in “The Rapid City Visitors Guide,” available from the convention and visitors bureau. Visitors may also ride the seasonal City View Trolley to see several of the City Tour attractions.

ShoppingRushmore Mall, north of I-90 at 2200 N. Maple Ave., has more than 120 stores including Herberger's, JCPenney and Sears.

Rushmore Crossing, south of I-90 exit 60, includes Scheels , 1225 Eglin St., which has a vast selection of gear for outdoor enthusiasts; phone (605) 342-9033.

Downtown features locally owned boutiques and art galleries.

Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman, 5125 US 16S, and Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold, 2707 Mount Rushmore Rd., sell the area's signature commodities: jewelry handcrafted in the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold and Landstrom's also offer tours detailing the jewelry-making process.

Things to Do Affordable Adventures

Bear Country U.S.A.

Black Hills Adventure Tours

Black Hills Caverns

Chapel in the Hills

Dahl Arts Center

Dakota Tours

Ellsworth Air Force Base

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper and Cowboy Show

Founding Fathers

The Journey Museum and Learning Center

Museum of Geology

The Outdoor Campus West

Petrified Forest of the Black Hills see Piedmont

Reptile Gardens

Sioux Pottery

Skyline Drive

Storybook Island

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Rapid City, SD

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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The Hotel Alex Johnson, Curio Collection by Hilton

523 6th St. Rapid City, SD 57701

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Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

1314 N Elk Vale Rd. Rapid City, SD 57703

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Best Western Plus Rapid City Rushmore

3723 Eglin St. Rapid City, SD 57703

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Members save 5% to 15% and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA/CAA rates!

Rushmore Hotel and Suites, BW Premier Collection

445 Mt. Rushmore Rd. Rapid City, SD 57701

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