South Dakota Journals

4th of July in the Black Hills

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A July 2007 trip to South Dakota by Noel F.

Mountain View Lodge Photo, Hill City, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: Over July 4th holiday, two families take a road trip to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Badlands, and the Mitchell Corn Palace.

4th of July in the Black Hills

Overview

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Photo, Keystone, South Dakota
Quote:
How shall we use one week of vacation?This year, with some parts of our vacation all planned, we found ourselves with a week unaccounted for. How should we use it? Ordinarily we might have gone the cheap route and seen if any friends might let us use their northern Minnesota lake cabin for a few days, but they’d all be using their own places over this July 4th week.I started several mental trips from our Minneapolis home toward destinations within one day’s drive. East toward the Wisconsin Dells? Southeast toward Chicago? North toward the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota?No! West toward Mount Rushmore! My husband and I drove past that American icon years and ye...Read More

Motel 6

Hotel

Motel 6 Photo, Mitchell, South Dakota
Quote:
July 6-7 at Motel 6 in Mitchell, SD

We arrived in Mitchell in the late afternoon, just the right time to go get something to eat and come back for a swim at Motel 6. I hadn’t stayed at Motel 6 for a long time. I was pleased with the cleanliness here of both the room and the pool.

The front desk staff were pleasant and very helpful.

The Internet access was free and easy to connect. I keep on wondering why Internet service and ice cost so much at high class hotels and are free at simple places like Motel 6. I’d easily recommend this one to anyone.

I made our reservations through www.motel6.com.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Motel 6
1309 S Ohlman St.
Mitchell, South Dakota
(800) 466-8356

Mountain View Lodge

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Hotel

Mountain View Lodge Photo, Hill City, South Dakota
Quote:
Booking AccommodationsOn April 18, I started making calls to reserve a motel room or cabin in the Mount Rushmore area. We preferred a cabin, so we could have a separate room from our daughter. I didn’t know how to find all the possibilities, and I was finding "NO vacancy" everywhere...until I stumbled upon Black Hills Central Reservations - (800) 529-0105. They searched and found a cabin for us that appeared to be the last thing available for that week, even that far ahead—more than 2-1/2 months before the 4th of July.The rate was higher than ideal for us, but as I looked over the reservation confirmation that I received by email, I realized that the cabin could accommodate up ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Mountain View Lodge
12654 S. Hwy. 16
Hill City, South Dakota 57745
(800) 789-7411

Badlands National Park

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Attraction

Badlands National Park Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Quote:
July 6 at Badlands National Parkwww.nps.gov/badlWe checked out of our cabin on Friday morning and started the drive home to Minneapolis. After about 80 miles, we left I-90 at Exit 110 (Wall, SD). We thought of visiting the world-famous Wall Drug, but didn’t have time for that and the Badlands, so we turned south onto the Badlands loop road. The loop road alone, would be only about an hour long, and to see the other-worldly scenery makes it well worth the added time. We were coming from the west; a driver coming from the east would leave I-90 at Exit 131.The entrance fee is $15/car and is good for a week.We stop...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Badlands National Park
25216 Ben Reifel Road
Badlands National Park, South Dakota 57750
(605) 433-5361

Crazy Horse Memorial

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Attraction

Crazy Horse Memorial Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
July 4 at Crazy Horse Memorial www.crazyhorse.org My husband, all day at Rushmore: "Fireworks can’t compare with the laser show we saw years ago at Stone Mountain, Georgia." Well, there’s a nightly laser show at Crazy Horse, so... After our long Rushmore day, July 4 was good for sleeping late and for the crazy joggers to run. We ate our breakfast bagel or cereal whenever we wanted and the girls swam. In honor of the 4th, we grilled brats for lunch. About 3:30pm we left for Crazy Horse. Admission is $25/carload (or $10/adult—free for Native Americans and local residents) - for six of us, not bad. For an addit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Crazy Horse Memorial
Highway 385, 4 miles north of Custer
Black Hills, South Dakota

Custer State Park

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Attraction

Custer State Park Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
July 5 at Custer State Parkwww.sdgfp.info/Parks/Regions/Custer/index.htm$12/car admission to Custer State Park—valid for a week. We’d been promising our daughter a surprise. Every morning she woke wondering what and when.Today was the day. As we headed out for Custer, she wore shorts and sandals, but I sneaked her jeans and tennis into my daypack. As we neared the Blue Bell Lodge’s stables, we used a beach towel to screen the back seat of the minivan, so she could change. The look in her eyes when she realized our destination was a trip highlight for me.A few weeks ahead, I had booked a 1-hour ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Custer State Park
13329 US Hwy 16A
Custer 57730
(605) 255-4772

Corn Palace

Attraction | "Mitchell Corn Palace"

Corn Palace Photo, Mitchell, South Dakota
Quote:
July 7 at Mitchell Corn Palacewww.cornpalace.org/newpages/palace.htmlAdmission is free. The World’s ONLY Corn Palace. It sounds corny—don’t bother to excuse the pun—but it’s pretty a-maize-ing (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) when you look closely.Each year, on interior and exterior walls of the building, pictures are created using corn cobs in 12 different colors. The artwork design is pretty amazing. For the town and region it’s a multi-use center. For visitors it’s a reminder of the history and strength of the region. For us, the visit was a transition back to human creativity and dimensions after ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Corn Palace
612 North Main Street
Mitchell, South Dakota 57301
(605) 996-6223

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Attraction | "Mount Rushmore National Park"

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Photo, Keystone, South Dakota
Quote:
July 3 at Mount Rushmorewww.nps.gov/moruJuly 3 is the big bash at Mount Rushmore. Maybe so they don’t monopolize the crowds (20-30,000) on the 4th and leave other attractions people-less? At 10am, people were already holding spots for the fireworks, occupying themselves with coolers and card games. We cautious city slickers didn’t feel comfortable leaving our stuff out while we toured. So the experienced ones had the best places for the fireworks.Special events were on the Amphitheater stage all day. During the afternoon, "Abraham Lincoln" and/or "Teddy Roosevelt" were in one of the theaters.Coming early is imp...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2007

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Highway 244
Keystone, South Dakota 57751
(605) 574-3171