Rapid City Journals

Journey to the Old Way of Life in South Dakota

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A September 2008 trip to Rapid City by VanessaK

Custer State Park Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: This trip to western South Dakota was my first and hopefully not may last. My family was thrilled to visit some of the landmarks that made this country great. Mount Rushmore is a must see.

Badlands National Park

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Attraction | "A walk on the strange side"

Badlands National Park Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
Have you ever been driving and you come across a stretch of land that looks like something from a science fiction movie? When you are in South Dakota driving east from the Black Hills this is what we found. First you are enjoying the lush green mountains and trees then all of a sudden the green fields turn into a large, jagged, sunken, brown, desolate crater. It is in awe and wonderment you look across this strange landscape called the Badlands. This part of South Dakota was under water some million or so years ago. The movement of the earth through gushes of water and earthquakes created this large, cavern of spikes, hills and caves. I was not prepared for what I saw; it looked like w...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2011

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 - a slow progress"

Crazy Horse Memorial Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
As we left the Mount Rushmore National Park we drove to the Crazy Horse Monument and museum. I thought I was going to see this grand sculpture carved in the rock, as Mount Rushmore was, but instead I found a rough outline of a monument that has changed little over the years. The face is mostly completed as is the outstretched arm, but not much accounting for the 70 years they have been working on it. The Crazy Horse Foundation has however grown greatly over the years.Crazy Horse Monument was started in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear for the purpose of honoring the culture, history and traditions of the North American Indians. They chose Crazy Horse...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

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

Custer State Park

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Attraction | "Beautiful Drive Through Nature"

Custer State Park Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
Custer State Park is South Dakota’s largest state park with 71,000 acres of land to explore on foot, bike, horse, or car. It is located in the beautiful Black Hills National Forest and is a great place for a family vacation. In the park you can use the many campgrounds or you can stay in a hotel out of the park. You can choose to be active and climb one of the many spires or needles created in the rock, or you can just drive around and take in the scenery. That is what we did and we loved every minute of it. Custer State Park was created in the 1920s and was named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The cost to enter the park is $6 per person or $15 per car. There are additional co...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

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

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Attraction | "Mt. Rushmore is a can't miss "

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Photo, Keystone, South Dakota
Quote:
You read about these places in American history as a kid, but to see it up close is jaw dropping amazing. I’ve had this experience once before in Washington DC at the statue of Abe Lincoln and now again on this day in Keystone, South Dakota at the Mount Rushmore National Park. Have you ever gotten chill bumps on your arms or a knot in your throat when you hear the national anthem or when the military comes home and a child rushes their mom or dad? It is the overwhelming feeling of American Pride. Well I have, and this national park was one of those chill bump moments. I was touring South Dakota with my parents and uncle and we had just driven through the most beautiful land in Custer State...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

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

Best Western Town & Country Inn

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Hotel | "Clean, Friendly and Easy Access"

Quote:
If you want luxury or little extras to make you feel special, then this hotel is probably not for you. If you want a clean and friendly hotel close to the highway then give Best Western Town and Country a try. We had four people in our room but needed three beds. I searched high and low for a hotel with three beds and in our price range which was under $50 per person per night. This is how my mom wanted it and I tried to give her just that. Not an easy task I must say. When I found this hotel it seemed just what we wanted. There were three beds in two separate rooms and two bathrooms and all for around $40 per person per night.Town and Country is located on the out skirts of R...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 11, 2008

Best Western Town & Country Inn
2505 Mount Rushmore Rd. S.
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
(605) 343-5383

Colonial House Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Colonial House Was Good Food"

Quote:
Located in our hotel’s parking lot, the Colonial House Restaurant received our business more than once during this trip. The premises were always clean and the staff was friendly. Each time we sat down we were treated like family and made to feel quite welcome.One evening I ordered the taco salad and was shocked to see the mounds of lettuce, meat, beans, cheese and chips on the plate. This plate was 12 inches and full of a mouthwatering and towering salad. As if it needed more, it was topped with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. I couldn’t eat even half of this monstrosity but I have to say it was one of the best taco salads I have had. My dinner came to around $11 for the salad and a s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 11, 2008

Colonial House Restaurant
2501 Mount Rushmore Road
Rapid City
(605) 342-4640

Circle B Ranch Chuckwagon

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Attraction | "Peaceful Surrounding and Great Music"

Quote:
Wanting to get the feel of the old west, we headed for the Chuckwagon Supper at the Circle B Ranch. Whenever I plan a really awesome outdoor experience something happens. I’m not sure whether I need to check with God or the weather man but we always get rained out. This night was no different. We arrived to the ranch ready to play horseshoes, pan for gold or ride the many horses but what we got was a damp, cold, raining night. Luckily the ranch has a gift shop and soda fountain for us to gather. This gathering was the start of a great family night. Imagine a cold and damp night sitting in a rocking chair in front of a warm wood stove listening to soft country & western music. After abo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2008

Circle B Ranch Chuckwagon
22735 Highway 385
Rapid City 57702
(605) 348-7358

Black Hills Glass Blowers

Attraction | "Beautiful Art Created Before your Eyes"

Quote:
While in Keystone, SD we stopped at this shop where the glass work is hand made. I wanted to see this man in action and perhaps purchase a vase or bowl. When we arrived we were greeted by another artist, but not the glass blower. Just my luck he was on vacation. His artwork was magnificent with its bold and bright colors and oddly shaped as it were. Honing in on a red and yellow bowl I got excited about the thought of a purchase and making this piece mine. The price tag drowned any excitement when $350 was found to be way out of my league. Maybe after that next raise.The lady artist there was a friend from the Kansas City area and used glass to create figurines such as a horse or a carouse...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 11, 2008

Black Hills Glass Blowers
901 Old Hill City Road
Keystone
(605) 666-4542