South Dakota has been in the news quite a bit over the last year and a half. And that’s really good, because South Dakota is a wonderful place to visit! The Black Hills of South Dakota have some of the most beautiful views, and they are chock full of things to do. Read on to learn about some of the Black Hills’ fun and exciting activities.
The Great Outdoors
The most obvious of all our activities in the Black Hills area is: outside. There are so many things to do, it would be impossible to list them all! Hiking, biking, camping, RVing, swimming, marathons, ATV trails, boating, scenic drives, rock climbing, spelunking… there is no end to the things you can do in the Hills. If you have never been, visiting Mount Rushmore should be on your bucket list. We have some amazing National Parks, such as Wind Cave, The Badlands, and Custer State Park. If you’re into motorcycles, there are some amazing routes to travel – Vanocker Canyon to Nemo is a beautiful and relaxing ride, and the ride up from Deadwood to Newcastle, WY is an absolute must! The Hills have awesome and very well-maintained hiking and biking trails; if you’re going to hike or bike only one, do the Mickelson Trail. This 109-mile-long trail has it all: biking, birdwatching, cross-country skiing, hiking, and historical interest points. We have an abundance of wildlife in the Hills, and tons of attractions, like the Rush Mountain Adventure Park in Keystone and the Broken Boot Gold Mine in Deadwood, where you can pan for gold. The possibilities are endless!
The Wild West
Speaking of Deadwood, the Wild West is alive and well in the heart of the Black Hills. Deadwood is a unique gem, where you can see daily reenactments of Wild Bill Hickok’s death and historic gunfights, ride real stagecoaches, gamble to your heart’s content, and also find modern concerts and fine dining. Kool Deadwood Nites, in its 27th year, is a free event that features classic car shows and Sock-Hop concerts. It is a fun, activity-filled event, this year scheduled for August 25-29. Plan to stay for the Big Stage events on Main Street, they always have great music! Deadwood Mountain Grand sports concerts year-round, featuring national acts such as Kansas, Tanya Tucker, comedians Williams and Ree, Three Dog Night, and Theory of a Deadman. You can get tickets here. There are dozens of diners, restaurants, and eateries in Deadwood that offer delicious menu options; if you’re looking for breakfast, thought, the place to go is the Gold Country Café. They have the best breakfasts in town!
Museums, Art, and Historic Places
The Black Hills are richly diverse, and played an important role in shaping America as we know it (we ARE the Wild West, after all). Almost every town has some type of museum with historical facts, stories, and memorabilia of people and events from the past. One of our favorites is the Adams House and the Adams Museum in Deadwood. The Adams House, built in 1892, looks today just as it did when it was built, right down to the Victorian furniture and cookies in the cookie jar. The museum displays what are considered some of the most beloved treasures of the Black Hills, like Potato Creek Johnny’s 7.345 troy ounce gold nugget. Another favorite historical spot to visit is the Fort Meade Historical Cemetery outside of Sturgis, which holds the final resting places of soldiers who fought during the Indian Wars and World War II. For artwork, especially if you are looking for Native American art, the best place to look is Prairie Edge in Rapid City. They offer authentic art from local Native artists, and have everything from beadwork jewelry to star quilts.
The Black Hills of South Dakota are full of amazing, fun, and exciting opportunities. There are so many places to eat, play, and enjoy that you would have to visit over and over again to even begin experiencing it all. So, we’re really glad you’re here, and we hope you come back soon!