10 Things to Do in Rapid City That You Shouldn't Miss

March 16, 2018 Velvet Mowry

Rapid City has long been considered one of the gateways to the West, and its rich cowboy and Native American heritage is the result. Visitors won't want to miss the area's mammoth outdoor sculptures. There's Mount Rushmore, of course, but work also continues on the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial, which will be the largest sculpture in the world when it is finally completed years down the line. Among the many local attractions are the scenic Black Hills, several nearby cavern systems that offer guided tours and the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.
Restaurants in Rapid City

1. Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries

606 Main St, Rapid City, SD 57701-2736 +1 605-342-3086
Excellent
79%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 425 reviews

Prairie Edge Trading Co. & Galleries

To some, we are a Native American art gallery; to others, we are a trading post reminiscent of days gone by. On the corner of 6th Street and Main in downtown Rapid City, Prairie Edge stands two stories high and stretches out for half a block as a brick, wood, and glass storefront that has been restored to its original 19th century glory. Inside, the hardwood floors and polished cabinetry bring to mind the spirit of the Old West, while the distinct smell of sweetgrass and soft sound of a Lakota flute evoke the mystique of the Plains Indian culture.

Reviewed By mrsagf - washington dc

Store hardly covers it--a gallery for Native American art, local artists and crafts people; a wide selection of beads; clothing, accessories, jewelry, glassware and many other items, all carefully chosen and displayed. The Native American goods were beautifully exhibited, and we lingered over them as...MoreThank you :) It has always been our goal to educate as well as giving our local population of artists an opportunity to show off their wonderful talents. I will share your kind words with our crew.

2. Storybook Island

1301 Sheridan Lake Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702-3462 +1 605-342-6357
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 681 reviews

Storybook Island

We are a non profit childrens park. 8 1/2 acres of outdoor fun! We have a train, carousel and Bippity Boppity Bounce, the cost is $2 per person for each of these. We have concessions on site as well as a gift shop. We are free admission in the summer, a $1 per person donation is recommended. We DO NOT allow outside food, drink or pets. We open for the summer season on Memorial Weekend and Close on Labor Day.

Reviewed By Go2theZoo - Layton, Utah

We were told to go to Storybook Island by a family member who used to live in Rapid City. We have a 14 year old daughter, and it sounded more suited for small children so we were going to skip it. However, we ended up driving right by it on the way out of town, so we decided to stop. Honestly, we all loved it - even the teenager. If you've got children in the 3-10 age range you MUST go! It was so darling and fun. There were a wide range of story play sets to run and climb on. The little train wasn't running, but it looked really cute. We spent an hour walking around, but I think if you had little kids, you could spend a few hours here and easily occupy them. It's fun and free, but you can't take food inside.

3. Museum of Geology

501 E Saint Joseph St, Rapid City, SD 57701-3901 +1 605-394-2467
Excellent
69%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 268 reviews

Museum of Geology

We are a natural history museum featuring an excellent displays of South Dakota fossils, minerals from around the world and South Dakota Minerals.

Reviewed By pagepanther - Stanley, ND

My date has been interested in fossils and all kinds of geologic topics since childhood when he used to dig fossils in the Mazon Creek fossil bed. This is an impressive and large collection and the museum provides background on its history, as well as the large collection. I got quite a bit more education here than I did at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, but must admit time constraints in New York contributed to that. Very nice docent at the time of our visit as well.

4. Reptile Gardens

8955 S Highway 16, Rapid City, SD 57702-6577 +1 605-342-5873
Excellent
65%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Reptile Gardens

World-renowned adventure park, Reptile Gardens is a must-see family attraction no matter what your age. We maintain the finest collection of tropical plants, colorful flowers, and exotic reptiles anywhere - we have more species and subspecies of venomous reptiles than any other zoo or park in the world!

Reviewed By Nicole D - Minnesota

We went on a cold and snowing day so all the animals were in there inside enclosures. I thought that many of them were too small for the size of the animals. The Dome is beautiful with all kinds of different plants and animals wandering around. We got to see the bird show and the snake show and they were both entertaining and fun! Would love to come back in the summer when more of the animals are outside. Don't forget to check out the huge tortoises in their building, I got to pet one and he was the sweetest of hearts. This place also has a huge gift shop with some unique items so make sure to check that out after you're done viewing the animals.

5. Chapel in the Hills

3788 Chapel Ln, Rapid City, SD 57702-4942 +1 605-342-8281
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 498 reviews

Chapel in the Hills

The Chapel is now closed for the season. We hope to see you May 1st when we open for 2017! Replica of the 850-year-old Borgund Church in Norway and has unique architecture and woodcarvings.

Reviewed By HootieToo - Mentor, Ohio

Saw some photos of this place and said if we were ever in the area we'd stop. Well, we decided to go to South Dakota and couldn't pass up the chance to see it in person. It was truly awesome!

It's off the beaten path a bit up a hill in a residential area. Not exactly where I thought it would be, but none the less, the setting is beautiful. This is a little quiet piece of solitude surrounded by trees on the side of a hill. There is a bit of a walk uphill to the chapel from the parking lot, but should be accessible for most people.

The chapel is stunning; simply stunning. Regardless of your faith, if you appreciate architecture this is not to be missed. No matter what angle you view this building it is simply beautiful and perfectly placed among the hills and trees. Behind it is a short walkway that has some statues and benches for visitors to rest.

Do not miss this beauty. You'll be very happy you made the stop.

6. South Dakota Air and Space Museum

2890 Davis Dr., Bldg#5208, Rapid City, SD 57706 +1 605-385-5189
Excellent
58%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 697 reviews

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

Aircraft that have been flown throughout the eras are on display at South Dakota's premiere free aviation museum! The museum has two major static display venues: First, a outdoor air park filled with WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, and present day aircraft lets you get close to & touch history. This includes the currently flown B-1B Lancer. Secondly, four historical hangars showcase military history & technology,space tech & EROS, SD aviation, and EAFB local military history in a fresh and immersive walk-through. Mid-May through Mid-September bus tours of nearby Ellsworth AFB and the Minuteman II missile training silo are offered at a nominal fee. You will be able to go inside the silo and on base for a 50 minute guided tour of the only MMII silo open to the public. Make sure you bring your ID or Passport (Non-US) to enjoy the tour!

Reviewed By Stewart K - Totnes, United Kingdom

We didn't know this place existed until we saw the billboard on our way from Sturgis. We were really glad we made the effort to visit. They have a fine selection of aircraft on view that you can walk up and touch including B-52, B1, Minuteman 2 nuclear missile. I think they have at least 30 aircraft/missiles outside. Then you go inside for the informative exhibitions. All for free including the parking. We had great morning. Thank you

7. The Potter Family Theatre

632 1/2 St. Joseph, Stay tuned for our new location in Rapid City, Rapid City, SD 57701 +1 605-415-5593
Excellent
94%
Good
4%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 83 reviews

The Potter Family Theatre

Performing a variety of music from the '30's & '40's through today, The Potter Family will bring back memories of the past and touch the hearts of old and young alike. If it's your first visit to The Potter Family Theatre, be prepared to laugh, cry, and sing along as their amazing voices and rich harmonies satisfy the music lover in everyone! There is a reason why people can't wait to see the next show-you'll be captivated and will want to see them again and again as you share them with family and friends. Located in the heart of historic downtown Rapid City, The Potter Family brings a new twist to the local entertainment scene. With their wide variety of iconic music, warm family humor and engaging shows, this group of five never fails to bring nostalgia while delivering amazing visual performances and vocals. Themed shows are presented throughout the year, with special holiday performances during the Christmas, Valentine's and Fourth of July seasons. Ask us about all our upcoming shows, and get your tickets early!

Reviewed By AmyLivesFit - Rapid City, South Dakota

I attended their show 2 years ago. We enjoyed a delicious prime rib dinner while listening to beautiful talent. The whole show was amazing. They sang songs that others would struggle with and it was flawless. I HIGHLY recommend attending their show.

You can also hire them for special events. My husbands company hired them for Christmas and it was also amazing.

8. Bear Country USA

13820 S Highway 16, Rapid City, SD 57702-6581 +1 605-343-2290
Excellent
64%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Bear Country USA

Enjoy a leisurely 2-mile drive through this unique North American Wildlife park nestled on 250 acres of Black Hills Beauty. From the comfort of your vehicle view black bears, wolves, elk, buffalo and other wildlife! After your drive-through tour, walk around wildlife loop where young and smaller animals frolic in the outdoors. Don't miss the Baby Bears! Dine at the Cub Grub Snack Shack or shop in the Bear's Den Gift Shop. Open May through November, weather permitting. -- Open for 2017 season on April 8th weather permitting, check our website for more complete dates and hours.

Reviewed By mrsagf - washington dc

We LOVED Bear Country USA!!! And we didn't even have any kids along with us!!!

You drive through (or sometimes beside) many enclosures of wildlife sequestered by type. We drove right through several dozen black bears, up close and personal. Completely mesmerizing. Later, in the baby animals section near the parking lot, we were vastly amused by the cavorting baby bears.

We were about to start our tour to Yellowstone NP and Grand Tetons NP but suspected that we would see more wildlife here, so we made the effort to get here. We were right.

Everything and everybody seemed well cared for. There is a very good gift shop, where we made some purchases.

Bear Country was a lasting highlight of our trip, and it wasn't even on our tour. Thank you, Bear Country.

9. Downtown Rapid City

Rapid City, SD 57701 +1 605-342-7296
Excellent
55%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Downtown Rapid City

Escape for the weekend to Downtown Rapid City and experience numerous art galleries, fashionable boutiques, a variety of fine cuisine, the City of President statues and great entertainment from music to theatre and various events. Explore the fountains at Main Street Square, a place to make fun-filled memories for the whole family. With plenty of hotel rooms, over 70 shops and 33 restaurants, head Downtown, year round.

Reviewed By Helena L - Malmesbury, United Kingdom

The downtown area is so easy to navigate and very nice. The statues of the 44 presidents is unique and gave our boys something to focus on.

We stayed in the Alex Johnson which was so very handy as it is in the center of the Downtown area. Plenty of bars and restaurants dnd plenty of good parking, most of it free which is refreshing. We had an RV and even managed the parking piece.

March was a little cold although the snow had all gone. It would be great fun on a summer’s morning.

10. The Journey Museum & Learning Center

222 New York St, Rapid City, SD 57701-1199 +1 605-394-6923
Excellent
61%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 306 reviews

The Journey Museum & Learning Center

Open all year long! Your Black Hills Journey starts here. The Journey Museum & Learning Center brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains - from the perspective of the Lakota people and the pioneers who shaped its past, to the scientists who now study it. Providing special programs and interactive learning experiences for all ages is our mission. All admissions are good for 2 days.

Reviewed By Winnipeg_CanadaKeith - Winnipeg, Canada

The museum is medium sized but all the displays are very well done. Staff are great! Nice theater!!!

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