What are the best things to see and do in Rapid City?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Michael Ream

Rapid City is a charming frontier town with plenty of attractions for the visitors who come here on their way to nearby Mount Rushmore. Here are five things Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend seeing and doing in the South Dakota town:
 
1. Black Hills Powwow. A living display of Native American traditions and culture held every October, the Black Hills Powwow is one of the best opportunities to view the culture of America’s indigenous peoples. Dances, music and native crafts are all performed regularly, and participants come from all over for the many events, including the Grand Entry procession, an amazing gathering of powwow attendees dressed in their finest.
 
2. The Journey Museum. Take an extensive trip through the natural history of the Black Hills region by exploring this museum. It has artifacts and interactive displays demonstrating various geological phenomena, as well as special events that illustrate colorful moments in the area’s past.
 
3. Museum of Geology. Located on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, this free museum has an impressive collection of fossils found throughout the state. There are also meteorites, diamonds and dinosaur bones, and plenty of other rocks — some of which have an unbelievable assortment of colors.
 
4. Dahl Fine Arts Center. Rapid City’s art museum has a changing array of exhibits, which have included a variety of painting, sculpture and photography, all with an emphasis on Western art. The center also features the Cyclorama, a unique painting spanning an entire room, including sound and lights, which tells the history of the United States.
 
5. Landstrom’s Original Black Hills Gold Creations and Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold. Stop by these local spots to see and learn about Black Hills gold, a unique form of jewelry that can only be made in the area. There are free tours of the factory and a gift shop with some unique pieces for sale.

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