Rapid City Travel Guide & Information

Rapid City, a quaint and interesting city of South Dakota, will surely take you for a Wild West spin down its Midwest terrain. Prepare to see some of United States most wondrous landmarks like the pompous mountain-side carvings of our nation’s most beloved and revolutionary presidents.

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Travel to the Black Hills where you might end up dancing with the wolves like Kevin Costner, or go for an adventure inside one of the largest indoor water parks, Wa Tiki Indoor Waterpark.

Everything in South Dakota is bigger and better from its Reptile Garden, the largest reptile collection in the world, to Mount Rushmore, one of the world’s largest manmade sculptures.


Things to do in Rapid City

Daytime Attractions:

Mount Rushmore National Memorial: This is the story two dedicated men – Doane Robinson and Gutzon Borglum - and the 400 laborers who helped make their dreams come true of carving a sculpture so big that millions would come just to gaze upon its wonder. Come and admire the faces of the historic presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt carved into the granite rocks of Mount Rushmore. General Admission: NO GENERAL ADMISSION FEE (only a parking fee of $10). Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located only a short drive from Rapid City (Take Highway 16 to Keystone and then Highway 244 to Mount Rushmore).

Address: 13000 Highway, Keystone.

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Contact Information: 1-605-574-2523

* Alternate Option (in case you don’t want to drive, because we at cheapOair take care of you!):

Mount Rushmore Grand Legends Tour: Instead of driving all the way from Rapid City, why not relax on a cushioned seat in a coach bus while you are driven to Mount Rushmore – where you will visit major spots such as Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, 1880 Train and Iron Mountain Road with pig-tail bridges.

Address: 1600 E. St. Patrick Street, Rapid City.

Contact Information: 1-417-823-0981 (Toll-Free: 1-800-987-9852)

Reptile Gardens: Acclaimed to be the world’s largest collection of reptiles, the Reptile Gardens is worth your visit! Here you will have the opportunity to learn about the world’s deadliest snakes, the Komodo dragon, and Maniac (the 15 ft. 8 in. saltwater crocodile). You can journey through the magnificent Sky Dome, where you can discover thousands of plants and flowers. Attend one of the three shows or all such as the Wings of Adventure, Crocodilian (exhibiting over 57 crocodilians) or the Snake Show – Reptile Gardens is the place for you!

Address: 8955 South Highway 16.

Contact Information: 1-605-342-5873


The Corn Exchange Restaurant & Bistro: This restaurant is a little success story of a restaurant in the Midwest of America. Under the direction of Chef M.J. Adams, who has combined all her years of culinary training into her restaurant – such as The French Culinary Institute, James Beard Foundation, Slow Food, and some of New York’s best restaurants –, this restaurant keeps evolving with a blend of eclectic tastes, a style she calls, “New Heartland Cuisine.” Come and enjoy the fusion of French and Midwest style cooking with the freshest produce and locally raised meats.

Address: 727 West Main Street.

Contact Information: 1-605-343-5070

Colonial House Restaurant: This family restaurant, specializing in American cuisine, has an atmosphere that caters to a comfortable, a cozy and a memorable experience – from its delicious food to its bizarre designs and decorations that feature memorabilia of random things. Order a Bacon & Cheddar Burger and watch as the melted cheddar cheese slithers over the succulent and sizzling meat patty. Take a big bite of that burger and feel the crisp of the juicy bacon as you crunch into it… YUM!

Address: 2501 Mount Rushmore Road.

Contact Information: 1-605-342-4640

Nighttime Attraction:

Woody’s: Let’s try something different and take it to the Wild West, so put on your cowboy boots and kick those hoofs! Order another pint and hoists your beers for slamming crowd at Woody’s will give you a ruckus cheer! YEE HAA!

Address: 826 West Main Street.

Contact Information: 1-605-343-1931


Where to Stay in Rapid City

Rushmore Plaza: Starting at $162.99 [prices may vary] per night (stay for 2), Rushmore Plaza is one of the top-notch hotels in Rapid City. The hotel’s amenities feature a business center, a fitness center, an indoor pool, a whirlpool, a sauna, an on-site restaurant (The Grille) and a lounge (Fountain Court Lounge). Nestle in your king size bed while watching your complimentary cable TV; Open up the blinds to see the panoramic views of the majestic mountains and cliffs; Step out of your room and stare down the hotel’s atrium which features a 40 ft. waterfall.

Address: 505 North Fifth Street.

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Contact Information: 1-800-315-2621

La Quinta Inn & Suites: Starting at $169 [prices may vary] per night (stay for 2), this hotel – an overused cliché – is different from all the rest. What other hotel has the 30,000 ft. Wa Tiki Indoor Waterpark decked out with waterslides and a lazy river attached to it? Yes, La Quinta is something else, so let you’re kids unwind in this mega-water complex and enjoy your well deserved alone time. The hotel’s amenities feature business center, high-speed wireless internet, fitness center and many more.

Address: 1416 North Elk Vale Road.

Contact Information: 1-605-718-7000

Americinn Lodge & Suites: Starting at $89.95 [prices may vary] per night (stay for 2), you’ll get a chic-one-bed guest room, so why not pay $60 dollars extra a night and get a whirlpool right in your room! Cool? That’s not all! The Americinn of Rapid City has indoor pool feature a 140 ft. slide, so change into your swimming attire and warp down this insane waterslide. This hotel is only a short drive from Mount Rushmore.

Address: 1632 Rapp Street.

Contact Information: 1-800-396-5007

Microtel Inn & Suites Rapid City: Starting at $119.18 [prices may vary] per night (stay for 2), the hotel will be only minutes drive from the legendary Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The setting of this hotel’s lobby is very simple, elegant and professional with clean and contemporary guest rooms, and it’s perfectly complimented by the hotel’s phenomenal staff. Its amenities feature high-speed internet, continental breakfast, an indoor heated pool, a hot tub and many more.

Address: 1740 Rapp Street.

Contact Information: 1-605-348-2523


Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

Any sort of valid identification (Identification card) in order to board the plane. Note, passport is not needed if you have an identification card to show.

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For Non-US Citizens:

* Passport will be needed

* Non-immigrant visa for temporary stay must be obtained showing your purpose to U.S.

For Canadians: (just one will be needed)

* Passport will be needed

* Nexus Card

We strongly recommend you to check out the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.


When to visit Rapid City

Planning your Visit:

The best time to go to Rapid City is during the summer time when the weather is perfect for visiting the outdoor attractions such as Mount Rushmore and all the other famous landmarks. However, this is also the peak traveling season to Rapid City; therefore, flights and hotels are mostly booked or very expensive during this period. Your best bet to find cheaper tickets is to book flights during the fall or spring seasons in which you can still visit the outdoor landmarks with fairly nice weather. Winter is out of the question, unless you love the harsh weather that follows the winter solstice.

Rapid City Weather

Average Annual Temperature: 46.6 Degrees

Average Max Temperature: 59.4 Degrees

Average Min. Temperature: 33.7 Degrees

December - February: 24.4 Degrees

March - May: 44.8 Degrees

June - August: 69.2 Degrees

September – November: 47.8 Degrees

Average Rainfall (inches/year): 16.6 inches.


The main language spoken in Rapid City is English.

Other languages:

* Spanish (1.4%)

* Indo-European Languages (1.7%)

* Asian and Pacific Island Languages (0.8%)