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Old 08-04-2010, 12:41 AM
 
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Hi,
I am considering visiting Rapid City area for a weekend this month. What is there to see? I am looking forward to Mt. Rushmore and I read Crazy Horse and Deadwood are worth a detour. Also read there are two scenic roads, Skyline Drive and Needles Hwy.. Which one is a must? I am in my 20s and will be traveling alone.

I might be staying at the Grand Gateway Hotel (read online it is the best hotel, is this true?)

Why are the air tickets SO expensive?!

Thanks
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:18 AM
 
Location: california
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I don't live in South Dakota but have been to Rapid. Skyline drive is a lot of fun- you have to get out and take pictures with the dinosaurs. Needles Highway is spectacular- it goes through Custer State Park- a MUST. However, allow yourself lots of time for Needles highway and Custer, it really is awesome.

I also went to Bear Country USA which was a lot of fun. You get to see animals close up and then at the end you get to watch baby bears play-SO CUTE!

I'm sure locals will have more advice but that was my experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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Needles is a MUST - it is my favorite place in the hills! Take 16A up to Mt. Rushmore through the tunnels and pigtales - very cool! Skyline drive is right in Rapid and will not take you long to explore -great views!
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Default RC Weekend

Well, my suggestions have to do with water. I currently living in the Southwest and to say I am a bit water starved is an understatement.

All the suggestions thus far are great. I would also spend some time on the lakes (Lake Pactola and Sheridan Lake). Both are gorgeous. In fact, downtown (close to the Walgreen's...sorry, I don't remember the street) there is a little coffee hut with the best coffee. We grabbed that and sat outside in light rain/snow and enjoyed both lakes. Since it is summer, I would think an iced coffee and maybe a little picnic enjoyed by either one of those lakes would be a nice break before heading out. Also, Pactola Lake had a landing where you can rent boats. That, to me, would be a lot of fun.

Also, try to head out to Spearfish. Drive through Spearfish Canyon and sit next to Bridal Veil Falls. Just gorgeous. If you head further into the Canyon there is another great hike through Rough Lock Falls. Additionally, adjacent to Rough Lock Falls is a little hotel/resort (sorry, forgot the name) that looked like a great place to have lunch. They also have maps of the area in case you are interest in exploring that area further. We found this out prior to our trip through this forum (last fall) and we found it to be very helpful.

Well....enjoy your trip. We were there for 3 days last October and loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. Ah well, time to go sob into my pillow (kidding)!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJTucson View Post
All the suggestions thus far are great. I would also spend some time on the lakes (Lake Pactola and Sheridan Lake). Both are gorgeous. In fact, downtown (close to the Walgreen's...sorry, I don't remember the street) there is a little coffee hut with the best coffee. We grabbed that and sat outside in light rain/snow and enjoyed both lakes. Since it is summer, I would think an iced coffee and maybe a little picnic enjoyed by either one of those lakes would be a nice break before heading out. Also, Pactola Lake had a landing where you can rent boats. That, to me, would be a lot of fun.
Needles Highway is a MUST. You can visit Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse before and after Needles.

To AJ. A bit of trivia. While boating on Pactola Dam, it's always a thought in the back of your head. "Where is the town of Pactola?" It's beneath the boat. They built the dam and when it flooded, it took in the town of Pactola. Same with Sheridan Lake. The town of Sheridan is beneath the water.

Horse Theif lake is also nice to visit. But for a weekend, you won't have enough time to catch it.

There are several great places to visit and you will be really upset you only had 2 days to explore.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:44 PM
 
74 posts, read 231,151 times
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Sounds great! I cannot wait!.. Any suggestions about the hotel?

Thanks again
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, NE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJTucson View Post

Well....enjoy your trip. We were there for 3 days last October and loved it and would go back in a heartbeat. Ah well, time to go sob into my pillow (kidding)!!

I was there for six weeks last September/October and would go back in a heartbeat too! No need to feel bad about the pillow sobbing, my wife and I sob over it all the time! LOL!
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:07 PM
 
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Default RC Weekend

I forgot something that we were so very glad we did. We went to the Pumpkin Fest. Now, I know it is a bit early for that, but I would recommend going to whatever festival (if there is one) Rapid City has going on at the time of your visit. We just spent about an hour or so there...so well worth it. In addition to enjoying the fest, it gave us a great chance to really look at downtown Rapid City (I was impressed with the cleanliness and neat little shops as well as the lack of "For Lease" signs).

ElkHunter - thanks so much for the trivia. I just assumed they were named after perhaps a city founder or something on that order. I had no idea and I appreciate the info.

BrianGuy - I could go on and on. After interviewing out-of-state and returning to this place where we currently reside I kept thinking about the flight that was supposed to head to my connection in Denver but was diverted to South Dakota!!! I was about 150 miles out of Rapid City before we were cleared and sadly turned around. Tells me that someday my place will be in South Dakota for sure!!!
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Bellevue, NE
380 posts, read 830,028 times
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Originally Posted by AJTucson View Post

BrianGuy - I could go on and on. After interviewing out-of-state and returning to this place where we currently reside I kept thinking about the flight that was supposed to head to my connection in Denver but was diverted to South Dakota!!! I was about 150 miles out of Rapid City before we were cleared and sadly turned around. Tells me that someday my place will be in South Dakota for sure!!!
Someday indeed! Just keep hanging in there. That is what my wife and I do all day everyday. I just sold an old TV on Craigslist here in Omaha on Sunday. The lady that called me had a "605" area code. I asked where in SD she was from and she told me Chamberlin. She said her husband found a better paying job here in Omaha and they had just recently moved. She said so far the experience has been TERRIBLE! She said it was the worst thing they could have done and she couldn't wait for the nightmare to end so she could wake up in SD again. Wow....I guess I'm not the only one that wants outta here!! lol
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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Default Hotel Recommendations

Adelashk - We stayed at the LaQuinta and really enjoyed it. Very clean and they had a great continental breakfast which was actually what I would define as a full breakfast. If you have young children/preteen/teenagers, this hotel is connected to another hotel via a great indoor water park and pool. If you are not bringing children and still want to stay there, may I suggest asking them to book you on the 3rd floor as far down the hallway from the elevator (in the opposite direction of the pool/water park). It gets a little late...great for the parents who want their kids to sleep, but if you head to bed early yourself, you may really want that extra distance.

BrianGuy - I hear ya! I want out of here so badly. We are taking a detour back home to take care of an elderly family member. I have been interviewing and will be heading out shortly again for two more interviews. Honestly, I am secretly hoping I'll find my plane heading to SD when we're supposed to go to CO again...made my day to see that little plane icon head to Rapid City no matter how briefly. So yes, that tells me that when the time is right...we'll be right back in the Black Hills buying land (I think acreage since our experiences living where we do now) and building a forever house.
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