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Old 03-12-2010, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls
18 posts, read 84,015 times
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Default Best time to visit Rapid City and The Black Hills

Hello everyone,

My wife and I moved to Sioux Falls last summer. We have not visit much of South Dakota yet but are planning to do that soon. We are interested in going west and visit Rapid City and Deadwood. Any tips? Hotels? Best time of the year? Restaurants? Things to do?

Any tips are welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:30 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,629 posts, read 22,060,114 times
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It really depends on what you want to do.

I'd suggest April. All of the tourist (money grabbers) are closed. But the bigger things like Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore, etc... are open.

In Deadwood, it's still alive and kicking. Lots to do there. Rapid City is alive year round also.

But if you're looking for things like Trout Haven and such, they are closed.

In April you beat the tourists that flock to the Black Hills and fill up all the motels.

I can't remember the name of the Motel but it was "Something Suits" in Deadwood. With Winter Rates I got a suit for $74 a night. If you come into Deadwood from the Interstate side, go all the way through town until you see a Super 8 on the right. The motel I'm talking about is past that by about a block and it's on the East side of the road.

Deadwood has a trolley system that is great. Once you park at the motel, a trolley comes around often and has a track through town that covers all of the important places.

I go down to Deadwood every other year. I was raised in Rapid City. However, I really can't tell you of good restaurants and such. There are many in Rapid City and in Deadwood, every other casino has a buffet. Never found a bad one.

How many days are you planning on spending in the hills? There's lots to do, but if you give us a time frame we can help out a lot better.
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Old 03-13-2010, 04:39 AM
 
Location: S.F.
509 posts, read 831,289 times
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Its called the Comfort Suites is the one you're thinking of.....I personally like Cadillac Jacks, that is one of the first hotels when you come into town from Sturgis.....Like previous post said, starting around Memorial Day most of the tourist stuff starts to open back up and hotel rates get to about $100 a night for most decent places, I'm sure you can find cheaper rates at good hotels, like the Days Inn in Rapid across the bridge from the Mall has pretty good rates usually....
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:51 PM
 
Location: The Black Hills, South Dakota
412 posts, read 478,873 times
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I'd say around the third week of May is a great time to visit. Usually the big snows are done with by the first week of May. It's pleasantly cool but not too cold and things are starting to really green up. All of the attractions are open. The hordes don't really descend until after Memorial Day, so you can just beat them.

I like the AmericInn in Rapid City because it has reasonable rates, is clean and has a little indoor water park. If you're looking for historical hotels, the Hotel Alex Johnson in downtown Rapid City or perhaps someplace in Deadwood would offer more ambiance, but at a higher price.

Good restaurants are The Lost Steer off Hwy 16 in Rapid City (little mom-and-pop barbecue place with great steaks and burgers), The Gas Light in a ghost town called Rockerville (can't miss it--it's the only open business in town), El Patron in downtown Rapid City for inexpensive but really good Mexican food (I'm originally from the desert SW and am a snob about Mexican food :P ) and there's the usual assortment of chain restaurants as well. In Deadwood there are several hotels such as the Silverado Franklin that offer buffets. The Spearfish Chop House is worth the trip to Spearfish (but make sure you make time to see Spearfish Canyon while you're there). The Loud American Roadhouse in Sturgis supposedly has steak tips that are out of this world, but I haven't gotten there yet to verify.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
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March and April are the messiest - dirty snow, no leaves, muddy dirty roads from sand and snow melt pot holes from the thaw and less activity in general. I love all the other times.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Agree with mid May, even early-mid June. Just don't visit during the Rally unless that is your thing.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Sun Prairie WI
128 posts, read 172,534 times
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The 1st time we went out was the first week in May - and there was snow! It was gone by the next day but we were pretty surprised.

What was not opened then that we really enjoyed the next time we visited in mid August (and of course prices were higher then) was Tatanka near Deadwood and the Wounded Knee Museum in Wall not far from the Hills. I don't know if these places still aren't open early May.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls
18 posts, read 84,015 times
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Thanks for all the info guys.
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Old 03-14-2010, 05:28 PM
 
450 posts, read 577,175 times
Reputation: 451
Default Fall Was Great As Well

Hi Buffalo. I just wanted to mention that we visited Rapid City this past October. I know that is far in the future versus the April/May recommendations you've received. However, if you wish to take additional trips, the first week of October was fantastic. I know tourist season had pretty much passed and everything we wanted to do was easy to access. No lines of any type at Mt. Rushmore and The Wilderness Loop. Additionally, sitting along the shores of the lake was so peaceful. We happened upon the first snowfall and our pictures of the changing leaves coupled with the snow fall turned out fantastic. Bridal Veil Falls was still flowing and the trail was open to Roughlock Falls (both in Spearfish Canyon).

Anyway, maybe it isn't the most perfect time of year, but we loved it just the same.
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