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Old 04-28-2009, 07:10 AM
 
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Driving out to the area from western massachusetts the 1st two weeks of June. Planning on staying 3 days in Keystone area, then 3 days in Cody Wy. to do the Yellowstone area, down to Denver, back through Kansas, to Kentucky for a couple days then home. Anyway-- Questions are-- Stay in Keystone, Custer, or Rapid City??? Which would make a good base for sightseeing the area? Any recommended hotels would be really helpful. We have never been out to this area befoe so any info on what sightseeing to put together for day trips would be appreciated (without feeling rushed from place to place). Thanks in advance--- Barry and Diana
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
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My favorite place to stay has always been Black Forest Mountain Resort. It's a series of private cabins, many of them A frames, that are rented out when the owners aren't using them. They are located just south of Pactola Lake, the nicest lake in the hills. They are also located on the main highway running north/south through the hills, US hwy. 385. The other advantage is that these cabins are centrally located in the Black Hills. The price was never much different to renting a nice motel room in Rapid City.
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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HI BDL and welcome to the forum.

My first suggestion is to order your free vacation guide for our state.

Free South Dakota Vacation Guide - South Dakota Tourism

There is a lot to do out there so you can choose what you'd enjoy most. Some people like the caves, some like the lakes, etc.

The number one MUST SEE is Mt. Rushmore and you probably already know it's at the top of the hill right by Keystone.

Deadwood is the "Deadwood" from the tv show and old westerns and I think it's worth seeing.

We've got everything from the Crazy Horse Monument that's being created to the 1880 train to Evans Plunge (Natural hot springs) in Hot Springs.

I think my fave place in the Hills is Spearfish Canyon. I love it there.

Danny likes the Cosmos.

No matter what all you decide to do, have a wonderful vacation on your stop through South Dakota.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Lead/Deadwood, SD
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Rapid is more Urban and has less of a tourism feel. Custer and Keystone are smaller mountain towns and will most likely have a more "vacation feel" for you. Personally I would also consider Hill City as it has a great central location bringing you a touch closer to the northern hills while still being close to Custer Keystone, Rushmore etc. Spearfish canyon and Roughlock Falls are a must see if you make it to the northern hills Deadwood area, which is about 40 minutes from Hill City, or an hour from Custer. Sylvan Lake in Custer State park is also very beautiful I think a must see. If you come to Deadwood (thats my town) you have to go to the Old Style Saloon #10. It is one of the few places left that still feels just as old inside as it does outside while the other places feel a little newer once you walk in there doors. I suspect nomatter what your interests are you will find yourself planning your next trip here while heading to Cody. Although our area looks small on a map, there is something around every corner -- and there are lots of corners -- If anyone in your family has issues with car sickness bring some dramamine if your not use to winding roads you may find yourself a little queezy.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:34 AM
 
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Thanks for the info people, it's much appreciated. I've called info sites like the Chamber of Commerce nd no one will make a recommendation on lodging (I understand why). Can you give me some good values in the Custer, Hill city, Keystone area. We're spending a lot of time on the road on this trip and we are looking for someplace central, not to expensive (<$100) and close to a town for something to do at night.
Thanks for the help---
Barry and Diana
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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I usually stay in Rapid City when we visit the hills and we stayed at Microtel last time and thought it was a good value. I think if you look you can find deals for under $100 in Keystone, Hill City or Custer. You can always check tripadvisor too for reviews.

It sounds like a great trip. Make sure you sign up for hotel chains points cards. Especially if you stay at alot of the same ones. Might as well get a free room or two out of the trip.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
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Most tourists stay in Rapid City because the hotels are large chains and they aren't as expensive as ones that are right in the mountains. I suggest basic ones like LaQuinta, Holiday Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn. etc. They're all very clean and besides, you'll be up in the Black Hills most of the day. Most of the hotels in Rapid City are right along I-90 on Exits 61-57.

Of course my favorite "tourist trap" in the hills in Cosmos. But the must sees are Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. Custer State Park is very fun too. You drive through a bunch of tunnels and bridges and you get to see buffalo crossing streets and grazing in meadows. Needles Highway is a spectacular drive and it's one of the "highest" highways in the US. Harney Peak is a fun, enjoyable climb and the top is the highest point between the Rockies and the Alps.

Sheridan Lake, Sylvan Lake, and Pactola Reservoir all have large beaches and boating and fishing. Deadwood has a rich history as an outlaw town home to Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, and many other old gold mining pioneers.

The Alpine Inn in Hill City is a great restaurant with a big lunch menu and an evening menu of sirloins, a lettuce wedge, Texas toast, and great desserts. It's very affordable too. Make sure you stop there you'll love it.

Even in Rapid City there are fun art museums, shops, street performers, and a lot of information about Native American culture.

Have a great trip! You won't get bored!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:04 PM
 
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Wow, thanks for the information on Hill City. We are coming for a family reunion in June. We are expecting 70 Norwegian relatives arriving to stay at Palmer Gulch. We are thinking we need to see the Custer State Park. I have a friend from that area who says it is a must that we have to see the 1880's train. Where do you find that at? Again, thanks for all the information.
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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I wouldn't recommend staying in Cody to visit Yellowstone. It would be a good stop before entering the Park, but it's too far to commute from Cody to the Park and back each day. Get a room the first night in Cody, the next night in the Park or in West Yellowstone, and the third night at Jackson Lake Lodge or somewhere in or close to Jackson. If you're trying to see the Yellowstone area in three days, you won't have time to be driving back and forth to Cody. Have fun!
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:25 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renren1 View Post
Wow, thanks for the information on Hill City. We are coming for a family reunion in June. We are expecting 70 Norwegian relatives arriving to stay at Palmer Gulch. We are thinking we need to see the Custer State Park. I have a friend from that area who says it is a must that we have to see the 1880's train. Where do you find that at? Again, thanks for all the information.
OK, someone correct me if I'm wrong~~I think the train runs between Hill City and Custer. You could get on it at either place and you get a round trip. We rode it once and it takes you through some very beautiful scenery. I think you'd love it.
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