There is so much to see and do in South Dakota, chances are most of these trip ideas you didn’t have a clue about! We hope that this posts is the nudge that you need to book your next trip! This particular post is focused on the Black Hawk area of the state.
Places to Stay:
Rushmore Express: If you are wanting to make Mount Rushmore the feature of your trip this is a great location. Bonus points for an option of a bunk bed suite, perfect for families!
Hilton Garden Inn: This hotel is what you would expect from the chain. This particular location has an indoor pool, kid bonus points! The beds are the ‘dual comfort’ beds, meaning if your spouse wants a super soft bed and you like a firmer bed, each of you can have it just as you like it. As a side note, the breakfast isn’t complementary, the buffet will cost you $10 for you and members of your family that are over 12 years old.
Hampton Inn: This hotel has a pool and a water slide! There are freshly baked cookies waiting for you and your family when you check in. There is a complimentary continental breakfast, that is a pretty traditional fare.
Things to do:
The obvious choice here is Mount Rushmore, of course! Your kiddos will love being a part of the Junior Ranger Program, and the chance to see wildlife up close and personal. On any given day there are deer, mountain goats, turkey vultures and chipmunks to be seen. There are miles of trails to hike and obviously the monument to see, my kids are younger so the typical ‘that’s cool’ is about all I expect to hear when we go places like this.
The Dinosaur Museum is a cool place to stop in with the kiddos. There are over 50 dinosaurs up close and personal. Free admission during normal times is good,…free on vacation is totally awesome! Bring your wallet for the gift shop though, you know you won’t get out of there without a souvenir for the kids!
If you are traveling with younger children you have to make sure that you hit Storybook Island. The most unique part about this attraction is that it is free admission during the summer. You can pay $1 to see a magic show (recommended) or take a train ride (also recommended).
If friendly (or not so friendly) family competition is up your alley, Pirates Cove Adventure golf needs to make your list. It is a super nice miniature golf course that is very well maintained and very reasonable at $8.50 per player.
Feeling up for a little adventure? Head to the Black Hills Caverns, for a cavern tour or a little gemstone mining. There are several different length tours so if you have smaller children in your group a shorter length tour might be the better fit.
Bear Country USA is an attraction that is very unique. It is a drive through wildlife park featuring, you guessed it, bears! They have 200 bears on site that will come up close to your car so be prepared for that! There is an area called baby land where you can see bear cubs and smaller animals like porcupines, otters and red fox. This is a pricer attraction, but there are so many other options that are free or cheap.
Places to Eat:
Philly Ted’s Cheesesteak and Pizza – This place is a great choice for a family like mine where the adults would enjoy a cheesesteak but the kids wouldn’t touch.. Problem solved, grab a cheesesteak for you and order a pizza for the kids.
Pacific Rim Cafe – Serves up some amazing Vietnamese food. The pho is a must order item; make sure your order the deep fried ice cream as an extra treat at the end of the meal.
Morningside Cafe – Our family seeks out hole-in-the-wall local restaurants, and this for sure fits that bill! They serve down home country breakfasts that will keep you and your family going well into the afternoon!
Tell us! Have you been to South Dakota before? What was the thing or place that you enjoyed the most?