Rapid City (South Dakota)
Rapid City is in the Badlands and Black Hills region of South Dakota. It is a convenient base for travel on to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the Crazy Horse Memorial, the Badlands and the Black Hills National Forest.
Rapid City is often referred to as just "Rapid" by locals.
Rapid City is served by Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) . This modern regional airport offers fee-based long-term and hourly parking and free WiFi.
Non-stop services offered:
- Northwest Airlines  Multiple daily flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
- United Airlines  (operated by SkyWest) Multiple daily flights to Denver, Colorado and multiple weekly flights to Chicago (O'Hare), Illinois.
- Delta Airlines  (operated by SkyWest) Multiple daily flights to Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Allegiant Air  (Budget airline) 2x weekly to Las Vegas, Nevada; nonstop only, no one-stop flights or connections.
Connecting an overseas flight to Rapid City is often relatively cheap. Flights to Amsterdam start at $500 rt.
- The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad  provides freight rail service to Rapid City.
I-90 passes through Rapid City.
Rapid City can be reached from almost anywhere in the US with two or less connections. There are daily services aboard Jefferson Lines  from the Twin Cities, Sioux Falls and on to Wyoming. Jefferson lines contracts with Greyhound, while offering a superior service to Greyhound one can book them in connection with Greyhound quite economically. Powder River Lines (Operated by Coach USA) offers service to Wyoming and on to Denver and the West Coast.
Many people choose to use a personal vehicle, but this is not necessary. All of downtown Rapid City's attractions are walkable.
To reach other places, such as the Rushmore Mall, one can use the Rapid Ride System  from the Milo Barber Transit Center. There are four loop routes featuring buses going in both directions about every 70 min. around each loop. Fare is $1.00 and includes a transfer.
If you want to travel before 6 AM or after 6 PM you will have to take a taxi. There are plenty in Rapid City for your needs.
- The Journey Museum Interesting exhibits about Native American History.
- Dinosaur Park Concrete Dinosaurs on hill overlooking the city.
- Art Alley , between 6th and 7th Street Downtown Rapid City. Graffiti, Paintings, Sculpture, Poetry, and even profile photos fill this alley that is always changing.
- Storybook Island Kids park
- Hotel Alex Johnson old hotel
- Reptile Gardens, Mount Rushmore Road (about 6 miles from downtown), +1 800 335-0275, . Daily 8-7 during summer, 9-4 April-May and Labor Day-day before Thanksgiving, limited hours from day after Thanksgiving through December, closed in winter. Admission $12.50 for adults, discounts apply. This is a serious herpetological park (as well as a "fun" place) with one of the best collections of lizards, gators and snakes in the country -- quite possibly the best. "Gus" (short for "humongous"), the resident 14-foot-long American alligator, is a favorite.
- Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Show, Dances with Wolves film set, Located 4 miles S. of Rapid City on Hwy 16W, 1-888-394-9653, . Open mid-May thru mid-Sept. Movie-set buildings from Dances With Wolves are part of the fun of this traditional cowboy supper with music & comedy show. All you can eat 99¢ pancakes 6:30AM-11AM. Supper bell rings at 6:30PM nightly for a hearty meal of BBQ beef, chuckwagon potatoes, spice cake, baked beans, biscuits, applesauce & coffee or lemonade. Then it’s time for our foot-stompin' music/comedy show by the Ft. Hays Wranglers.
- Art Alley, 6th. & 7th. Between St. Joseph & Main(Right by the Alex Johnson), . 24. Art Alley is an unusual art gallery in downtown Rapid. Art Alley and the area around it are where the Black Hill's under thirty locals hang out. The alley is always changing. Artists paint on the building walls with the owner's permission.Free.
- Take in a movie at the Elks Theater . A converted traditional theater, featuring the largest screen in South Dakota, the lowest prices in Rapid City, first run movies and a lot of fun kids--all right downtown.
- Go antiquing.
- Cool off at one of the water parks.
- Talk to the locals.
- Taste the wonderful coffee at any local coffee shop
- Prarie Edge, 6th and Main, American Indian goods at .
The Rushmore Mall  is the only indoor mall within a 350 mile radius. It features many typical suburban stores. It is surrounded by Lowes, Borders, Kohls, Best Buy, Hobby Lobby, Toys'R'Us, Chuckie Cheese, two multiplex cinemas, and other fine retailers.
Rapid City is one of South Dakota's culinary centers.
- Mount Rushmore Road
- Ruby Tuesday's
- There is a Gelato stand with the best Italian ice cream in the west.
- Hunan Restaurant, . Offers such Chinese cuisine.
- Botticelli's Restorante Italiano, 523 Main Street. Has the best selection of authentic Northern Italian dishes and pizzas.
- The Corn Exchange, . Offers top end dining. If you're a foodie, this is a must.
- Firehouse Brewing Company 610 Main Street, . The best established micro-brewery in the west. It features delicious western meals as well.
- Baken Park (at the intersection of W Main St. and Mountain View Rd.) offer several fast-food chains.
- North Rapid, the area around Rushmore Mall, offers several sit-down chain restaurants as well.
- Firehouse Brewing Company 610 Main Street, . The best established micro-brewery in the west.
- Prairie Berry, . Just left Rapid City relocating to Hill City. They offer wines made from 100% South Dakota ingredients.
For easy access to I-90, look up the many hotels off LaCrosse St in North Rapid. Hotels and motels in Rapid City tend to have substantial seasonal variations in room rates, as Rapid City is a busy jumping-off point for the Black Hills in summer but frozen into torpor in the winter.
- Alex Johnson Hotel, 523 6th St., +1 605 342-1210. Downtown; convenient to I-90.
- Best Western Town and Country Inn, 2505 Mt. Rushmore Highway, +1 605 343-5383, . On the way to Mount Rushmore and other attractions in the Black Hills. Internet access; continental breakfast included, but a good restaurant for hot breakfasts, etc., is nearby. Large seasonal variations in room rates (from $109 mid-summer, $59 in winter).
- Microtel Inn & Suites Rapid City, 1740 Rapp Street, +1 605 348-2523, .
- Radisson Hotel, 445 Mt. Rushmore Highway (corner of Mt. Rushmore and Main), +1 505 348-8300, . A "hotel" rather than a motel/motor lodge, with several hotel-type amenities. Starbucks on site.
Campgrounds are strewn all along Mount Rushmore Highway.
Rapid City is the gateway to all the attractions and beauty of the Badlands and Black Hills. Simply start driving south.
- Black Hills National Forest
- Deadwood is possibly America's most storied small town from the wild frontier days.
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a short drive away, and so is the even larger Crazy Horse Memorial .
- Sturgis, roughly 12 miles to the East of Deadwood, is the home of the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August.
- Wall (South Dakota) has Wall Drug, whose ubiquitous signs will be more than familiar to any visitor driving on Interstate 90.
This page was last edited at 18:31, on 20 September 2008 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Shawn Werner, James Taylor, David, James Taylor, Marc Heiden, Bill Johnson, eric and Natalie, Wikitravel user(s) Alexwcovington, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.