Top

Stay in the loop!

Want to know when we share big things? Subscribe today & keep up-to-date with our posts.


Five Things To Add To Your Bucket List

I’ve lived within 2 hours of the Black Hills for most of my life. Because of this, I checked several bucket list items off my list before I turned 8 years old. Even though I was fortunate enough to grow up around these amazing attractions they will always be a part of my Black Hills Bucket List. Here are the top 5 Black Hills attractions you should add to your Bucket List!

National Parks and Monuments – I decided to make this one section because otherwise, this list would be a lot longer! The Black Hills is home to six National Parks and Monuments. These include the awe-inspiring landscapes of Badlands National Park and two of the longest caves in the world, Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park. Who could forget about Mount Rushmore National Memorial, or pass up the opportunity to go back in time and experience what might have been at Minute Man Missile National Historical Site. If you’re up for it, cross over the South Dakota-Wyoming Border to see the oldest national memorial, Devils Tower National Monument.

 

MtRushmore00378.jpg

 

To compile the ultimate Black Hills bucket list, you can’t leave any of these amazing parks and monuments out. I could explore the trails around Jewel Cave and gaze across the vast landscapes of the Badlands every day! 

 

Custer State Park buffalo jeep safari_creditSDTourism.jpg

 

Custer State Park – By far my favorite state park ever! There is so much about Custer State Park that makes it bucket list worthy. Like the annual Buffalo Round Up, where 1,300 buffalo stampede across the prairie while cowboys whoop and holler to keep them together in order to corral them. It’s one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life, but there are so many other things you can see and do every day in Custer State Park. Sylvan Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world (to me). The unique rock formations around the lake make it one that you will not easily forget. Among my favorite things to do in Custer State Park is cruising down Wildlife Loop Road. This is the first place I ever saw the mighty bison and it took me 24 years to check it off my list. It was awesome.

 

City Of Presidents_2017 (13).jpg

 

The City of Presidents – One of the coolest things about Rapid City is all of the ties to history and patriotism that are found throughout the City. One of the biggest tributes to our Nation is the City of Presidents. This attraction is located throughout Downtown Rapid City and features every past commander in chief as a tribute to the Legacy the American Presidency holds. I vaguely remember when this project started in 2000 and I am overjoyed to see how much it has grown throughout the years. If you go downtown and don’t take a selfie with your favorite president, you are not doing Downtown Rapid City right!

 

Rushmore Cave-MTWA-Mike Whye (1) (1).jpg

 

Rushmore Cave – The cave is located at Rush Mountain Adventure Park and is one of the coolest caves to see. Plus, it turns 90 years old this year! I recently visited the cave for the first time and was so impressed by the history it held, walking into the Big Room and seeing all the magnificent formations is one that should be on your list of sights to see for sure! If you are traveling with children, they will be thrilled to ride the new Mountain Coaster after walking through the cave.

 

2016_5_3 Crazy Horse Mountain WT ©CHM  with copyright(9)web.jpg

 

Crazy Horse Memorial- Mount Rushmore is obviously a huge draw for visitors in the Black Hills, but did you know the largest mountain carving in progress is also in the Black Hills? Crazy Horse Memorial is in one word, magnificent. I have driven past the monument many times in my life but it wasn’t until recently I actually visited the memorial. I went during one of their night blasts. It was an absolutely amazing experience. I was also able to see a performance by local Native American dancers and watch their laser light show. I highly recommend planning your trip around a blast or staying for the laser show, it is unforgettable.

Want to add more to your Black Hills bucket list?

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media

Request a Visitors Guide

Meet the Author

Anne Orban

Anne was born and raised in the Rushmore State and is so glad to call a place with so much beauty home. After spending a few short years away in college, she is happy to be back in the place she loves most, Rapid City.  

latest blog posts

Anne Orban
Social Media and Content Developer

Anne was born and raised in the Rushmore State and is so glad to call a place with so much beauty home. After spending a few short years away in college, she is happy to be back in the place she loves most, Rapid City.  

Anne tries to live her life authentically documenting everything with her trusty Nikon D5200. She can often be found writing in coffee shops, on a new hiking trail with friends, or walking her beagle in any of the parks around town. As a perpetual wanderlust, Anne has taken a few road trips and plans on taking many more. Her favorite past time is playing tourist in her own back yard and finding hidden treasures in the Black Hills.

View More

Latest Blog Post

  • In The Spirit Of The Season: The Story Of Devils Tower National Monument
    October 10, 2017 - Amanda Hitchcock
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City's Wildside
    October 5, 2017 - Adrian Munoz
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 5 Reasons Meeting Planners Love Rapid City
    October 2, 2017 - Tyson
  • Agriculture > Economic Development > Big Things For Your Meeting
    September 29, 2017 - Tyson
  • Rapid City Offers Big Opportunities For Education
    September 29, 2017 - Tyson
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Wildlife Loop Road: A Wild Drive Through Custer State Park
    September 29, 2017 - Anne
  • 6 Pro Tips To Get You Through The Annual Buffalo Roundup
    September 1, 2017 - Anne
  • Rapid City Hidden Gems That Will Blow Your Mind
    July 27, 2017 - Anne
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Add Some Color to Your Life
    September 14, 2017 - Shiloh
  • Top Event for Lovers of All Things Pumpkin
    July 20, 2017 - Shiloh
  • Outdoor Campus West: Free Family Fun!
    June 2, 2016 - Shiloh
  • Latest Blog Post

  • How To Get The Most Out Of A Black Hills Adventure
    August 17, 2017 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • 10 Must-Do Adventures in Rapid City
    August 1, 2017 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City - Reptile Gardens, Bear Country USA, Watiki Water Park, Outdoor Campus West
    July 7, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Rapid City South Dakota - We Made It!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Custer State Park Jeep Tour, Chuckwagon, Buffalo, Antelope!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Latest Blog Post

  • In History: First Blast On Crazy Horse Memorial, June 3, 1948
    June 15, 2017 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • IN HISTORY: 1st Custer State Park Buffalo Auction, Feb. 12, 1966
    February 3, 2017 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Beginners Guide: Being A Tourist In Your Backyard
    June 2, 2017 - Tessa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Most Exciting Social Event Of The Summer
    May 25, 2017 - Jennifer
  • Rapid City: A Prehistoric Destination
    April 27, 2017 - Jennifer
  • Top 5 Spring Break Ideas for Cool Moms
    January 5, 2017 - Jennifer
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The adventure of a lifetime in Rapid City
    March 20, 2017 - Ellen and Mike
  • Latest Blog Post

  • An Oz Experience: Flying With The Oldest Balloon Company In The USA
    February 7, 2017 - Danielle
  • 3 Firehouse Brewing Co. Food Choices and Reasons for All of Them
    January 13, 2017 - Danielle
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Basil, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Wine…Just A Few Of My Favs
    January 27, 2017 - Stacie
  • 1,200 Degrees of Taste Bud Paradise
    January 15, 2017 - Stacie
  • Latest Blog Post

  • A Black Hills Winter
    December 23, 2016 - Jesse
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Travelin with Tiff: Rush Mountain Adventure Park
    December 13, 2016 - Tiffany
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City Blog: Trail System
    November 14, 2016 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Rapid City Blog: Spearfish Canyon
    September 25, 2016 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Black Hills Powwow: A Kaleidoscope of Color
    October 30, 2016 - Kris Monroe
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City from Michaela’s point of view.
    October 17, 2016 - Michaela
  • Mount Rushmore Questions You’ve Been Dying to Ask
    August 7, 2016 - Michaela
  • Top 5 Trails Within 30 Minutes of Rapid City
    January 15, 2016 - Michaela
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Microbreweries
    September 4, 2016 - Stephen Sebestyen
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Downtown Trails and Recreation
    July 5, 2016 - Lisa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Four Ways Rapid City Lives Up To The Hype
    June 23, 2016 - Ginny
  • The Mount Rushmore of Summer Vacations
    May 6, 2016 - Ginny
  • 6 for Summer '16
    April 22, 2016 - Ginny
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 3 Mountain Bike Rides to Jump Start Your Black Hills Adventures
    May 20, 2016 - Craig
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Shredding in the Black Hills
    March 10, 2016 - Bill
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Downtown Shopping
    February 25, 2016 - Sarah
  • Rapid City Myth Busting
    February 8, 2016 - Sarah
  • My Favorite Parks and Monuments
    January 29, 2016 - Sarah