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Day one: driving, Badlands, Wall Drug. Day 2: Bear Country, Rushmore, Gold Mine. Day 3: Crazy Horse, Wind Cave, Mammoth site, drive to Chadron. Day 4: Fort Robinson and long-drive home.
A modern, clean McDonalds with kids area. Right of I-90
Stop at the scenic overlook/rest stop just before Chamberlain. It's a great view over the Missouri river and lake. Pick up a nice legal paper size map of the black hills here (or at any of the rest stops). We walked out to the overlook point and got some nice pictures. Plus, the kids can burn some energy.
Wow! Stopped at the Window and Door Scenic overlook and walked the short boardwalk paths. Kept a close watch on the adventorous 4yr old. Very worth the time.
Touristy, but fun. Clean restrooms. Cafe is expensive, but food is good. Order/pick-up at counter service. Kids enjoyed water spout park and getting pictures with all the animals, etc. Found a $1 shot glass! Another place for them to move around and touch things.
Main street is pretty with an old western look. Scenery getting to town is great, too.
Nice hotel with nice pool and breakfast. Pretty town.
Go early in morning. Very cool. Kids LOVED it.
Not too busy this time of year. Easy to find. Brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw it. Went on trail to see different views. Beautiful area all around. Nice clean bathrooms and busy, busy giftshops. Missed night show because of storms. :(
Kids menu. Nice Buffet. Good filling food. Wooden booths and real town atmosphere instead of cookie-cutter cafe.
Touristy, but a chance to see a bit of history. Bit pricy, but 4 and under are free. If you pan for gold afterwards just get pans for kids. They will need adults help to find their "free" gold. Our girls liked their little vials for gold flakes and it was something you aren't likely to do too many other places.
Not a good Pizza Hut. Dirty and short staffed.
Nice Native American museum. Could get close to things and see the details. Native American artists were there to sell things which was cool. The film about Crazy Horse Memorial does a great job of explaining the site. It was cold and windy, so we did not do the bus ride to the mountain, but views from visitor site (and hwy) were awesome. Kids got free rocks from mountain in artist's studio room.
Nicer Pizza Hut.
Went on "Natural Entrance Tour." Lots of downward steps. 8 yearo-old was fine, but a bit tough for 4-year-old. Any younger would have to be carried. Really cool, though. Once the path leveled out both children loved it. Went back up in elevator. Phew! Very informative visitor center. Bought a small book that did an great job of explaining the caves formation.
Adults and 8-year old ate this up. Tour guide was good and the dig site facinating. We let the 4-year old wander a bit as we listened to info on phones. The museum part had a mammoth bone hut which was cool. Great history lesson and nice gift shop. The lab in the basement is worth checking out, too.
Poor pool area. Noisy.
Cheyenne Break Out memorial was being dedicated. A neat gathering of Native Americans in honor of their ancestors when we were there. Stagecoach ride was fun. Really bumpy when driver had the mules gallop through a small creek. Girls were thrilled! Lower Officer Adobe houses fun to view. Lunch of Buffalo Burger at Lodge was very filling. Neat atmosphere. We spent about 3 hrs there, but heard that some days there isn't as much going on. Worth the stop.
Nice, modern McDonalds inside of big c-store on south side Hwy 20. Last McDonalds till O'Neill.