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Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Which Custer hotels are on sale?
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posts: 16
reviews: 19
Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Looking for advice on small tours for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time. Best time for weather and crowds. Suggestions on where to stay......Rapid City or Custer?

18 replies to this topic
East Anglia
Destination Expert
for Cephalonia
posts: 5,298
reviews: 47
11. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Hi dillyd,

My brother and I visited South Dakota on our driving holiday.

We stayed in Custer at the Rocket Motel. We always tried to stay in "Mom and Pop" motels rather than some anonymous chain. The room was clean, tidy and well maintained.

When we asked about a place to eat his suggestion was "Over the road, round the back and up the stairs". It was more a bar than a restaurant but served the most fantastic buffalo steaks!

From there we drove the relatively short distance to The Crazy Horse Memorial and then on to Mt. Rushmore. As non Americans we found the Crazy Horse Memorial much more impressive.

Oh! We are both seniors also!

With two days before staying in The Badlands and a day after visiting Devil's Tower this was probably the most impressive 4 consecutive days on our trip.

Edited: 4:21 pm, January 11, 2013
milwaukee, WI
posts: 42
reviews: 12
12. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Don't mean to hijack the thread...but I saw mention of The Roosevelt Inn...is that within walking distance to the boardwalk/action in Keystone? We are looking for a place where we could park the car and walk since so much of our vacation seems to center on driving.

Banff National...
posts: 1,456
reviews: 16
13. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

It is walking distance and they have good pizza at the Roosevelt Inn too.

Take a trip up to Hill City and dine at the Alpine Inn.Not to be missed,closed on Sundays and no credit cards.Sounds like travelbob31 had a great time here in the Black Hills.So much to see... Mt Rushmore especially the night ceremony fantastic, not to be missed.. Also laser show at Crazy Horse nice but......at least he made the best of his/her time..

Edited: 9:51 am, January 12, 2013
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,352
reviews: 35
14. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.


IMO, the Roosevelt Inn is a little bit far to walk to the boardwalk area, but it is possible. It's not right in the heart of the busy area, but to me, that's the appeal. Lol.. They are one of the few Keystone hotels that has pretty good parking compared to others. Others have complained about it, but we found it to be fine. There's parking around back and in the front. Some hotels in Keystone actually have fewer parking spaces than rooms.

The hotel is closer to Mt. Rushmore than the town area and does have excellent pizza as Joeman mentioned. Their pizza is my personal favorite. The Roosevelt also has several different room types, including family suites.

We have had good luck with just moving the car to the other end of town and walking from there. We have parked near the 1880 Train Station, even sometimes in the lot itself. Of course, it's totally your call. Keystone is a very small town.

Banff National...
posts: 1,456
reviews: 16
15. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Another reason to stay in Hill City.......parking

posts: 1
16. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

When we visit Custer it is late September....for the annual Buffalo Round Up.

It is a nice time of year weather wise, too. Lots to do in that area: Custer State Park, Badlands, Wind Cave, Devil's Tower,....just close to a lot of sites. And take in Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore. We stay in Custer for the round up but do spend time in and around Rapid City so stay there also. Make sure you take the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park....several times. So fun to watch for and spot all the roaming wildlife! You are also close to sever Indian Reservations which are nice to drive thru. In Rapid City....visit Prairie Edge and Dakota Drum stores for sure and ....Firehouse Brewery and Que Pasa restaurants. Custer has lots of restaurants, too....Buglin Bull, Bitter Esters, Dark Horse,........

Depending on what you plan on doing ...always watch the weather.

We were very thankful we had left the area just the Monday before this week's snow storm. And of course....visited Devil's Tower just the day before the Govt. Shut Down! If you plan on doing the Buffalo Round Up...make sure you read up on it. Gates open early 6:15 AM....and there is traffic to deal with. But really well worth it!

Banff National...
posts: 1,456
reviews: 16
17. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

Was there too, at the same time frame staying at the Quality Inn....

As it turned out Fri was a real frigid day for the roundup but all enjoyed it, we did not go.

As you said weather was great then....now the real Black Hills weather...

So much to see and do in this beautiful area. never enough time even though we have been here countless times.....hope you had a chance to dine at the Alpine Inn.

Edited: 8:40 am, October 07, 2013
18. Re: Advice for 2 seniors visiting SD for the first time.

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