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One of the most commonly heard phrases from visitors to Rapid City is, "If we had known there was so much to do and see in and around Rapid City, we’d have planned to stay longer!’ As a destination center, Rapid City has many attractions and activities, and it is a hub location for all the things to see and do throughout the Black Hills area. Some of Rapid City’s unique attractions are signed to create a "Star Tour". Signs with directions move you smoothly from one point to another. To view the tour with photos go to: http://www.rapidcitycvb.com/pg/dc/sta...
Just off I-90, Exit 61. So many things to do... so many ways to get there! The Black Hills Visitor Information Center at Rapid City welcomes you with an array of free services designed to smooth your way and maximize your vacation fun in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.
Rapid Creek meanders through Memorial Park; a beautiful greenway with a rose garden, fountain/pool, band shell, a section of the Berlin Wall, and a statue dedicated to our Pioneers and Founders. Monuments honoring our veterans, as well as the victims of the 1972 flood, are also located here.
Storybook Island is a fairyland park with nursery-rhyme displays, live animals and a special playground that will help your children and grandchildren live out their fantasies. This is one of Rapid City’s most popular attractions and justifiably so because of its innovative concept, high quality sets and outstanding maintenance. Spread over beautiful park-like acres, it is a fantasy of design, color, animation and music to delight children and adults alike.
Heavy fishing in this vacation area requires that people help Mother Nature keep the lakes and streams stocked. Last year Cleghorn Springs Fish Hatchery produced and released close to 1 million trout. The entire fish rearing and stocking process is explained in detail at the Visitors Center. Family nature programs are offered daily in the summer. Make sure to see the short video on the Hatchery, and learn about the many things the SD Department of Game, Fish and Parks is doing to improve the state’s fishing resources.
Built in Rapid City in 1969, the unique "Stavkirke" is an exact copy of the famous 830 year-old Borgund Church in Norway. The intricate wood carvings, strange dragon heads and ingenious pegged construction make it a place of unusual interest. Situated in a park-like setting surrounded by forest, it is also a place of great beauty. Summer visitors are greeted by hostesses in Norwegian costumes. A "Stabbur" with grass roof was imported from Norway to be a reception center and gift shop. There is an impressive taped narration to help you appreciate this unusual and unique structure.
Feed the ducks and geese, take a stroll over the bridge to the gazebo on the island or try your luck at fishing off one of the many fishing nodes. Includes many picnic areas and playgrounds
Rapid City has three formal garden settings. One of the principal gardens is located at Halley Park, just off the business district (also the site of a historic old cabin). The second is at Sioux Park near Baken Park Shopping Center on the banks of Rapid Creek. A great place for a picnic lunch is near the gardens. The third and smallest, though just as charming, is across from Sioux San Hospital on Canyon Lake Drive. All exhibits are nicely labeled. An "All-American" rose garden can be viewed at Memorial Park by the Civic Center.
Seven life-size concrete replicas of monstrous prehistoric reptiles roam the outdoors in a park-like setting that divides Rapid City into east and west. The larger figure is visible from most points in town. The exhibits are lighted until 10:00pm. Built in the early 1930’s.
The center, in addition to galleries and a small theater, houses a 200 foot oil-on-canvas mural painted by Bernard P. Thomas. This cycloramic mural depicts 200 years of American history and is accented by a taped narration and special lighting effects. A large special viewing room was built to house the epic creation. The Dahl houses two galleries which feature paintings, crafts, sculpture and original prints selected from the works of regional artists.
Western South Dakota is famous for its Badlands fossils and Black Hills minerals. The Museum of Geology specializes in local fossil specimens including skeletons of giant reptiles and fish from the ancient collection of minerals from the Black Hills and around the world. As part of the research facility of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, the Museum of Geology celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1985.
Challenging educational art and science exhibits are offered by the APEX GALLERY in the Classroom Building on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus. Exhibits are rotated every 4-6 weeks and trained personnel are always present to answer questions or to offer explanations concerning the exhibit. Guided tours may be arranged in advance.
See bronzes of many of our nations Presidents. Within 10 years each of the past 40 Presidents of the United States will be created. Intentionally, the Presidents are life-size, standing as pedestrians on street corners of downtown Rapid City. The Presidential statuary presents a perfect photo opportunity for the family with a President of the United States of America.
The Journey Museum takes you on an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier.When your journey is complete, you will fully understand the legacy of the land and its people.
Rapid City has two historic districts for your enjoyment.
The first is the historic downtown district. Included in the notable buildings is the 1914 First National Bank building at 7th and Main. Across the street you will find the 1911 Lions Head Fountain, which was once a watering station for horses.
Rapid City’s West Boulevard Historic District is just west of downtown. Residential in character, portions of 18 blocks contain examples of the city’s finest late 19th century and early 20th century structures.