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Where to Stay?

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226 posts
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Where to Stay?

My husband and I and our 2 girls are planning a trip to the Mt. Rushmore area and wanting advice on nice places or pretty places to stay, probably in or around Keystone, but we're open to about anything. We've never been to South Dakota and only have one night to spend there and just figured since we're leaning towards going to Mt. Rushmore, Bear Country, Reptile Gardens, and hope to see some pretty area as well, we'd stay somewhere convenient. If anybody has any favorite places they've stayed or suggestions, we'd really appreciate it.

Also, I read some posts about Custer Park. Is it mainly driving through it or are there things to do?


Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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1. Re: Where to Stay?

Custer State Park is beautiful-- winding roads with bridges and tunnels.... Sylvan Lake (where they filmed the 2nd National Treasure movie) The lake has a level hike (about a mile) around it. Wildlife loop where you will find herds of bison, numerous pronghorn and the "wild" burros who stop cars ad beg for food (take a bag of apples with you should you wander there) Depends on what you mean by "things to do" It was our favorite spot in the area.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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2. Re: Where to Stay?

We enjoyed staying at the Roosevelt Inn in Keystone. Keystone is pretty centralized to the sights.

With only one night, I'd focus on Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park and skip the Reptile Gardens/Bear Country for now. Custer SP does offer nice drives and pretty scenery, but as wings mentioned, the Sylvan Lake is a great place for a hike and/or picnic, and the Wildlife Loop will keep you and the kids entertained for a bit. The Needles Hwy and Iron Mountain Rd. offer some of the best scenery the Black Hills has to offer. Be sure to drive Iron Mountain Rd from south to north for the best views of Mt Rushmore.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Where to Stay?

I agree with slrtravelplanner and would concentrate on spending your day in the Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore area. You will see plenty of wildlife. Save Bear Country and Reptile Gardens for another trip when you have more time. As to where to stay it depends on your preferences. Keystone which is only 3 miles from Mt. Rushmore is a tourist town with many souvenir shops and quite a few hotels. If you want a lodge like feeling, consider staying in Custer State Park. Game Lodge, Sylvan Lake Lodge, Legion Lake and Blue Bell Lodge all have quaint cabins and are located in very nice, picturesque areas. Game Lodge and Sylvan Lake have lodge rooms as well. We have stayed at Blue Bell Lodge, camped as well as stayed in their housekeeping cabins, and absolutely love the resort. In fact, it is one of our favorites nation wide. We have talked about staying in one of the cabins at Sylvan Lake someday but just have not done it as of yet. Sylvan Lake is absolutely gorgeous. Here is a link for th CSP resorts:


Hope you will make a trip back some day. One day will not do justice to the area. It is a fantastic place for a family vacation and most people are blown away once they get here.

4. Re: Where to Stay?

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