Hi all! I finally had some time to draft an itinerary for our trip. If the folks from the South Dakota tourism office read this forum, that SD travel guide is AWESOME!! The map and suggested road trips on pages 112-113 is so helpful.
If you could take a quick look and tell me if I'm trying to do too much (or maybe not enough) in a day, I'd really appreciate it. We're going to stay at the K Bar S Lodge the whole week and do day trips from there. I spend a LOT of time taking photos wherever we go, and my hubby is a history buff, so he reads all the descriptive signs, etc. (this means that we'll prob. spend a little more time at each attraction than the average family) We're a family of 4, our boys are 18 and 20.
DAY 1: our flight arrives in Rapid City around 1:30; pick up rental car, drive to Keystone, see Mt. Rushmore evening lighting ceremony.
DAY 2: Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Sylvan Lake, 1880 train. (Ques: can you board 1880 train in both Hill City and Keystone, or just Hill City? Since we're staying in Keystone, should we board in Hill City and explore that area while we're waiting for the train?)
DAY 3: Custer State Park, Mammoth Site, Wind Cave
DAY 4: Lots of driving today, will get early start - head to Belle Fourche to see center of nation, then on to Devils Tower, home via Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. I know Deadwood is usually included in this area, but we're not into gambling at all, so we won't mind if we don't have time to see Deadwood or Lead.
DAY 5: Fun day after spending prior day in the car - Presidents' Alpine Slide/Tram, Chapel in the Hills, Cosmos Mystery Area (thanks, slrtravelplanner, for suggesting this to somebody else!), Circle B trail ride and chuckwagon dinner.
DAY 6: Wall Drug, Badlands National Park (Badlands Scenic Byway), Minuteman Missile Site.
DAY 7: Our flight home is at 1:30, so maybe we'll go into Rapid City in the morning to see the Presidents' statues on the street corners? Is it worth it?
I didn't include Jewel Cave - maybe we can add that if some outdoor activity gets rained out. Or do you think we can fit Jewel Cave in with everything else one day? And there's always mini-golf and the president's wax museum in Keystone if our activities end late afternoon and we're looking for something to do. Plus I think I read that the K Bar S has some hiking trails on the property, so we can check those out, too.
What do you think? Is this do-able? Thanks so much for your suggestions!