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29 Best & Fun Things To Do In Rapid City (South Dakota)

Famous monuments.

Old country towns.

Mountains filled with rushing rapids and growling grizzlies.

These are just a few of the sights that you can enjoy in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Located on the eastern slope of the Black Hills National Forest, it’s considered a “gateway” destination to many attractions in the greater Midwest, including Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and Bear Country USA.

You don’t have to leave town to have fun, however.

Rapid City is home to plenty of its own attractions, including malls, museums, theaters, resorts, and restaurants.

You can go splashing around indoor water parks in the summer; you can go twirling around ice skating rinks in the winter.

You can attend a number of festivals every year for special occasions.

There are even one-of-a-kind destinations involving everything from dinosaurs to mysterious optical illusions!

Are you ready to plan an itinerary for this great South Dakota destination?

1. Chapel in the Hills

Chapel in the Hills

Exploring and Living / Shutterstock

Are you the type of traveler who loves to throw away the map and go exploring on your own?

You can discover a lot of cool, quirky destinations in Rapid City this way, including the Chapel in the Hills.

Dating back to the 1800s, the Chapel in the Hills is an exact replica of a wooden stave church found in Norway.

Its eye-catching architecture extends from the multi-tiered chapel to the grass-roofed stabbur or store house.

That’s right: The roof is literally made of sprouted grass!

Other destinations include a lob cabin museum and a beautiful prayer path that doubles as a nature trail.

You can attend church services, take a walk around the grounds, and even arrange for a wedding among the picturesque pines.

If you’re looking for stuff to do in Rapid City that’s off the beaten path, you might like a trip into the woods to see the Chapel in the Hills.

It’s one of the more unusual attractions in the area, but that’s exactly what gives it charm.

Address: 3788 Chapel Ln, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

2. Storybook Island

Storybook Island

Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock

Help bring your children’s bedtime stories to life with a trip to Storybook Island in Rapid City.

Designed like a fairy tale estate, it’s filled with color, magic, and imagination that will delight your little ones.

It might even inspire a little nostalgia in you, too!

Attractions include a train, a carousel, and a castle.

Famous literary characters can be found everywhere from Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall to the Wicked Witch of the West looming over a gated archway.

Other familiar faces include Tinkerbell, Rapunzel, Winnie the Pooh, and Dr. Seuss’s regulars.

Another noteworthy aspect of Storybook Island is that it doesn’t charge admission.

You’ll have to pay for rides and concessions, but the prices are modest, and there are many free things to do such as taking selfies with all of the available statues and caricatures.

If you’re traveling with kids, Storybook Island is one of the best places to go in Rapid City.

It’s fun; it’s memorable; it won’t cost you a dime.

Take the whole family and see your favorite characters in all of their glory!

Address: 1301 Sheridan Lake Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

3. Fort Hays

Fort Hays

Fort Hays

You might recognize Fort Hays from the award-winning film Dances With Wolves.

It’s an authentic Wild West town right down to the dusty saloon doors that flap open with the breeze, and it’s a great way to experience history while in Rapid City.

Attractions at Fort Hays include cowboy music shows, traditional chuckwagon suppers, and workshops where you can make your own tin plates and twine lassos.

You can thoroughly immerse yourself in the land that time forgot.

There are even vintage wagon rides if you want to travel like the pioneers did!

Otherwise, more modern attractions include the South Dakota Film Museum and a number of sightseeing tours for nearby destinations such as Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park.

The town is also right near the famous Buffalo Hunt Roller Coaster where you can play-hunt at high speeds.

Fort Hays is a must-see among Rapid City attractions.

Not only will it take you back in time to the turn of the century, but it’ll also showcase what life used to be like in South Dakota specifically.

It’ll be an excellent opportunity to really get the lay of the land while you’re on vacation.

Address: 2255 Fort Hayes Dr, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

4. Downtown Rapid City

Downtown Rapid City

Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Rapid City, how about a place where you can experience everything all at once?

From movie theaters to musical venues, downtown Rapid City offers an entire vacation’s worth of entertainment.

Most of the action is centered around Main Street Square, home to splash pads in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.

Other tourist attractions include restaurants, museums, art galleries, convention centers, and sports venues.

There are even fun, unique attractions such as the life-sized “City of Presidents” statues that line the sidewalks.

Treat each Commander in Chief like a scavenger hunt and find them all!

Whether you’re staying for a day, a week, or a month, you won’t want to miss out on the downtown area of Rapid City.

It’ll show you a lively time while you’re in town.

Address: 512 Main St Suite 980, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

5. Bear Country USA

Bear Country USA

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Billed as a “drive-through wildlife park,” Bear Country USA will send you on a safari-like adventure through the natural wonder near Rapid City.

It covers more than 200 acres in total, and they’re brimming with rolling hills, towering pines, and flower-filled meadows.

Like you might have guessed from the name, bears are the top draw in Bear Country.

You can watch them lumber through trees and swipe fish from ponds all from the safety of your vehicle.

Other animals in the preserve include elk, reindeer, buffalo, bobcats, wolves, mountain lions, and river otters.

You never know what you’ll see next when you look outside of your window!

Enjoy the diversity of the animal kingdom when you take a trip through Bear Country USA.

Seeing a baby bear toddling through the woods just a few feet away is the kind of vacation memory that’ll stick with you for a long, long time.

Address: 13820 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

6. Dahl Arts Center

Dahl Arts Center

Dahl Arts Center

Located in downtown Rapid City, the Dahl Arts Center is one of the largest in the entire state of South Dakota, and it’s a visual spectacle that will delight any real art lover.

For starters, it’s not just one gallery; it’s three.

You can rotate among everything from watercolor portraits to hand-woven tapestries that will dazzle you with their sheer creativity.

You’ll also be able to enjoy a diverse range of talent from artists all around the world: Some will be internationally famous while others will be “emerging artists” having their very first showcase.

In addition to admiring the exhibitions, you can also sign up for one of the museum’s many special events.

There are classes, workshops, and even concerts held at its 250-seat event center.

Did we mention that admission is free on Fridays?

If you’re looking for cheap things to do this weekend while canvassing Rapid City, consider the Dahl Arts Center.

It’ll check off all of the boxes.

Address: 713 7th St, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

7. Black Hills Powwow

Black Hills Powwow

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South Dakota is home to a large number of Native American tribes, and their influence can still be felt today at events like the Black Hills Powwow.

Drawing thousands of visitors each year, the Black Hills Powwow is a celebration of the art, music, dress, folklore, and overall heritage of the state’s Native populations.

These range from the Sioux to the Dakota to the Lakota.

The multi-day powwow starts with a grand parade before moving into performances, competitions, and displays of cultural talent.

You can watch archery, for example, or dancers and drummers in full traditional dress.

You can shop from dozens of vendors selling handcrafted jewelry, totem poles, and dreamcatchers.

You can try local cuisine.

The Black Hills Powwow is one of the most unique things to experience in Rapid City.

It’s also one of the most culturally significant in terms of remembering and respecting who lived on the land before European settlers arrived in America.

By attending the powwow, you can pay homage to the Native American legacy that built South Dakota.

Address: 522 7th St, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

8. Black Hills Outdoor Fun

Black Hills Outdoor Fun

Black Hills Outdoor Fun

The Black Hills are full of breathtaking places to visit, and if you aren’t sure where to start, it can help to hire a tour guide.

One such option is Black Hills Outdoor Fun.

You’ll hop aboard an ATV and take a four-hour tour of meadows, ravines, and prairies, allowing for at-will stops along the way.

You can even take side trips along deerfield trails if you want to get off the ATV for awhile and stretch your legs with a hike.

All expenses is included in your tour price, so you won’t have to worry about being nickeled and dimed for things like gas.

Your guides will even throw in complimentary snacks!

If you want to see the beauty of the Black Hills in a way that’s close enough to touch, schedule a tour with Black Hills Outdoor Fun.

You don’t have to be an experienced off-roader.

Beginners are just as welcome as old hands, so this can be a first-time ride that also doubles as a bucket list exploration of South Dakota’s wilderness.

Address: 12780 Black Forest Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

9. Kountry Junkin’ Vintage Market

Kountry Junkin' Vintage Market

Kountry Junkin’ Vintage Market

Do you love thrift shops and flea markets?

Do you get a thrill when you uncover secret treasures buried under rubbish?

The Kountry Junkin’ Vintage Market is just the place for you.

Held three times per year in Rapid City, the Kountry Junkin’ Vintage Market is a regular delight for secondhand shoppers.

You can visit during the spring, fall, or winter seasons.

The vendors often change, but the goods remain steady.

What exactly can you find at the market?

The short answer is “everything.”

From homemade crafts to old and worn antiques, there’s always something new to sift through, so there’s always a chance of fresh and exciting discoveries.

Food stalls and coffee carts are also available to fuel you through your treasure hunts.

Drop by the Kountry Junkin’ Vintage Market if you’re ready to plunge into stacks and stacks of secondhand goodies.

You might not resurface for awhile, but that’s half of the adventure!

Address: Rapid City, SD, United States

10. Black Hills Symphony Orchestra

Black Hills Symphony Orchestra

Black Hills Symphony Orchestra

Are you looking to experience a little culture while in Rapid City?

You might like a performance from the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra.

They’re a point of pride for the city’s fine art scene, and they put on wonderful concerts at a variety of venues.

They don’t limit themselves to classical music, either.

They stretch their creative muscles with everything from orchestral versions of “The Nutcracker” to sound-and-science exhibitions such as “The Legend of the Northern Lights.”

You can treat yourself to an utterly unique experience for your next date night!

To catch a show from the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, check out their website and see where they’re performing next.

Their most frequent venue is the Performing Arts Center, but you can find them all over the downtown area as well.

Address: Rapid City, SD, United States

Visiting other parts of South Dakota? Why not check out some of the things to do in Sioux Falls?

11. Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens

Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock

One of the most famous of Rapid City’s attractions, the Reptile Gardens has been officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world.

They’re home to all kinds of reptilian species ranging from snakes and alligators to giant tortoises and Komodo dragons.

They’ve also branched out into birds, bugs, prairie dogs, and more.

Despite their current fame, the Reptile Gardens has humble origins.

They were started in 1937 by a 21-year-old snake enthusiast who wanted nothing more than to show others not to be afraid of his favorite critters.

Today, with everything from sky domes to safari rooms, the Reptile Gardens has definitely succeeded in bringing more awareness to the lives of oft-misunderstood animals.

In addition to their zoo-like habitats available for public viewing, they also arrange shows, feedings, meet and greets, and other educational programs for the public.

At the end of the day, the Reptile Gardens is a destination that you can feel good about visiting.

Your kids will be entertained, and your admission fee will go towards a good cause.

Samson the giant tortoise will also get some petting.

It’s a win-win for everyone!

Address: 8955 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

12. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Located just south of Rapid City in a place called Keystone, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the biggest points of interest in the area.

Millions of visitors flock to the granite-carved faces each year to marvel at an iconic piece of American history.

While the cliffs are famous, however, fewer people realize that there’s an entire memorial park surrounding Mount Rushmore.

You can visit a museum, restaurant, gift shop, and more.

Everything is family-friendly and accessible for all.

Wander the park and look at flags and marble busts; take a walking trail to get up close and personal with the presidents; go back at night to view a lighting ceremony that makes the entire mountain glow.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is one of the most iconic things to see in the Midwest, so it should definitely be on your bucket list.

Cross it off with a trip to Rapid City and its surrounding region!

Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751, United States

13. Dinosaur Museum

Dinosaur Museum

Dinosaur Museum

The Dinosaur Museum is one of the biggest points of interest in Rapid City, and we mean that literally.

It has a 40-foot statue of a T-Rex towering over Highway 16 on the road to Mount Rushmore.

You can’t miss it.

Inside the building is even more dino-centric entertainment.

There are gigantic, life-sized replicas; there are teeny-tiny bones and fossils.

Some exhibitions are interactive, meaning that you’ll actually get to touch dinosaur remains that date back millions of years.

It’s the kind of experience that’s cool no matter how old you are.

Other activities at the museum include displays, simulations, and dinosaur-themed mini-golf.

Your child will get to learn all kinds of educational trivia even as they’re having a blast!

The Dinosaur Museum is one of the best places to see for dinosaur lovers in Rapid City.

Whether you’re staying in town or just cruising down the highway to visit the presidents, it’s worth swerving towards the T-Rex.

Address: 8973 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

14. Millstone Family Restaurant

Millstone Family Restaurant

Millstone Family Restaurant

Eating is one of the most fun things to do in Rapid City.

The town is awash with restaurants serving every kind of cuisine, so you’ll have your pick of everything from Indian to Japanese.

When you’re in the mood for classic Midwestern, you’ll want the Millstone Family Restaurant.

Owned by locals, the Millstone specializes in hearty, homemade plates that’ll leave you stuffed.

Specials include everything from barbecue pork ribs to traditional meatloaf dinners.

You can also enjoy breakfast all day, every day, so if you ever have a hankering for country fried steak and eggs, you can have it dished up anytime.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is small and cozy.

Your servers will probably remember your name if you go back.

Ultimately, when you’ve worked up an appetite in Rapid City, the Millstone Family Restaurant is the place to be.

Address: 1520 N Lacrosse St, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

15. Belle Joli Winery

Belle Joli Winery

RaksyBH / Shutterstock

Often dubbed the “Sparkling House,” the Belle Joli Winery was the first champagne house in South Dakota, and it’s still one of the best.

Not only does it cultivate a rich vineyard, but it also operates its own production facility to create hand-crafted wines in Rapid City.

Visitors can tour the vineyard, sample a bottle or two in the tasting room, and enjoy brunch on the sunny outdoor patio.

You can also check out the special events calendar to see what’s coming up next.

You might be able to catch a wine-and-bingo night or a wine club pickup party.

Wine season is from October to April, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly if the Belle Joli Winery is on your list of places to visit.

You should also know that it’s technically located in Deadwood, South Dakota, though it’s only a short drive from Rapid City.

Address: 594 Main St, Deadwood, SD 57732, United States

16. Bar K-9 Indoor Dog Park and Bar

Bar K-9 Indoor Dog Park and Bar

Bar K-9 Indoor Dog Park and Bar

Are you taking your dog on vacation with you?

If so, you’ll definitely want to visit the Bar K-9 Indoor Dog Park and Bar.

Welcoming two- and four-legged guests, it’s among the best and most unique things to do in Rapid City.

For starters, there’s a large indoor play area where canines can freely frolic.

You can let them off-leash for awhile as you sit at the counter and enjoy a brew.

There’s also a beer available for dogs!

Alcohol-free, it’s called the Good Boy Dog Beer, and it’ll be an indulgence for your pooch when they need a little hydration after playtime.

You don’t even have to own a dog to visit.

You can just be a dog lover who wants to enjoy the fun and furry atmosphere.

At the Bar K-9 Indoor Dog Park and Bar, all wagging tails are welcome.

Address: Uptown Rapid, 2200 N Maple Ave #508, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

17. Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park

Arlene Waller / Shutterstock

South Dakota is one of the most beautiful places in the US, but it’s something of a hidden gem because of those who aren’t aware of its grand and sweeping panoramas.

The good news is that their loss is your gain!

You can enjoy true untouched wilderness in places like Badlands National Park.

Located about an hour from Rapid City, Badlands National Park has a rugged beauty defined by its rich soil, jagged sandstone cliffs, and natural geological deposits.

You’ll feel like you’re in a stark and remote desert even as you’re surrounded by a stunning range of biodiversity that includes everything from prairie vegetation to endangered species of wildlife.

Typical outdoor activities are hiking, trekking, and camping.

Don’t be afraid to visit the park at night, either.

Tours like the Badlands Sunset and Night Sky Adventure will take you on a dazzling journey under the stars.

All things considered, it would be a shame to visit Rapid City and not take advantage of its proximity to Badlands National Park.

It’s a real wonder in the Midwest, so it’s well worth the trip!

Address: South Dakota, United States

18. Uptown Rapid

Uptown Rapid

Uptown Rapid

Formerly known as the Rushmore Mall, Uptown Rapid is a “shop ’til you drop” destination that serves the needs of Wyoming and South Dakota visitors.

It’s a big, beautiful mall housing both popular brands and funky and eclectic wares from local vendors.

If you want to buy high-end clothing, for example, you can stop by familiar fashion and jewelry boutiques.

On the flip side, if you want to check out a weekend trader’s market, you can scope out thrifty deals as well.

There are also various activities hosted at the mall, so if you enjoy things like cornhole tournaments, book signings, and small-scale musical performances, just check the schedule and see what’s coming next.

A visit to Uptown Rapid is one of the best things to do in Rapid City, especially for shopaholics.

Even if you’re just passing through, however, it can be a nice stop for a souvenir or three.

Address: 2200 N Maple Ave, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

19. Museum of Geology

Museum of Geology

Museum of Geology

Filled with fossils, minerals, skeletons, and other cool stuff dating back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras, the Museum of Geology is a great place for natural history buffs in Rapid City.

It’s located on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and it can provide an exciting and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Exhibitions include everything from murals and dioramas to fossils and skeletal remains of mammals, marine animals, and more.

The specimens range from mammoth to minuscule.

Other collections focus on things like rocks, minerals, and gems found in both South Dakota and the greater world beyond.

You’ll be pleased to know that there’s no admission charge for the museum, either.

It’s a top 10 destination, and it’s one of Rapid City’s free things to do.

If you’re traveling on a budget, you just can’t beat the Museum of Geology.

Address: O’Harra Building, 561 E St Joseph St, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

20. WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort

WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort

WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort

Open year round, the WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort is one of those Rapid City attractions that you can always count on.

Whether you’re visiting in the height of summer or the dead of winter, it’ll be there to provide a splashing good time.

There are more than 30,000 square feet to explore inside of the park, most of them dominated by slides, rides, pools, and hot tubs.

Some of the most popular water features include “Parrot’s Plunge” and “Seahorse Slide.”

When your fingers have thoroughly pruned, climb out of the water and experience the other delights of the park.

There’s an indoor playground, an old-school arcade, and a number of affiliated hotels and restaurants.

You can eat, drink, rest, shop, and more, all at a single location.

The WaTiki Indoor Waterpark Resort is more than just a theme park.

It’s an entire vacation package rolled into one.

It’s also open 365 days per year, so no matter when you’re visiting Rapid City, you can rest assured that you’ll have fun.

Address: 1314 N Elk Vale Rd, Rapid City, SD 57703, United States

21. Old MacDonald’s Farm

Old MacDonald's Farm

Old MacDonald’s Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm…

Get ready to hear this song over and over when you take the kids to Old MacDonald’s Farm, a fun and family-friendly destination in Rapid City.

It houses more than 100 barnyard critters for up close and personal animal encounters!

Bottlefeed a goat.

Cup a baby chick in your palms.

Take a pony ride.

These are just a few of the activities that you can enjoy during a simulation of “farm life.”

In the fall, you can also enjoy seasonal activities such as pumpkin patches, wagon rides, and corn bins.

Let it never be said that South Dakota doesn’t embrace the changing of the leaves.

All in all, Old MacDonald’s Farm is one of the top places to visit for families in Rapid City.

No matter what the age of your little farmer, they’re sure to enjoy things like billy goats trampling across a sky bridge!

Address: 23691 Busted Five Ct, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

22. Cosmos Mystery Area

Cosmos Mystery Area

Cosmos Mystery Area

There are many strange things to see at Rapid City’s Cosmos Mystery Area.

In fact, strangeness is its entire shtick.

Built around a wooden cabin from 1952, it offers all kinds of optical illusions to puzzle the senses and delight the mind.

The “Mystery House,” for example, is the original attraction, and it allows you to perform feats of magic like standing on walls and watching water roll uphill.

You’ll baffle yourself at every corner of the tour.

Another popular attraction is the geode mining nearby.

You can sift and sluice for gems, minerals, fossils, arrowheads, and other treasures.

Are you looking for odd and unusual experiences while in Rapid City?

Hit up the Cosmos Mystery Area.

Once you’re defying gravity, you’ll realize that you’re in for a real treat.

Address: 24040 Cosmos Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

23. South Dakota Air and Space Museum

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

Paul R. Jones / Shutterstock

Another one of Rapid City’s free tourist attractions, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum will provide informative, all-ages fun without straining your wallet.

It’s a great place to learn something new at every stage of life.

The museum’s biggest draws are the planes.

They have more than 30 aircraft on display in both indoor and outdoor exhibitions; famous names include Republic F-84F Thunderjets, Douglas A-26K Invaders, and Convair F-102A Delta Daggers.

Other features of the museum range from a flight simulator to a real-life cockpit where the kids can climb in and pretend to be pilots.

There are also numerous photos, videos, and artifacts related to aviation history.

Check out the South Dakota Air and Space Museum when you’re looking for fun and low-cost things to do in Rapid City.

It’d be a worthwhile destination even if you had to pay for it, so the fact that it’s free just makes it even sweeter.

Address: 2890 Davis Dr, Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706, United States

24. Black Hills Caverns

Black Hills Caverns

Black Hills Caverns

Formed around 60 million years ago, the Black Hills Caverns are limestone formations that exist deep underground.

You can descend straight into the caves to see rock patterns, walls made out of crystals, and an all-natural wishing well.

There are two tours available: the short and shallow Crystal Tour and the longer, deeper Adventure Tour.

Both can provide a memorable trip into the caves, but if you want the whole hog, invest the time in the Adventure Tour.

You’ll see more, and you’ll also enjoy extra perks like gemstone panning and fossil mining for the kids.

They can take home their favorites!

Who would’ve thought that one of the best vacation spots in Rapid City is fully underground?

At the Black Hills Caverns, however, you’ll love every inch of the descent.

Caving is one of the coolest things to do in South Dakota, and this destination makes it easy, accessible, and family friendly.

Address: 2600 Cavern Rd, Rapid City, SD 57702, United States

25. The Monument

The Monument

The Monument

Formerly known as the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, The Monument is among the top-rated of Rapid City’s attractions.

It welcomes thousands of visitors per year who want to soak up the many different forms of entertainment offered within the venue.

In the wintertime, the event of choice is usually hockey; The Monument is home to the Rapid City Rush team.

In fairer weather, the audience turns to indoor football and the Rapid City Marshals.

Other activities range from concerts to rodeos to theater productions.

There’s always something new happening under The Monument’s gigantic roof, so don’t be afraid to call and ask for a schedule.

A little planning today can net you front row seats tomorrow!

Address: 444 N Mt Rushmore Rd, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

26. Dinosaur Park

Dinosaur Park

EQRoy / Shutterstock

Another treat for dinosaur lovers in Rapid City, Dinosaur Park is an entirely separate attraction from the Dinosaur Museum, but it’ll provide just as much fun.

It’s located on a sandstone ridge on the outer edges of the Black Hills.

Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed this ridge freely.

Today, the dinosaurs are remembered with a collection of larger-than-life statues.

Species include Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Apatosaurus.

They overlook the ridge and its amazing 100-mile views across South Dakota’s geological badlands.

When you’re done walking in the shadows of these prehistoric beasts, hit up the gift and concession shop.

You’ll find quirky roadside oddities like fossil bags and collectible “dinosaur poop,” and hot dogs are only $1.49 each!

If you’re looking for cheap and free things to do while on vacation in Rapid City, consider Dinosaur Park.

It’s extremely affordable, and it’s one of the best places to go for cute and creative photos, especially with kids.

Address: 940 Skyline Dr, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

27. Art Alley

Art Alley

Terry W Ryder / Shutterstock

Art Alley is one of the coolest things to see in Rapid City.

Sprung out of nothing, it’s an organic, community-driven tourist attraction that celebrates creative expression in all forms.

What is Art Alley?

Simply put, it’s a back alley that’s been transformed by colorful works of art.

It started with graffiti back in the day, but now it’s overseen by the city council, and artists get permits to decorate the walls, windows, doors, pipes, and even dumpsters.

Visiting is free, and it’s a great place for a photo op.

The artwork makes for an amazing backdrop for selfies!

It’s also nice to just walk the alley and check out everything from murals to logos to personal tags.

You can find Art Alley located between 6th and 7th street in the downtown area.

Address: 599 7th St, Rapid City, SD 57701, United States

28. West Boulevard Summer Festival

West Boulevard Summer Festival

West Boulevard Summer Festival

Hundreds of visitors descend on Rapid City every summer to attend the West Boulevard Summer Festival.

It’s one of the best festivals in town, and since Rapid City is a tourist destination that hosts an assortment of festivals, it’s no small thing to be #1!

The festivities begin every year on Father’s Day weekend.

If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the delectable treats on sale.

If you’re a fan of live music, you’ll get to tap your toe to all kinds of outdoor stages.

If you enjoy shopping, there are always dozens of local vendors selling crafts, artwork, jewelry, clothing, and collectibles.

Clear your schedule this upcoming Father’s Day.

The West Boulevard Summer Festival is calling, and it’s a siren song in Rapid City that can’t be denied.

Address: Rapid City, SD, United States

29. Black Hills Central Railroad

Black Hills Central Railroad

Paul R. Jones / Shutterstock

Say goodbye to Rapid City with a long, scenic train ride through some of its most beautiful scenery.

The Black Hills Central Railroad was originally built in 1880, and its vintage charm is part of its appeal.

You’ll hop aboard an authentic, steam-engine locomotive and enjoy a curving path across everything from old mining encampments to the green peaks of country hills.

The train moves slowly, so you’ll have plenty of time to snap photos.

If you’re traveling with kids, they can meet the train conductor and ask questions.

Light snacks are available.

A round trip takes about two hours.

The Black Hills Central Railroad doesn’t have to be a farewell tour, but it’s a very fitting way to say goodbye to Rapid City when your vacation is over.

You’ll get to overlook all of the majesties of the Midwest one last time.

Who knows?

It might even inspire you to start thinking about a return trip to South Dakota!

Address: 222 Railroad Ave, Hill City, SD 57745, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Rapid City

These are just a few of the coolest things to do in Rapid City.

Whether you’re planning this weekend’s adventure or next summer’s vacation, having a to-do list can maximize your fun while you’re in town.

Use these attractions and activities to create an unforgettable vacation experience.