Distinctive Rapid City
Rapid City is home to one-of-a-kind attractions like Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial, mountain carvings inspired by our history.
A quote by carver Gutzon Borglum states: “Mount Rushmore was created to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.” Mount Rushmore strives to offer visitors an understanding and love for our nation’s history and culture.
The mission at Crazy Horse Memorial is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians. The family of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski continues progress on the world’s largest mountain sculpture, carving a memorial to the spirit of legendary Lakota leader Crazy Horse and his culture. Both memorials offer great evening opportunities in the Mount Rushmore lighting ceremony and Crazy Horse’s Legends in Light laser show.
In 2011, in part due to the cultural experiences available at the memorials and throughout the area, Rapid City was named the most patriotic small town in America by Rand McNally with its Best of the Road awards.
Go fish or break the ice!
There are two great new opportunities for group tours.
The Outdoor Campus-West, operated by the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, features hands-on exhibits featuring different ecosystems in South Dakota and a 4,000-gallon freshwater aquarium.
Rapid City is now home to the Main Street Square, a public space in the heart of downtown that offers a variety of events and activities year-round, including farmers markets, art exhibits and music festivals.
In addition to events, the square has a waterfall and dancing fountains. In the winter, the square will hold an ice-skating rink larger than the one at Rockefeller Center. Soon, artists will begin carving sculptures on-site on 20 massive granite stones, providing a live exhibition that people can watch as it evolves. One stone will be carved each year until all 20 works of art are completed.
Mystery is a brewin’
Rapid City’s downtown has a large variety of both regional and international cuisine at several locally owned dining establishments. Check out the Firehouse Brewing Co., South Dakota’s first brewpub, located in Rapid City’s original firehouse; the Corn Exchange Restaurant and Bistro, which serves only the freshest farm-to-table food in an intimate, historic 1886 building; Enigma Restaurant, where guests enjoy signature mystery dinners and specials in a fine-dining setting; Delmonico Grill with a jazzy metropolitan feel and casual fine dining; or the decorated junkyard atmosphere of Sanford’s Grub and Pub.