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In the beautiful Black Hills region of South Dakota lies the bustling town of Rapid City. Boasting the second largest population in the state, behind Sioux Falls, Rapid City is a great place to base yourself for easy access to a variety of adventures. If you’re searching for RV rentals in Rapid City, you’re also almost certainly planning to visit the state’s most famous attraction: Mount Rushmore. The 60-foot tall granite sculpture is one of the most iconic symbols of America and features the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Also nearby is the unfinished Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to the indigenous Lakota people of the region who were nearly wiped in the late 1800s. If the rock sculpture is ever completed, it will be even larger than Mount Rushmore. However, don’t let these gigantic monuments be your only stops with the motorhome rental in South Dakota; Rapid City has quite a few great attractions that go undiscovered by most tourists.
Renting an RV in Rapid City, South Dakota should be a painless experience, as the city is relatively small and has an abundance of camping options. Rapid City/Black Hills KOA is just a few miles from the downtown area and has tons of great amenities including a hot tub, small library, and an inexpensive all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast during the summer months. Three miles to the South of the city on Highway 16, on the way to Mount Rushmore, is the Rapid City RV Park and Campground. This park has a convenience store, playground and all the RV hookups you’ll need for the Rapid City camper rental. Also nearby is the very affordable Tee Pee Campground and RV Park.
Other RV site options include Lake Park Campground, four miles to the West of Rapid City, American Buffalo Resort, ten miles to the Southwest, and Heartland Park RV and Cabins in the nearby town of Hermosa. Wherever you choose to stay, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies for the Rapid City RV rental at one of the two Walmarts along I-90 before heading to your campsite. Fuel and basic provisions can be found at the Flying J truck stop, four miles Northeast of the city at the intersection of I-90 and the Highway 16 bypass, or at the Pilot Travel Center, a few miles to the West and also on I-90.
Rapid City doesn’t have much in the way of public transportation, with the Rapid Transit System operating just six routes throughout the city. However, you probably won’t have too much trouble as many of the RV parks are located relatively close to the downtown area.
The city is centered around its namesake waterway, Rapid City Creek, and the downtown area is within easy walking distance of it. The nearby Shops at Main Street Square include some of the best coffee shops, restaurants and stores in Rapid City. Find a spot to park the camper rental in Rapid City and take a leisurely walking tour of this diverse, visitor-friendly area.
If you’re traveling with kids that enjoy the creepy, crawly kind of wildlife, you’ll surely need to spend a few hours at Reptile Gardens, just a few miles to the South of Rapid City. It’s the world’s largest reptile zoo, with 225 species present there. If you’re not a fan of reptiles, they also have bald eagles, a variety of exotic birds and a prairie dog town to keep everyone entertained.
For some unexpectedly amazing street art, take a stroll down the graffiti-filled corridor known as Art Alley between Sixth and Seventh Street. The colorful murals are always growing as artists find new ways to decorate the cityscape.
For some delicious craft beers, take a trip to South Dakota’s oldest operating brewery. The aptly named Firehouse Brewing Company is located inside an early 20th-century fire station and still has the original firefighter’s pole descending from the upstairs living quarters to where the fire trucks were once parked below. In addition to their great beers, they’ve got some pretty tasty food options and live music a few nights per week.
As the “Gateway to the Black Hills” Rapid City has plenty of opportunities for visitors wanting to explore the great outdoors. If you want to stick closer to town, the Skyline Wilderness area offers 150 acres of hiking and mountain bike trails, along with some great views of the surrounding area. The adjacent Dinosaur Park has some rather unusual concrete dinosaur statues constructed in the 1930s, when quite a few fossils were discovered in the Black Hills.
Take a nice day trip to the Thunder Basin National Grassland. About 145 miles West of Rapid City, in Northeast Wyoming, Thunder Basin is home to tons of prairie creatures like antelope, deer and even a rogue fox or two. This place is grand, it’s full of grass and it really is gorgeous, in its own regard. The park has trails for hiking and several sites for rustic camping.
For a truly otherworldly experience, take your Rapid City RV rental about 60 miles West of the city. The endless landscapes of jagged rock formations, referred to as hoodoos, will have you feeling like you’ve taken a trip to Mars. The Buffalo Gap National Grassland is also only an hour’s drive to the South and is a great place to spot some indigenous prairie wildlife including coyotes, badgers, antelope, bighorn sheep and of course, the American Bison.
Book a camper rental in Rapid City, SD and start planning your next adventure in this wild Western natural playground.