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Badlands National Parks

See South Dakota in 4 days

Story by
postedJanuary 28, 2020

Rapid City is the second-largest city in South Dakota, and it offers equally grand experiences on its Bucket-List Sites & Big Things Beyond itinerary.

The four-day program is a mixture of art, wildlife, and museums, as well as some astounding scenery that can only be found in the national and state parks of South Dakota.

Here are highlights from the itinerary:

Art Alley
Art Alley (Photo by Visit Rapid City)

Day 1

City of Presidents The strollable Rapid City streets are lined with life-sized bronze sculptures of American presidents.

Art Alley This ever-changing downtown outdoor gallery and public art project exhibits local artists’ work, from murals to free-form graffiti.

Reptile Gardens
Reptile Gardens (Photo by Visit Rapid City)

Day 2

The Journey Museum and Learning Center It’s the place to learn all about the legend of the formation of Paha Sapa (Lakota for the Black Hills).

Reptile Gardens Along with more than 50,000 exotic flowers to see (and smell), the attraction has more reptiles than any other place in the world. Brave visitors can hold a python and meet Fluffy the alligator.

Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore (Photo by Visit Rapid City)

Day 3

Mount Rushmore The enormous mountainside landmark features a granite quartet of American presidents—and it’s pretty famous.

Custer State Park Its 73,000 acres are home to the nation’s largest free-roaming buffalo herds, and visitors can take in the park’s beauty from a Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour.

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park (Photo by Visit Rapid City)

Day 4

Crazy Horse Memorial The grand monument of Lakota warrior Crazy Horse is the largest mountain carving in progress. Visitors can also see the on-site Indian Museum of North America.

Badlands National Park The eroding terrain and unique wildlife are sights to behold, and the park is the last known location of the Ghost Dance, a ritual dance that was part of a cultural movement believed to bring back the natives’ old way of life.

For more information, contact Visit Rapid City’s Lindsey Myers or go to

Top photo: Badlands National Parks
Photo by South Dakota Tourism


Support for Courier articles provided by:
Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association
The Cody Cattle Company
Cody Country Visitors & Convention Council
North Dakota Tourism Division
Visit Cheyenne
Visit Fort Worth