I'm usually excellent at researching and planning amazing trips, but for some reason I'm really confused as to what I can reasonably fit into each day and what order to visit the sites without re-tracking the same routes over and over again. I was hoping someone could help me arrange a 7-day itinerary.
I've looked at many posts, but it doesn't seem like many people spend a full week in just the SD area, so I have nothing to really compare my situation to. It seems like a lot of people include this area into a cross country trip or combine it with Yellowstone, etc.
We're an adult mother and daughter duo who will be arriving in Rapid Center and renting a car from Saturday to Saturday in late June.
We want to hit all of the major attractions and scenic drives as possible. We're not interested in hiking, mostly getting in and out of the car to take photos and casual walks around. We love to gamble and would like to spend a day or two in Deadwood. I was interested in staying at the new Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel which is scheduled to open in April. Also, we like to shop, so I want to go to Wall Drug.
Can someone please help me arrange a 7-day schedule that covers as many of the popular sites and scenic drives as possible, including some time to gamble in Deadwood. Also, where to stay. I know everyone recommends Keystone, Hill City or Custer, but I'm willing to stay in 2-3 different hotels if it makes sense driving wise. Since we have an early flight going home, I thought we'd end our trip at Badlands and stay the last night in Rapid City to be closer to the airport and start the trip further out near Devils Tower or stay in the center of everything.
Are there any "real" gold panning sites in Lead where you can rent a shovel and pan and do it yourself in a creek, as opposed to tourist trap set-ups?
The only thing we're not interested in are the caves.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!!Edited: 29 March 2012, 18:23