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Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

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Illinois
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Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

My hubby and I just returned from a five-day vacation to Mt. Rushmore/Deadwood, South Dakota. We had such a fun time, so I thought I would give you a quick overview of our acitivities.

Day 1---After driving through Badlands, we arrived in Wall, S.D. around 5 p.m.. After checking into Best Western, we headed to main street to visit Wall Drug. Then off to a buffet at a restaurant across the street. We enjoyed visiting some of the shops there too.

Day 2---Off to an early start around 7 a.m., then we drive through Rapid City. Upon arrival in Keystone, we chose to visit Mt. Rushmore ($10 parking fee)first thing that day. We particularly enjoyed the visitors' center. Great time to be there before the crowds gathered.

Next, we visited Crazy Horse ($20 parking fee)--enjoyed that visitors' center too. In the afternoon, we went to Wind Cave and did their 1 1/2 tour--enjoyed the visit. Then a ride through Custer Park & Needles Highway---a long, but productive day.

After checking into Roosevelt Inn, we had one of their delicious pizzas. That evening we returned to Mt. Rushmore for the 9:00 program.

Day 3---Off to Deadwood. We stayed at the Bullock Hotel. We really enjoyed the location of this hotel--right downtown in the center of all the fun. We took a city tour (cemetery & local attractions). We saw the Broken Boot Mine and shopped. Also, visited Kevin Costner's casino, Midnight Star.

Day 4-- Off to Devil's Tower for about a 1/2 day. Back to Deadwood for a great supper upstairs at Saloon #10. Watched the re-enactment of Wild Bill's death there too.

Day #5----A ride to Lead, Sturgis, and Spearfish. Then shopped/watched a shoot-out back in Deadwood.

We really enjoyed all our motels/hotel. We felt especially welcomed by William and Patrick at the Bullock---friendly personalities. We would definitely return to all our hotels. We had a great time on this trip, and we thank everyone who contributed posts to help us learn about this area.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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1. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

This sounds like a very nice trip. I'm so glad you enjoyed the Roosevelt and Big Time Pizza.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us of your travels. We appreciate hearing you found everyone's posts helpful.

Illinois
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2. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

Thanks for sharing your trip report-glad you had a great time!

We stayed at the Bullock on our first trip to SD 16 years ago and I have fond memories of the hotel. Nice to hear it's still an enjoyable place to stay so many years later. Haven't been back to Deadwood since-maybe in a few years when we're traveling without kids again (hard to believe that's coming soon).

Where did you eat in Wall? Was it the Elkton House? Thinking it may be because you mentioned the buffet--if so, was it ok? Have eaten there the last two times (had the buffet) and weren't that impressed for the price but maybe it's improved. We've never had much luck finding good food at a reasonable price in Wall and will be there again in 3 weeks so any recommendations will be duly noted!

I'm also happy that you found this forum helpful. I always do and don't plan any of my trips without checking with the great posters on TA.

Illinois
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3. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

librarychick:

Glad you enjoyed the trip report.

We ate at Cactus Jack's buffet, I believe that was the name. I honestly can't remember. I know it was across the street from Wall Drug, but I can't remember exactly. We had just driven nearly 12 hours straight to Wall, and we were exhausted and hungry. I do know that there is a great salad bar just as you enter, and the salad bar was a plus for us. (By the way, we were in Wall on a Sat. evening and I don't know if there is a buffet each night.)

The Bullock Hotel was a lot of fun. The slot machines were convenient, and drinks were free in the evening if you played the slots. We would go back to this hotel, and we will recommend it to our friends.

Flowood, MS
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4. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

My husband and I will be going at the end of Aug. staying the first night in Rapid City because of the late flight. We will spend the first day in the Badlands and then spend the rest of our nights at a lodge in Custer. We hope to see all the attractions you mentioned but to Spearfish and over to Devil's tower seems like a lot of driving. In your opinion, were these two attractions worth the trip? I mean, would they be worth the trip from Custer if we have to drive back to Custer when we are done. I am not sure the exact distance, but was thinking from google that it would be at least two hours from custer to devils tower.

Illinois
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5. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

You're right--the trip from Custer to Devils Tower would probably take about 2 hours. Since we had the time, we decided to make the trip to Devils Tower-- but from Deadwood which is only about one hour driving time. We liked the idea of seeing western Wyoming as we had never been in that state. If you don't have extra time and if you are not "into" seeing the tower, then you might omit it from your schedule. When we visited it, we simply took some pictures and visited a nearby tourist shop--it took about one hour for a quick stop.

FYI, we took I-90 to Sundance to the tower from the south, then we drove to the north through Alladin and back to Deadwood (Rte 85, I think) for some variety in the scenery.

Just a note: 1) while we were in Lead, we stopped at Homestake Mine for a tour. We enjoyed that too.

2) The times for the Wild Bill re-enactments in Saloon#10 are 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, and 7:00 at the rear of the saloon. Look for the far, round table on the left.

Illinois
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6. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

sorry for error---should read, "we had never been to 'eastern' Wyoming."

7. Re: Trip Report---Mt. Rushmore area

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