Top Black Hills Attractions
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Black Hills Activities For Families
Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota, are a must-see for adventurous visitors! Offering one of the most unique attractions in Rapid City – a chance to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most exotic reptiles.
Reptiles from all over the globe can be seen at Reptile Gardens, including giant tortoises, massive snakes, colorful lizards, and more. Not only is Reptile Gardens an incredible opportunity to observe these amazing creatures, it also offers plenty of educational opportunities.
With knowledgeable staff and interactive displays onsite, Reptile Gardens is sure to satisfy any inquisitive mind.
Something else that sets Reptile Gardens apart from other attractions in Rapid City is its commitment to conservation efforts. Reptile Gardens works hard to protect endangered wildlife and promote sustainable practices.
Visitors also have the chance to learn more about Reptiles Gardens’ conservation efforts during their visit, making it a great place to educate yourself while having fun
So if you’re looking for something wild and exciting to do in Rapid City, Reptile Gardens is a perfect choice! From learning about reptiles around the world to supporting conservation efforts – Reptile Gardens offers an experience like no other. Get ready for adventure and explore Reptile Gardens today!
Reptile Gardens opened its doors on June 3rd, 1937, and is a must-do for any family. Located between Rapid City and Mount Rushmore, Reptile Gardens is positioned perfectly as an excellent destination for Black Hills Visitors.
This is one of the area's best and most visited attractions, so we recommend booking online well in advance.
Dinosaur Park and Skyline Drive
If you're near downtown Rapid City, all you have to do is look up to see Olive, the giant dinosaur looking back down at you. Dinosaur Park and Skyline Drive were created in the 1930s and are the most visible Black Hills activities for families.
This is the way scientists thought dinosaurs appeared based on their knowledge at the time.
Since then, we've come to understand our ancient friends and even renamed a few. Dinosaur park is renovating from 2022-2023 and will be open to the public in the summer of 2023. We know the visitors will enjoy new accessibility, a refreshed gift shop, new paving, and a brighter look for our dino friends.
The park Is a great place to visit, with sweeping views of Rapid City. It's also known as a place where lover birds would go for their first kiss. The best time spent up on Dinosaur Hill is during sunset. In fact, it's the best place for viewing sunsets next to Pinnacles Overlook at Badlands National Park.
Climbing the hill, you'll drive by a dead tree rumored to have been used in hanging horse thieves who were actually innocent of the accusations. Legend says that you can hear cowboys' ghostly noises and horse hooves' galloping. Formerly known for its "necktie parties" for all of downtown Rapid City to see, it's now a fun park with dinosaurs and great views.
Grab your bike and hit the mountain biking trails in the park too. With tracks ranging from easy to difficult, there's something for all skill levels, so you can choose the one that's right for you.
If you want to take a break from the trails, head to Skyline Drive. This scenic road winds through and around the entire park, offering beautiful views of Rapid City and its surroundings. Take time to soak in the scenery before returning to the Dinosaur Trail or mountain biking trails.
Beyond that, you can take the car on Skyline Drive. It winds its way over the top of the hill and past some great trailheads like Dinosaur Park Trail and Skyline Wilderness Park, with its many hiking options in Rapid City and one of the oldest family-friendly attractions in the Black Hills. Happy Hunting!
Chapel in the Hills
This place is a hidden gem in the foothills. Nestled back from the road, you must drive through a community to reach its steps. Much like Pathways Spiritual Sanctuary, this place and setting are perfect for finding peace in a busy world.
If you're looking for Nordic vibes in the landlocked midwestern United States, look no further than Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City. Located atop a hill overlooking Rapid City, this chapel is an ode to Nordic design and architecture. The unique building features wood beams, hand-carved doors, and other Nordic touches that make you feel like you've stepped into another world.
Chapel in the Hills is one of many Black Hills Attractions available to visitors. From its stunning views to its Nordic charm, this is one place not to be missed. Inside you'll find an array of religious artifacts that tell stories from Nordic lands like Norway and Denmark - all set against a backdrop of solid pine beams and beautifully simple carvings.
The chapel is open from May 1st through September 30th, and admission is free. Whether you're looking to take in Nordic architecture or simply admire the beauty of Rapid City, Chapel in the Hills will not disappoint. For a unique experience that combines Nordic design with Midwestern charm, this chapel should be top of your list. Just remember: if you bring along any Nordic snacks – such as those famous Norwegian lefse – share them with those around you!
All are welcome at the Chapel in the Hills to worship, roam the grounds, and enjoy the peace you encounter during your visit here.
Steam Train Ride of South Dakota
If you’re looking for a unique way to experience the majestic beauty of the Black Hills, then look no further than the historic 1880 Train in Hill City. This vintage train takes passengers on an incredible journey through some of the area’s most breathtaking landscapes, complete with stunning views and plenty of opportunities for adventure.
From its striking engine cars to its meticulously maintained cabooses, this is one Black Hills attraction that you won’t want to miss! The 1880 Train is a throwback to times gone by. The antique engine cars are powered by steam and pulled by a faithful locomotive from another era. Riders can enjoy upholstered seating reminiscent of old-fashioned railway carriages, with plenty of windows to take in the beautiful scenery.
Of course, it’s the views that really make this experience so special. The train winds its way through some of the Black Hills’ most stunning landscapes, offering passengers a unique perspective on everything from rolling hills and rugged cliffs to trickling streams and old-growth forests.
You might even spot some wild animals along the way!
If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure while in Hill City, then there are plenty of options available close by – from the alpine slide and mountain biking to horseback riding and hiking trails. Whatever your interest or skill level, you can find something exciting here in the Black Hills.
Riding the train takes you back in time to the old Wild West. The line originally served to carry supplies and cargo between the two towns during the Black Hills Gold Rush of the late 1800's
When you’re finished sightseeing, be sure to stop into one of the nearby eateries for a bite to eat. Hill City is home to some great restaurants offering classic dining experiences and unique local flavors. Plenty of options are available, so even the pickiest eaters won't go hungry!
The 1880 train whistle can be heard throughout the hills, along with the chug of the steam engine that's been restored to prime condition. This is a perfect attraction for adults as well as kids.
Book your tickets in advance if you want to ride on the 1880 Train. You can start in Keystone or Hill City, making it fun and convenient for those who like to ride.
Black Hills Outdoor Fun
Offering fun and safe ATV riding throughout the Black Hills, Black Hills Outdoor Fun is a great way to see mother nature. Stay on the designated trails, and zip through places of wonder and beauty.