Posted by: RasmaSandra | October 21, 2020

Wonderful Rapid City

Just east of the Black Hills National Forest you’ll find Rapid City in western South Dakota. The city is the gateway to Mt. Rushmore and the huge sculpture of four U.S. presidents.

America’s Founding Father Exhibit lets visitors go back in time to the Declaration of Independence. This is a 20-minute show that is a mix of history and art. You’ll see the life-size sculpture installations of the “Declaration of Independence” painting by John Trumbull.

Then listen to the story of how 58 patriots established the American Revolution and created a country. Each visitor gets to sign the Declaration of Independence. The you can go to the musket range and try out your skills shooting a Kentucky long rifle, the same kind used during the Revolutionary War.

Crazy Horse Memorial is located on one of the tallest granite mountains in the Black Hills. This well-known sculpture is the largest in the world, It was initiated by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear.

The statue was created by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.

Among the highlights here are Nature Gates,

the Welcome Center, the Indian Museum of North America, the sculptor’s home studio, and the Native American Educational and Culture Center. You can enjoy performances by Native American dancers. You can take a rest at the restaurant and look at the gift shop. If you would like to see the sculpture up close you can take a bus ride to the base of the mountain.

Reptile Gardens date back to 1937 and is family-owned. It is the largest reptile zoo in the world.

There is a lovely garden oasis with lush vegetation, colorful flowers. tropical plants, and ornamental trees. The garden is interspersed with 15 exhibits and displays.

Among the exhibits are a venomous snake collection and exhibits with a bald eagle, a prairie dog, and giant tortoises.

You can see live shows. Children enjoy an Old West ghost town. You can also see the Jungle Outpost Gallery with tribal crafts from all over the world.

Storybook Island is a children’s theme park with free admission. It is open every summer from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. It is decorated with characters from fables, nursery rhymes, and stories for children. The Children’s Theater offer productions all season long, Presented three times a day is The Great Magic Show.

Bear Country USA is a park surrounded by gigantic pines and rolling meadows. It is located 8 miles south of Rapid City, This wildlife park lets visitors see some amazing North American mammals.

Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Bear Country USA Rapid City, South Dakota

Among them wolves, reindeer, black bears, cougars, bobcats, elk and others, Some of the animals come close to vehicles to get a look for themselves. The Wildlife Walk area has different activities like live demonstrations.

You can find many art galleries, museums, and theaters in downtown Rapid City. At the Reflections of South Dakota Art Gallery you can see the great artworks of local artists and find unusual gift item.

For those interested in history the is the Journey Museum & Learning Center you can learn about the geological upheaval that created the Black Hills and hear about the saga of the Western Frontier.

Main Street Square also in downtown is an iconic landmark. You can enjoy a dancing water fountain and a waterfall. You can see public art sculptures. The square is a venue for concerts and various events. In the winter you can skate in the ice rink.

Dinosaur Park dates back to 1936 when it was built on a hill overlooking the city, There are seven dinosaur replicas created by Emmet Sullivan. The replicas include an apatosaurus, a Tyrannosaurus Rex, triceratops, stegosaurus, Edmontosaurus annectens, protoceratops, and a dimetrodon. With every sculpture there is educational information about the dinosaur. All of these replicas were chosen based on the fossils that could be found in South Dakota and the western U.S.

Old MacDonald’s Farm is a great place for families, It is a lovely farm that offers hand-on experience with over 100 farm animals. Children can ride ponies. Visitors can interact with cows, pigs, donkeys, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, ducks and more. The farm also features world-class pig races and farm tours on a kid-sized tractor train.

The Black Hills Caverns were discovered by miners in 1882. The underground cavern features over a dozen rock formations. Visitors have a choice of taking the Adventure Tour and exploring the Black Hills Caverns three levels or the Crystal Tour exploring just the first level of the cave.

The City of Presidents Walking Tour will take you on a self-guided tour to see a series of life-size presidential bronze statues in downtown Rapid City. Visitors can download an interactive walking guide that features where each statue is located and by clicking on the photo of the president you can learn more about him. The statues line the streets and began in 2000 to honor the legacy of American presidency.

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  1. What a lovely read! And great photos!

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. I can’t take credit for the photos but I always try to get the best ones I can so people can get to see all these lovely places.

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