Basecamp in Custer for incredible access to these 7 legendary Black Hills sites.
1. The Loop
Why go: This gorgeous tour of the southern Black Hills brings you by Sylvan Lake, the Needles Highway, Custer State Park Wildlife Loop and a drive up Iron Mountain Road, featuring the dramatic entrance to Mount Rushmore and finishing with Crazy Horse Memorial.
Tip: Spend time enjoying the swimming beach and non-motorized boat rentals at Sylvan Lake.
2. Custer State Park
Why go: Stretching across 71,000 acres, you'll discover bison, gorgeous views, world-class hiking and fishing just 10 minutes from Custer.
Tip: Go on a two-hour guided Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour that brings families up-close with some of the 1,300 bison in the park.
More info: www.visitcuster.com/Custer-State-Park
3. Custer Skywalk Trail
Why go: This short, family-friendly hike leads to a summit with panoramic views that include downtown and the Cathedral Spires. It's only a half mile in length but takes about 45 minutes to complete.
Tip: The trailhead is located next to the Visitor's Center in downtown Custer.
More info: www.visitcuster.com/Hiking
4. Black Hills Burger & Bun
Why go: This local favorite serves burgers with flair. You'll have to go to find out what The Hot Granny and Greek Goddess are all about.
Access: 441 Mt. Rushmore Rd. in Custer.
5. Skogen Kitchen
Why go: This gourmet spot serves morning classics like eggs benedict but also exotic items like Japanese French Toast with green tea ice cream.
Access: It's located at 29 N 5th St. in Custer.
6. The Baker's Bakery Cafe
Why go: Satisfy your sweet tooth with donuts and baked goods from here or order off the menu for generous portions.
Tip: The breakfast burrito here was named the "breakfast burrito of South Dakota" in a March 2014 edition of Every Day with Rachel Ray.
7. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Why Go: Constructed from 1927-41, the memorial features the faces of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.
Little-known fact: Why did sculptor Gutzon Borglum choose these men? He felt they presided over the country during its most important moments.
For more information:
Custer Visitor Center
615 Washington St., Custer, SD 57730