Looking for the fastest way to get to five of South Dakota’s stunning national park sites? You’ll want to fly into Rapid City Regional Airport. From there, drive less than an hour to reach the towering presidential heads of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the underground wonderlands of Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park, the awe-inspiring geology of Badlands National Park and the hidden nuclear history at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.
Hop on a seasonal, non-stop flight from major hubs like Atlanta, Newark and Los Angeles in the summer, or a year-round, non-stop flight from multiple cities, including Denver. You’ll want to be sure to book your flights at least three months in advance, and your rental car, available in the terminal from one of six major companies, closer to six months in advance to ensure you get a reservation.
While your main destination may be the national parks, make sure your travel plans include spending a few days in Rapid City itself.
“No one should stay for just one day,” remarks Julie Jensen, president of Visit Rapid City.
Caught an early flight and are starving? Head to Tally’s Silver Spoon at 530 6 Street, which serves breakfast until 2 p.m. Make sure to order the hash browns which Jensen dubs “the crispiest, yummiest ever.”
After you’ve fueled up, head to the City of Presidents Information Center at 631 Main Street to get a brochure marking the location of 42 bronze statues of our nation’s leaders scattered on street corners throughout town. The statue of Barack Obama was unveiled on July 13, 2019, at the Elks Theatre before finding its final home on the corner of St. Joseph and 5 streets.
For more information, visit www.rapairport.com.