Family Adventure in Western South Dakota - Top Places to Play, Eat, and Stay

We do not boast any "14ers" or ocean breezes here, but what the middle of the country can still provide just a well as other areas (and sometimes better) is a great venue for family escapades! Want to know our faves? Here are the top places to eat, stay, sleep and play for adults and kids alike as a family looking for fun in Western South Dakota! [These are tried and true, we took our two year-old this summer!]

*Tip* Save a whole week to explore if you can! There is SO MUCH to see and do that a few days does not allow you time to enjoy everything without rushing.


10. Mt. Rushmore
9. Main Street Square in Rapid City (FREE!!!)
8. Storybook Island in Rapid City (FREE!!!)
7. Watiki Indoor Waterpark in Rapid City
6. Flintstone's Bedrock City - Custer
5. Fort Hays Chuckwagon & Dinner Show near Rapid City
4. Bear Country U.S.A. near Rapid City
3. Old MacDonald's Farm near Rapid City
2. Reptile Gardens near Rapid City
1. Custer State Park - Custer


5. Flintstone's Bedrock City Drive-In (Custer)
4. Sliders Bar and Grill (attached to Watiki Indoor Waterpark in Rapid City)
3. Bobkat's Purple Pie Place (Custer)
2. Arnold's Classic 50's Diner (Rapid City)
1. Black Hills Burger & Bun (Custer


5. Mitchell KOA - Mitchell
4. Holiday Inn Express - Custer
3. Comfort Suites - Rapid City
2. Lake Pelican State Park - Watertown
1. Palmer Gulch KOA - Custer


  1. Its my goal to eventually visit all 50 states. I'll have to bookmark this for when I visit South Dakota!

  2. Interesting! I've never been to South Dakota...I even have some family there...I should visit! I'd love to see Mt. Rushmore & Bedrock City too - sounds fun!

  3. I have visited every state except for Alaska, South Carolina, and the Dakotas. Now I'll know what to do when I finally make it to SD!

  4. My husband and I did a cross country trip about 12 years ago. We drove out (from PA) to South Dakota and visited Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. We also went to Yellowstone- so awesome! Then we drove the Pacific Coast Highway and went to the Grand Canyon. It was quite an adventure! We are looking forawrd to take our two kids to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. I would rather make it a road trip (from Maryland), rather than fly. My kids are 5 and 7. I just need some activities for them on such a long trip. I can only play the alphabet and license plate games for so long.

    1. I hear ya! You should check out Trekaroo -- chock full of ideas, itineraries and reviews! We use it all the time for trip planning! What a fun trip you took -- that's a LOT of miles!