"Rapid City: What A Delight" Rapid City by TooTallFinn24

Rapid City Travel Guide: 89 reviews and 156 photos

Rapid City in the western part of South Dakota was truly a surprise and a delight to visit. The City was originally called "Haytown," and was laid out in 1876 as a convenient site for miners in the nearby Black Hills, its flat terrain and the availability of Rapid Creek which runs through the town. Over the years it has grown to be the second largest city in South Dakota.

When you enter the town from the west you immediately are struck by the simple beauty of Memorial Park. The park was built in 1972 as a remembrance to the 238 victims who died in the devastating floods the same year. There is a portion of the Berlin Wall and some gorgeous rose gardens that are also part of the park. We chose to have a simple picnic lunch by the creek that flows through the park. Sorry no photos available.

Downtown Rapid City is truly a delight. Laid out on a easy to navigate grid system downtown Rapid City is clean and interesting. There are many well preserved historic buildings there. While I do not have a photo of it one which was particularly interesting was the Lions Head Fountain which served from 1914 on as a watering hole for horses in downtown Rapid City.

Converted Fire House

Rapid City is a delight to walk. There seems to be just the right combination of commercial stores, restaurants, salons and even the most amazing gun shop that give the City a special feel. It is easy to park and find your away around downtown. There is even a small and relatively inexpensive bus tour of Rapid City that is available.

Below is a picture of a particularly well restored downtown firehouse which now serves as a very good restaurant. Review later.

City of The Presidents

One of the things you immediately notice in downtown Rapid City is the bronze statues on selected corners. At first it is not clear what they are. However by the third sighting it is clear that they are life size figures of American Presidents.

Rapid City calls the statues ,"The City of Presidents project." It was began in 2000 to honor all of our previous presidents. Each year, four presidential sculptures are added in downtown Rapid City ? two presidents from the early years of the presidency and two from more recent administrations. Each of the sculptures is privately funded. Each of the sculptures is very well done and seems to capture part of the essence of the President. I particularly liked the one of Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Historic, Interesting and A Joy to Walk
  • Cons:Fall and Winter Can Be Cold!
  • Last visit to Rapid City: Sep 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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