Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns
Rapid City Ms

Rapid City, South Dakota

Plan a long weekend getaway with our Rapid City adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Photograph by Ronald Bertucci, My Shot

Pop. 65,491
GPS: 44º4'N, 103º14'W

These days, the glimmer of gold in the Black Hills may be the reflection off a mountain biker’s helmet. Rapid City boasts 300 miles of two-wheeling trails and a gnarly dirt-jump park. Kitschy Rushmore attractions add flavor, but locals head to the community theater or classical music hall instead.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Rapid City adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

Western Spirit Cycling Adventures’ five-day mountain bike trip takes in the best of the Black Hills terrain: You’ll pedal portions of the Centennial Trail and the Deerfield Trail and camp out lakeside along the way. On day three, legs are given a rest when the group takes a party barge out on a lake for some swimming and R&R; trips depart from Rapid City ($1,185 per person;

The menu at the Corn Exchange changes with the seasons, but the local, organic fare has included pan-fried pheasant dumplings and house-smoked South Dakota trout (

Look out over Rapid Creek from the wraparound two-story porch of Hisega Lodge. Nestled on the edge of the Black Hills National Forest, the rustic inn has been a popular destination for 100 years (doubles from $99;

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