Plans are underway for my 2022 Western Adventure so I have been thinking a lot about past western trips. Of all the places I’ve been, Rapid City, South Dakota is one of the most visually pleasing small cities and one I wouldn’t mind revisiting someday.
It is packed with things to to do, cute shops, amazing restaurants and public art galore.
We had some terrific meals, including dinner at Firehouse Brewing Company which is located in a 1915 era firehouse. Today it has the distinction of being the city’s first brew pub and it exists because a group of investors saw an opportunity, formed a partnership and went for it.
There are great old buildings and terrific vintage signage still in use today.
Plus, there’s an alley where local artists can apply for permits to practice their graffiti art. Some of the work is fun or cute while others deliver a message.
When it comes to public art, the city is actually best known for its trail of life sized bronze statues that represent each of our nation’s former presidents. There’s a reason why their nickname is “City of Presidents” and it isn’t just because Mount Rushmore is down the road.
Most of these statues are impressive and some are surprisingly moving like this one of John F. Kennedy with his toddler son.
They are all privately funded and it’s a non-partisan project all the way around.
Rapid City is close to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Badlands and a host of other regional attractions. That area is well worth your time whether you stop on your way somewhere else or are spending a chunk of time.
If you’re interested, type South Dakota into the search box here and you’ll find several pieces from my visit a few years ago!