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This remarkable little city at the base of South Dakota’s Black Hills is quite literally overshadowed by its most famous attraction, Mount Rushmore National Monument. Also nearby are the harshly beautiful Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, the perfectly restored Old West town of Deadwood, and much, much more.

But Rapid City is more than just the perfect base for these attractions – it's a bustling city with a charming old downtown that continues to thrive in the modern age. Wandering its streets you'll find iconic faces on every corner – Rapid City displays a life-size bronze statue of every US president. Pose for pictures with Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan – take your pick. Or meet the area’s ancient inhabitants like dinosaurs and marine reptiles at the Museum of Geology.

The blocks bordering Main Street downtown are lined with dozens of locally owned bars and restaurants. You can sample beers at a microbrewery or choose from local favorites like corn-fed South Dakota steaks.