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Visiting Rapid City, the Badlands, & Mt. Rushmore

Fall fun isn’t hard to find in western South Dakota. Home to landmarks like Mount Rushmore and wooded wonderlands like Black Hills National Forest and Badlands National Park, South Dakota's slice of the Great Outdoors is ripe for adventure all year long.

This season, however, there are more reasons to visit than ever, as communities from Sturgis and Rapid City to Custer and Wall celebrate the season with special events, holiday festivals, and more family-friendly activities.

The holiday season officially kicks off in Rapid City on November 28th, when the 2015 Holiday Celebration & Winter Market fills the downtown area with cheer, promising ice-skating, the official tree lighting, and the arrival of Santa Claus. It all starts at 1 p.m.

Families in Hill City can embark on a magical journey aboard the historic 1880 Train to the “North Pole,” where kids’ will be able to meet the Big Man himself and even take home small holiday gifts. The Holiday Express departs from Black Hills Central Railroad in Hill City select dates and times from November 27th through December 23rd.

On December 5th, the 2015 Custer Christmas Parade & Holiday Gift Craft Fair celebrates the coming holidays with a parade of lights, while downtown Custer merchants open up with special deals and more – a great way to get a jump on this year’s holiday shopping. It all starts at 5:30 p.m.

Rapid City residents ring in the New Year with the 2015 Downtown Countdown, starting at 5 p.m. on December 31st at Main Street Square. It’s an evening of ice-skating, live entertainment and more – all culminating in a colorful fireworks display.

Called the "greatest show on snow," the 2015 ISOC SnoCross Shootout is two days of heated action in the cold, bringing ISOC Amsoil Championship SnoCross Series and Deadwood SnoCross Shootout snowmobile events to the Days of '76 Rodeo Grounds in Deadwood, January 22nd and 23rd.

Stay in Deadwood another week to be a part of Mardi Gras Weekend 2016. Crowds fill the downtown area as the streets come alive with music, parades, costume contests and more. Things get started each night, January 29th through 31st, at 8 p.m.

Best Western Rewards

7 Best Western Hotels
in Rapid City / Badlands / Mt Rushmore

  • Best Western Buffalo Ridge Inn


  • Best Western Hickok House


  • Best Western Golden Spike Inn & Suites

    Hill City

  • Best Western Ramkota Hotel

    Rapid City

  • Best Western Black Hills Lodge


  • Best Western Sturgis Inn


  • Best Western Plains Motel


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