Harriet & Oak (Rapid City): This trendy coffee shop is always our first stop when we fly into Rapid City! Their coffee and baked goods are top notch, and it’s a perfect spot to get some work done. (@harriet_and_oak)
Tally’s Silver Spoon (Rapid City): Well, obviously we like this place because of the name - but they also have the most extensive breakfast menu in town! We’d be regulars if we lived here! (@tallyssilverspoon)
Bobby’s pick: Meat Lovers
Alli’s pick: Vegetable Breakfast
Baker’s Bakery & Cafe (Custer): This funky little American diner serves no-frills breakfasts and the best donuts around. It’s quirky in the best kind of way, and affordable too! (Baker’s Bakery & Cafe on Instagram)
Bobby’s pick: Breakfast Burrito
Alli’s pick: The Classic
Our Place (Custer): Love a good diner decorated to the brim with Betty Boop memorabilia? This is YOUR place! Get it? It’s a local favorite, with hearty, delicious, home-cooked fare… and really phenomenal hashbrowns. (Our Place on Instagram)
Skogen Kitchen (Custer): BEST RESTAURANT IN SOUTH DAKOTA. It’s true, it’s actually been named that! Please, if you go anywhere - go here! Make a reservation (it’s required), and be prepared to eat some of the best and most innovative farm to table dining in the state. (@skogenkitchen)
Alli’s pick: Braised Short Ribs
Bobby’s pick: Suckling Pig
Prairie Berry Winery (Hill City): Come for the free wine tastings, stay for the focaccia pizzas and hearty sandwiches! Their kitchen uses high quality, locally grown ingredients, and truly everything is good (we’ve basically tried it all)... Especially when paired with a cold glass of Prairie Berry Chardonnay! (@prairieberrywine)
Bobby’s pick: Smashed Potato and Bacon Focaccia Pizza
Alli’s pick: Veggie Open-Face Sandwich
Legends Steakhouse (Deadwood): Located in the historic Franklin Hotel, dining at Legends is like stepping back in time… to the Gold Rush days of 1876! The main attraction is their steak (rightfully so), but we’d go back just for the truffle mac n’ cheese! (Legends Steakhouse on Instagram)
Bobby’s pick: New York Cut Strip with Truffle Mac N’ Cheese
Alli’s pick: Filet with Potato Au Gratin
Alpine Inn (Hill City): Get this: A full Filet Mignon dinner for $11.95! You’re probably thinking, “Ok, but is it even good?” And the answer is yes. Yes, it is. And it’s BACON WRAPPED Filet Mignon too! This cozy and quaint little European lodge has become a landmark of Hill City, and it’s definitely worth a stop. Make sure you save room for their tasty desserts! (Alpine Inn on Instagram)
Black Hills Burger & Bun Co (Custer): One of the best burgers we’ve ever had was here - and we’ve eaten a lot of burgers. So yeah, this creative & bustling burger joint is a must when you’re in Custer. Order the Cheese Curds appetizer if you’re feeling crazy! (@bhburgerandbun)
Bobby’s pick: The Fat Smitty
Alli’s pick: The Greek Goddess
The Purple Pie Place (Custer): You can’t miss this (literally) purple pie place! Stop here for the best homemade pies in Custer - the Bumbleberry is our personal favorite. But we suggest getting a few slices (a la’ mode) to share! (Purple Pie Place on Instagram)
Saloon #10 (Deadwood): This historic saloon is the very spot where Wild Bill Hickok was assasinated in 1876! It’s filled with Old West memorabilia - even the chair that Wild Bill was sitting in when he died! Grab a whiskey and sing along to their nightly live music - and don’t forget your cowboy boots! (Saloon #10 on Instagram)
Blind Lion (Rapid City): Shh… this speakeasy is one of the best-kept secrets in Rapid City. Text their number and they’ll give you that evening’s password. We won’t spill anything more than this (because aren’t surprises way more fun?), so just go. And let us know what you think! (Blind Lion on Instagram)
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore (Keystone): Luxury camping, or should we say “glamping”, at its finest! This picture-perfect campsite not only has stunning views of Mount Rushmore, it has all of the plush amenities you’d find in a chic boutique hotel! (@undercanvasofficial)
Bavarian Inn Black Hills (Custer): This little Bavarian Inn is warm and inviting and perfectly quirky. It’s also in a great location, just minutes from downtown Custer. Oh, and included in your rate is a pancake and parfait bar, a cookie happy hour, a pool, hot tub, game room, tennis court, fitness trail, and SO much more! (@bavarianinnblackhills)
Hotel Alex Johnson (Rapid City): Located in the heart of Rapid City, this historic hotel has been around since 1928 - and it’s still the hottest spot in town! The downtown location is ideal (you can walk to everything), and the rooms are simple - but clean and modern! (@hotelalexjohnson)
Bike the George S. Mickelson Trail (Black Hills): This picturesque trail winds over 109 miles through the Black Hills , and it’s the perfect place to bike ride! We suggest starting at Hill City, where you can rent bikes at Rabbit Bike Rentals, and easily access the trail.
Kayak Pactola Lake (Black Hills): There’s nothing like being out on the water, and this tranquil lake is an incredible place to kayak and enjoy the views of the Black Hills!
Hot Air Balloon Ride with Black Hills Balloons (Custer): There’s no better way to see the Black Hills than by a hot air balloon - and Black Hills Balloons provides an epic tour! You’ll pass over rolling hills, gorgeous ranches, and maybe even spot some wildlife! At the end of your ride you’ll cheers with mimosas. It’s basically our perfect morning. (@blackhillsballoons)
Horseback Ride with Rockin’ R Trail Rides (Custer): If you’re wanting to experience the Old West, you should definitely go on a trail ride! The Rockin’ R team does a great job with their guided tours (running Memorial Day weekend - September), where you can partake in a scenic hour ride through winding trees and mountain range views, to a half day adventure up to Crazy Horse! (Rockin’ R Trail Rides on Instagram)
Ziplining with Rushmore Tramway Adventures (Keystone): Hands down the most thrilling way to see Mount Rushmore is by zipline - and it’s a BLAST. This brand new aerial park is great for all skill-levels, and their 800 foot ziplines can reach speeds up to 40 mph!!!
See Mt. Rushmore (Keystone): Well, this is obvious… but we felt like we’d be amiss if we didn’t include Mt. Rushmore in our guide! As it’s hands down the most popular attraction in South Dakota, plan your time accordingly. We prefer to go early in the morning, or later in the afternoon when the crowds have started to leave. And don’t forget to try Thomas Jefferson’s famous vanilla ice cream (his recipe!) while you’re there!
South Dakota is extremely pet friendly. All of the places to stay that we mentioned allow dogs, and most restaurants with patios are accommodating too. We’ve yet to go with Sally because, well, we’ve yet to drive to South Dakota… but if/when we do, you better believe she’ll be in our backseat!