Rapid City

Flights And Sights

Flying To Rapid City With American Airlines

With American Airlines flights to Rapid City, planning a fun family vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota is simple and carefree. With its location near Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park, there are many things to do in Rapid City to make memories for everyone in the family.

Things to Do in Rapid City

Of all the activities in Rapid City, visiting Mount Rushmore National Monument is the most popular. Located about a 30-minute drive from Rapid City, Mount Rushmore is a truly impressive sight that took 14 years to complete. The faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are carved into a granite mountainside, making for one of our country's most unique and patriotic tributes. See artifacts and learn more about how the memorial was made at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center, and go on a Ranger-led tour for more insight. For a closer view of Mount Rushmore, walk the Presidential Trail, which makes a loop from the south side to the Sculptor's Studio on the north side.

After spending a day exploring Mount Rushmore, one of our other favorite things to do in Rapid City is visiting Wind Cave National Park. It's one of the oldest national parks in the country, located about an hour's drive from Rapid City. Known as one of the longest, most intricate caves in the world, it features fascinating geological formations. Ranger-led tours take you through its narrow passageways and explain how the phenomena around you was formed. Feel like a bit of fresh air after being underground? Then take a hike on more than 30 miles of trails through the Wind Cave's prairies (above ground, naturally), complete with spots for picnicking or camping.

And you can't leave the Black Hills of South Dakota without visiting Badlands National Park, another of the top activities in Rapid City. Sprawling over 244,000 acres and featuring soaring rock formations, Badlands is a spectacular sight about 50 miles outside Rapid City. Fossil beds dating back 37 million years have been found here, and many liken its landscape to the moon. The wildlife must be lunar fans, because it's home to animals such as buffalo, antelope and bighorn sheep, among others. Start your trip at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, where you'll be able to see exhibits about the park and get a map of fossil locations. An unexpected but fascinating feature: the Minuteman National Historic Site. This deactivated ballistic missile launch facility is from the Cold War era, and not only can you see the silo but you can even step inside the launch facility itself.

South Dakota's Black Hills are full of fantastic discoveries, making it a great family vacation destination. American Airlines has made it easy to fly to Rapid City so you can experience the many historical attractions here for yourself during a memorable getaway. Book your trip today!

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