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"Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

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"Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

We will have 3-4 days to spend visiting Mount Rushmore / Crazy hore around May 18-21.

We would love some suggestions of where to stay and what to do.

We have an 8 year old girl and 4 year old boy.

We definitely are not wanting to do this "on the cheap"! Willing and able to spend extra for a really nice hotel / resort experience - but are having a hard time navigating our choices in the area.

Any help on lodging and attractions would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance,


Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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1. Re: "Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

We like staying at the K Bar S Lodge in Keystone- not luxury like some hotels in Jackson Hole, Wyoming but super nice and a hot breakfast is included.

Things to see and do-

Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, Badlands NP, 1880 Train- also kid friendly things like reptile gardens and Bear Country. For great info go online or order a travel guide for the Black Hills at-


The travel guide has sample trip plans, maps and info on all the attractions in the area.

Great food at Custer SP- State Game Lodge and Blue Bell Lodge.

Kids will like the wildlife loop at Custer SP.

The DE is excellent and I am sure will post with some info and tips for you and your family. Enjoy your trip!!

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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2. Re: "Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

Hi Mark,

As Peach mentioned, I think 'luxury" in the Black Hills and luxury in other places have different definitions. I don't associate this area with high end luxury; however you could find a few places at the link below:


You will see that cabins are mentioned. The Edelweiss properties are highly recommended by Mt. Mama, a regular poster on this forum who visits the area bianually. There are also hotels in Deadwood, but unfortunately, this town will add much more driving time to your sites of interest than the more central towns of Keystone or Hill City. Custer is also an option, as you will see at the link. You might enjoy staying at the lodges in the State Park, specifically Sylvan Lake Lodge, or the State Game Lodge. The park also has higher end cabins which may appeal. I know when our daughter was younger, we liked the 2 room concept so we could put her to bed and still relax, talk, and watch tv in another without disturbing her.

You are going in May, which is very early in the season. Some of the smaller attractions will not be open yet. Your weather could also be variable and downright chilly. Those attractions mentioned by Peach are excellent, and you could also consider adding Devil's Tower and Spearfish Canyon to the mix. Depending on your kids, I'd also think about visiting Jewel and/or Wind Caves.

Since you are leaving pretty soon, you can view the travel planner Peach mentions on-line at the website she provided. I think it will be a tremendous help in planning.

Please let us know if you have additional questions.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: "Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

"Luxury" can be a very broad term. What you or I consider luxury can be two different expectations. On the whole, lodging in the Black Hills is geared toward middle class America with families. There are a few places that many would consider luxurious. Most are in the Deadwood/Lead area in the northern Black Hills. Deadwood has several very nice hotels and there are quite a few privately owned cabins available for rent in this area too. I am including two hotel web sites and Executive Lodging, a rental management firm for luxury cabins.




Hill City, Keystone and the town of Custer have a lot of chain hotels or mom and pop type places. Luxury lodging is a little harder to find. Executive Lodging has two beautiful cabins in the Keystone and Hill City area that I would consider luxurious. One is an old miner's cabin that has been rehabed and is very upscale. It is listed under 1927 Cabin. The other, called the Midnight Blu, is only a couple of years old and is in a gated community on Edleweiss Mountain near Pactola Lake. Summer Creek Inn is a new Bed and Breakfast that is extremely nice and also located north of Hill City in the Pactola Lake area. There are quite a few privately owned cabins available for rent on Edleweiss Mountain, many that are nice but not nearly as luxurious as the Midnight Blu. We have rented from both Alpine and Edleweiss management firms and have been pleased with both. These cabins are fully equiped and very clean but most have somewhat dated decor. Beds and bedding are clean but not as comfortable as you would find in a chain hotel such as say the Hampton Inn. We always bring our own pillows even though pillows are provided. I am including web sites for all that I have mentioned and am also including Hill City's web site which includes lodging in the central and southern Black Hills.






We have stayed in Custer State Park on several ocassions and really liked the Blue Bell Lodge Resort. They have some nice rustic cabins, some of which are quite old. The newer cabins are nicer than the older ones but I would not call them luxurious. All of the lodges and cabins in Custer State Park are older but all are being updated, from what I understand. Prices in Custer State Park are not particularily cheap, but there is something about staying in the park that makes your experience very special.


Hill City and Keystone are the most centralized towns to most all of the Black Hills attractions. Rapid City would also be considered central and, although not a large city, is more urban. However, Rapid City does have a lot of lodging choices, especially chain hotels. Staying in the northern Hills would add a 1/2 hour to hour of commute time, each way, for most of the attractions. Also, Deadwood does not really have much to offer for families with small children. Other than that, the Black Hills is a fantastic place for a family vacation. Hopefully these web sites will be of help to you. If you had something else in mind other than what I have provided for you, let me know.

Edited: 25 April 2012, 00:16
4. Re: "Luxury" family vacation to Mount Rushmore

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