Rocky peaks, prairie plains and fragrant Ponderosa pines make up the region known as the Black Hills of South Dakota. Spanning 1.2 million acres, each city has its own soul and personality. Here’s what they’re known for.



Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave, Crazy Horse Monument, Needles Highway, Crystal Spires, Sylvan Lake, and the Wildlife Loop are just a taste of what the southern hills surrounding Custer have to offer! It also hosts some of our favorite restaurants like Black Hills Burger & Bun, Hjem, the Custer Beacon with live music on the weekends, and Skögen which truly might be the best fine dining in the state.

The housing style is more traditional in all the best ways with hand-hewn logs and rustic furnishings.

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Hill City

This is the charming, local mountain town of the Black Hills. The downtown caters to tourism but also features gems like the historic Alpine Inn known for its desserts. Since you’re more centrally located, you can easily explore Custer and the southern hills or drive north to experience the Deadwood area. Win, win. You’ll also love Black Hills Bistro, which is where the locals go.

The vacation rentals tend to be more modern and quirky, embracing the small-town feel of Hill City.

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Nightlife / Winter Sports

Deadwood and Lead

The old Wild West is never far away when you’re in Deadwood. The entire downtown area is basically historic to the 1880’s when nothing was outlawed. Now, it’s the gambling Mecca of the midwest, reminiscent of Las Vegas’ famous Fremont street. We’ve even legalized Sports Betting recently – you’re welcome. The food scene is notable also, with options like Jacob’s Brewhaus, Snitches, and the scorching hot pizza at The Bloody Nose that you eat after a beer or two. When you stay in Deadwood, Lead, or the surrounding area, you’ll also be near great ATV trails, the Mickelson Trail, and skiing at Terry Peak.

The cabins are castles, expertly furnished with modern design, and built larger than life to sleep your family, and their family too.

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Rapid City

The largest city in the area (and second largest in the state) is bound to have amazing amenities. If small town vibes and private meadows aren’t for you, Rapid City offers incredible dining options, breweries, coffee shops, locally-owned bookstores, shopping, and activities including Bear Country, Reptile Gardens, the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, and Storybook Island. It’s centrally located so you’re only about an hour from the northern or southern hills.



You’ll want to bring your motorcycle if you’re coming in August! The Sturgis Rally is a world-famous attraction and the city comes alive during the event and surrounding weeks. The Loud American has good food year-round and local bands that come through.



In Spearfish, they ride bicycles, not bikes. You could stereotype it as the healthy, hippy dippy town and with Spearfish Canyon in your backyard, why wouldn’t you be? Black Hills State University is also located there so you can expect fun coffee shops, some nightlife, and downtown boutiques.


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