After you've seen Mount Rushmore, take the time to visit The Gutzon Borglum Historical Center, billed as “The Rushmore Borglum Story,” which offers a look inside the mind and motivation of the monument's sculptor, Gutzon Borglum. See his smaller-scale works and watch a video about how and why the sculptor embarked on such a challenge at age 60. Kids also love seeing the life-size granite replica of Lincoln's eye as it appears on Mount Rushmore.
Learn more about the presidents featured in the monuments and more at the National Presidential Wax Museum. You can see lifelike wax figures of all 45 U.S. presidents, and learn about each with a self-guided audio tour, then see artifacts like presidential death masks.
Visit Keystone Historical Museum in downtown Keystone, housed in a Victorian-era schoolhouse built in 1900. Here, you'll learn all about the Black Hills Gold Rush, Mount Rushmore, Carrie Ingalls from "Little House on the Prairie," and much more. Visit Wednesday through Friday in May to see The Living History School and experience classroom life as it would have been in the early 1890s. Children get to wear bonnets and pinafores, caps, and suspenders to fully immerse themselves in the experience, staged by the Black Hills Retired Teachers.
Try a Black Hills gold mine tour for a look at an authentic 1890s gold mine. You can pan for gold with Rattlesnake Randy in a stream or tour an authentic mine shaft at Big Thunder Gold Mine, which is completely wheelchair accessible, so everyone can join in on the fun. Visit The Mining Museum on-site to see original artifacts from mines in the area.
Discover the area's prehistoric past at The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. This facility includes both an accredited museum and an active paleontological dig site. In 1974, builders discovered a huge cache of mammoth bones, the largest single concentration of mammoths in the world.
Keystone offers innumerable attractions and boundless natural beauty, making this small town a destination for thousands of families every year.
When should you visit Keystone, South Dakota?
Keystone's tourist season typically extends from May to September. You will want to visit during this time if you're hoping to experience an entertaining night at one of the area chuck wagons, catch a show at the local playhouse, or visit the amusement park. If you are seeking a quiet getaway to the parks or are trying to avoid crowds, visit outside of these times, but expect cooler temperatures.
Keystone sees about 20 inches of rain per year, well short of the U.S. average of 39 inches. That means you'll likely enjoy sunny days throughout your visit. Winters can be quite cool, however, so do pack warm clothes and ample layers for the winter months, especially if you plan to hike in high altitude. Spring, summer, and fall are typically mild and beautiful.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Keystone, SD:
Keystone by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean price trends by star rating class in Keystone, SD. You can use these line graphs to calculate the most cost effective time period to book a room in Keystone for your upcoming travels.
Does Keystone have any luxury hotels?
Settle into Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection by Hilton, a historic downtown hotel located just 9 miles from Keystone. From the rooftop bar to the historic, wood-beamed interior, this hotel exudes charm from top to bottom.
The hotel has been recently remodeled with a delicate touch that provides modern comfort while preserving the original detailing. Stay in this Rapid City hotel, and you'll be just steps from Art Alley, Main Street Square, and the Museum of the American Bison. During your stay, you'll enjoy premium bedding, complimentary wireless internet access, fitness center access, and proximity to Paddy O'Neill's Irish Pub and a Starbucks coffee shop.
What budget-friendly hotels are in the Keystone, SD Area?
3 Star Average Prices: $139.08
Baymont by Wyndham Keystone Near Mt. Rushmore is convenient to the Black Hills National Forest, Big Thunder Gold Mine, and the National Presidential Museum, as well as Mount Rushmore. This hotel's convenience and affordability make it the budget hotel of choice near Mount Rushmore.
Kids will love splashing in the indoor pool while parents soak in the spa tub nearby or lounge on the chaise chairs. The Baymont also caters to families with well-outfitted rooms that include bunk beds in select layouts. Value-added amenities include complimentary wireless internet access, satellite programming, and a complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet.
2 Star Average Prices: $117.79
What are the best hotels in Keystone, SD for Discounts?
If you are seeking senior discounts or reduced rates for military and government workers or AAA memberships, Quality Inn in Keystone has you covered. This hotel lies less than 1 mile from Rushmore Tramway Adventures and the Black Hills National Forest. This hotel offers excellent amenities including an indoor pool and spa tub, plus extras like complimentary wireless internet access, a lobby fireplace, and complimentary daily breakfast service.
Be sure to avail yourself of Quality Inn's 24-hour business center if you need to do a little work during your stay or to use the printer to print out tickets for area attractions. If you have any questions, stop by the 24-hour front desk for help.
Where are the best value hotels in Keystone, South Dakota?
Those seeking a modern hotel with contemporary style will love the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Rapid City – Rushmore South. This hotel caters to business travelers and vacationers alike. In your room, you'll enjoy niceties like Keurig coffee makers, a microwave, and minifridge.
Log onto the complimentary wireless internet service at any time and enjoy digital programming on a flat-screen television. Stow belongings in your own safe, then head downstairs to check out the indoor pool and fitness center. Enjoy a great night's sleep, then be sure to fill up on a hearty breakfast at the complimentary buffet.
What do travelers love about visiting Keystone, SD?
If you came to the Black Hills seeking a taste of the Old West, you'll find it at The Stables at Palmer Gulch. Tour the barns, watch horsemanship demonstrations, and choose from three guided trail rides through mountainous terrain, stands of birch and ponderosa pine, and panoramic, high-country views. Wind down with a Cowboy Dinner Show with real cowboy music, Western cuisine cooked over a campfire, and a covered wagon ride.
Families with younger riders may wish to seek out Rockin' R Rides for daily guided rides through the Black Hills National Forest. Black Hills Wilderness Edge Adventures offers wild rides of an entirely different kind with ATV/UTV rentals.
Circle B Chuckwagon is the place to immerse yourself into Western culture. Sip a sarsaparilla, watch a woodcarver at work, and check out souvenirs at The Wild Horse Gift Shop. You can pan for gems, shoot wax bullets, and enjoy a show by The Circle B Chuckwagon Suppers and Cowboy Music Show.
Visit Fort Hays Old West Town Square if you'd like to see demonstrations of antique equipment in action. This chuck wagon is famed for its 99-cent "all-you-can-eat" pancake breakfast. It's also close to the "Dances with Wolves" film set. Stick around to see some of the best gift shops in the area and stay for the Chuckwagon Supper and Music Variety Show.
At Custer Park, pack a picnic or visit the Thirsty Buffalo Snack Bar before the doors open for showtime at The Black Hills Playhouse. If you'd prefer to marvel at nature's own theater, take the 1880 Train to catch a glimpse of deer and buffalo while riding on an authentic steam train through the Black Hills. The train is operated by The Black Hills Central Railroad, the oldest continuously operating tour railroad in the country.
If you plan to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial, don't miss the nightly "Legends in Light" laser-light show, which turns the mountainside into a spectacular screen. The laser-light experience highlights the rich heritage and enduring culture of Native Americans in an unforgettable show choreographed to music and sound. The show takes place at varying times from May through September.
Families seeking a thrill should visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park. This unique mountain coaster winds through the trees and over the slopes, allowing you to pace your cart with a handbrake for speed or leisure, as you please. While you are there, stop into the Gunslinger 7-D Ride and shoot your laser gun at targets, or embark on the challenging ropes courses through the forest canopy.
Take the Soaring Eagle Zipride down the mountainside, then journey below the surface into the depths of the Black Hills cave system to Rushmore Cave. If you're feeling brave, check out the new flashlight tour, offered only in the evenings from May through August.
Whether you want to spend your days hiking, riding, kayaking, fly fishing, or panning for gold, you can make incredible memories with your family in Keystone, South Dakota.
FAQs about hotels in Keystone
How much does a cheap hotel in Keystone cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Keystone can be as cheap as $117.79 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Keystone cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Keystone has been $139.08 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
Verified reviews of the city of Keystone
Below are reviews of the city of Keystone, SD from an actual visitor's perspective.
Score 5.0 / 5
Very nice scenery.
Score 4.0 / 5
Very nice scenery.
" Perfect location!"
Score 5.0 / 5
Everything is close by. Perfect location for my trip
Score 5.0 / 5
I was pleasantly surprised to see vegan dishes in the cafes at Mt Rushmore.
"Mount Rushmore Views"
Score 4.0 / 5
The forest and the view of the mountain.
The average traveler rating of the city of Keystone, SD shown above is 4.6 out of 5 based on 5 reviews