A Day in Custer: 7 Not-to-Miss Experiences
Written by Dolsee Davenport
August 19, 2019

You're going to wish you had more than one day to spend in Custer.  This quaint historic town has everything you could possibly want for your vacation.  However, if you only have one day to explore, here are the 7 experiences you won’t want to miss.  This will make for a full and busy day!

1. View Crazy Horse Memorial, do a self-guided tour of the Indian Museum of North America, and witness the Legends in Light Laser Show.

2. Take a scenic drive through Custer State Park on the Needles Highway or Iron Mountain Road. Also drive through the Wildlife Loop to see buffalo, burros and other wildlife.

3. Behold the majestic figures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. While there make sure you try Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream.

4. Tour a cave-Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, or Rushmore Cave are all within a short drive of Custer.

5. Walk around downtown Custer to check out the local shops. Be sure to stop in the 1881 Courthouse Museum to learn all about the history of Custer, the Black Hills, and South Dakota.

6. Eat a delicious meal (or 2!) at one of Custer’s local restaurants. Custer is a foodie’s paradise so any restaurant you choose will deliver a tasty dish!

7. Have an outdoor recreation adventure. Bike the Mickelson Trail, hike one of the many trails, explore the Hills via a utv, kayak or paddleboard on one of Custer State Park’s lakes, or view Custer from above at the Big Rock Park Lookout.  Rentals are available at several Custer businesses if you don’t have your own bike, utv, kayak, or paddleboard.

Like we said, a day in Custer isn't nearly long enough.  If you have more time (and we hope you do!) here are other ideas to add to your itinerary:

- View the Black Hills from above by booking a balloon ride from Black Hills Balloons or helicopter ride from Black Hills Aerial Adventures.

- Have a true western adventure by going horseback riding with one of Custer’s trail riding establishments.

- Enjoy entertainment with your dinner by partaking in a Chuckwagon Dinner and Show at either Circle B Chuckwagon Cowboy Dinner Show or Blue Bell Hayride Chuck Wagon Cookout.

- Step back in time and explore the old west as it really was at 4 Mile Old West Town.

- Try rock climbing with Sylvan Rocks Climbing School and Guide Service.

- See the Black Hills by vintage steam train on the 1880 Train.

- Have an old-time photo taken at Frontier Photo (makes for a great souvenir!).

- Play a round of golf at Rocky Knolls Golf Course.

- Visit a sustainable farm that raises goats, pigs, chickens, and other farm animals.

- Enjoy professional theater at the Black Hills Playhouse. With 4 different plays throughout the summer, one is sure to strike your fancy!

- Take a short trip to the south to Hot Springs and tour the Mammoth Site and Wild Horse Sanctuary. Be sure to stop at Moccasin Springs to soak in one of the “hot springs”.

- A short trip to the north and you can see Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, Chapel in the Hills, and the South Dakota Air & Space Museum.

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