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Mount Rushmore-South Dakota-Plan your summer trip now

Mount-Rushmore, Rapid City, South Dakota
Mount-Rushmore, Rapid City, South Dakota
Kristine Suber Hanchar

Pack the camper and take the kids to Mount Rushmore National Park this summer. For me it is exactly a 24 hour drive from Atlanta so I am looking at flight options and then an R.V. rental. You can fly non-stop from Atlanta to Rapid City, South Dakota (RAP) on Delta for $493.00 round trip. Located in the black hills of western South Dakota Mount Rushmore is a site that all school children should see once in their lifetimes. More than three million people per year visit Mount Rushmore.

During the 1st week in August the town of Sturgis hosts a bike week and thousands descend upon the area from across the country and the world to celebrate biker freedom. You may want to steer clear of Mount Rushmore in the month of August for your family vacation. Sturgis is about 49 miles from Mount Rushmore but still in the same general vicinity. Shade Valley Camp Resort can provide you with RV spots and camping facilities nearby.

Mount Rushmore was created by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum. He began drilling into the 5,725 foot mountain in 1927 at the age of 60. Each head on the Mount Rushmore Sculpture is the equivalent of a six story building. More than 800 million pounds of stone were removed while carving out the presidents.

Here are some recommended activities for your family while visiting Mount Rushmore:

  • Stroll the Avenue of Flags, where each state is represented.
  • View the Mount Rushmore carving from Grand View Terrace.
  • View Mt. Rushmore's new state of the art Visitor Center and Museum including an orientation film on the presidents and the Rushmore carving.
  • Walk the Presidential Trail which offers the closest viewpoints of the Mt. Rushmore faces.
  • View the evening lighting ceremony held in the amphitheater at 9:00 PM nightly during the summer months.
  • Shop for local arts and crafts, such as Black Hills Gold jewelry, in the 5,300 square foot Mount Rushmore gift shop.
  • Eat at the Carvers Café which offers visitors a delicious array of food selections, served with a commanding view of the presidential sculptures.
  • View the Sculptor's Studio and put yourself in the artist's perspective and view the mountain sculpture and the original model of the carving.
  • The next time you visit Mount Rushmore be sure to take part in The Mount Rushmore Audio Tour incorporating music, narration, interviews, historic recordings and sound effects.

I have seen the Grand Canyon with my grandparents when I was a teenager and I definitely plan to see Mount Rushmore. There are so many amazing places in the United States that are worth a trip. Pack the kids this summer and plan out your adventure to Mount Rushmore.