Family’s First Vacation

Are you planning your first trip to the Black Hills with your family? Well, we have some hotspots you won’t want to miss. Since Keystone, South Dakota is centrally located, it makes traveling with your family or young children a breeze.

Historic Keystone Walking Tour

First, we suggest taking an exciting historic walking tour through Keystone, which will help get your heart pumping and allow you to explore our remarkable town.  You’ll be guided through points of interest such as the Big Thunder Gold Mine, the Log House School and homes that have been around since the mining days. Be sure to pick up your free Historic Keystone Walking Tour Map at the Keystone Visitor Information Center.

Scenic Drive

After a refreshing walk, head out for a scenic drive through the Black Hills.

  1. Start on US-16A W, also known as Iron Mountain Road, which offers awe-inspiring views of granite spires and towering pines. Make sure to make a stop at The National Presidential Wax Museum, where the whole family will be mesmerized by the life-size wax figures depicting important figures in U.S. history, including each of the nation’s 45 presidents. The museum provides a fun, easy way to sneak some learning into your family vacation.
  2. Next, continue west on Iron Mountain Road and travel through the area’s famed rock tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The route will even take you through Custer State Park, which requires no entrance fee if you’re just passing through during your excursion. Your children will love getting to see wildlife throughout the park, such as coyotes, buffalo, elk, and the other creatures that call the Black Hills home.
  3. From US-16A West, you can access US-40 and Playhouse Road, which will lead you back north to Keystone.


Dining at BaRLee’s

By the time you make it back into town, your family’s stomachs are bound to be grumbling. Keystone offers a variety of family-friendly restaurants, ensuring each person finds something to please their palate. One of our favorite spots, BaRLee’s, features a great kids menu and delicious handmade food. Here, your children can dig into favorites like creamy macaroni and cheese while you enjoy an ice-cold beer from the full bar and outdoor patio seating.

Cosmos Mystery Area

After dinner take a trip to one of the craziest, most fun places in the Black Hills – Cosmos Mystery Area. A short nine minute drive on US-16A East, this unique South Dakota attraction combines science and wholesome fun. Walk on the walls of old cabins, shrink or grow in height, and even excavate and crack open your own geode! The fun here is endless and kids will make memories they will be talking about for years to come.

Cosmos Mystery Area

A physical experience you will never forget.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Finally, it is time for a trip to one of the most iconic monuments in America, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. View the sun setting behind the four faces from the viewing terrace. Be sure to be there by 9:00 PM for the lighting ceremony.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

American History, Alive in Stone...

More Itineraries

Family's First Vacation

Are you planning your first trip to the Black Hills with your family? Well, we have some hotspots you won't want to miss. Since Keystone, South Dakota is centrally located, it makes traveling with your family or young children a breeze.

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Whether you're traveling with toddlers or teenagers, you won't have to worry about hearing "I'm bored" while the entire family is having a blast experiencing all that the Black Hills has to offer.

Keystone – Your Monumental Playground!

If you come to the Black Hills of South Dakota, we're pretty sure you're not allowed to leave without saying "Hello & Goodbye!" to those famous faces on Mount Rushmore. We're also confident your visit won't be complete without staying at least four or five nights in the "key" to your "monumental playground"—Keystone!