5 reasons why Rapid City should be your destination vacation this fall

(BPT) - Just because summer is coming to a close doesn’t mean that your travel plans have to end. Autumn is a beautiful season that has much to offer would-be travelers. If you’re planning a vacation this fall, consider heading to Rapid City, South Dakota.

Known as the “Gateway to the Black Hills,” Rapid City is close to so many historic places and stellar views of natural and man-made landmarks that are enhanced by the color and weather of autumn.

Check out these five reasons why you and your family should visit Rapid City this fall.

1. Events

If you visit Rapid City in the fall, you’ll have plenty of events you can attend. Take the family to the Pumpkin Festival at downtown's Main Street Square and kick off the season by taking a hayride, playing in an inflatable bounce house or simply enjoying the BH Parent Harvest Market.

For the artists in your family, check out the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival or the Wild West Songwriters Festival. Want to get spooky this fall? Head over to the Adams House for some Paranormal Investigations. At night, stop by the Mount Rushmore Evening Lighting Ceremony or the Legends in Light Laser Show at Crazy Horse Monument.

2. Scenic routes

Enjoy the quietness of autumn in and near Rapid City. Whether you like to take long drives or a leisurely day hike, you’ll have so many scenic routes to choose from.

Pack the family into the minivan and drive through the Needles Highway and Badlands Loop Road. Or pack a lunch and hike through Badlands National Park, Custer State Park or Spearfish Canyon. No matter where you choose to go, you’ll be greeted by the changing of the seasons and surrounded by colorful fall foliage.

3. Downtown

Downtown Rapid City has so much to explore. With 26 restaurants, 34 shops and more than 150 events, you won’t have a hard time finding something everyone in the family will enjoy. Head to the heart of downtown to Main Street Square and attend a live concert or family-friendly festivals.

Afterward, head to Art Alley to take in unique murals. Be sure to check out the life-sized bronze statues of past American presidents throughout downtown.

4. National treasure

One of the most attractive aspects of Rapid City is that it’s centrally located near some of the country’s national treasures. Make Rapid City your vacation home base and take in the historic parks and monuments of the Midwest.

Just 12 minutes away, you can visit the Black Hills National Forest and explore canyons, grasslands, streams and deep blue lakes. Or take a quick 30-minute drive and take in the astonishing beauty of Mount Rushmore National Memorial. There’s no end to the educational and inspiring places you can visit in this area.

5. Tribal history

The Black Hills are home to a rich history of seven Native American Tribes, and you can learn and appreciate their sacred stories, lifeways, arts and traditions right here in Rapid City. Head over in October and witness the Black Hills Powwow, a three-day cultural event that displays the talents of hundreds of Native American dancers, singers and artisans.

Take a short day trip to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving in progress, honoring one of the most recognized and revered figures of the Lakota Indian Tribe.

If you need a day of indoor activities, head to The Journey Museum and Learning Center and check out the interactive displays featuring geology, paleontology, archaeology, Native American culture and more.

Mark your calendars, pack your bags and get ready to take in the beauty of the Black Hills this fall. To learn more about Rapid City and surrounding activities and attractions, check out VisitRapidCity.com.