Written on August 18th, 2020
Like many Black Hills communities, Keystone was established as a mining community during the Black Hills Gold Rush. The town's future was forever changed in 1927 when sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose nearby Mount Rushmore as the site for his new monument to four American presidents. Today, Keystone is a top tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world.
Keystone is a great destination for families and adventure seekers, as well as those interested in history. The National Presidential Wax Museum features lifelike wax figures of all 45 American presidents, as well as other historical figures and iconic historical scenes. Self-guided audio tours and a seven-minute movie round out the experience. Big Thunder Gold Mine offers visitors an opportunity to tour a former working gold mine, pan for gold, or sign up for a half- or full-day claim panning experience. The Mining Museum, a replica of the original Tycoon Gold Mill, houses an extensive collection of memorabilia from several area gold mines. Now that gold is on your mind, consider picking up an authentic Black Hills Gold souvenir from Gold Diggers, where you'll find a large selection of rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets, and more. They make excellent gifts, too!
If outdoor adventure is more your speed, Rushmore Tramway Adventures offers fun activities like an alpine slide, zipline, tubing hill, jump tower, and an aerial adventure park with a rope course suitable for all skill levels. A scenic chairlift offers breathtaking views of Mount Rushmore. Visit Rush Mountain Adventure Park for a scenic cave tour or a chance to ride a roller-coaster, take a 630-foot zipline ride, or explore the Wingwalker Challenge Course, which includes a miniature Sky Tykes option for younger kids. Practice your putting skills and take a shot at that elusive hole in one with a round or two at Holy Terror Mini Golf, a picturesque 18-hole course tucked on the side of a pine-forested slope. In keeping with the town's mining past, golfers must conquer sluices, a waterwheel and mill pond. For a truly unique experience, book a helicopter tour through Black Hills Aerial Adventures. Experienced pilots have been offering close-up tours of Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills for 25 years; it's a one-of-a-kind ride you'll never forget.
When you're ready to wind down, grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine at Grapes & Grinds—this coffee shop and wine bar offers both fresh roasted coffee and fine wine, as well as hot and iced tea, smoothies, frappés, tasty breakfast items, and handmade gelato. If you're planning on staying overnight (with so much to see and do, you should!), Rushmore Express Inn & Family Suites offers rustic accommodations perfect for couples, families, and small groups. Their attention to detail includes cozy pillow-top mattresses, a coffee bar, and complimentary breakfast—and is conveniently located minutes from the best attractions in the Black Hills.