24 Hours in Rapid City, South Dakota

We took a little one night trip down to Rapid City the week before Christmas and it.was.amazing. I love visiting cute places all decked out in Christmas lights, shopping at fun places, eating good food, and enjoying a change of scenery. Plus I really wanted one more night out of town before the baby is due.

I wanted to stay somewhere with a different vibe this time, we always stay outside of the city in cabins, and researched boutique hotels. I then googled Christmas hotel in Rapid City and it gave me a place that sounded perfectly amazing. The Hotel Alex Johnson. Beautiful and rumored to be the most haunted hotel in South Dakota. When I read the kids the ghost story about the hotel, they were so excited.

We got to Rapid City just after lunch time. It’s a five hour drive from home, and a pretty easy drive. I’d stopped in Watford City for an iced egg nog latte at Caribou whilst everyone else in the car slept. It was a really pretty morning and driving through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park area was gorgeous!

We had lunch in Rapid City at Blaze Pizza, our new fav pizza place there since our last trip. We ordered ahead, thank goodness, because it was super busy, and got their “white top” pizza with a drizzle of chipotle instead of the arugula. Then a cheese pizza and some breadsticks! Highly highly recommend.

After lunch was a Target run for the girls and I, Dollar Tree run for my husband and the boys, and then coffee at The Alternative Fuel coffee house. This was in such a cute place! Right outside the coffee shop is a skating rink where you can rent skates or just watch the ice skaters with all the pretty lights around. I noticed our hotel from there as well, but it wasn’t quite time to check in.

Once it hit four o clock, we went to the hotel to check in. The only major disappointment here was that there is no hotel parking. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed somewhere without parking! We has to park kitty corner from the hotel in a city lot. On the plus side, weekend were free parking! But it was a bit of a hassle running from there across streets to the hotel with five kids.

The inside of the hotel was gorgeous. I loved it. As I was checking in, the attendant asked if I’d like our room on the 5th, 8th, or 9th floor. Mind you, the 8th floor is the one that’s rumored to have the lady in white haunting the halls looking for her murderer. I chose the 5th. For some odd reason, everyone was upset I didn’t get an 8th floor room! Ha, sounded like a nightmare to me.

Our room was just as quaint as the rest of the hotel and nice and spacious. I loved the doorknobs on the bathroom! They were little pretty glass knobs. Something I’d like to decorate with somewhere in my house. The beds were comfy, views of the city amazing. There was even ivory colored tissues. What’s interesting too is the arched doorways. Back in April when we went to Florida and stayed at the Don Cesar, which is apparently the most haunted hotel in Florida, our room had arched doorways there as well. I’m guessing they were built in the same era. I should check that! Also, if we were staying longer, there was a Starbucks off the lobby on the main floor that delivers to your room! How amazing that would be.

The evening was spent walking through Storybook Island where they had it all lit up with lights. It was so pretty, but quite chilly out. And kids coughing everywhere! It’s one of my biggest pet peeves, parents bringing their horrible sounding coughing kids out where other people are. But other than that, it was a super pretty walk and the kids loved it! Plus they had some cute reindeer to see.

After Storybook Island, we went to HuHot Mongolian Grill for dinner and Crumbl Cookie which was right next door for dessert. This was the second time I tried crumbl, first time in MN and they didn’t have too good of a flavor selection. But these ones were amaaaaazing. We got 3 half chocolate half vanilla and a snickerdoodle one, which was the one I took.

Then we enjoyed the rest of the evening in our hotel room! I thought the kids would be nervous going to bed but they fell asleep fine. I, however was waking up all night long, just waiting for a ghost to appear. Not because I wanted it! There was one point around four am where a water bottle fell off the night stand and woke me up instantly. Ghost? Probably. 🤣 I’m calling it.

After a sleepless night, I got up early and caught a pretty sunrise over the city. Then packed up, got the kids up and ready, and we headed out. I stopped at the Starbucks downstairs with my two oldest as I’d promised them a Starbucks drink at the hotel if they’d clean the basement before we left.

Then we went to pick up coffee at Harriet & Oak, which was pretty good! I love the interior of that coffee shop. It’s got a cute little VW van and they had everything decorated for Christmas.

After one more Target stop, we met my brother in law for breakfast at IHOP and then hit the road back home. We had to be back to get the kids to their Sunday school Christmas program, which we managed! Quite a busy weekend it was. But totally worth it! I love Rapid City and can’t wait to go back again this summer!

Hope you enjoyed and picked up a few things to try if you ever make it there.:) which you should.


2 responses to “24 Hours in Rapid City, South Dakota”

  1. I visit Rapid City occasionally but mainly to go fly fishing and sightseeing up in the hills. Your great photos and the account of your trip definitely show another fine side of the city.

    1. Thank you! We usually stay out in the hills too, but it was definitely fun to check out the city around Christmas! Highly recommend!

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