Rapid City is called the "City of the Presidents" because it displays a series of life-sized president statues on several blocks downtown. It's also known as the gateway to Mt. Rushmore because of its proximity to the mountain.
General Custer surveyed the area around the mountain, which included Rapid City. When he reported that his men had discovered gold, tons of white people descended on the area, illegally killing and stealing the land from the Lakota Sioux. To this day, the Sioux are fighting for their land. The Supreme Court offered money but the Sioux declined. IMO, with the amount of money generated by tourism, I doubt the land will be returned to the Sioux.
There is a small library in town that has a ton of books written by the various tribes. I was fortunate to speak with a Lakota who shared with me his stories from his living elders. To hear him speak of what happened…. No words or surprise were invoked.
Rapid City also has a hidden gem in the middle of the city, an alley filled with art. The walls of the buildings are covered with works of unique art that express personal, political, community, and global issues.
While I was there, an artist was working on a piece concerning poverty. I was told that the alley changes frequently and has become a sacred place for many artists. My pictures do not capture the true essence of such a wonderful place.
While downtown, I came across this cool brewery called, "The Firehouse”. It is one of Rapid City’s most unique and interesting landmarks. The structure was built in 1915 and displays authentic South Dakota firefighting memorabilia from the days of Rapid City’s first fire brigades – including the original fire pole, ladders, patches and more.