15 Best Things to Do in Keystone, SD

15 Best Things to Do in Keystone, SD

Keystone is a small town in South Dakota which is famous for its richly forested area.

The town is perfect for enjoying activities like hiking, biking, as well as snow activities.

The town is covered with a lot number of activities and famous places. The town is located near the famous Mount Rushmore.

This tiny town has its own fancy image around the world, due to which it attracts a large number of visitors.

The following places are the best places to check out if you plan to visit Keystone, South Dakota.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Mount Rushmore national Memorial
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Mount Rushmore national Memorial is an international attraction which is known by almost everyone no matter where they belong to.

This world famous mountain was carved in the year 1941 under the direction of Gutzon Borglum and his son.

The area around this monument has been declared as a memorial park and covers a total of 1278.45 acres of land.

The mountain is carved into an iconic sculpture showing the pictures of 4 U.S. presidents, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

The mountain is 60 feet high and is composed mostly of granite. The monument depicts the birth of the nation and its growth under the leadership of these four iconic presidents.

The place brings immense glory to the people of keystone and is definitely a must visit.

Carver’s Cafe


Carver’s Cafe is the famous restaurant in Keystone which is also the official restaurant on the site of Mount Rushmore.

This cafe allows the visitors to enjoy the views of the famous monument while enjoying dear meals. The cafe has several stations where different sort of hot and cold dishes are served.

The cafe has a very extensive menu. From simple snacks to full course meals, the cafe serves everything.  

For a tourist restaurant, the meals of this cafe are unbelievably good and priced at very affordable rates.

You can also grab some delicious breakfast and enjoy sunrise views behind the Mount Rushmore early in the morning.

Big Thunder Gold Mine

Big thunder gold mine
Lost_in_the_Midwest / Shutterstock.com


Anyone visiting keystone should definitely not miss checking out Big thunder gold mine. Also famous as Gold Hill Lode, this goldmine was discovered in the year 1892 by two German immigrants in the city.

At present the mine has been converted into a museum. The museum depicts the life of locals as well as the practices of mining during the gold mining era.

The museum has a copy of a gold mill, different types of rocks which are found in the mine, and many artefacts which belong to the gold mining era.

You can also choose different tours on the basis of your preferences to the Mine and try your hands at gold panning.

In addition to its exhibitions, the museum also has a fully functional gift shop and a full service restaurant which offers precious premium quality service to the visitors.

The restaurant is itself a very famous attraction in the town. Both the Restaurant as well as the gift shop sells very unique and good quality items at affordable prices.

Holy Terror Antiques


Holy terror antiques is another unique tourist attraction in keystone.

Located at the foot of Mount Rushmore, Holy terror antiques is an antique store which opened its service in the year 2005.

The store covers a vast area of 6000 square foot. This antique store is famous for providing customised replicas and designs of various buildings in the city.

Apart from the building designs and replicas, the store also offers a very dynamic and exquisite collection of various items such as furniture, pottery items, glass decorative, advertising items, and many more.

The owners of the store have been dealing in the same business for more than 40 years which have given them an edge over other stores and designers.

Due to this reason the collection of the store are unique and not found in other places.

This place is perfect for getting some unique souvenirs and return gifts for your loved ones from the town of Keystone.

Powder House Lodge


Keystone has a large number of lodging places and hotels. But powder house lodge is a unique place for accommodation due to which it has made to this list.

This is a seasonal motel with the number of cabins that are located in forested area of keystone. The rooms of this Lodge are quite simple and designed in a very rustic manner to give a natural vibe.

The rooms are well furnished and have amenities such as ACs, television, microwave, coffee maker, internet access, and every other item.

The lodge has a very relaxed and calm setting. It also has its own restaurant which serves fresh classical American food.

The lodge is perfect for spending some personal time away from the rush of the city and living larger than dream life.

Horse Thief Lake


Horse Thief lake is located near Mount Rushmore and is perfect for enjoying some beautiful views.

The Lake got its name from the number of horse thief gangs that used to operate in this area. Horse Thief Lake is a very famous lake for fishing, and specially ice fishing.

The Lake also has campgrounds where you can enjoy overnight camping. The lake is surrounded by enjoyable trails which are well managed and perfect for hiking in the area.

It is a perfect recreational area in the small town of Keystone and never fails to amaze the visitors with its far stretching beautiful waters.

Red Garter Saloon


Red Garter Saloon is a family owned business which was opened almost 40 years ago on a dirty road. At present this is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the months of April to October.

This is a place which welcomes the visitors for some exotic drinks, quaint views, delicious food, and other entertainment activities.

With its different seating plans indoors and outdoors, the place is perfect for all the visitors. The place also arranges a large number of entertainment shows, Live music, stand-up comedy and other events in order to keep the visitors engaged.

Inspired from the wild taverns, this place is a real deal and will definitely be one of your favourites in Keystone.

National Presidential Wax Museum

National Presidential Wax Museum
Jllm06, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons


National presidential wax Museum is another famous tourist attraction in the small town of keystone.

This museum has an exhibition of more than hundred wax figures which are sculpted in a very expert and flawless manner.

Out of the hundred figures, the most famous is the replica of Mount Rushmore and 4 famous presidents. Apart from the 4 U.S. presidents sculpted on Mount Rushmore, the Museum has wax structures of 41 more Presidents.

The museum offers audio as well as visual tours. The audios help the visitors in understanding the story about each Structure and its historic importance.

Apart from the audios, a detailed video also helps the visitors in understanding the entire process of creating cultures using wax.

The museum also provides recognition to the most famous wax artists who helped in creating the artefacts of this museum.

Apart from what the wax artists, the museum also acknowledges the efforts of other illustrators and artists like Harvey Dunn.

In addition to the sculptures of people, the museum also exhibits other artefacts like death mask of presidents, voting booths from various presidential elections, and many more. This place is a bliss for all the art lovers.

Rush Mountain Adventure Park


The Rush mountain adventure park is a famous Amusement and theme park in keystone. This park allows the visitors to explore the natural wonders of keystone.

Located on the Rush mountain, the facility offers exploration as well as educational cave tours.

The place also offers various amusement rides such as a 7D-interactive ride, zip lines, mountain coasters, wing walker challenging courses, sky tykes, and more.

This is an ideal place for all the young and adventurous visitors who want to enjoy some great and affordable fun along with their families. This facility as well as the Rushmore cave are open yearly for different hours.

The place is thrilling and offers a very comfortable space for enjoyment. All the staff and guides of the service facility are very friendly and helpful.

Rushmore Tramway Adventures


Rushmore Tramway adventure is another exciting and a fun adventure Park which offers unbelievable facilities at affordable rates.

The place is a stress buster and allows the visitors to relax on various rides.

The scenic chairlift ride allows you to enjoy the rush inside your body while you come down the alpine slide.

You can also enjoy the beautiful views of the entire Rush mountain area using their zip line facilities or downhill tubing.

The adventure company has also added a new feature of aerial Park which allows the visitors to enjoy a rope climbing under expert supervision.

The place has been voted as the best tourist attraction after the Mount Rushmore national Memorial as per People’s choice.

This is definitely a worth visiting place as it offers something for people of all ages and allows them to enjoy the beautiful and scenic views around the area.

Grapes and Grinds


Grapes and grinds is the only coffee and wine bar in Keystone which is located in Black Hill area. This place was opened for serving public in 2012 and is beautifully designed.

This place is famous for providing specially crafted coffees, locally produced wines and home-made gelato.

The shop also offers unique gifts and souvenirs to the visitors. The winery at grapes and greens offers free wine tasting to the visitors almost every day.

The business has a large patio and a lawn area which allows the visitors to enjoy their time. You can also enjoy chess, and corn hole games while waiting for your drinks.

The place also has a huge playground for kids. The place also organizes live music performances, and musical nights for more enjoyment.

Grapes and Grinds is a very comfortable and beautiful business and you should definitely give them the opportunity to serve you.

Dahl’s chainsaw Art


Dahl’s chainsaw Art is a must visit place if you want to enjoy the craftsmanship and local artist traditions in Keystone.

This art store has tons of artworks ranging from small miniatures to huge sculptures and other decorative pieces.

The owner of the shop allows the visitors to witness the process of crafting of these art pieces. You can also spend some time while clicking some pictures for social media platforms.

The place has carved Harley and buffalo replicas which can be climbed by the visitors. The place is actually very fun and beautiful.

If you are looking for some gifts from the town of Keystone, you should definitely make a stop at Dahl’s chainsaw.

Black Hills Helicopters


Black hills helicopter service provider helps you by providing one of the most exciting and unique ways of exploring Keystone.

If you are interested in enjoying the Aerial views of the famous monuments and uncanny rock formations of Keystone, Black Hills Helicopters is the most reasonable and affordable way of doing so.

The pilots are well-trained and familiar with the local areas.

Holy Smoke Resort Horse Rides


Holy Smoke Resort Horse rides is a facility that provides the opportunity of enjoying horseback riding in the natural trails of Keystone.

The service providers have very well-trained and gentle horses which are made available for horseback riding at very affordable prices.

The Rock Shed


The rock shed is another speciality gift store in the small town of Keystone. This gift shop is famous for its handcrafted and specially made items.

The store deals in various types of gifting items. The products available at the store range from Gemstones, fossils, minerals, gemstone lamps, candleholders, accessories to decorative glasses, crushed rocks, garden rocks, tumblers, plastic items, display stands, wrapping and tool supplies and alike.

The place is a one stop destination for finding a lot of items that are used in day to day lives.

Even though Keystone is a very small town in South Dakota with less than 100 residents, the city is blessed with a lot of natural gifts, rocks and mounts being preeminent of them all.

The residents of the town are welcoming and have managed this beautiful place in such a manner that it is impossible to ignore their loyalty towards the town.

The town is a must visit place if you are planning to visit Dakota.