18 Reasons to Visit Custer in 2018
Written by Dolsee Davenport
April 23, 2018

A desirable location in the Black Hills makes Custer an ideal vacation headquarters.  Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, and Jewel Cave National Monument are just minutes away.  Here are 18 (other) great reasons to visit Custer, South Dakota in 2018.



  1. Custer is home to three of the top ten restaurants in the Black Hills according to TripAdvisor. This foodie community will provide a culinary experience you won’t forget!

  2. You can experience the scenic areas of the Blacks Hills while getting some great exercise. The Mickelson Trail is 109 miles long and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels.  Trailhead #10 is located across the street from the Chamber, and trailhead #9 is just 3 miles north of Custer on Hwy 385.  Opportunities abound to play on and adjacent to the trail, such as biking, hiking, running, and horseback riding.

  3. There are thousands of miles of trails to ride utv’s, atv’s, and dual sports! The trail system is so vast not only does it cover a big portion of the Black Hills National Forest, many trails go into neighboring North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
         *Custer’s inaugural Off-Road Rally will be June 8-10

  4. Custer is in close proximity to the 3rd and 6th longest caves in the world-Jewel Cave and Wind Cave. Regular walking cave tours are available daily, as well as spelunking tours for the more adventurous.

  5. Enjoy an old-fashioned 4th of July with a kids’ fair, parade, arts & crafts festival, flag ceremonies, and fireworks.

  6. You can try many South Dakota wines and brews without leaving town. South Dakota, and specifically the Black Hills, has become a haven for wineries and breweries.  While in Custer you can try some stellar wines and rich craft brews without driving all over the state!

  7. Tesla is installing 8 Super Chargers. Along with the 22 other chargers in town, Custer will have a total of 30 places for Teslas to get charged!
         *The 5th Annual Tesla Rally is May 18-19

  8. The public has two chances to walk up the world’s largest mountain carving in progress: June 2-3 and September 30. The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in the United States.

  9. In 1875, Custer became the first city in the Black Hills, and is now full of history. To get a glimpse of the historical treasures of Custer, visit the 1881 Courthouse Museum and Four Mile Old West Town.  Make sure to also take pictures of the Flick Cabin and the Kleeman House.

  10. Celebrate the discovery of gold at the 95th Annual Gold Discovery Days taking place July 20-22. There’s plenty of family fun including a parade, bed races, bouncy houses, and arts & crafts festival.

  11. Check out Mt. Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial in the dark. Nightly from May 25th to September 30th Mount Rushmore has an Evening Lighting Ceremony and Crazy Horse has the Legends in Light Laser Show.

  12. Experience a “South Dakota Traffic Jam” in Custer State Park.  The 71,000 acres of terrain is home to a herd of 1,300 head of bison and 10 burros that roam freely, often stopping traffic along the Wildlife Loop Road.
         *On September 28 the herd is rounded up during the annual Buffalo Roundup.

  13. Custer State Park and the Black Hills National Forest have a large number of hiking trails, ranging in difficulty from moderate to strenuous. One of the most popular hikes goes to the top of Black Elk Peak.  Another popular trail goes from the Chamber up to “Big Rock” overlooking Custer City.

  14. For those looking to beat the heat, Custer has a municipal swimming pool.  Also, the lakes in Custer State Park are popular for swimming, paddle boating and kayaking.

  15. Custer is home to unique stores, quaint gift shops and souvenir stores.  You can find everything from a distinctive, locally-made product to a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

  16. The painted buffalo, once a local arts project, are now owned by Custer residents.  They allow the buffalo to be kept downtown for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.  You can also take pictures of the ones roaming the pasture at 245 S 8th Street.  Stop by the Chamber for a map of all the locations!

  17. Custer is close to some of the best scenic drives in South Dakota!  Click here for a few of our favorites.

  18. Custer has more than 50 hotels, motels, campgrounds, horse camps, bed and breakfasts and resorts. Custer hotels and motels offer you a variety of amenities, room types and rates. We also have pet-friendly establishments so the entire family can enjoy a Black Hills adventure.

    Custer is minutes, not miles, from adventure!  Make your reservations today!  Book Direct and Save.



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