Minneapolis to Mount Rushmore (worth it?)

Jan 19th, 2015, 07:35 PM
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Minneapolis to Mount Rushmore (worth it?)

We will be in Minneapolis in mid July for a family gathering and would like to stretch the trip to visit something in the area. Wondering if the drive to Mount Rushmore which, I think, will take 9 hours is scenic and if visiting the Badlands is worth the drive. I've heard good things about Mount Rushmore and am not sure what else we might visit from the Minneapolis area.
Any help appreciated.
stoweflake is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 08:03 PM
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If you were to JUST visit Mt. Rushmore which will only take you a couple of hours, I wouldn't drive the 1150 miles round trip. If you spend time at Badlands National Park, Custer State Park and one of the caves then it might make it worth it if you have a couple of days to spend in the area. If you had a week or more time then I'd recommend going on to Yellowstone, WY.

If you haven't done the drive from Duluth, MN up the Lake Superior coast, that is one beautiful drive with waterfalls to explore. That would be a lot closer!

utahtea is offline  
Jan 19th, 2015, 08:41 PM
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It depends on how much time you have to devote to this side trip. I don't think I would make that drive unless I could spend at least 4 - 5 full days in the area.

You could drive the scenic road through the Badlands in a couple of hours, but the park deserves a full day and, even better, an overnight stay.

Three days is a bare minimum for the Black Hills. In addition to Mt. Rushmore, there are several caves, wildlife viewing and hiking in Custer State Park, scenic driving and hiking along Spearfish Canyon, swimming and fishing in one of the many lakes, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, the Crazy Horse Memorial, etc. And that doesn't even cover the many attractions of Rapid City.

You might want to order the South Dakota travel guide at www.travelsd.com
longhorn55 is offline  
May 10th, 2015, 05:54 PM
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There's pretty much nothing to see the entire trip until 2 hours or so before you reach Mt. Rushmore. I make the trip two times a year to see family, and it's pretty stark. If you really want to visit it, the badlands are fantastic and there's a great little town called Wall Drug, with a big touristy market. You can buy all kids of fun old west goodies there, and there are lots of things kids will enjoy
hellomoe is offline  
May 11th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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I agree with the others. I would not do this drive UNLESS I were seeing more than Mount Rushmore; I also do not agree that to make it worthwhile you need to add Yellowstone. There are plenty of places in between those two which might interest you such as Devils Tower, the area around Cody, etc.

As to that drive from Duluth to Grand Marais...IMO you really do need to GET OFF the road to see anything besides constant views of the lake.
Dukey1 is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 06:28 AM
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Hi. Lots of good advice above.

I guess that your choices might also be governed by your particular interests and where you are coming from - for example Sioux Falls would not impress you if you live just a stone's throw from Niagara!

How well do you know Minneapolis and the area to the west? As visitors from the UK we found that the Twin Cities had plenty of noteworthy places to see, and if you enjoy live theatre you could check what the Guthrie is showing. New Ulm is an attractive little town - obvious strong German connections, particularly in its restaurants. Mitchel has its Corn Palace that changes every year.

Good luck with your trip!
roger_cook is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 04:50 PM
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stowflake, do you have kids traveling with you? Do you like museums? Do you want to spend a few days hiking? Did you find someone to bake the cookies for your wedding? Are you interested in staying in a lake resort cabin?

I would not drive to Rapid City just to see Mount Rushmore. It is a two hour stop. Tops. Like everyone else has said if you can spend a few days there then it might be worth it. There are a ton of things to do in Minnesota, but it depends on your interests.
ziggypop is offline  
May 12th, 2015, 07:38 PM
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My goodness. I just came back to this post and saw all this helpful information. The badlands sound like a wonderful place to visit and some day I will get to Mount Rushmore but not for this trip.
Ziggypop. I emailed the two bakeries that were suggested and neither wrote back. I didn't call but I think we might go with the Italian restaurant in Saint Paul Cossetas. Going to check out their biscotti when I'm there for the bridal shower. Thanks all for your help.
stoweflake is offline  
May 13th, 2015, 12:43 PM
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If you are still looking for the cookies, try Broder's Pasta Bar. Check out their website, they have a deli and grocery store as well. One of the nicest Italian restaurants in the city.
taitai is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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My husband and daughter just went to fort Snelling today and had a great , interesting day. They ate at the Red Cow in St. Paul and my hubby loved the pulled pork . He was so impressed by it . I think they have a restaurant in Minneapolis too
sallyglea is offline  
Nov 20th, 2017, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I know this is an old post but for anyone considering a similar trip, a Mount Rushmore / Badlands trip is one of the most underrated destinations in the US! Yes, it's a long and not terribly interesting drive from MSP to the badlands, but it's worth it! Many options for hotels both within the parks and in VRBO type accommodations. Go!
rali is offline  
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