South Dakota Trip Diary – Day 5

Written by Justin posted on Aug 7, 2015 in Family, Photos, Summer, Vacation

IMG_4831Day 5 we find ourselves back in the car. Today’s ride will take us southeast to Rapid City, SD.

First destination for the day was Bear Country U.S.A. We had heard good things from locals and a transported friend recommendation. I have mixed feelings about this place. On one hand, it featured many animals I’d never thought I’d see up close and personal (or live to tell about it). Black bears, brown bears, grizzly bears, reindeer, mountain lions, bear cubs, foxes and a handful of others. I couldn’t help but feel like many of the animal habitats were small on size and overcrowded. I am not complaining, these animal have more roaming in their natural habit than a zoo. But it’s still not the same as living their lives outside of containment.

Most of the bears were snoozing like this guy. It didn’t stop me from getting yelled at from the spotters tower to close my window.

My favorite souvenir pick of the bunch.

After our visit to Bear Country we high-tailed it over to Downtown Rapid City. Landing for lunch at what would become my favorite restaurant of the trip, Firehouse Brewing Co. You would not know it by the name, but they had some ridiculously excellent barbecue. And oh guys, they have this large entertainment room which doubles as an eatery. HUGE extra long tables. Big enough to accommodate our gargantuan collection of kids and adults. It’s funny the things you start to notice as you age.

After lunch we released the Mom’s to wander the stores and the dads took the kids to an urban playground. Splash pad, turf to run, band shell, and local artists were setup around the perimeter. We had a blast just kicking back and relaxing here as the kids were being kids.


Rapid City turned into another one of those, “didn’t plan on it, but turned out to be awesome” stops along the way. Really pleased we got to spend some time here.

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