While you may not have considered a retirement in Rapid City, South Dakota, there are dozens of reasons why you might want to spend a long season exploring this part of the nation. And while Mt. Rushmore is probably the biggest tourist area, those who get to stay awhile will discover a land rich in American history, some amazing landscapes not found anywhere else, and plenty of things to do year round.
No matter what your passion, you will find it in or near Rapid City. There’s dozens of parks, camping, hiking trails and nature walks. Golf galore! Everything from museums and galleries to the world famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills. On a warm summer night, attend a concert in downtown Rapid City after dinner in one of the many fine restaurants. Have a beer at the Firehouse Brewing Company.
Population: Located in the Black Hills of western South Dakota, Rapid city is a town of 70,000+ residents and many more in the summer. We found that 13.2% are over the age of 65.
Weather: Winters are cold and dry with an average daily high of 24.9 F. December is the coldest month. Snowfall is frequent but not heavy and usually in March and April and occasionally in May. But the summers are hot, dry and sunny. July is the warmest month with an average daily temperature of 72 and it occasionally gets into the 90 degrees F. We read that 64% of days are sunshine!
Housing: Zillow says the median price of homes currently on the market is $179,000 and the median rent price is $830. We found this 3 bedroom/2 bath home with 1,632 square feet south of town in a nice neighborhood for $179,900. There are some very expensive homes in the area with fabulous views.
Crime: The crime rate is a little higher than we would like to see it at 5.62 with the national average at 3.8.
We’ve been to South Dakota several times and this is one place we’d like to come for a whole summer. There are several RV parks in or near town but check the reviews before making a reservation. We’ve heard that Cabela’s has a couple of sites behind the store that are pretty good.