The Best Hotels to Book Near Badlands National Park, USA

Hotel Alex Johnson makes a convenient base for Badlands National Park in South Dakota
Hotel Alex Johnson makes a convenient base for Badlands National Park in South Dakota | Courtesy of Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City /
Judy Cogan

Deep canyons and sandstone spires make up the Badlands National Park, a home to stampeding buffalo not far from Mount Rushmore. Book one of these top hotels while visiting this South Dakota hotspot.

Badlands National Park offers 65 million years of geological history, as well as 244,000 acres (99,000ha) of protected wilderness and prairie grassland. It’s a natural playground for hikers and fossil hunters, and a great place to learn more about Native American folklore from local Lakota people. We’ve selected the best hotels near the park to book now with Culture Trip, many of which are close to the buzz of Rapid City.

1. The Rushmore Hotel & Suites

Suite Hotel

The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
Courtesy of The Rushmore Hotel and Suites / Expedia

Green credentials bring this hotel bang up-to-date, with eco-luxury bedding, on-site electric car charging stations and bicycle rental. Comfortable, contemporary rooms – complete with Mount Rushmore murals – make this hotel one of the best places to stay in Rapid City, just an hour’s drive from Badlands National Park. You’re also perfectly placed for seeing the stone faces of those four major US presidents, 24mi (39km) in the other direction.

2. Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza


Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Rapid City-Rushmore Plaza / Expedia

This hotel offers comfort and quiet on the fringes of Badlands National Park. The on-site restaurant, the Gold Bison Grill, delivers a menu of locally sourced produce. The Bison Short Ribs are a must-try, along with the 1/2lb Buffalo burger, served on Texas toast with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, gooey cheese and Applewood smoked bacon. Work it off in the light and airy gym or indoor pool. Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial monument are among the nearby attractions.

3. Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City


Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City
Courtesy of Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City /

Part of the Hilton Curio Collection, this hotel in downtown Rapid City has hosted guests since 1928. While the interior combines old-world charm with handcrafted Native American art, it’s home to a slew of modern amenities including an Irish pub, Starbucks and a spa. Mount Rushmore is a 25-minute drive away, while Badlands National Park takes an hour. Finish your day on the rooftop Vertex Sky Bar with a vodka-based Cherry Poppin’ Fizz – it’s a great spot to watch the sunset over Rapid City.

4. Quality Inn near Monument Health Rapid City Hospital


Quality Inn near Monument Health Rapid City Hospital
Courtesy of Quality Inn near Monument Health Rapid City Hospital /

Expect a warm welcome from a band of smiley and efficient staff who set the tone for a comfy and value-for-money stay. The hotel is located next to Badlands National Park and close to Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore and downtown Rapid City. A hot breakfast is included, the hotel is smoke-free and pet-friendly, and guests get a free newspaper each day. Don’t forget to have a dip in the indoor pool or work up a sweat in the fully equipped gym.

5. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rapid City

Suite Hotel

The exterior of Country Inn and Suites by Radisson, Rapid City, with cars parked close by
Courtesy of Country Inn and Suites by Radisson, Rapid City / Expedia

A friendly bolthole, this property is located between the Black Hills and the Badlands in Rapid City. Rooms are light-filled with plenty of space – upgrade for a corner whirlpool tub by the bed. Other highlights include a large indoor swimming pool with two hot tubs on the side and a 100ft (30m) coiled water slide, ideal for kids. Complimentary cookies and coffee are a welcome touch, while pets are as welcome as their owners.

6. Best Western Plains Motel


Best Western Plains Motel
Courtesy of Best Western Plains Motel /

Badlands National Park is just a nine-minute drive from this clean, pared-back motel in Wall. Rooms here range from a standard double with two beds to suites with three queens – it’s the perfect place for families or groups to rest their heads in between hiking, wildlife-watching or sightseeing. Kick back by the outdoor pool afterwards or soak your tired limbs in the hot tub. A continental breakfast is included – think waffles, pastries, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt – and bottomless coffee.

7. Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City


Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City
Courtesy of Howard Johnson by Wyndham Downtown Rapid City /

This pet-friendly hotel is just three blocks from the downtown area of Rapid City. Choose between queen or king beds with a microwave and mini-fridge as standard, or book the Deluxe Suite for your own in-room hot tub. The Rise & Dine continental breakfast is included, and there’s also a handy shop selling grab-and-go snacks on site, plus a daily complimentary wine and beer reception. But before you start your day, enjoy a dip in the gorgeous indoor pool.

8. Foothills Inn


Foothills Inn
Courtesy of Foothills Inn /

Friendly, quiet and comfortable, Foothills Inn is the perfect place to retreat after clocking up miles exploring Badlands National Park or perfecting Rushmore selfies. It’s located on the outskirts of Rapid City, close to Interstate 90. Book a poolside queen room for easy access to the sun deck – pet-friendly rooms are available on request. Ask at reception for help booking historical tours, boat rides or renting Jeeps for an off-road adventure.

Interested? Hear more about why Badlands National Park is a must-see destination, or why South Dakota is Culture Trip’s 2021 feel-good place to visit and stay, with many hotels, lodges and campsites now bookable via Culture Trip.

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