Sturgis, South Dakota
Whether you roll into town on four wheels or two, Sturgis, SD welcomes you to a friendly city with a lot to offer. Sitting on the northern edge of millions of acres of national forests and parks, and within easy driving distance of world-famous monuments and memorials, Sturgis is a quiet South Dakota town with a fun side.
Sturgis, SD, lies in the northern part of the Black Hills, which roll away to the south growing in height and grandeur. The town is famous for it’s annual Motorcycle Rally, taking place for one week each summer, but welcomes visitors to this scenic area throughout the year. The town is ideally located for visitors hoping to see the many wonders of the Black Hills, including Mount Rushmore and the crystal-filled caves.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Although it’s first residents rode in on horses, today Sturgis is famous for visitors riding a different creature altogether. Each year the town is filled with riders from around the world attending Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place during the first full week of August.
The event is an historic one, having first taken place in 1938. Today it draws enormous crowds who convene for events that include races and stunts as well as concerts and other gatherings. Lodging and camping in and around Sturgis is filled to capacity, so booking early is a must for this event.
Sturgis and the Black Hills
When the motorcycles have cleared out, Sturgis returns to its normal state of being, as a quiet town with convenient access to the beauty of the Black Hills. Sitting right on the edge of Black Hills National Forest, Sturgis provides a friendly place to set up for a vacation spent exploring.
Just a short drive away are some of the world’s largest rock carvings, the famous Presidents of Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial, which is still in progress and set to be the largest in the world.
Beneath the Black Hills lie the famed caves, filled with unique rock and crystal formations. Both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are within a short drive of Sturgis, and are among the largest caves in the world.
Hiking, fishing, mountain biking and rock climbing are just a few of the adventures that await visitors to Sturgis and the Black Hills. The National Forest and other surrounding parks are filled with trails, lakes, canyons, and other secret places for the adventurous and the leisurely traveler alike.
Right in Sturgis there are a variety of fun ways to spend an afternoon. You won’t need to own a motorcycle to take in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame. Here you can view a collection of rare motorcycles dating back to 1900 and learn more about the history of riding, motorcycle clubs, and the Rally itself.
Take in some of the history of the area with a visit to the Old Fort Meade Museum. This military fort has been in use since 1878, and offers an array of artifacts and fascinating architecture to explore. Here history comes alive from the Old West through the World Wars to present day.
Staying in Sturgis
Thanks to the popularity of Motorcycle Week, there are plenty of options for accommodation in and around Sturgis. Hotels and motels range from budget to more luxurious accommodations. Vacation rentals are also available for those seeking more space. Visitors who prefer to camp will find tent camping and RV parks in the vicinity, as well as campgrounds within the National Forest itself.
Dining and nightlife are both plentiful in Sturgis. Restaurants range from family-friendly to pub food. Many of the bars in the area cater to bikers, making them an interesting experience for visitors when motorcycle week isn’t in session. There are also plenty of places to spend an evening without a leather jacket, including Old West style saloons.
Shopping in Sturgis includes several gift and souvenir shops, where you will find Black Hills and Motorcycle Rally themed items.
Getting to Sturgis
Sturgis lies on Interstate 90 just to the west of Rapid City, SD and east of the Wyoming border. It is easily accessible by road, but thanks to the airport in Rapid City, can also welcome air travelers with ease.
If you’re coming near the Motorcycle Rally, be ready for a little extra traffic, but at most other times you will find Sturgis to be a peaceful and pleasant town to get around and a perfect home base for exploring the area.