If you’re traveling to Sturgis from another state, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally presents an excellent opportunity to visit local attractions you may never have a chance to see otherwise.
Sturgis, South Dakota, features numerous breathtaking natural attractions ranging from rock formations to dense spruce forests. However, the city’s long-standing motorcycle influence has also led to the creation of themed museums and related businesses in and around the Black Hills.
Read on to learn the must-see local Sturgis attractions to visit during this year’s rally.
Natural Attractions To Check Out During Sturgis Week
South Dakota offers sprawling mountains, massive rock formations, and dense, scenic forests that attract millions of visitors each year. Here are the most popular natural attractions within a few hours from Sturgis:
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore is one of those historical attractions everyone should visit at least once. This national memorial is located about an hour’s drive from Sturgis, making it an easy trip for when you have a few hours of downtime during the rally.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial features a giant sculpture carved into the rock face of Mount Rushmore. This sculpture is 60-feet tall and depicts the faces of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt. Sculptors completed the memorial in 1941.
This national memorial also features a museum where you can learn more about its creation and the historical figures it depicts.
Bear Butte State Park
Bear Butte State Park is a scenic park featuring a natural geolithic formation, beautiful nature trails, and a 4,426-foot summit. This state park is a short 15-minute drive from downtown Sturgis, making it a popular stop for group rides and self-guided scenic drives during the rally.
The Bear Butte geological formation formed millions of years ago when magma pushed up from the earth’s crust without breaking the surface. This laccolith is just one of several breathtaking geological attractions in the Black Hills area.
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is a stunning scenic park located about 87 miles east of Sturgis. This park features rugged beauty in the form of steep canyons, geological deposits and rock formations, grasslands, tall spires, and scenic lookouts.
You can ride your bike through the Badlands Loop Road, which passes many of these natural attractions. Alternatively, you can walk along trails like the Fossil Exhibit Trail, which features impressive fossil displays.
Badlands National Park spans over 244,000 acres, leaving plenty of sprawling nature to explore during the Sturgis Rally.
Custer State Park
Custer State Park is a 71,000-acre park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills. This park is about an hour’s drive from downtown Sturgis.
Custer was the first state park and still is the largest state park in South Dakota.
This scenic area is home to numerous wildlife species, such as wild bison, antelope, elk, mountain goats, and other animals. The park offers camping, fishing, biking, swimming, and hiking, among other adventurous activities for visitors.
Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest spans 1.2 million acres of forested hills across western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. This forest includes 1,300 miles of streams, 13,000 acres of wilderness, 11 reservoirs, 353 miles of trails, two scenic byways, and more.
You can get to the Black Hills National Forest from Sturgis within about 55 minutes. If you want to make the most of your visit to this vast national forest, we recommend taking a few days before or after the rally to explore the area.
Spearfish Canyon is a natural attraction in Spearfish, South Dakota, which is about 20 minutes from Sturgis. This scenic attraction features a creek-carved gorge consisting of 1,000-foot walls only accessible by horseback.
You can also witness this beautiful canyon on your bike from the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Near the edge of the canyon, you’ll find the town of Savoy, a historic sawmill town.
Other Local Sturgis Area Attractions
The Sturgis area also features museums, breweries, wineries, and other entertaining attractions that rally attendees love to visit during the motorcycle rally. Here are a few of the must-see local Sturgis and Black Hills attractions to add to your list:
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame seeks to preserve and celebrate the history of motorcycling. This museum is located on Main Street in Sturgis, allowing you to pop over for a few hours when you have some downtime during the rally.
The motorcycle museum features an extensive collection of unique motorcycles and historical exhibits alongside an ever-growing Hall of Fame. The museum spans several exhibit rooms and includes a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs from the rally and the museum itself.
During the 2022 rally, the museum will host an Induction Breakfast Ceremony to celebrate the new individuals and groups entering the hall of fame this year. This ceremony will take place on August 10th.
Deadwood is a city located 13 miles from Sturgis with a fascinating gold rush history. This “Wild West” town originated in 1876 after miners discovered gold in the Black Hills. Gold seekers flooded to the area to strike their own fortune, overrunning the city with gunslingers, outlaws, and gamblers.
Today, Deadwood shares its history through experiential tours and themed attractions. The town also features casinos, shopping, breweries, wineries, spas, and other recreational attractions to keep you busy.
Black Hills National Cemetery
Black Hills National Cemetery is a 105-acre cemetery located three miles from Sturgis. This cemetery is the final resting place of over 30,000 veterans. The cemetery was initially reserved for fallen soldiers from the Indian Wars but has since expanded to inter veterans from most major campaigns.
The cemetery gained 181 acres in 2019, allowing it to accommodate thousands more veterans over the next 100 years.
Belle Joli Winery Sparkling House
Belle Joli Winery is a top-quality vineyard and winery in Sturgis. This facility includes a spacious outdoor patio that borders the five-acre vineyard, offering beautiful views and warm summer breezes during the rally.
You can book a tour of the winery to learn more about the company’s processes and see the vineyard up close. The winery also offers a free membership that gives you 20% off wines and merchandise, alongside other unique deals.
Saab Heritage Car Museum USA
The Saab Heritage Car Museum in Sturgis features over 100 rare and luxury cars, including rare Saabs. This museum is free to enter and is entirely staffed by volunteers. The volunteers are very knowledgeable about the models currently in the museum, allowing you to ask questions and receive tailored information about any of the museum’s stock.
You can check out the museum’s current collection of cars and donate to the cause on the Saab Museum USA website.
Old Fort Meade Museum
The Old Fort Meade Museum is located in Fort Meade, SD, which is only a few minutes from downtown Sturgis. This museum is in one of the city’s historic buildings on the grounds of the Veterans Administration hospital.
If you’re a history buff, you’ll enjoy learning about Fort Meade’s history throughout the museum. The museum is thorough and includes an impressive amount of information to help you better understand Fort Meade’s origins. You can also ask the staff any questions you may have.Back to Top