Mount Rushmore National Memorial is among the most famous monuments in the United States. The impressive sight features the faces of four American Presidents carved into the granite face of the mountain — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
It’s believed that 2.6 million people visit the memorial each year, many of whom are unaware that the figure of Thomas Jefferson was started on Washington’s right. After a year and a half of carving, flaws were found in the rock and the figure of Jefferson had to be removed using dynamite then re-carved on Washington’s left.
Geologists estimate the erosion rate of Mount Rushmore at one-inch every 10,000 years. So, try to get there this February 21st in honor of Presidents’ Day… but if you miss it, next year should work too.
Where to Stay: Tucked away on 30-wooded acres in the heart of the Black Hills of Rapid City, South Dakota is the Coyote Blues Village Bed and Breakfast. The inn features private deck patios and hot tubs. The Swiss innkeepers offer a European styled house with a mix of antique furnishings and contemporary art. Coyote Blues was also a location on the NBC-TV show “Treasure Hunters,” a quest-oriented series that sent multi-player teams on a global search to solve a puzzle and uncover clues to reveal the location of a hidden treasure. The inn is less than 10-miles from Mount Rushmore.
Uniquely designed with unexpected comforts, in the heart of the hills in Rapid City, South Dakota, is the Summer Creek Inn. The inn is also less than 10-miles from Mount Rushmore and loaded with amenities. Hand-painted murals and high thread counts offer a luxurious escape. Common areas offer complimentary wireless internet, a large baby grand piano, billiard rood and home theater with fully reclining leather seats.
Approximately 15-miles from Mount Rushmore and 5 miles from Rapid City, is Fort Hays, where you can see where the Oscar-winning movie with Dances with Wolves was filmed. The original buildings used in the movie remain on display. If you continue your trek, you’ll see several turn-of-the-century workshops like the Tin Shop and Rope Shop – both let you test your craftsmanship.
The Crazy Horse Memorial is an incredibly large tribute to the famous Native American Lakota leader Crazy Horse and very much a work in progress. Once completed, it will be in the form of a rider on horseback. The statue is being carved into the side of a mountain. As a bit of trivia — the heads of Mt. Rushmore would fit on top of Crazy Horse’s extended arm! The site currently includes a visitor center and is the home of the Indian Museum of North America.
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