The vacation the Frugal Dude had been talking about since we first starting seeing each other was Mount Rushmore. It took him fifteen years to convince me and now I wished that I had acquiesced sooner. Fabulous does not even start to describe it. And frugal is the other great thing about traveling to South Dakota.
For me sitting at the computer till I get the best price for a hotel room is fun. Some like to sit at the blackjack table in Las Vegas and try to win. The Frugal Diva likes to sit and be assured that she will save after checking all the sites and then seeing what Trip Advisor thinks. It’s not a bargain if the the place is dirty, miles out of the way, or rundown. And the winner is Microtel Inn of Rapid City. At $56 and change before taxes it was an outstanding bargain. Clean and modern rooms with a free continental breakfast, free shuttle from the airport, pool for the kids, and a great location for easy access to all the attractions. We were staying in Rapid City as our base for four days of our vacation so the savings were considerable.
The other big expense for the trip was a rental car. Instead of picking up the car at the airport, I was advised by Brandon at the local Enterprise Car Rental Agency to simply get the car after we were settled in town. The price was almost half without all the fees, taxes, and add ons that come with airport pickup. Whenever possible use this approach for car rental. Not only is it cheaper, they sent a courtesy pick up and the woman gave us great local information about the area. They included a placard for parking at Mt. Rushmore which saved us another $10 since it was good for the entire visit. So the $315 that we paid for ten days of car rental was reduced to $305. My vacation was already made and I hadn’t even seen anything.
Awsome, inspiring, amazing describe Mt. Rushmore and the effort it took to blast these images out of the mountains. You can return as many times as you wish for the single $10 fee. Saturday night they do a movie about the history of the area and turn the lights on after dark. There were approximately 400 people that worked at Mount Rushmore during the carving process from October 1927 to October 1941 supervised by Gutzon Borglum. Between the films about the history of Mount Rushmore, the ranger talks, seeing the heads from every angle, and hiking the area you can easily spend a full day and return in the evening.
In a few weeks I will fill you in on Rapid City and the other great attractions in this area including the Crazy Horse Monument, the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Spearfish Canyon plus eats, shopping, and entertainment.