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Rapid City, South Dakota: City of Presidents Self-Guided Walking Tour

Updated on February 3, 2017
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FlourishAnyway welcomes the opportunity to travel both stateside and abroad and especially enjoys documenting her fun through photography.

Don't Miss This Fun Scavenger Hunt in Rapid City

Rapid City, South Dakota is a friendly city that awaits visitors from nearby Mount Rushmore.  Come explore the City of Presidents with your family.  Visit the life-sized bronze statues on street corners and enjoy the fun scavenger hunt.
Rapid City, South Dakota is a friendly city that awaits visitors from nearby Mount Rushmore. Come explore the City of Presidents with your family. Visit the life-sized bronze statues on street corners and enjoy the fun scavenger hunt. | Source

Just Half an Hour from Mount Rushmore

Chiseled into the side of a mountain only 25 miles away from Rapid City, South Dakota, is Mount Rushmore. If you've never visited, put this on your bucket list.

The faces of four American Presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—gaze out over the Black Hills and the Badlands. The heads of the Presidents tower 60 feet (18.3 m) high, carved of granite and true grit, a testament to what the American Spirit can achieve. We Americans dream big, stop at nothing.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial was launched in 1927 with the vision of promoting tourism in South Dakota. Now a manmade shrine to democracy, over 3 million visitors flock to the memorial annually.

But wait. What about the other Presidents? Is it right to pay tribute to only these four?

Is It Right to Recognize Only These Four Presidents?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here they are:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began work on the monument in 1927.Over 400 men spent 14 years carving Mount Rushmore using dynamite to blast the granite and jackhammers and hand chisels for the detail work.Washington's nose is 21 feet long (6.4 m), while the eyes of the presidents are 11 feet wide (3.4 m) and their mouths are 18 feet wide.(5.5 m).Mount Rushmore is home to mountain goats.  The government of Canada gave nearby Custer State Park six Rocky Mountain goats in 1923 and they escaped their pen.
Here they are:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began work on the monument in 1927.
Here they are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began work on the monument in 1927. | Source
Over 400 men spent 14 years carving Mount Rushmore using dynamite to blast the granite and jackhammers and hand chisels for the detail work.
Over 400 men spent 14 years carving Mount Rushmore using dynamite to blast the granite and jackhammers and hand chisels for the detail work. | Source
Washington's nose is 21 feet long (6.4 m), while the eyes of the presidents are 11 feet wide (3.4 m) and their mouths are 18 feet wide.(5.5 m).
Washington's nose is 21 feet long (6.4 m), while the eyes of the presidents are 11 feet wide (3.4 m) and their mouths are 18 feet wide.(5.5 m). | Source
Mount Rushmore is home to mountain goats.  The government of Canada gave nearby Custer State Park six Rocky Mountain goats in 1923 and they escaped their pen.
Mount Rushmore is home to mountain goats. The government of Canada gave nearby Custer State Park six Rocky Mountain goats in 1923 and they escaped their pen. | Source

Come Meet the Rest of the Family of Presidents in Rapid City, SD

Faced with the challenge of keeping tourists engaged and in the area, nearby Rapid City launched an ingenious plan in 1999. Local businessman Don Perdue led an initiative to jumpstart the local economy. The city has since placed lifesized brass sculptures of each American President on its street corners. The effect is utterly delightful.

Over $2 million was raised through private donations to fund the project, and the talents of South Dakota artists were summoned. Each artist carefully studied the personality and achievements of the President they sculpted. They attempted to capture the spirit of their subject. The sculptors for the Clinton statue, Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby, even visited personally with the former President for inspiration.

This ambitious project took 10 years. Rapid City is the now the only location in the world where all of the U.S. Presidents can be seen in life-sized bronze statues. It demands that you come see for yourself.

From the mountain to Main Street, you have seen four presidents at Mount Rushmore. Now, come to Rapid City and see the rest of the family.

— City of Presidents Visitors Guide

Receive a Presidential Greeting in Rapid City

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Benjamin Harrison is regarded as a president whose ethics were beyond reproach.Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd  President of the United States, opened Ellis Island and started the practice of flying the American flag over public buildings and schools.Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States and is remembered for a series of scandals.Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, loved books and is credited with founding the first permanent White House library. History, however, ranks him as one of the worst U.S. presidents.Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, was a war hero who didn't vote in a presidential election until he ran as a candidateJohn Tyler, 10th U.S President, became the first vice president to succeed the president. He named his Virginia plantation “Sherwood Forest” because he saw himself as a political outlaw and identified with the legendary character in Robin HHarry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President, presided over the end of World War II.  He approved the use of atomic weapons against Japan and assisted in founding the United Nations.The 9th President of the U.S., William Hendry Harrison was also the one with the shortest tenure.  He died one month into his term when he caught a cold around inauguration time and attended the ceremony anyway.  It developed into pneumonia.James "Jimmy" Earl Carter, Jr. was the 39th U.S. President. He confronted "œstagflation" and struggled with the Iranian hostage crisis.  He is widely regarded as a better humanitarian than he was a President.Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th U.S. President, was known for keeping an alcohol-free Whitehouse where "œwater flowed like wine." His wife, Lucy, was jokingly referred to as "œLemonade Lucy" for her temperance.
Benjamin Harrison is regarded as a president whose ethics were beyond reproach.
Benjamin Harrison is regarded as a president whose ethics were beyond reproach. | Source
Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd  President of the United States, opened Ellis Island and started the practice of flying the American flag over public buildings and schools.
Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States, opened Ellis Island and started the practice of flying the American flag over public buildings and schools. | Source
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States and is remembered for a series of scandals.
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States and is remembered for a series of scandals. | Source
Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, loved books and is credited with founding the first permanent White House library. History, however, ranks him as one of the worst U.S. presidents.
Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States, loved books and is credited with founding the first permanent White House library. History, however, ranks him as one of the worst U.S. presidents. | Source
Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, was a war hero who didn't vote in a presidential election until he ran as a candidate
Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, was a war hero who didn't vote in a presidential election until he ran as a candidate | Source
John Tyler, 10th U.S President, became the first vice president to succeed the president. He named his Virginia plantation “Sherwood Forest” because he saw himself as a political outlaw and identified with the legendary character in Robin H
John Tyler, 10th U.S President, became the first vice president to succeed the president. He named his Virginia plantation “Sherwood Forest” because he saw himself as a political outlaw and identified with the legendary character in Robin H | Source
Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President, presided over the end of World War II.  He approved the use of atomic weapons against Japan and assisted in founding the United Nations.
Harry S. Truman, the 33rd U.S. President, presided over the end of World War II. He approved the use of atomic weapons against Japan and assisted in founding the United Nations. | Source
The 9th President of the U.S., William Hendry Harrison was also the one with the shortest tenure.  He died one month into his term when he caught a cold around inauguration time and attended the ceremony anyway.  It developed into pneumonia.
The 9th President of the U.S., William Hendry Harrison was also the one with the shortest tenure. He died one month into his term when he caught a cold around inauguration time and attended the ceremony anyway. It developed into pneumonia. | Source
James "Jimmy" Earl Carter, Jr. was the 39th U.S. President. He confronted "œstagflation" and struggled with the Iranian hostage crisis.  He is widely regarded as a better humanitarian than he was a President.
James "Jimmy" Earl Carter, Jr. was the 39th U.S. President. He confronted "œstagflation" and struggled with the Iranian hostage crisis. He is widely regarded as a better humanitarian than he was a President. | Source
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th U.S. President, was known for keeping an alcohol-free Whitehouse where "œwater flowed like wine." His wife, Lucy, was jokingly referred to as "œLemonade Lucy" for her temperance.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th U.S. President, was known for keeping an alcohol-free Whitehouse where "œwater flowed like wine." His wife, Lucy, was jokingly referred to as "œLemonade Lucy" for her temperance. | Source

Go Ahead! Take Some Selfies with Your Favorite President

Get acquainted with the 42 life-sized statues that dot Rapid City's street corners. (President Obama's statue will soon take its place among them.) The brass statues of the American Presidents sit, stand and stroll in candid poses that reflect not the sterile historical facts but rather their habits, passions, and inner souls.

While my teenage daughter was in a STEM camp at the nearby South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, I spent several hours roaming downtown Rapid City. I was so happy that I invested my time this way. Not only was I entertained but I was also inspired and educated about these leaders.

One of my favorite statues was Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States. He was an honest and capable President but preferred the company of nature to that of people. In brass, he sits by himself on a bench hand feeding birds.

I couldn't resist the opportunity to snuggle up close to him and take a selfie. What a kind man. I know we would have been friends.

Can You Find Your Favorite President?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd U.S. President, oversaw a period of robust economic expansion.  He was the second to be impeached.  Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, is credited with helping to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union.Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the first President to be impeached. He is credited with purchasing Alaska from Russia.Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and the only one to resign from office.  He also initiated a new era of Chinese-American relations.James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, promoted the policy of Manifest Destiny and the purchase of California and New Mexico.George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, led the country's response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, which included the lengthy and expensive Iraq War.Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S.  He earned the nickname “Ugly Honest” and was a watchdog over Congress rather than an original thinker.George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st U.S. President, responded to many international events, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power, and Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd U.S. President, oversaw a period of robust economic expansion.  He was the second to be impeached.
William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd U.S. President, oversaw a period of robust economic expansion. He was the second to be impeached. | Source
Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, is credited with helping to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, is credited with helping to end the Cold War with the Soviet Union. | Source
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the first President to be impeached. He is credited with purchasing Alaska from Russia.
Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the first President to be impeached. He is credited with purchasing Alaska from Russia. | Source
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and the only one to resign from office.  He also initiated a new era of Chinese-American relations.
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and the only one to resign from office. He also initiated a new era of Chinese-American relations. | Source
James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, promoted the policy of Manifest Destiny and the purchase of California and New Mexico.
James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, promoted the policy of Manifest Destiny and the purchase of California and New Mexico. | Source
George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, led the country's response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, which included the lengthy and expensive Iraq War.
George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, led the country's response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, which included the lengthy and expensive Iraq War. | Source
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S.  He earned the nickname “Ugly Honest” and was a watchdog over Congress rather than an original thinker.
Stephen Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the U.S. He earned the nickname “Ugly Honest” and was a watchdog over Congress rather than an original thinker. | Source
George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st U.S. President, responded to many international events, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power, and Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st U.S. President, responded to many international events, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, removal of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power, and Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. | Source

Concentrating On the Positive

Each sculptor had artistic freedom in portraying his or her presidential subject.

  • Would Nixon's statue focus on Watergate?
  • Would George W. Bush's statue reflect the Iraq War?
  • Would FDR appear in a wheelchair or would his statue conceal his disability?

Most chose to concentrate on the positive. Many of the artists' choices present interesting conversation points if you're navigating the city with family. Ask your family, "Is this how you would have portrayed him?"

The statues also bring out little known facts that are skipped over in history books. For example, McKinley was the first known President to use a telephone during his campaign (so blame him for telemarketing).And on the way to his inauguration, Franklin Pierce experienced personal tragedy when his 11-year-old son was killed in a train accident. Pierce and his wife survived but the couple experienced deep depression that profoundly impacted Pierce's performance as President and his wife, Jane's, service as first lady. One month later, Pierce's Vice President died.

Take a Stroll with the Presidents

Click thumbnail to view full-size
James Monroe, 5th U.S. President, bought Florida from Spain and extended the United States to the Pacific.John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the U.S., was a better diplomat and Congressman than he was a President.  He was the son of John Adams, the 2nd President.Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the U.S, is known for escalating the war in Vietnam and designing “Great Society” legislation. LBJ authorized civil rights laws forbidding most forms of race-based segregation and oversaw passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discrimination in voting.William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President, is the only President to also hold the office of Chief Justice.Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 38th President of the U.S., is the only person to have held both the offices of Vice President and President without being elected.James Madison, 4th U.S. President, is known as “Father of the Constitution.”  Third President of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson helped write the Declaration of Independence and purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, was a better political philosopher than politician.  He died on July 4,1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson.
James Monroe, 5th U.S. President, bought Florida from Spain and extended the United States to the Pacific.
James Monroe, 5th U.S. President, bought Florida from Spain and extended the United States to the Pacific. | Source
John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the U.S., was a better diplomat and Congressman than he was a President.  He was the son of John Adams, the 2nd President.
John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the U.S., was a better diplomat and Congressman than he was a President. He was the son of John Adams, the 2nd President. | Source
Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the U.S, is known for escalating the war in Vietnam and designing “Great Society” legislation.
Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the U.S, is known for escalating the war in Vietnam and designing “Great Society” legislation. | Source
LBJ authorized civil rights laws forbidding most forms of race-based segregation and oversaw passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discrimination in voting.
LBJ authorized civil rights laws forbidding most forms of race-based segregation and oversaw passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which outlawed discrimination in voting. | Source
William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President, is the only President to also hold the office of Chief Justice.
William Howard Taft, 27th U.S. President, is the only President to also hold the office of Chief Justice. | Source
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 38th President of the U.S., is the only person to have held both the offices of Vice President and President without being elected.
Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr., 38th President of the U.S., is the only person to have held both the offices of Vice President and President without being elected. | Source
James Madison, 4th U.S. President, is known as “Father of the Constitution.”
James Madison, 4th U.S. President, is known as “Father of the Constitution.” | Source
Third President of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson helped write the Declaration of Independence and purchased the Louisiana Territory from France.
Third President of the U.S. Thomas Jefferson helped write the Declaration of Independence and purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. | Source
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, was a better political philosopher than politician.  He died on July 4,1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson.
John Adams, 2nd President of the United States, was a better political philosopher than politician. He died on July 4,1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson. | Source

Take the Presidential Quote Quiz: Who Said It?


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Visiting South Dakota?

Plan your trip at:

https://www.travelsouthdakota.com

Where to Start: Drop by the Visitors Bureau

To get the full experience of this walking tour, it's essential to have the official map for this walking tour. Stop by the Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 444 Mt. Rushmore Rd. N. for your FREE map featuring

  • a brief history of the City of Presidents project
  • street locations for each President
  • identity of scavenger hunt items
  • and interesting facts about each President's life.

Using the map, you can then plan your route and check off who you've already visited.

Rapid City: A Vibrant Downtown Oasis

Clean, vibrant downtown Rapid City ... it has a charming flair with life-like Presidential statues adorning its street corners. There are also shops, restaurants, and pubs, plus plenty of friendly locals ready to welcome tourists. Go ahead. Grab a bite to eat, snap unique photos, and let the kids play in the fountain at the downtown square.

Receive a Presidential Welcome in Rapid City

Click thumbnail to view full-size
James Abram Garfield, 20th U.S. President, was in office less than a year when he was assassinated by a disgruntled political rival.  In that short time, however, he made sweeping reforms to civil service appointments.Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the U.S.. encouraged passage of the 15th Amendment, extending voting rights to black males.William McKinley, 25th President of the U.S., Hawaii was annexed.  He was assassinated by a deranged anarchist while still in office.Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President of the U.S., redecorated the White House in grand style.  He had  20 wagonloads of furnishings from prior presidential administrations cleared out and auctioned off to make way for his own.Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, led the country during most of World War II and reduced the impact of the Great Depression.Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of the U.S., advocated strong labor laws and promoted public works projects such as the Hoover Dam.
James Abram Garfield, 20th U.S. President, was in office less than a year when he was assassinated by a disgruntled political rival.  In that short time, however, he made sweeping reforms to civil service appointments.
James Abram Garfield, 20th U.S. President, was in office less than a year when he was assassinated by a disgruntled political rival. In that short time, however, he made sweeping reforms to civil service appointments. | Source
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the U.S.. encouraged passage of the 15th Amendment, extending voting rights to black males.
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the U.S.. encouraged passage of the 15th Amendment, extending voting rights to black males. | Source
William McKinley, 25th President of the U.S., Hawaii was annexed.  He was assassinated by a deranged anarchist while still in office.
William McKinley, 25th President of the U.S., Hawaii was annexed. He was assassinated by a deranged anarchist while still in office. | Source
Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President of the U.S., redecorated the White House in grand style.  He had  20 wagonloads of furnishings from prior presidential administrations cleared out and auctioned off to make way for his own.
Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President of the U.S., redecorated the White House in grand style. He had 20 wagonloads of furnishings from prior presidential administrations cleared out and auctioned off to make way for his own. | Source
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, led the country during most of World War II and reduced the impact of the Great Depression.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, America’s 32nd President, led the country during most of World War II and reduced the impact of the Great Depression. | Source
Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of the U.S., advocated strong labor laws and promoted public works projects such as the Hoover Dam.
Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st President of the U.S., advocated strong labor laws and promoted public works projects such as the Hoover Dam. | Source

Rapid City is the only location in the world where all of the United States Presidents can be seen in life-sized bronze statues.

— The City of Presidents Visitors Guide

The Father of Our Country Stands Guard Outside of a Starbucks

George Washington, first President of the United States, believed divergent views were a healthy part of government.  What would he think now?
George Washington, first President of the United States, believed divergent views were a healthy part of government. What would he think now? | Source

Surprises Along the Way

Along the way, you may find surprises and ironic twists. George Washington, the Father of our great nation, stands guard outside of a Starbucks. Lyndon Johnson leans against his desk, perched outside of a First Stop Guns store. Bill Clinton grins outside of a dry cleaner's shop, the infamous blue dress nowhere in sight. (NO, sorry, I made that one up!)

Some Presidents seemed to have better billing than others. You know what they say in real estate: "Location, location, location."

While George W. provides a "thumbs up" outside of a Hardee's, scowling Herbert Hoover lives it up outside of a Mexican cantina. If you know anything about Herbert Hoover's immigration policies and his deportation of Mexicans during his administration, then you understand just how ironic the placement of this statue is! (Talk amongst yourselves.)

It thus should be evident that the statues are conversation pieces, not just photo props.

Do You Have A Favorite President In U.S. History? Tell Us In the Comment Section Who He Is and Why.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Martin Van Buren keeps an eye on traffic while we snap a selfie.Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S., uprooted American Indians from their homes and moved them west of the Mississippi River, an event known as the “Trail of Tears.”  John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the U.S., abolished the federal death penalty and initiated Project Apollo, the first manned expedition to the moon.JFK was the first Catholic President.Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the U.S., was the first and only President to pay off the entire national debt.  Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the U.S., was an unremarkable leader whose personal life was filled with tragedy.Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S., dissolved corporations that were monopolies and placed millions of acres of land under government protection.  Some claim he was the greatest American President.James Buchanan, Jr., 15th President of the U.S., served during the build-up to the Civil War. He was the only President who was a life-long bachelor.  His fiancée committed suicide because her parents objected to their marriage.Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S., led the country through the Civil War.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and is widely considered the greatest President ever.Under Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., women gained the right to vote.
Martin Van Buren keeps an eye on traffic while we snap a selfie.
Martin Van Buren keeps an eye on traffic while we snap a selfie. | Source
Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S., uprooted American Indians from their homes and moved them west of the Mississippi River, an event known as the “Trail of Tears.”
Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S., uprooted American Indians from their homes and moved them west of the Mississippi River, an event known as the “Trail of Tears.” | Source
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the U.S., abolished the federal death penalty and initiated Project Apollo, the first manned expedition to the moon.
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy, 35th President of the U.S., abolished the federal death penalty and initiated Project Apollo, the first manned expedition to the moon. | Source
JFK was the first Catholic President.
JFK was the first Catholic President. | Source
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the U.S., was the first and only President to pay off the entire national debt.
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the U.S., was the first and only President to pay off the entire national debt. | Source
Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the U.S., was an unremarkable leader whose personal life was filled with tragedy.
Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the U.S., was an unremarkable leader whose personal life was filled with tragedy. | Source
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S., dissolved corporations that were monopolies and placed millions of acres of land under government protection.  Some claim he was the greatest American President.
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S., dissolved corporations that were monopolies and placed millions of acres of land under government protection. Some claim he was the greatest American President. | Source
James Buchanan, Jr., 15th President of the U.S., served during the build-up to the Civil War. He was the only President who was a life-long bachelor.  His fiancée committed suicide because her parents objected to their marriage.
James Buchanan, Jr., 15th President of the U.S., served during the build-up to the Civil War. He was the only President who was a life-long bachelor. His fiancée committed suicide because her parents objected to their marriage. | Source
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S., led the country through the Civil War.  He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and is widely considered the greatest President ever.
Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the U.S., led the country through the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and is widely considered the greatest President ever. | Source
Under Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., women gained the right to vote.
Under Thomas Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., women gained the right to vote. | Source

Here's How the Scavenger Hunt Works

To keep the kid in all of us occupied, Rapid City has added a unique feature to the self-guided walking tour: a Presidential scavenger hunt. Even though I was alone on my tour, this was my favorite part.

In the back of the self-guided tour map there are photographs of 10 items from the Presidential statues (see below). Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to match each item with its respective President and submit your written answers to the President's Information Center. Your reward is a free Presidential soda (one per family).

I won't give the answers away (what would be the fun of that?), but let's just say I enjoyed the experience so much I have included several bonus scavenger items for you in the photos below. This is truly an experience that appeals to all ages.

Scavenger Hunt Items: Match Each Item with Its President

Click thumbnail to view full-size
cigar (Insert your own Presidential joke here.)military insigniamodel airplanebaseballquill  (I added this item as a challenge.)leg bracesChinese dragonspectaclesbirdsshoe buckles (I added this item as a challenge.)pipecarnationviolin (I added this item as a challenge.)
cigar (Insert your own Presidential joke here.)
cigar (Insert your own Presidential joke here.) | Source
military insignia
military insignia | Source
model airplane
model airplane | Source
baseball
baseball | Source
quill  (I added this item as a challenge.)
quill (I added this item as a challenge.) | Source
leg braces
leg braces | Source
Chinese dragon
Chinese dragon | Source
spectacles
spectacles | Source
birds
birds | Source
shoe buckles (I added this item as a challenge.)
shoe buckles (I added this item as a challenge.) | Source
pipe
pipe | Source
carnation
carnation | Source
violin (I added this item as a challenge.)
violin (I added this item as a challenge.) | Source

A Worthwhile Trip

4 stars for My Rating for the City of Presidents Self-Guided Walking

If I Could Change Anything About the Experience ...

What a pleasant surprise this experience was — a definite thumbs-up! If I could, I'd award the City of Presidents self-guided walking tour and scavenger hunt 4 1/2 stars.

I found the walking tour map and the Presidential biographies both fascinating and essential to a fulfilling self-guided tour experience. The biographies brought out facts that aren't typically highlighted in history books.

The statues were tasteful and provided wonderful photo and conversation opportunities. Some inspired empathy and admiration for their Presidential subjects. Rapid City locals were warm and welcoming.

My only criticism pertains to the jumbled and confusing assignment of numbers to Presidential statues. This numerical randomness added a layer of confusion to map reading. For example, George Washington was the first President of the United States. However, he was assigned #24. John Adams was our second President but was assigned #42. There must be an easier approach.

Overall, however, this was a worthy side trip not to be missed.

show route and directions
A markerMount Rushmore National Memorial -
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, SD 57751, USA
get directions

B markerRapid City, South Dakota -
Rapid City, SD, USA
get directions

© 2015 FlourishAnyway

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

      Rajan - Thank you so much for your compliments. I enjoyed the visit and can't wait to return when they have Barrack Obama's statue up.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 11 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Flourish, this tour is something I possibly have no chance of making so thanks for these lovely pictures and a great tour.

      I'd say this is an excellent thought to put up these statues of leaders who have been at the helm of affairs of the country at one place and inform of lesser known facts about them via the free map.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

      ezzly - Thanks for your kind words!

    • ezzly profile image

      ezzly 15 months ago

      Wonderful article and very pretty in your pics !

    • FlourishAnyway profile image
      Author

      FlourishAnyway 15 months ago from USA

      Peggy W - Thank you for sharing! I hope you're able to make it back there. It was a fun trip with lots of neat local places to see and things to do.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      When I went through that part of South Dakota with my family in the 1950s this obviously did not exist. I think it is fabulous!!! Thanks for all the photos and descriptions. It would be great to see in person someday. Sharing, pinning and tweeting.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Poetryman - I hope you do get the chance to visit. I've been to SD before but really it just wasn't enough time. Wild and peaceful, really different from home. I would love to go back and see if I could go hunt down a bunch of SD ghost towns.

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      poetryman6969 20 months ago

      When the wife and I do some traveling it looks like this would be a good place to visit.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      RJ - The best thing is it's all free to go see. Just wander around town.

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      Reynold Jay 20 months ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Hi FB-- Well now!!!!! I collected collector bronze a few decades ago and can appreciate these life size statues. All of this was new to me!!! And I loved what Rapid City has to offer. Wonderful HUB and now I must go purchase a ticket.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Heidi - So glad you checked in with us! I've missed you! I've been a bit scarce myself because of a lot of volunteer work I've been doing with my daughter's Engineering high school program. Thanks for reading my South Dakota hub and for your kind comment. Have a terrific week ahead!

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      Heidi Thorne 20 months ago from Chicago Area

      Love the pics of you with the Presidents! You're right, this was an innovative attraction to add to the area. Hope all is good with you these days. I've been a bit scarce here on HP due to a slew of business and personal stuff going on. Hope to get back into it soon. Have a great weekend!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Rabadi - Glad you found it intriguing. Hope you can visit Rapid City for yourself. Thanks for reading.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Sha - We could've had an awesome time together. I'm sure of that! There are other places to go, ya know!

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      20 months ago from New York

      Very interesting I like this article it's different, check out my articles by the way I just hit the follow button :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      Flourish, I would have loved to have accompanied you on this walking tour. Your photo captions taught me so many things I didn't know about our presidents. In fact, many of the earlier ones I didn't even know were presidents! Shame on me, huh?

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      MsDora - I'm so happy this was right up your alley. It was well worth the trip!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Audrey - Thanks for taking a look! Hope you can visit some time!

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      Dora Isaac Weithers 20 months ago from The Caribbean

      Flourish, you offered us some great educational facts about the city and about the presidents. Thanks for taking us on this glorious tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Well this is very cool! I never realized there was so much in Rapid City!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Bill - Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you have a chance to return someday soon. Summer is great in Rapid City.

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      Bill De Giulio 20 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Flourish. What an absolutely great idea. I visited Mount Rushmore in the late 80's before the presidential statues so I'll have to go back someday. I love the idea of a scavenger hunt, right up my alley. Great hub, really enjoyed this.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Nell - When I got the international travel bug I was surprised that it was cheaper to fly than I realized. You may want to just start saving up. I bet you could cover a lot of ground in the US with your Hub Family. I'm located 2 hours outside of DC and near Colonial Williamsburg. I would be glad to host you in this area and cart you around to some awesome places, give you some prime hotel points in DC so you could see the historic sights for yourself.

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      Nell Rose 20 months ago from England

      Well I never knew that! its when I read and see something like this that I think, oh I wish I had the money to hop on a plane and come over to visit! so amazing! great hub! nell

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Martie - How sad that people are destroying history. We have seen people doing the same thing here to statues of Confederate war generals. They are part of how we got to where we are today and shouldn't be defaced. We have lessons to learn from the past rather than trying to erase it. Thanks for taking a look at my little travel hub.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Larry - What a great choice! Have a great week! Thanks for reading.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      agusfanani - I hope one day you can visit! Have a wonderful week!

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      agusfanani 20 months ago from Indonesia

      It's very interesting to know those ex presidents from your hub. It really is enriching my knowledge and I agree that visiting this city is educative, entertaining and very recommended.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 20 months ago from Oklahoma

      Looks like a wonderful excursion. Personally my favorite president is FDR.

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      Martie Coetser 20 months ago from South Africa

      Erecting monuments of all president and challenge tourists with a Scavenger Hunt are brilliant ideas.

      Sadly, activist down here are busy destroying all monuments that remind them of colonialism and apartheid, so, we can not follow suit.

      Excellent hub, FlourishAlways!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Frank - Glad you enjoyed it. Have a great week.

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      Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

      what an educational experience, and glad that it is funded, and the donations are substantial.. bless you for sharing :)

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Suhail - Glad you found this interesting. Best of luck in your travels.

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      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 20 months ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      Thanks for writing a hub that is of immense interest to me.

      I would love to do this self-guided hiking trip. I have already done similar hikes in other smaller cities of North America. I loved this concept. And you described the trip beautifully.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      randomcreative - It's well worth the time and fun for the whole family. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Rose Clearfield 20 months ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      What a fabulous exhibit! I would love to see it if I ever get back out to that area of the country. Thanks for sharing!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Shyron - Glad you liked this. It was a fun trip. Have a great weekend!

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      BlossomSB - Thanks for stopping by! Have a lovely weekend.

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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 20 months ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thank you for the interesting visit.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 20 months ago from Texas

      Awesome pictures. and fun read. I do not remember much of this but that was a long time ago.

      Thank you for the refresher tour.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Devika - It's every bit as lovely as it looks. Thanks for taking a look.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      Bill - Thank you. It was a fun time and South Dakota was beautiful in a rustic way, much different from where I'm from. Although I've been there before, I enjoyed returning and would definitely go back.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      purl3agony - Glad you found it interesting. Mount Rushmore was beautiful but didn't take quite as long to visit as I imagined. Also, I'd skip Crazy Horse; it's way too expensive and you can see it better from the road. Thanks for pinning and commenting.

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      FlourishAnyway 20 months ago from USA

      firstcookbooklady - Oh, no! You may have missed the downtown area, a thriving cute little area with lots to do. It's sleepy in the morning and really starts pumping up in the late afternoon and evening. Kids can run under this outdoor water fountain, you can shop, get ice cream, a sandwich/beer/Mexican or whatever. It's a great place to relax between time at Rushmore and other daily trips. So sorry you didn't catch it.

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      Devika Primić 20 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful! I like the photos and looks a lovely place.

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      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've made fun of North Dakota many times in my writings...but I don't make fun of South Dakota....I love that state and I especially love the area around Rapid City...so many things to do and see....and on this trip I got to see a couple photos of you, so this was a great trip indeed. :)

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      Donna Herron 20 months ago from USA

      Great hub with a lot of fun information! Mount Rushmore is on my bucket list, so I'm pinning your hub for my future visit. Thanks for posting!

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 20 months ago from Minnesota

      Really? I was just in Rapid City, South Dakota September 14 through the 18th. We drove 604 miles on our motorcycles and I never saw one sculpture in Rapid City. Go figure. We stayed at Comfort Inn on LaCrosse. Oh, well. Next time...

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