When my sister Kerry asked me to be her maid of honor, I knew I had to throw the most bangin bachelorette party of all time.

But, since she doesn’t really drink, the typical Vegas girls trip was not going to work. So I started looking for fun bachelorette party ideas for non-drinkers. The key to a great dry bachelorette party isn’t necessarily a city that doesn’t have any nightlife, just a city that has plenty to do during the day.

7 Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

See also:

You have to find your bridal party’s niche: culture, nature, or classic. It’s also worth it to consider fly time for your bride’s base location.

Because of this, I’ve picked cities all over the USA, so you have plenty to pick from.

“Nature” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

My sister and I at Mount Rushmore. She’s rockin her “bride to be” sash.

I took my sister to Mount Rushmore and the surrounding Black Hills attractions for her bachelorette party in 2016. We LOVED it. There’s so much to do, from pretending to pick the noses of the presidents on the mountain, trying not to get attacked by rogue billy goats, and hikes — hikes galore.

If your bride (or bridesmaids!) like hikes, animals, National Treasure, or American History, a trip to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills should be perfect.

See also:

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

If anyone in your bridal party likes hiking, or taking selfies in wide brim hats next to a natural wonder of the world, then a road trip to the Grand Canyon is a great idea for your group. It’s also about a four hour drive from Vegas, so if your group is a partier / non-partier mix, it’s possible to appease both types of people within one trip.

“Culture” Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Washington, DC

New Location Hungarian Embassy DC

With some girlfriends at the Hungarian Embassy in DC.

Washington, DC has the best museums in the USA, if not the world. The National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the Ford Theater (where Lincoln was assassinated), Newseum, and more.

If your bride likes to make art history Snapchats, learn about Spaceships, or even just stroll along the National Mall with an eye out for Captain America, Washington DC is the perfect place for your party.

See also:

Boston, Massachusetts

MFA Boston Snow

Snow Day at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

I’m partial to Boston because I went to school in Western Mass and spent a lot of town in the city.

Boston is America’s London:  politically important and culturally significant. It’s perfect for a sober girls trip because you can spend the day wandering the Freedom Trail, chowing down on Clam Chowder, or taking in a game at Fenway.

See also:

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis or Nashville? How To Plan Your Tennesse Vacation

Memphis is the first place I ever went on a solo trip, so it has a special place in my heart. It’s also a good dry alternative to the “Nashvegas” bachelorette parties which seem to be becoming more and more popular. Memphis is more about the soul of rock n’ roll: how it came to be and the legend it left behind.

See also: 

“Classic” Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers

Orlando, Florida

Orlando is the ultimate classic girls trip! Whether your bride is more interested in posing with Cinderella’s Castle or riding the Hulk at Universal Island of Adventure, Orlando has everything you could need for a dry bachelorette party. The adrenaline rush from  your first ride on the Dueling Dragons at Harry Potter World will stay with you all day!

New York City

New York City is the perfect trip for anyone! Whether your bridal party is into museums or manicures, parks or pub crawls, NYC has something at you all can do. You can divide an conquer or alternate the kinds of activities you do each day. It almost feels like a cop out to include NYC on this list of Fun Bachelorette Party Ideas for Non-Drinkers, because it’s such a given, but I had to put it forward, just in case.

Pin it:




A Mount Rushmore vacation is an American rite of passage and great introduction to the country for foreign tourists.

You get a good dose of American history as the “beautiful for spacious skies” you hear so much about. My Black Hills road trip was one of the best adventures I’ve had, so I put this itinerary together to help others make the most of the area.

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

Quick Facts about Planning a Mount Rushmore Vacation

See also:

This itinerary is based out of Rapid City, South Dakota because it’s centrally located to all the attractions in the Black Hills region. It’s also home of Rapid City Regional Airport, which is where most travelers will start their Mount Rushmore vacation.

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Berlin Wall Memorial Dinosaur Park Presidents

The activities on each day are grouped by geographic proximity. So if you’d like to do day 3’s activities on day 4, it would work — but you shouldn’t mix activities from different days because they would be too far apart.

You should never spend more than 2ish hours in the car with this itinerary.

  • Where To Stay in Rapid City

My sister and I stayed at the historic Hotel Alex Johnson in Downtown Rapid City. It’s where Hitchcock stayed when he was in the area for North by Northwest filming AND it’s allegedly haunted. If you visit the Black Hills during the off season, you are likely to get a great deal on this beautiful hotel.

If not, or you prefer to rough it, there are plenty of reputable chain hotels in the area, like Best Western, La Quinta, etc.


  • Places To Eat in Rapid City

Black Hills Bagels (closes 3pm daily)

913 Mt. Rushmore Road

Rapid City, SD 57701

Wobbly Bobby (opens 3pm daily)

510 Main Street 

Rapid City, SD 57701

  • Where To Rent a Car in Rapid City 

If you fly in, you’ll definitly need to rent a car to properly experience the Black Hills. It’s best to pick up your rental car from Rapid City Regional Airport, so you can spend as much time exploring as possible and then drop it off right before you fly back out.

If your flight arrives late at night, consider returning to the airport via your hotel’s shuttle in the morning to save on rental fees, as odd pickup hours tend to drive up the rental price.

Day 1: Arrive in Rapid City and Get Settled

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Presidents Sculptures

Whether you’re on a Mount Rushmore road trip or flying into Rapid City, odds are you will arrive in town in the late afternoon or evening simply due to the time is takes to make the trek. I recommend spending your first evening settling into your hotel, gearing up for the fun you’ll be having, and exploring downtown Rapid City.

You could even watch a movie filmed in the area!

See also:

Day 2: Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

You should get an early start to Mount Rushmore, stopping at Black Hills Bagels on the way for a spot of breakfast.

The drive from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore takes about 30 minutes. Plan to arrive no later than 10:00AM.

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

13000 South Dakota 244

Keystone, SD 57751

See also:

Plan to eat lunch at the Carver’s Cafe at Mount Rushmore, leaving around 1:00PM. Next up is Crazy Horse! The drive takes about 30 minutes, putting your arrival at about 1:30PM

Things To Do Near Mount Rushmore Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse Memorial

12151 Avenue of the Chiefs

Crazy Horse, SD 57730

After your time at Crazy Horse, you can head on back to Rapid City for a nice dinner and some R&R before your next full day or return to Mount Rushmore for the nightly lighting ceremony.

See also:

Day 3: Badlands National Park and Minuteman Missile Silos

Things to do in the badlands how to get to the badlands

Another early start! Plan to leave your hotel again between 8:00AM and 8:30AM, as it’s a solid one hour drive to Badlands National Park from Rapid City

Ben Reifel Vistors Center 

25216 Ben Reifel Road

Interior, SD 57750

See also:

Minuteman Missile Site

You don’t want to miss out on the Minuteman Missile tour! While you can look at the Delta-09 silo without a reservation, if you want to go down into the Delta-01 launch facility, you’ll need a reservation.

Tours run Thursday through Monday at 1:15PM and 2:00PM. The tour typically lasts about 30 minutes and because of limited space, accommodates six people and one Park Ranger. You should reserve your spot ASAP, up to three months in advancehere.

Minuteman Missile Site South Dakota

Unfortunately, no same day reservations are allowed. You don’t want to miss out, so book now!

If “day 3” of your Mount Rushmore Vacation happens to be a Tuesday or Wednesday when no tours are offered, just swap out today’s activities with a different day.

See also:

As you can see, Badlands National Park and the Minuteman Missile Silos form a nice “loop” with the highway. Depending on your time of arrival and the pace at which your progress through the Badlands, you might have to do a little back tracking to see everything.

Things To Do Near Mount Rushmore Wall Drug

Be sure to stop at Wall Drug General Store on the way back to Rapid City for some good food and a fun souvenir.

Day 4: Devils Tower National Monument and the Geographic Center of the Nation

Belle Fourche South Dakota: The Geographic Center of the United States

It’s about an 80 minute drive from Rapid City to Belle Fourche, South Dakota, home of the geographic center of the United Sates. It used to be in Kansas, but then Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union and things shifted.

Geographic Center of the Nation Monument

415 5th Avene

Belle Fourche, SD 57717

See also:

You can spend anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes in Belle Fourche, depending on whether the museum at the monument is open. Then head to Devils Tower.

Devils Tower is a geological wonder heavily featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and regional Native American tradition, so it’s a can’t miss!

Devils Tower National Monument

149 State Highway 110

Devils Tower, WY 82714

how to get to devils tower national monument Wyoming

See also:

Devils Tower is also conveniently close to the Montanan border, so if you’d like to check Big Sky Country off the list on your Mount Rushmore Vacation, it’s easy to take a route back to Rapid City that cuts through the corner of Montana.


just call me Hannah cause I’m in Montana

Day 5: Jewel Cave National Monument and Reptile Gardens

The last day of your Mount Rushmore vacation should go out with a bang! The bang of bacon-looking rocks and lots of reptiles.

Things To Do Near Mount Rushmore Jewel Cave

Start the day by making the 70 minute drive to Jewel Cave National Monument, southwest of Rapid City. Set your GPS to Custer, South Dakota and from there, follow Highway 16 West. There are signs for the monument’s entrance along the road.

If needed, here are the exact coordinates:

594270, 4842528 (UTM NAD 83)

Latitude / Longitude:

43 43′ 46.6153″ N

103 49′ 46.6522″ W

You’ll want to head that way quite early as its a popular destination, you can’t reserve tickets ahead of time, and tours tend to fill up fast. Try to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of the day’s first tour if you want to minimize the time you have wait around for your slot.

You don’t want to miss the bacon rocks!

See also:

On the way back into town, stop into Reptile Gardens! It’s got an impressive menagerie of snakes, frogs, turtles, and birds. There’s even a Bond Girl crocodile. It’s the perfect place for a little family bonding over your shared love (or hatred) of snakes!

Reptile Gardens South Dakota Things to do in Rapid City

Reptile Gardens South Dakota

8955 US-16

Rapid City, SD 57702

See also:

That’s a wrap on your Mount Rushmore vacation! Time to hit the road home or head to the airport for your flight home.

  • Pin it:




The post is a part of my Black Hills Road Trip Series 

Reasons to visit Mount Rushmore? Who wants to go there? Isn’t that like in…South Dakota? Is that even a real state?

Yes, it’s a real state (jury’s still out on North Dakota though…and Idaho tbh). A pretty interesting one at that. While Mount Rushmore was literally carved as a reason to draw tourists to the Black Hills region (pretty effective marketing campaign y’all), it’s such a part of the American cultural narrative at this point that everyone should make a point of going to see it at least once.

Here are nine reasons to visit Mount Rushmore:

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

See also:

To Check South Dakota Off Your List

best reasons to visit Mount rushmore south dakota trip

My states map. Made at https://m.maploco.com/

If you don’t go to Mount Rushmore, you’ll probably never go to South Dakota. Which is a shame because it’s awesome. But because of its Midwest location, just doesn’t seem to have the draw of tourist hubs like NYC, LA, or NOLA.

But going to all 50 states seems to be on the bucket list of many Americans. It’s certainly on mine. Planning a trip to Mount Rushmore offered me the opportunity to check one of the “harder to get to” states off the list.

See also:

To Spend Time with Family

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

My sister and I.

Mount Rushmore was packed with families! Moms, dads, grandparents, pairs of adult siblings (like my sister and I), groups of friends who might as well be brothers.

Everyone was laughing, learning, and loving it. It’s a place you want to share with those you love. You’ll look back at the pictures, years from now, like “Hey, remember when we had a blast staring at some old men carved into a mountain?”

There’s something very communal about the park.

See also:

To Feel Patriotic AF

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Berlin Wall Memorial

My sister in nearby Rapid City.

The intense patriotism of the monument might also contribute to this communal feeling. Mount Rushmore is such a quintessential American icon that’s it’s hard not to get a little sentimental about our country while there.

It seemed easier to talk to people while visiting — to swap stories and laugh together because we all had one thing in common. We came all the way to South Dakota to see a giant rock.

See also:

To Inspire Your Own Passion Project

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

It’s hard not to get fired up about your dreams when you see Gutzon Borglum’s realized in stone. He achieved his dream. He mastered his art. When I left, I felt excited about my writing. I had a renewed creative passion and excitement.

Whether you like knitting, writing music, running marathons, or volunteering, I would hope that this one of many reasons to visit Mount Rushmore gives you the same vigor!

See also:

To Learn Some American History

best reasons to visit Mount rushmore south dakota trip


The presidents on Mount Rushmore were selected by Gutzon Borglum for very specific reasons.

Washington for the struggle for independence and the birth of our Republic; Jefferson for territorial acquisitions and westward expansion; Lincoln for the permanent union of the states and equality of citizens, and Roosevelt for the 20th century role of the USA in world affairs and the rights of the common man. Although construction ended in 1941, it’s as if the carvers foresaw the “Great American Century.”

But there is always a flipside. It’s important to remember that while each man on the mountain is meant to stand in for these ideals, he did not embody them perfectly. Understanding the conflict and context of each administration and historical period represented on Rushmore is another essential element of a visit to the monument.

See also:

To Pick a President’s Nose

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

I honestly don’t think that there is any other setting in which this is appropriate, so I was pretty excited about the opportunity. It’s not like you can go to the National Portrait Gallery or the Smithsonian and pick peoples’ noses.

Not that I haven’t tried.

See also:

To Get the Perfect Gram

best reasons to visit Mount rushmore south dakota trip

Mount Rushmore looks like a movie scene. Probably because we’ve seen it in so many movies. Because of this, taking bangin Instagram photos is pretty easy because you’ve got such good terrain to work with. It’s one of the best reasons to visit Mount Rushmore.

It’s also nice to know people won’t be looking at you, they’ll be looking at the mountain, so you can do pretty much whatever and it’ll get a lot of likes.

See also:

To Eat Some Delicious Food

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

I can’t say it enough: the food at Carver’s Café at Mount Rushmore is actually delicious. Go ahead and eat there. It’s not like other tourist attractions where you pay an exorbitant amount of money for something that tastes like an old shoe. I felt like I was eating at a friend’s house. A friend that can really cook. A “Hey, come here and let me fix you a plate” kind of friend. Eat there.

To Hang with the Goats

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

These goats are one of the best reasons to visit Mount Rushmore. Just watch out for them. The goats at Mount Rushmore might seem friendly, but my theory is that they are actually highly trained attack goats hiding some sort of weird illuminati secrets stashed in the mountain. Or maybe this goat tried to kill me just because I went too close to him. It definitly could also be that.

  • Pin it:

best reasons to visit Mount rushmore south dakota trip



This post is a part of my Black Hills Road Trip Series 

Looking for things to do at Mount Rushmore other than just standing there, looking at the monument and doing your best Owen Wilson impression?

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument

Don’t worry, y’all. I got you. Mount Rushmore is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been and I’ll give you the tools you need to have a great time.

My Top 10 Things To Do at Mount Rushmore

See also:

Make Friends with the Goats

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

When my sister and I first arrived at Mount Rushmore, the mountain goats standing outside the entrance were realllly still. Their fur was blowing softy in the wind, but their lack of overall movement made me think they were fake. As I moved closer to investigate, I kept bracing myself, thinking at any moment this goat was going to lunge at me, or at least blink.

But it didn’t.

So I walked closer and closer until this woman, let’s call her Karen from Nebraska, walked past and laughed, “Girls, those are statues! You don’t need to act so scared.”

Jokes on you Karen from Nebraska. A statue doesn’t try to bite your hand when you reach out to touch it. Way to go Mount Rushmore staff, your seemingly innocuous attack goats are working as intended.

See also:

Eat at Carver’s Café

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

I usually don’t eat at National Parks, or other major tourist attractions, because you usually just end up with overpriced, nasty airport-quality food. But I knew I wanted to eat at Mount Rushmore because an iconic scene from North by Northwest was filmed in the Mount Rushmore cafeteria so it was one of the things to do at Mount Rushmore that I couldn’t miss.

Give me the opportunity to walk where Cary Grant once walked or give me death tbh.

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

My sister and I were actually in for a nice surprise because the food ended up being delicious (tasted home-cooked, really) and reasonably priced. You also can’t beat the views of the boys from the amazing floor-to-ceiling windows.

See also:

Buy a Kitschy Souvenir

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

Y’all. Mount Rushmore has a wealth of souvenirs to pick from. T-shirts? Check. Shot glasses? In stock. Ridiculous magnets? Ready to go.

If you’re going to visit a place as well-known and commercial as Mount Rushmore National Monument, then you might as well invest in a fun souvenir to remember your all-American presidential vacation.

“Hike” the Presidential Trail

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

I put hike in quotations here because this trail is a fully paved, .6 mile leisurely stroll, but calling it a hike just makes it sound a lot more exciting. If you’d like to do some real hiking, then you can head to nearby Badlands National Park, but if strolling along a nicely-wooded path under the watchful eye of four former presidents carved into stone sounds like a fun way to kill 20 minutes, then this is the activity for you.

It was actually fun y’all. When I went during the spring, there was hardly anyone else there, so it felt like I was getting a private tour.

See also:

Reenact National Treasure or North by Northwest

In college, I took a class on Alfred Hitchcock’s films and my favorite one was North by Northwest. I loved the capers, the soundtrack, and of course, Cary Grant.

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

I actually ended up writing my final paper on the infamous “Crop Duster Scene” and how the lack of music in the moment contributes to the terror of being exposed, so standing at the base of the monument was one of my favorite things to do at Mount Rushmore because I got to imagine the movie’s final chase unfolding right in front of me.

See also:

Take a Selfie with the Boys

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

They are already posing for you, so it seems like a waste of a trip if you don’t get a couple of good shots of you and the Presidents on Mount Rushmore cheesing for the camera.

Extra points if you pick their noses because let’s be honest, we are all children here.

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

See also:

Literally just Stand There and Stare at the Mountain

best time to visit Mount Rushmore best time to visit mt rushmore

I tend to do this with all famous landmarks. Catching me staring at Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and now Mount Rushmore with my mouth open for a good five minutes before speaking.

I’ll probably do this when I visit the Grand Canyon later this year as well. It’s a cool moment, when you’ve grown up seeing something in pictures and on TV and then suddenly it’s right there in front of you.

There’s plenty of spots on the Mount Rushmore grounds to pause for a good look. Make sure to soak these moments in.

Tour the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

The center teaches you how to actually pronounce Borglum (it’s a mouthful), the history of Mount Rushmore’s construction, why the area was picked, and what the monument was actually supposed to look like.

I always like to learn about the “what ifs” and “almosts” of major events in American History, so this all was a real treat. If you breeze through, you could spend about 30 minutes in the center, but if you’d like to take your time you could spend well over an hour taking everything in.

Watch the 14-Minute Movie about Mount Rushmore’s History

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

One of the best things to do at Mount Rushmore. Whether you watch the movie about Mount Rushmore to actually learn about how it came to be, or you’d just like to get some quick shut eye in a dark room is totally up to you. I may or may not have stayed in the theater for 28 minutes and “watched” the film twice through so that I could experience both of these options.

Take in the Sculpture’s Studio

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation

The Sculpture’s Studio is only open seasonally, so when I went in early spring it hadn’t geared up for the new season yet, but if you are there when it’s ready for tours, be sure to stop in to learn more about the techniques and history behind carving giant presidential faces into the side of a mountain.

  • Pin it: 

things to do at Mount Rushmore National Monument Mount Rushmore Vacation


This post is a part of my Black Hills Road Trip Series 

Looking for things to do in Rapid City South Dakota? The tourism capital of the Mount Rushmore State is a great place to base yourself while you are exploring the nearby natural and historical wonders.

While Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and the Badlands are the main draw of the area, there’s still plenty to do and see around Rapid City instead of staying shut up in your hotel room after a long day of exploring.

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Berlin Wall Memorial Dinosaur Park Presidents

The view from Dinosaur Park.

Here Are Three Fun Things To Do in Rapid City South Dakota

See also:

Rapid City Dinosaur Park

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Dinosaur Park

Some “love” at Dinosaur Park.


940 Skyline Dr.
Rapid CitySD 57701

Rapid City Dinosaur Park has been open to the public since 1936! Although the draw these days are the life-size sculptures of Little Foot and his friends, the park was actually built where real fossils were found from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous periods!

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Dinosaur Park

Just riding a Stegosaurus nbd.

Real life dinosaur footprints have also been found in the area. Thinking about how these majestic beasts could have actually been walking where you are walking so long ago makes climbing on the models a lot more fun.

See also:

Berlin Wall Exhibit in Memorial Park

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Berlin Wall Memorial

On the way to see the Berlin Wall Memorial.


444 Mt. Rushmore Rd. N
Rapid City, SD

My sister and I actually stumbled on the Berlin Wall Exhibit on accident. We were on a walk in Memorial Park, saw it in the distance, and ventured over. It’s very easy to find as Memorial Park runs along Rapid Creek through the heart of Downtown Rapid City. The exhibit is actually one of the largest on Berlin in North America!

See also:

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Berlin Wall Memorial

A piece of the wall in South Dakota.

South Dakota Tourism prides itself on preserving freedom, hence Mount Rushmore and the Minutemen Missiles. With this in mind, information about the reunification of Germany doesn’t seem so out of place.

It’s a quick stop, as it should only take about 15 minutes to take it all in, but it’s worth it.

City of Presidents — Downtown Rapid City

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Presidents Sculptures

Guess who? (FDR, DUH!)


Downtown Rapid City on St. Joseph Street and Main Street between 4th Street and 9th Street.

This was one of my favorite things to do in Rapid City South Dakota! There are life-size bronze statues for presidents 1-43 scattered throughout downtown Rapid City.

Since trivia is my strong suit, my sister and I made a game out of it. She’d cover the name and I’d have to guess the president based on his face and what was with him, like a tophat, legbraces, or microphone.

See also:

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Presidents Sculptures

Bill Clinton, the president when I was born.

She was able to guess the likes of Bill Clinton and George Washington, while I even got the tougher ones, like Taft. Jeopardy here I come!

Obama and Trump haven’t been added yet, but since each sculpture is individually commissioned and crafted, I’m sure their renditions will be worth the wait.

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Presidents Sculptures

We made sure to get a photo with each Texan president!

See also:

Pin it:

things to do in Rapid city South Dakota Presidents Sculptures