Climb Black Elk Peak, South Dakota’s tallest mountain, and look in all four directions. You’ll see that there are not any big cities on the surrounding prairies. Consequently, Rapid City has become a shopping mecca for rural families from hundreds of miles around, not to mention 4 million tourists per year. Rushmore Mall (off I-90) has the usual corporate brands, but it also has interesting local stores such as Doc & Alice, a boutique known for its fun staff and cool western clothing. Rushmore Crossing, the city’s newest and biggest shopping center, has 800,000 square feet of retail shops and “big box” stores on the east side of town. For local art and culture you’ll want to also browse downtown. The anchor store, Prairie Edge, was founded 40 years ago to create a market for Northern Plains Indian artists; today it is the leading gallery in the West, and the beautiful brick structure is an attraction all its own. Surrounding Prairie Edge are bookstores, antique shops, galleries, eateries, nightspots, clothing stores and a variety of other establishments unique to not just the surrounding prairies but the world.
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