Hot Springs, South Dakota, is one of the southernmost cities of the Black Hills, and one that attracts tourists for a couple reasons. The big draws are Mammoth Site and Evans Plunge.
It’s a small town that feels less touristy than many others in the region. Mr. Wonderful and I marveled at the castle-like appearance of some buildings, thanks to the interesting sandstone architecture throughout the town.
There’s also a neat waterfall along a trail that passes through town.
So if you have a budding paleontologist in the family or just want to cool off in a big pool, you may find yourself in Hot Springs.
Disclaimer: My family was provided a complimentary stay at Hills Inn in order for me to write this review. All opinions are my own.
Where to stay
Hot Springs Hills Inn invited my family to stay two nights while we explored the area. Hot Springs was a town I had on my itinerary on because I wanted to take the kids to Mammoth Site, and because it was close enough to Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park. It was a nice homebase for exploring the southern region of the Black Hills.
About Hills Inn
If you search customer-rated sites on attractions or lodging, you’ll find The Hills Inn as one of the top ranked options in Hot Springs, if not the top one. The Hills Inn is a family-run motel with a small outdoor pool and a putt putt golf course connected on site (which is FREE to motel guests). Wally greets the guests at the front desk, he’s a friendly guy.
As far as motels go, this is as clean as I’ve ever seen them, with a few extra amenities I don’t expect from a motel, like the FREE breakfast. Running from 6:30 to 9 a.m., there is a small assortment of items from fresh fruit and cereal, to bagels and toast…and my kids’ favorite, chocolate donuts.
We took advantage of the breakfast during our stay, bringing our plates, orange juice and coffee to a table poolside. There’s a small dining room off the lobby, as well.
The other amenities I thought were nice touches: A 40-inch TV, a refrigerator and microwave. Plus FREE putt-putt which I mentioned earlier. Nice, huh?
It’s super near Mammoth Site and Evans Plunge. Further afield is Wind Cave National Park (I’d guess about 10 minutes away) and Custer State Park (30 minutes).
Hot Springs’ Freedom Trail is near the motel, and if you walk it, you’re about a mile or so from that waterfall I mentioned earlier.
If you go
Hot Springs Hills Inn
Where: 640 S. Sixth St., Hot Springs, South Dakota
More about Hot Springs
There is a coffee maker in the room at The Hills Inn and there’s some included with breakfast, but you may want to venture out for a cup of joe. Hot Springs Coffee Kiosk was a pleasant surprise for me – good stuff.
As far as dining goes in town, you don’t have a lot of choices, but we were happy with what we did pick. All places were pretty close to The Hills Inn. We had dinner at Woolly’s Western Grill (located near Mammoth Site) and a post-Evans Plunge breakfast at Dale’s Family Restaurant (right across the street from it).
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Planning a trip to South Dakota and Western Nebraska? I wrote a series of posts and reviews of kid-friendly attractions, lodging and a photo-heavy trip recap. Check them out:
Nebraska and South Dakota Adventure With Kids
Canoeing the Niobrara River with Kids
Comfort Suites and Convention Center (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Firehouse Brewing Company (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Reptile Gardens (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Dakotah Steakhouse (Rapid City, South Dakota)
Evans Plunge (Hot Springs, South Dakota)
The Hills Inn (Hot Spring, South Dakota)
Mammoth Site (Hot Springs, South Dakota)
Chadron State Park (Chadron, Nebraska)
Fort Robinson State Park (Harrison, Nebraska)