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I grew up with Mt. Rushmore in my back yard. If you want a central location to all of the Black Hills, Rapid City is the best location. Rapid City has around 75,000 people. If you want a quieter time I recommend Edelweiss Mountain Lodging. They have Cabins in the Black Hills in between Mt. Rushmore and Lead/Deadwood.
If you are the camping type, stay a few nights at Rushmore Shadows campground. They sell a campground membership (actually how I got my start in the timeshare industry). If you sit through a presentation the nightly rates are a bargain. Tell them John says hello.
If you want to stay in Rapid City, the Hotel Alex Johnson is the oldest hotel in the city, and it is right in the middle of downtown. There are a few hotels with water slides on the east end of town.
Make sure to check out the Badlands National Park about 80 miles east of Mt. Rushmore.
Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions or off the beaten path items to do.
Make sure you expand your sights beyond Mt Rushmore; Badlands, Jewel Cave and Wind Cave NP plus Custer State Park are much more interesting and worthwhile than Rushmore IMO. Custer State Park is large with a National park feel to it. The caves will provide a nice respite from the heat in the summer.
We stayed in Badlands at the Cedar Pass Lodge which is an old motor lodge with some 2 BR units; small and old but the location is great for sunrise photos. I saw some nice looking cabins at the park entrance not too far away and I would check them out for a future trip. We only spent a night or two there and then moved to Rapid City for a more central base. We stayed at the Super 8 in Rapid City which had 2 BR units with a small kitchen; I was really impressed. For the price, it was a really good deal. We didn't spend much time in the motel so it worked well.
We stayed in a cabin in Custer State Park when we visited Mt Rushmore. It was not fancy, but clean and comfortable, and you can't beat the location...the park does feel like a national park. It is worth spending time there too....
We've stayed in cabins in Hill City. They are around $125 a night if I remember correctly. 2-3 bedroom with a hot tub out back and up in a little hill surrounded by woodlands. They aren't fancy, but they are clean and nice and a great central location. Here's a link to the website.