Tag Archive: custer sd

  1. EAT LIKE A LOCAL  – BREAKFAST

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    BREAKFAST RECOMMENDATIONS

    A sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Black Hills is a magical experience. It’s a stunning way to start the day.  The wildlife is active, the lighting is beautiful, and once the flight is over and the world is waking up, all you can think about is breakfast.  We know.  It happens to us too.

    A flight with Black Hills Balloons starts at sunrise, but the whole experience lasts close to three hours.  With drive time to and from launch and landing sites, the inflation, flight, pack up, and champagne toast (yes! Complimentary and traditional champagne, and light snacks are served after the flight), it’s not surprising that people are hungry for a full meal when we return to the Hangar.

    We always tell people ballooning chose us, not the other way around.  We aren’t actually morning people, we’re just balloon people.  And so over time, we’ve become skilled in the act of finding a great breakfast.  Lucky for us (and you!), the city of Custer has some amazing breakfast options.

    Iced Coffee from the Feel Good Cafe

    Located in the southern Black Hills of South Dakota, smack-dab in the middle of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Devils Tower National Monument, Wind Cave National Monument, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, and more, we’re not just a place to hike, bike, swim, and snowshoe. We love to eat too and have some amazing restaurants here in Custer.  Below are a few of our favorite spots to grab breakfast before you spend your day adventuring in the hills.

    SIT DOWN OPTIONS

    If you’re looking for the traditional small-town diner, full of locals that make up our great community, then Our Place is it.  Not, “our place”, although, we’d be happy to cook for you if you don’t mind a crazy Labrador retriever running amok.  I’m talking about Our Place, located directly across the street from our meeting place.  It’s so convenient, you can leave your vehicle where you parked pre-flight, and walk across the street for yummy traditional pancakes, eggs, and bacon, or whatever your heart desires.  They even have an endless variety of hot sauces for you to jazz up your meal.

    HJEM AM is our newest (and most unique) option, and might easily end up being the most memorable meal of your trip.  Originally based on an earlier breakfast concept of Skogen Kitchen (which is now only open for dinner.  Reservations are highly recommended!  Read “48 hours in the Black Hills for the foodie” for our favorite things about Skogen Kitchen), HJEM AM is what breakfast dreams are made of.  Pronounced “hem” (the “J” is silent), it means “home” and it certainly feels that way when you’re greeted by owners Cami and Erik.  Where else can you get a Breakfast Caesar, Salmon Deviled Eggs, Fresh Oysters, Walleye (with bacon, buttermilk sauce, sugar snap peas, and roasted mushrooms), or Pancakes covered with fried chicken, franks hot sauce, and maple syrup for breakfast?  Check out their menu and make your reservations asap.

    gurgle pot on table atCuster SD breakfast restaurant hjem a.m. salmon breakfast deviled eggs from HJEM AM quiche and hashbrowns at hjem a.m. in custer south dakota quaint seating inside hjem a.m. in custer sd

     

    GRAB AND GO OPTIONS

    If you desire more than drip coffee, try Miners Cup.  Just down the street, Miners Cup is a grab-and-go option with a huge menu full of yummy breakfast sandwiches and a coffee menu that will satisfy anyone.  They offer Gluten Free bread, and you can order off the lunch menu any time, making Miners Cup a favorite of ours.  The Drive-thru is super handy when you’re heading to Iron Mountain Road for a scenic drive to Mount Rushmore.

    Maria’s Mexican Food Truck is just a few doors down and offers fantastic breakfast burritos perfect for anyone looking to grab something quick before they continue their Black Hills adventures.  You’ll find the Black Hills Balloons crew here almost daily after the flight, spending their tips on bacon egg and cheese or sausage egg and cheese burritos.  The salsa is homemade and delicious.  It’s a great option if you’re grabbing something and heading into Custer State Park.  Just make sure you finish your burrito before you come across the famous Begging Burros.

    Feel Good Café is a casual order-at-the-counter café with lots of cozy indoor and outdoor seating.  Located next door to the famous Bavarian Inn, Feel Good Café has a Zen European vibe with crustless quiche, build-your-own breakfast bowls, tropical overnight oats, and even a breakfast banana sundae featuring a split banana covered in vanilla yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

    breakfast banana split at feel good cafe Feel Good Cafe

    No matter where you go when you’re visiting us here in Custer, stick to the local recommendations to find some of the best food in the Black Hills.  You know what they say.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Choose wisely.

     

  2. 48 HOURS IN THE BLACK HILLS

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    FROM THE DESK OF KEELY

    48 HOURS IN THE BLACK HILLS – For the Outdoor Adventurer

    Damien and I often joke that we “traded in our 9 to 5, for a 5 to 9”, but it’s not entirely wrong. Before purchasing Black Hills Balloons in 2015, we often dreamed of owning our own business and creating a better life for ourselves; one that allowed us to enjoy the outdoors, be a bit healthier and spend more time with each other. It’s hard to believe we’re prepping for our 6th season, doing what we love and living that dream of ours.

    We’re often asked about our favorite restaurants, hikes and day trips here in the Black Hills. It’s such a beautiful place full of hidden gems, its easy to get overwhelmed by all there is to do. And there’s SO MUCH TO DO, for everyone… how lucky we are to live in a place with something for everyone.

    When we host a houseguest, we gear their visit to what they like most; fine-tuning itineraries for friends from different backgrounds. It’s so fun to share our favorite spots with friends and family, we just had to share it with all of you. Here is our take on “48 hours in the Black Hills”, for the outdoor adventurer; a person who wants to get out and experience nature and the Black Hills in all her glory.

    48 Hours in the Black Hills – For the Outdoor Adventurer

    Day 1:

    A balloon flight with Black Hills Balloons, of course! You can’t miss an opportunity to soar over the Black Hills in a hot air balloon. Flying over the areas unique landscapes, valleys and granite formations is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the area. Paired with a serene sunrise, wildlife, and a celebratory toast of champagne, the experience is once in a lifetime.  We always recommend you schedule your flight on your first day of vacation. That way, if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, we have plenty of backup opportunities during your stay.

    After your flight, rent a paddleboard or kayak from the South Dakota Outdoor Shop. Located next door to our passenger meeting location, the SD Outdoor Shop is not only convenient but offers fantastic advice and rentals for the adventurer looking to explore our beautiful area. Visit Custer State Parks Sylvan Lake for a picturesque paddle or Legion Lake for a relaxing day in the sun.

    If you’re looking for something a little more unique to the area, try rock climbing with Sylvan Rocks Climbing Guides. Ranging from 3 hours to full-day adventures for first-timers or experienced climbers, the guides at Sylvan Rocks will ensure you are safe while climbing some of the nation’s most recognized rock formations. They even offer a day of climbing Devils Tower, if you’re up for it!

    Outdoor rentals, gear and advice for the South Dakota Black Hills

    Day 2:

    Rent an ATV from Adventure Rentals! Offering full or half-day rentals, Adventure Rentals is an official Polaris outfitter, so you know they’ll always have the best machines. The Black Hills have nearly 4,000 miles of off-road trails to explore and the team at Adventure Rentals are regularly praised for their personalized approach to planning a guest’s perfect day.

    Stop along your ATV travels for a hike to round out your day. Custer State Park offers hikes requiring a variety of skill levels. Just make sure you take plenty of water, and your camera to take full advantage of the amazing views. And while you’re at it, drive the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park for an up-close-and-personal visit with our area’s famous bison herd before you return your ATV.

    If an ATV isn’t your style, tour the Badlands on a bicycle with Black Hills Tour Company. The private day tours can manage up to 8 guests, includes local transportation, your gear, a guide, and a picnic lunch. Catch stunning views of Badlands while you peddle 30 miles through the pinnacles and lower shale formations that make up the historic national park.

    Black Hills Tour Company custom VW limo bus

    But who are we kidding? With so much adventure in the Black Hills, you’ll likely need more than 48 hours. Try yoga, biking our famous 100+ mile Mickelson trail, fly in a helicopter over Mount Rushmore, explore underground at Wind Cave National Park or Jewel Cave National Monument, which are recognized as being two of the largest cave systems in the world, or just spend a day wildlife watching along the miles and miles of trails offered in Custer State Park and surrounding Black Hills National Forest. And once you’ve done it all, you need to come back when the snow falls for fat biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing and more… It’s so overwhelming you’ll likely want to visit again and again. We encourage it!

    View Custer State Park and the Needles from the air.

    A best-kept secret, we’re not only lucky to live here in the Black Hills, but we’re also happy to share it and recommend our favorite things to do. Let us know if you’d like some advice on enjoying our beautiful Black Hills. And let us know if you’ve enjoyed any of the activities shared here.