Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Retire in Rapid City, South Dakota?
Overview: Originally called "Hay Camp," friendly Rapid City was founded by a group of dejected gold miners in 1876. It is along Interstate 90 in the Black Hills region of western South Dakota, and a portion of the Black Hills Mountain Range splits the city in two.
Rapid City is dependent on tourism, every year drawing thousands of visitors on their way to nearby Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Custer State Park. Badlands National Park, 244,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie, is about 75 miles east of the city, and Sturgis, home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that draws 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts every August, is just 25 miles north. The city's attractive, revitalized downtown has shops, galleries, restaurants, public spaces and an Old West feeling. The arts community includes a blend of Native American, Western and fine art practitioners, and a series of bronze statutes commemorating the nation's past presidents adorns the city's streets.
Residents enjoy the Black Hills Playhouse, a symphony orchestra, a golf course, the Dahl Arts Center and more than 500 acres of public parks. There is also an art and wine festival and a summer concert series. Rushmore Mall has national retailers and chain restaurants. Hiking, camping, fishing and more are just a short drive away. Homes are mostly ranch ramblers.
Population: 74,000 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 33%
Cost of Living: Meets the national average
Median Home Price: $182,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and winter temperatures are in the teens, 20s and 30s. On average, the area receives 40 inches of snow and 18 inches of rain each year. The humidity is low and the wind is ever-present.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? Yes
At Least One Accredited by Joint Commission? Yes, and it is a Primary Stroke Care Center. In fact, Rapid City is the health care hub for a five state region.
Public Transit: Yes, a fixed route system, a dial-a-ride service and a tourist-oriented trolley
Crime Rate: Slightly above the national average
Public Library: Yes, a large modern one
Political Leanings: Conservative
Is South Dakota Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The city is isolated, and Interstate 90 occasionally closes in winter.
Notes: Some residents leave town during the Sturgis rally. Rapid City has grown by 35% within the last couple of decades. Ellsworth Air Force Base is just northeast of town and plays an important role in the city's economy.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes
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