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South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Rapid City

(550+ reviews on the web)
Military Museum
A living lesson in aviation history, South Dakota Air and Space Museum houses a collection of aircraft ranging from World War II transport planes to modern supersonic bombers. Located just outside the main gate of an operational Air Force base, the museum strives to educate and entertain visitors by offering 50-minute guided bus tours of a deactivated missile silo from the Cold War. All visitors to the base must pass a security check, so be sure to bring a valid photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license. Admission to the museum is free; there is a charge for bus tours. Pick up a souvenir of your visit at the on-site gift shop. For South Dakota Air and Space Museum and beyond, use our Rapid City itinerary planner to get the most from your Rapid City vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The air and space museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base is a great stop. It's only a mile off the interstate and located at the front gate to Ellsworth Air Force Base. It offers a multitude of static air...  more »
  • Lots of aircraft outside. Good displays inside including an old minutemen missile control Center and a delta dart cockpit kids can sit in. It's next to an active Air Force base and we saw two B1s take...  more »
  • Great to see all the planes and fun video clips! Kids liked the simulation plane and the hands on things to do.  more »
Google
  • For those who love war history and big planes it's great. For someone who went curious about space, its dull. Small, warm, and rather sad. However they are trying to improve. Be sure to donate on the way out.
  • As is to be expected from a museum on an active Air Force base, the South Dakota Air & Space Museum focuses on the history of airplanes as used in the military. There are sections honoring the various men and women from South Dakota who have served and died in service. Displays discuss the development of aircraft, the roles the Air Force played in both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and other engagements since. We did not take the bus tour through the base as it was fee based (museum admission is free). The aircraft outdoors were missing any identifying signs, the museum is in the process of landscaping and adding walkways and paths. I would love to go back after everything is finished! Definitely worth the stop and the time! If you can manage, take the bus tour through the base to see the Minuteman Missile silo.
  • Great experience! An incredible amount of history built into such a small platform. Plan to spend at least two to three hours here as there is a lot to take in and explore. I love the minute men exhibit.
  • A great collection of US military planes. Very interesting displays. The main museum is free.
  • First off, it's free. There are a lot of cool planes and helicopters around the place to look around at take pictures of. My favorite was walking up to the Boeing B-29 bomber. Inside there some history of the area and how it was used for the military. There's also a missile silo on the actual airbase to tour for an extra fee which was pretty cool. Overall a cool place to visit.