By Randy L. Graham
Warm Water Warm Hearts an Oasis in the Hills | Hot Springs, South Dakota
I moved to Hot Springs in 1999 from Naples, Florida. My partner and I were looking for a place to relocate at the height of Y2K. Therefore, I boarded an airplane and flew to Rapid City, SD. I rented a car and headed south on Highway 79 to Maverick Junction. I turned west on Highway 18 going towards town and past through the awesome winding sandstone-wooded canyons and the Fall River.
Driving on Highway 18, also known as Fall River Road, I noticed the majestic tall pines and cedar trees throughout the canyons heading into town. Its scenery is beautiful and peaceful; however, you need to be watchful for deer and turkeys crossing the road. After driving around town, I decided to stay at the Best Western Inn by the River (now it is Americas Best Value Inn). Immediately, smiling faces greeted me. A fun couple running the motel took me right in and told me all about the towns warm hearted people and the surrounding areas to visit. The warm water natural springs of Hot Springs offer great relaxing and healing benefits for weary travelers.
Walking around town there is a great mix of coffee shops, restaurants, book and antique stores. You can find just about anything here. The town is home to the Fall River Pioneer Museum, Public Library, Chamber of Commerce, and Evans Plunge all within walking distance from the motels.
Getting around town is easy and taking in the sights are fun. The town even offers a waterfall with a scenic walking trail that runs from the north end of town at Chautauqua Park to the south end of town ending at the Muller Civic Center. Exploring the places and businesses here you will find two grocery stores (Lynn’s Dakota Mart and Sonny’s Super Foods) one health food store, two general stores and a Shopko. There are four convenient stores with gas stations, five fast food locations, one Pizza Hut, a Big Time Pizza and several restaurants.
The largest employer in Hot Springs is the Veterans Administration Black Hills Health Care System and Rehabilitation Center. The local hospital, Fall River Health Services, consists of a clinic and a 25-bed critical assess hospital. Local businesses include Builders First Choice lumber and building supplies, Ace Hardware, Car Quest, Sturtevant’s Auto Parts, several mechanics, and tire shops in town. Hot Springs has three local Real Estate offices that also handle rental properties. Currently, the area is experiencing a low inventory of houses on the market. Land prices are still reasonable, but a contractor friend of mine say’s he is booked out over a year for new construction homes.
One of our most famous places is the Michael J. Fitzmaurice State Veterans Home. It is a 76-bed medium facility owned by the state. The Morris Grand Gallery downtown has many fine art pieces for sale. High Mountain Outfitters carries all the hiking gear you will need. Mammoth Site and Museum boasts it has the largest concentration of Mammoth remains.
The scenery here warms you; it is like no other place around. You have beautiful 360 degrees views around town from certain locations such as Battle Mountain. Natural warm waters begin at the Evans Plunge in Hot Springs and flow through town and winding south down to the Cheyenne River.
Hot Springs has two newspapers serving the town and surrounding areas along with one online news service Hot Springs Report. The Minnekahta eMessenger features are by mailing list or can be accessed on the Hot Springs Report website. There are media and broadcast companies that can help you get your business listed online such as, GRAND180 Creative Services. You can also find multimedia specialist and virtual assistants located in town. The local radio station KZMX 96.7 FM Renegade Radio plays classic rock.
We have balloon festivals, classic car shows, plays, and we have been hosting the Miss South Dakota Pageant since1946. Outdoor events include art and craft shows, concerts, and stair climbing competitions to name a few. Along with the many parks for recreation and picnics, we have lakes for fishing, boating, and swimming that include Lake Angostura Recreation Area, Larive Lake Resort, and Cold Brook Lake and Dam.
If you happen to be traveling through or thinking about relocating, then Hot Springs has much to offer. Don’t forget to check out Highway 79 Brewery and Scratch Kitchen for great food with a microbrewery.