Everything You Need to Know about the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the biggest rallies events in the country. It completes all the excitement and thrills of motorcycle culture in one massive event. The Sturgis Rally has come to define the sleepy village of Sturgis, putting it on the map as a milestone sight to see for motorcyclist enthusiasts all over the country.

biker silhouettes in front of sunset

Photo from Pixabay

Where is Sturgis?

Sturgis is located on the western edge of South Dakota. Within a short drive of Deadwood and just outside Rapid City, it is a cozy town on I-90 at Exits 30 and 32, with about 7,000 residents.

For the majority of any year, Sturgis is a quiet enclave of vintage American culture and cozy Old West vibes. It is home to numerous classic American history museums, such as the Old Fort Meade Museum. Visiting Fort Meade is one of the most common things to do in Sturgis. Of course, you can’t go far without seeing motorcycles in one form or another. The Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame is the biggest motorcycle museum of its kind in the world, and the Saab Heritage Car Museum USA is a nice compliment, giving you a look at over 100 classic Saabs.

Things to Do at the Rally

So what is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally? It’s a whole lot more than an agreed-upon annual meeting place where motorcyclists gather and hang out- though it most certainly is that, too.

It is a nearly two-week long event of concerts, food, competitions, pop-up stores, and more.

The Sturgis Rally is near a number of designated trails and roads for visitors to go for a scenic drive. There are at least four different and iconic trails you can journey along in and near the town. The trails take you to top attractions or carry you through some spectacular sights, mountains, valleys, and more. Custer State Park is a great destination, with a clearly-marked trail taking you through a huge portion of the park. Another trail is through Deadwood and Vanacker Canyon. An off-the-beaten-path trail for visitors is Bear Butte State Park a beautiful area that is perfect for a day trip on a motorcycle.

All designated trails are loops. There may be other vehicle traffic so stay alert and considerate.

The rally is also a gathering place for some classic rock and country masters.

This year will bring 80’s juggernauts Skid Row to headline a varied showcase of acts in Sturgis. They aren’t the only 80’s icons performing. Styx will headline with some of their eternal hits, as well as Foghat, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, and Jackal. There are also a number of modern bands. This includes post-grunge pioneers Puddle of Mud and Saliva as well as 80’s hair metal throwbacks Volbeat and Pop Evil.

There’s also a splash of alternative music genres outside of classic rock and metal. You can see a bit of classic hip-hop with Snoop Dogg as well as a touch of rockabilly and country with Keith Urban, Toby Keith, and the Reverend Horton Heat.

Overall, it’s a killer line-up of long-standing artists in a variety of genres. Outside of the music, you can find poker games, rally races, beard and mustache contests, the Mayor’s Pub crawl, the Legendary 5K, and a day of military appreciation. What better way to close out your trip?


Photo from Unsplash

Places to Stay

Speaking of closing out your trip, where can you stay when visiting Sturgis? Our Executive Lodging Black Hills rentals are the answer. You can find all kinds of Sturgis lodging right in the center of the action. We have homes with luxury amenities and up to seven bedrooms for you to have an amazing time. You can also check out our Black Hills cabin rentals to stay in a more quiet location.

Regardless of how you enjoy your stay, just make sure you have a blast. With the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, it’s basically guaranteed.