Route 385 cuts through the middle of Hot Springs and it is along this road that most retail venues will be found. All stores with addresses on River Street, Jennings Avenue, and Chicago Street are all on Route 385.
Every community in the Black Hills has a shop that specializes in Black Hills Gold. In Hot Springs, seek out Larive’s Black Hills Gold (713 N. River St., 605/745-7936, May–Labor Day Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., closed Sun., winter Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., closed Sat.–Sun.). In addition to Black Hills Gold jewelry, Larive’s offers souvenirs and t-shirts.
There are a number of other great little independent shops in town, including The Wild Burro Bookstore (503 N. River St., 605/745-7340, www.thewildburro.com, May–Dec. Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Jan.–Apr. Thurs.–Sat. 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m.), which features quality fiction and award-winning nonfiction books, stationery products, and an eclectic mix of gifts. Like many of the businesses in town, The Wild Burro is located in the historic district. The building, built in 1906, was originally built to house Highly Drug and is one of the finest examples of stamped tin architecture left in the state.
Just a few doors down the street from The Wild Burro is the Shaman Gallery (405 N. River St., 605/745-6602, www.shamangallery.com, May–Nov. Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Nov.–Apr. Mon. and Thurs.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., closed Sun., Tues.–Wed.). This is the largest original art gallery in the Black Hills, with over 4,000 square feet of displays showcasing regional painters, jewelers, sculptors, and potters. The gallery also features an extensive collection of contemporary Native American art. The building that houses the gallery was originally the Morris Grand Theater. It is another example of the fine sandstone architecture of the early 1900s.
Quilters and quilt lovers will find a place at Heartsong Quilts (345 N. River St., www.heartsongquilts.com, 605/745-5330, year-round daily Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.). Around the corner, you’ll find Earth Goods (738 Jennings Ave., 605/745-7715, www.earthgoodsnaturalfoods.com, Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.), which specializes in organic foods and quality supplements. The store hosts herb walks from time to time, and Jackie, who has studied herbal medicine for over 20 years, is happy to discuss traditional and contemporary uses of the herbs and supplements found on the shelves.
Located in “lower” downtown, Black Hills Books and Treasures (112 S. Chicago St., 605/745-5545, www.blackhills-books.com, May–Sept. Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Oct.–Dec. Mon.–Fri. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Jan.–Mar. Tues.–Fri. 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.–3 p.m., closed in Apr.) specializes in antique, out-of-print, and used books. In addition, the store carries an interesting gift selection including CDs by local musicians and crafts created by local artisans.
Just north of town is Wanda’s Finds/Morgan Saddlery (27237 Wind Cave Rd., Hwy. 385 N., about a mile north of town, 605/745-4040, www.wandasfinds.com, year-round Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.). This is one of the larger stores in the area, with both new and used merchandise including jewelry, clothing, antiques and collectibles, and furniture. Wanda runs the shop and her husband runs the saddlery.
Another fun place to poke around is the Smith Fargo Mercantile (321 N. River St., 605/745-4233 or 605/890-0585, Apr.–Nov. Wed.–Mon. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., closed Tues., closed in winter). It’s set up flea market–style, divided into dozens of individually operated booths selling everything from used LPs, furniture, antiques, candles, and other treasures.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition