Keystone, South Dakota
Fresh off failing to complete a giant monument to the Confederacy (yes, THAT Confederacy) on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia, Mt. Rushmore's designer eagerly agreed to create a giant carving of some sort that would bring tourists to South Dakota... which he would also fail to complete before being fired rather ignominiously. Eventually this giant roadside attraction would be finished (not before leaving the men who worked on it with permanent lung damage), but it is seriously debatable whether or not it made the already pretty stunning Black Hills more attractive. What it has done is somehow become synonymous with greatness, sparking endless unnecessary debates about who belongs on the "Mt. Rushmore of [INSERT SOMETHING HERE]." The problem though is that this earnest, somewhat staid monument (that's actually smaller than you expect) doesn't even make our Mt. Rushmore of roadside attractions (Cadillac Ranch, anyone?!), and you have to go pretty far out of your way, so why bother?
What to do instead: There are far better things to do and see in the Black Hills. The nearby Badlands, which feel like taking a visit to the Moon -- are a far more memorable experience, and Wyoming’s Devils Tower is a far more worthwhile structure to gawk at. But if you really need a view of Rushmore, just get a glimpse from the car. There are some solid views of the monument from Iron Mountain Rd, a spectacular stretch of highway that starts at Mt. Rushmore and ends 17 miles later at Custer State Park, where an even more incredible drive along the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway -- boasting Pigtail Bridges, one-lane rock-walled tunnels, etc. -- awaits.