Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is the gateway to the Dakota’s for many road trippers. This thriving city is one of the many gems one can visit driving through the state that you should consider as a good day trip or vacation in and of itself. Besides being a wonderful place to live, the city attracts tourists to a few of its many attractions including its charming downtown area and beautiful namesake in Falls Park.
Where Is Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls is located on the South East corner of South Dakota on Highway 90; a popular route to the west for road trips. It is commonly known to be one of the last rest stops before arriving at the infamous Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, which as every Mitchell-ite knows, is the “only” corn palace.
The city is located on the Big Sioux River as it winds its way toward the Missouri River. In fact, this is the very reason the city is located where it is. The first settlers built a stone mill and used the river and its Sioux Falls’ to power it. Visitors can still see the Queen Bee mill and historic buildings today near the falls today.
Things to Do in Sioux Falls
The main attractions to Sioux Falls are the Downtown area on Phillips Street and Falls Park. There are also several other large attractions like the Wild Water West Waterpark, Buffalo Ridge, 1880 Cowboy Town, Butterfly House and Aquarium, Orpheum, and the Cathedral of St. Joseph.
Falls Park in Sioux Falls
The centerpiece to Sioux Falls is Falls Park. Its meandering waterfall runs right through the middle of the park and has well-lit pathways for running, biking, or walking day and night.
If you visit in the winter, check for Winter Wonderland in Falls Park where 25 miles of Christmas Lights are strung in the park.
Downtown Sioux Falls
Downtown Sioux Falls runs up runs up and down Phillips Ave. It has shopping, dining, and great street walking. You will notice a few things right away. First, there are a number of historic-looking building all made out of the same stone. Second, there is a significant number of statues downtown decorating the city streets. Last, I was really surprised by the number of good restaurants in the several block downtown area.
One thing guests to this center will see immediately is the old stone buildings. These are made from the same quartzite found exposed in Falls Park. A quarry is nearby that was used to pull this mineral from the ground.
The statues in the downtown area are from a project called the Sculpture Walk Sioux Falls. Each year, this organization places several statues downtown. Each of the statues is also for sale, but if that is too rich for you, you can vote for your favorite to win one of several awards each year.
Restaurants in Sioux Falls
There are a number of great restaurants. In fact, the number of good eateries is really surprising for this size of a city. There are two main areas to find good eats. First, to the Southwest end of town along South Louise Ave and 49th you can find a lot of chains and a few other places worth a trip. But, if you are downtown already, there is plenty there. Some of the favorites are MacKenzie River Pizza, Grill & Pub, Minervas, Sushi Masa, JL Beers, and Backyard BBQ among plenty others. The below picture is from Backyard BBQ
More About Sioux Falls
A lot has changed in Sioux Falls since the first stone mill was erected. Today it hosts multi-national corporations and cutting-edge genetic research. Sioux Falls is known more by the locals as a low-tax haven for businesses. The economic environment here has attracted major international and cutting-edge tech firms to the city and with it has come first class facilities like theaters and aquatic centers.
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Are you traveling through this part of South Dakota? You may be interested in visiting our page on the nearby Corn Palace.
Looking for ideas for a weekend getaway in the North? Here are a few of our favorites: