I’m sure when you think of visiting South Dakota all you can think of is Mount Rushmore, but there is actually plenty the state has to offer.
Let’s start with Sioux Falls. Many of my family members live in the city so I have spent several weekends throughout the years visiting my relatives for family events. The small city has boomed in the last few years making it an interesting and lively, but uncrowded area. Downtown Sioux Falls is adorable and easy to explore on foot.
If you love art museums then the SculptureWalk is a must. Find your way to Phillips Avenue where most of the sculptures are located. I recommend walking up one side of the street and down the other. The sculptures are displayed all year-round making the downtown an attractive and inviting place. Here is a map that shows where each and every one of the sculptures is located.
Falls Park is located just north of downtown on the Big Sioux River. The beautiful falls are precisely why the city is named Sioux Falls. At the site you can also view some of the first buildings built in the area including Queen Bee Mill, the Light and Power Company Building, which is now a delicious restaurant called Falls Overlook Cafe, the Horse Barn and many more.
If you’re searching for a bite to eat as you explore the shops downtown or do the SculptureWalk, Phillips Avenue Diner is located along the main drag. Grab a juicy burger and malt in between viewing the beautiful art and enjoying the fresh air. Need only a snack or pick-me-up? Head on over to CH Patisserie for a shot of espresso and European-inspired pastries. The cafe is known to be a sweet luxury in the downtown area. If you and your significant other would rather spend a little extra and enjoy local fresh fish and meat, then the original Minervas is just the spot.
Wander outside of the city limits and you’ll discover the state has two national parks — Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park — and they are both located in the southwestern part of the state. Wind Cave National Park is best known for its caves and boxwork formations. The Black Hills, which are located just north of the park, are where you will find Crazy Horse Memorial and renowned Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Badlands National Park is rugged and contains one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Both parks offer some of the largest mixed-grass prairies. Keep your eyes peeled; you might spot a bison or two or three roaming free on the prairie.
Deadwood is a small town and a Registered National Historic Landmark located in the Black Hills. While visiting the national park and forest, spend the night in this old frontier town and take a trip back in time to the late 1800’s that once started as a gold camp and overnight boomed into a town that played by its own rules attracting outlaws and gamblers along with gold seekers.
Next time your trying to decide where to go to next, remember there is always South Dakota!