For history buffs, outdoor explorers and foodies, there is adventure around every turn in Sioux Falls
Hit the open road and set course for America’s heartland. Named one of the Top 5 Best Value Cities by Trivago, Sioux Falls, South Dakota is a haven for group travel with its diverse array of activities for every interest and budget.
A trip to Sioux Falls wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to the city’s namesake – the Falls of the Big Sioux River. A whopping 7,400 gallons of water drop 100 feet over the falls every second, making for a juxtaposition of nature’s power set against the laid-back town skyline. For a better look, climb the five-story viewing tower for breathtaking views of the park and city.
Abundant nature and historic adventures await at Good Earth State Park. The largest Oneota Tradition Peoples heritage site in the upper Midwest, this area features hiking trails that border the beautiful Big Sioux River and opportunities for snowshoeing and birdwatching.
The Great Plains Zoo is another group favorite, allowing visitors to get a close look at more than 1,000 animals and even come face-to-face with goats, camels, sheep and more at the Hy-Vee Face-to-Face Farm. From anteaters to zebras, come see it all at the Great Plains Zoo.
For a free arts experience in the downtown area, follow the SculptureWalk. This art exhibition showcases over 50 new sculptures and local artists every year and highlights the city’s architectural beauty. The city’s permanent and most iconic public art installation will soon be the Arc of Dreams, which opens in 2019. This stainless steel arch will nearly span across the Big Sioux River with an 18-foot gap in the center that will represent the leap of faith dreamers take to see their dreams come true.
At the Sertoma Butterfly House & Aquarium, there are more than 800 butterflies from five continents fluttering around inside a giant butterfly house enclosure that is kept at a balmy 80 degrees year-round. Groups can then visit the adjacent aquarium where hundreds of fish and coral live in more than 5,000 gallons of water. Two touch pools and interactive exhibits are fun ways to learn more about the fresh- and salt-water creatures inside the aquarium.
Learn more about the city’s rich history at the Pettigrew Home & Museum, by touring the gorgeous 1889 Queen Ann-style house that was home to South Dakota’s first Senator, R.F. Pettigrew. Join a guided tour and explore the museum’s galleries for insights into the early years of Sioux Falls as told through photographs and videos.
A visit to the Old Courthouse Museum will take visitors back in time to the 1800s through carefully-preserved rooms, a clock tower and wall murals. The variety of permanent and changing exhibits in the museum tell stories of the Siouxland region that are key to understanding the events that shaped the area as we know it.
In 2014, The New York Times featured Sioux Falls as an emerging culinary scene, and dining options range from local gourmet game and freshwater fish to international flavors like Ethiopian and Japanese. Groups with a sweet tooth should stop by CH Patisserie for fresh macarons, cookies and chocolate bars. The sweet shop also offers brunch items such as croissants and beignets. Group members seeking gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options should seek out Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean which also offers hearty kabobs and beef kibbeh. Other excellent options here include tabbouli salad, fatayer and hummus spreads.
Sioux Falls offers groups a myriad of options – from rustic to luxurious – when it comes to lodging. Whether you are looking for proximity to attractions and exploration or quick affordability, Sioux Falls is sure to offer options that fit the bill.