Sioux Falls, located in the eastern part of South Dakota, is a vibrant city known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and abundance of recreational activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or food enthusiast, Sioux Falls has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Sioux Falls.
1. Falls Park
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falls_Park
This picturesque park is the city’s crown jewel and features the magnificent Sioux Falls, where the Big Sioux River cascades over quartzite cliffs. Take a stroll along the paved pathways, admire the scenic views, and don’t forget to capture some photos of the falls. There’s also a visitor center where you can learn about the history and geology of the area.
2. Great Plains Zoo
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Plains_Zoo
Animal enthusiasts should not miss the Great Plains Zoo, which houses a wide variety of species from around the world. The zoo provides an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages. You can see animals like tigers, giraffes, rhinos, penguins, and more. Don’t forget to catch one of the zoo’s daily animal feeding and educational presentations.
3. Old Courthouse Museum
the Old Courthouse Museum is a must. Housed in a beautiful Romanesque Revival-style building, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s past. Explore the exhibits that cover topics ranging from Native American history to pioneer life and the development of Sioux Falls. The museum also hosts special events and temporary exhibits throughout the year.
4. St. Joseph Cathedral
St. Joseph Cathedral is a prominent religious landmark located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As the mother church of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls, it holds significant historical and cultural importance in the region St. Joseph Cathedral showcases stunning architectural features that reflect Gothic Revival style. The cathedral’s exterior is characterized by its intricate details, pointed arches, and towering spires. The façade is adorned with ornate stonework, including delicate carvings and statues. Inside, visitors can marvel at the vaulted ceilings, beautiful stained glass windows, and the grandeur of the altar.
5. Sioux Falls Bike Trails
Image Source: https://www.traillink.com/trail/sioux-falls-bike-trails/
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, offers an extensive network of bike trails that wind through the city’s scenic landscapes, parks, and along the Big Sioux River. These trails provide an excellent opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and cycling enthusiasts to explore the city while enjoying the natural beauty it has to offer The Sioux Falls Bike Trail is a 26-mile paved pathway that encircles the city, providing cyclists with a complete loop around Sioux Falls. The trail offers picturesque views of the Big Sioux River, parks, and cityscape. It is well-maintained and accessible, making it suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels.
6. Pettigrew Home & Museum
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pettigrew_Home_%26_Museum
The Pettigrew Home & Museum is a historic landmark located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was once the residence of Richard F. Pettigrew, a prominent figure in South Dakota’s history. Today, the Pettigrew Home & Museum offers visitors a glimpse into the life and times of this influential statesman Richard F. Pettigrew was a U.S. Senator and a leading figure in the early development of South Dakota. The Pettigrew Home was built in 1889 and served as his residence until his death in 1926. The museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and documents that highlight Pettigrew’s political career, as well as the history of Sioux Falls and the state of South Dakota during that era.
7. The Washington Pavilion
Located in downtown Sioux Falls, the Washington Pavilion is a cultural hub that combines science, art, and performance. Explore the Kirby Science Discovery Center, featuring interactive exhibits and educational programs for all ages. The pavilion is also home to the Visual Arts Center, which hosts rotating art exhibitions, and the Wells Fargo CineDome, an immersive theater showcasing breathtaking films.
8. Butterfly House & Aquarium
Image Source: https://butterflyhouseaquarium.org/
Immerse yourself in a tropical oasis at the Butterfly House & Aquarium. Wander through the enchanting butterfly garden, where you can observe these delicate creatures up close. Explore the aquarium and discover a wide variety of marine life, including colorful coral reefs and fascinating underwater ecosystems.
9. SculptureWalk & Arc of Dreams Monument
Image Source: https://siouxfallsarcofdreams.org/
One of the standout attractions in Sioux Falls is the SculptureWalk, an outdoor art exhibit that features a rotating collection of sculptures displayed along the streets of downtown. This unique public art project has transformed the city into an open-air gallery, showcasing a diverse range of sculptures created by talented local and international artists.
10. USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial
The USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial is a significant historical landmark and memorial located in Sioux Falls. While Sioux Falls is not a coastal city, it proudly hosts a tribute to the USS South Dakota (BB-57), a renowned battleship that served during World War II.
11. Good Earth State Park
Image Source: https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/good-earth-state-park/
Good Earth State Park is a captivating natural oasis located just southeast of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It holds great cultural and historical significance as it is believed to be one of the oldest sites of human habitation in the United States, with evidence of Native American settlement dating back over 10,000 years.
12. Terrace Park
Terrace Park is a beautiful and well-loved public park located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This expansive park offers a variety of recreational activities and scenic attractions, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
13. The Blood Run Nature Area
The Blood Run Nature Area is a captivating natural and historical site located near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This area holds significant cultural and archaeological importance, as it was once a bustling Native American settlement and trade center for several thousand years.
14. Veterans’ Memorial Park
Veterans’ Memorial Park is a poignant and respected tribute to the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this park serves as a place of remembrance, honor, and reflection for veterans and their families.
15. Tuthill Park
Tuthill Park is a scenic and expansive park located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. With its picturesque landscapes, diverse recreational opportunities, and family-friendly amenities, Tuthill Park is a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike.
16. Great Bear Recreation Park
Great Bear Recreation Park is a premier outdoor recreational facility located near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Nestled in the beautiful Sioux Falls countryside, this park offers a wide range of activities throughout the year, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
17. Wild Water West
Wild Water West is a popular water park and family entertainment destination located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This expansive park offers a wide range of water-based attractions, thrilling rides, and recreational activities for visitors of all ages.
18. Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum
The Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum is a hidden gem located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This serene and picturesque arboretum is named after Mary Jo Wegner, a local artist and environmental advocate. With its diverse collection of trees, native plants, and beautiful gardens, the arboretum offers a peaceful retreat and a chance to connect with nature.
19. Sertoma Park
Sertoma Park is a beautiful and expansive park located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It is one of the city’s largest parks and offers a wide range of recreational activities, stunning natural landscapes, and cultural attractions. One of the highlights of Sertoma Park is the serene and meticulously designed Japanese Gardens. This stunning garden features traditional Japanese landscaping elements, including waterfalls, koi ponds, stone lanterns, and beautifully manicured plants. Take a peaceful stroll through the gardens and immerse yourself in the tranquility and beauty of this unique oasis.
20. Arrowhead Park
Arrowhead Park is a scenic outdoor recreational area located near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Nestled along the Big Sioux River, this park offers a tranquil setting, picturesque landscapes, and a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Arrowhead Park provides campsites and RV hookups for those looking to spend a night or more in the great outdoors. The park offers a peaceful and scenic environment, allowing campers to relax, connect with nature, and enjoy the serenity of the riverfront setting.
21. Eastbank Art Gallery
The Eastbank Art Gallery is a vibrant and dynamic art space located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Situated in the city’s downtown area, the gallery showcases a diverse range of artworks created by local and regional artists. The gallery hosts regular art exhibitions featuring various mediums, styles, and themes. Visitors have the opportunity to view and appreciate a wide array of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photography, mixed media, and more. The exhibitions showcase the talent and creativity of local artists, providing a platform for them to share their work with the community.
22. McCrossan Boys Ranch Robert L. Nielsen Visitor Center
The McCrossan Boys Ranch Robert L. Nielsen Visitor Center is a significant and educational destination located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The visitor center serves as an introduction to the McCrossan Boys Ranch, a residential treatment facility for at-risk boys. The visitor center provides information about the history and mission of the McCrossan Boys Ranch. Learn about the organization’s origins, its founders, and its dedication to providing a safe and nurturing environment for troubled boys. Gain insight into the Ranch’s commitment to guiding young individuals towards positive and productive futures.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty, cultural attractions, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re interested in history, art, outdoor adventures, or simply enjoying the local cuisine, this city offers a memorable experience for every visitor.
Places and Things To Do