Sioux Falls, South Dakota
A Great Vacation Destination
By: Sandy Katz - Jan 17, 2016
Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city was named for the Sioux Tribe of American Indians and the waterfalls of Big Sioux River.
The quality of life in Sioux Falls is enviable: clean air, quality education, safe streets and enthusiastic residents to mention just a few. Researchers according to USA Today studied 259 smaller cities and found Sioux Falls, SD topped the list: for age 65 and up highest employment, and many hospitals with rehab services and hospice care. Transportation, wellness programs, and ways they can engage people in social activities contribute to longevity.
One of the most visited attraction in Sioux Falls is Falls Park, home to the Falls of the Big Sioux River located on the north end of downtown. Enjoy magnificent rock formations washed by water of the Big Sioux River. Here you can find rushing triple falls, visitor center, five-story viewing tower, historic ruins, horse barn, recreational trails, café, sculptures and more. It has been the focus of life in the region throughout history and today the park covers 123 acres. There is a Lazer Light Show held Memorial Day through Labor Day.
U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship Memorial museum highlights the most decorated battleship of World War II. It fought in every major naval battle in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.This small museum contains many items of historical interest like photographs and artifacts among other memorabilia regarding the ship’s role in World War II in the Pacific.
Veteran’s Memorial Park is designed as a memorial honoring all veterans involved in conflicts dating back to the Spanish-American War. The park features a beautiful lake running through the middle of it, with a bridge connecting both sides. Visit the Medal of Honor Garden as well as The Going Home sculpture which was added in 2010 to honor those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Shoto-Teien Japanese Gardens/Terrace Park includes an entrance pavilion, two arbors, exotic flowers, a bridge, pagodas, waterfall, numerous benches, stone lanterns, and an island. Japanese gardens are designed as a traditional Japanese strolling garden and are a great way to spend 30 minutes to an hour. The gardens are beautiful in every season and are open all year. They are located in Terrace Park on the east shoreline of Covell Lake.
Fawick Park has free family movies every Saturday night, brought to you by downtown Sioux Falls. Thomas Fawick gave the residents a replica of Michelangelo’s David statue in 1971 and can be viewed at Fawick Park.
The Washington Pavilion is the region’s premier cultural, educational and entertainment center located in downtown Sioux Falls. A visit to the Kirby Science Discovery Center is an amazing educational experience skillfully disguised as a whole lot of fun. With live demonstrations, CineDome films, special programs, traveling exhibits, and three floors filled with over 100 hands-on exhibits, the Kirby Discovery Center offers an incredible array of fun and educational activities.
Galleries include: Air and Space; Room to Grow; Dynamic Earth; Imagination Studio; Light, Sound, Action; The Stairway to Sound; Fit For Life; Starting Line; and The Physics of Motion.
Quartzite Quarry Trolley Tour was an adventurous ride to the Strong, hard pink Sioux Quartzite Quarry pit. Our tour guide brought the whole quarry experience to life! We viewed the modern techniques of quarrying and had great photographic ops but had to stay on the trolley for safety reasons.
Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is one of the most popular visit attractions in Sioux Falls. The Delbridge Museum of Natural History is one of the largest private collections of mounted animals in the world. All of the museum’s specimens were legally hunted and collected by Henry Brockhouse from 1940’s to 1960’s. Approximately 150 mounts are currently on display and portrayed in naturalistic surroundings called dioramas, which are grouped both geographically and by habitat. Many representing species now extinct.
The Great Plains Zoo boasts over 1,000 live animals from around the world including rhinos, giraffes and tigers. There is also an emphasis on mammals, birds and reptiles indigenous to the Great Plains of America. This zoo is patterned in appearance after the famous San Diego Zoo in California. Its most outstanding exhibits include Rocky Mountain goats, grizzly bears, polar bears, a prairie dog village, raccoons that beg with charm and very little sense of shame pheasants, ducks, quail a wild fowl complex including turkeys and peacocks that roam grandly about the premises.
Our Wine and Foodie Tour:
Every time of year is a good time to visit one of South Dakota wineries. Their wineries offer experience as diverse as their landscape. Handmade wines offer a unique sensory delight specific:
Renner, SD-Strawbale Winery produces wines made of straw bales.
Volga, SD-Schade’ Vineyard & Winery produces Oakwood Red Table Wine , Dakota red and Tawny which is a port style wine to mention a few.
Brandon, SD-Wilde Prairie Winery is always looking for SD grown fruit from which they create their wines
Then we visited South Dakota University Dairy Plant & Sales Bar in Brookings, SD to discover where Cookies & Cream flavored ice cream was founded. Tourists and alumni find the Dairy Bar a favorite attraction during their visits to SDSU.
Sioux Falls, SD is proud to share their beautiful community with you…from parks to arts and culture, entertainment, attractions, shopping, restaurants, sports, and a high standard of health care. Visit this “Heart of America” city for a safe, fun and memorable experience.
IF YOU GO
Tourist Information: Sioux Falls, SD CVB 800-333-2072; 605-336-1620 www.siouxfallscvb.com www.VisitSiouxFalls.com
South Dakota Tourism: 800-732-5682 www.TravelSouthDakota.com
Accommodations: The Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center 605-336-0650 www.siouxfalls.bwramkota.com
Falls Park Visitor Information Center 605-367-7430
U.S.S. SD Battlefield Memorial 605-367-7141 www.usssouthdakota.com
Washington Pavilion 605-367-6000 ; 877-WASHPAV www.washingtonpavilion.org
Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum 605-367-7059 7003 www.gpzoo.org
Wineries: Strawbale Winery 605-543-5071 www.strawbalewinery.com
Wilde Prairie Winery 605-582-6471 www.wildeprairiewinery.com