Summer is one of my favorite times to road trip across the state of South Dakota. The skies are typically clear and blue, and the sunshine just makes everyone happy.
A perfect stop on any road trip across South Dakota is Sioux Falls. Located at the junction of I-29 and I-90, this is the largest city in the state. It’s filled with hundreds of shops, what seems like thousands of restaurants and lots of family fun.
Falls Park is the namesake of South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls.Falls Park is in the heart of the city with beautifully landscaped walkways, a viewing tower and visitor’s center. The Lakota call them “laughing waters” and as you watch them dance over the quartzite rocks, you’ll see how the falls got their name. A great place to watch the falls is from the deck of the Overlook Café. Here you can enjoy a sweet treat or a deli-style meal.
Another highlight of the city is the Sculpture Walk. This free walking tour takes you through downtown as you view sculptures from artists around the world. You can pick up a map at any one of the downtown merchants.
The Washington Pavilion is a hands-on science center for kids of all ages.The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science is another great stop. The hands-on science center is ideal for kids of all ages who get to learn while they play. The I-Max style CineDome features daily showings, and hot, buttered popcorn.
Regionally, Sioux Falls is best known for its shopping and dining experiences. You’ll never have to eat the same thing twice when you visit Sioux Falls. You’ll find hundreds of chain and local flavor restaurants, as well as an ethnic blend of food including authentic Mexican, Indian, European, Ethiopian and a Brazilian Carnival.
Looking for a unique shop or a national favorite? You’ll find that in Sioux Falls too. The Empire Mall (which some locals claim has more visitors than Mount Rushmore) is the crown jewel of the retail hub with 180 stores. You’ll also find specialty shops, boutiques and more places to shop than anywhere else in South Dakota.
Sioux Falls boasts a zoo, a butterfly house, outdoor campus, fabulous parks and a bike path that circles the city. Come explore all of this and more, and enjoy a chuckle–or two–with the laughing waters of South Dakota.