From natural wonders and outdoor landmarks to attractions like museums, shopping, great dining and live music destinations, everyone can find something to enjoy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Tourism is growing thanks to the popularity of many of its landmarks, and yet it still offers that “small town” vibe in most places.
If you want to make sure that you see it all, you need to know what it “all” is. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular destinations and attractions in and around Sioux Falls for your enjoyment, no matter what time of year you visit.
Whatever you decide to do, by the time you finish this list, you’ll see that there’s no shortage of things you can enjoy while you’re here. Here are 17 things to do in Sioux Falls that we know you’ll love.
You cannot come to South Dakota without a visit to Falls Park, where you’ll see the falls themselves. They falls are part of the Big Sioux River that runs through the region. Falls Park also offers 123 acres where you can walk, bike, and more. You can even see the remnants of the Queen Bee Mill from the 19th century, located on the river’s east side.
Make sure you visit the Falls Overlook Cafe while you’re here. Open seasonally, it’s a great place to grab lunch, an ice cream, or a snack.
For outdoors types and nature lovers, this is a must-see. If you want, you can visit the park and then hop on the bike trail to explore the rest of the city.
Details: 131 E Falls Park Dr., Sioux Falls, SD 57104
USS SOUTH DAKOTA BATTLESHIP MEMORIAL
If you’re looking for historic attractions in Sioux Falls, the USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial is one that should be on your list. History and military buffs alike love this destination, which is a reconstructed battleship right in the middle of a beautiful lawn.
The USS South Dakota was the most decorated warship of World War II, and this memorial park is dedicated to everything to do with it. There are indoor and outdoor exhibits that take you back to the war and transport you to a different world.
This attraction is fun for all ages. The hours of operation are limited, so be sure to plan ahead and make sure that you’ll have time to check it out while you’re in town.
Details: 2705 W 12th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
WILD WATER WEST
Wild Water West is the largest water park in South Dakota, and it even offers a swim-up bar for the parents.
You’ll find family-friendly activities like the lazy river and kids’ area, and you’ll even enjoy access to the wave pool. There are plenty of water slides and attractions, including those for people who prefer to keep their fun dry.
Check out paintball, sand volleyball, and mini golf options while you’re here.
Details: 26767 466th Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106 | Website
WASHINGTON PAVILION OF ARTS AND SCIENCE
The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science is a great place to visit if you want to hit a lot of landmarks in one. Here, you’ll find an art gallery, a theater, concert hall, and even a science museum. There are performances throughout the year by the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the Dakota Academy of Performing Arts, and the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society.
You’ll find seasonal festivals, holiday musicals, and a collection of life-sized dinosaur skeletons, along with tiny replicas of the solar system. Whether you’re looking for education, entertainment, or both, you’ll find it here.
Details: 301 S Main Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
Terrace Park is a park for the simpler, more laid back visitor. Here, you’ll find ball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields, a swimming pool with water slides, and extra water features where you can canoe, kayak, and fish.
There are also gardens to explore here. You’ll find a formal garden, a sculpture garden, and a beautiful Japanese garden where you can enjoy the beauty of this state.
This destination isn’t as well-known as others, so you’re sure to find plenty of space to relax here if you don’t want the typical tourist crowds.
Details: 1100 W 4th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
GOOD EARTH STATE PARK
Good Earth State Park has been named one of the most beautiful places in the United States, offering a retreat that’s got a rich cultural heritage, thanks to Native American tribes that have been settled in the region for centuries.
There are plenty of brooks and rivers, prairies to explore, and even hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. Enjoy picnicking on the beautiful grounds or take a crack a geocaching while you’re here.
There’s also snowshoeing available during the winter months and an on-site museum will ensure that you understand everything about the area to appreciate it properly.
Details: 26924 480th Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57108 | Website
WOODGRAIN BREWING COMPANY
Woodgrain Brewing Company offers some high-quality craft bear that is made using only locally-sourced ingredients. They use unique strains of yeast to create a unique taste in their products.
At Woodgrain Brewing Company, you’ll find fun events throughout the year, including barbeque fests. Tuesday through Thursday, food is served — but on weekends, you can find food trucks making their rounds, or you can bring your own food along while you enjoy their drinks.
Live music is a regular happening here, and there are some great local acts to check out.
Details: 101 S Phillips Ave #100, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
SCULPTURE WALK AND ARC OF DREAMS MONUMENT
For those interested in outdoor art, the Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk is a beautiful collection of sculptures that you’ll find displayed throughout the downtown area. All artists contribute one per year and they all go up for sale.
Although the sculptures are displayed throughout the downtown area, you’ll find a lot of them near Phillips Avenue near the river — making it a good place to start.
The Arc of Dreams Monument is also worth a visit at the end of your tour. This is a bridge that’s designed to curve over the river, representing the city’s spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s a beautiful walk through the city that you’ll not soon forget.
Details: Sioux Falls, SD 57103 | Website
CATHEDRAL OF SAINT JOSEPH
When it comes to landmarks and tours, the Cathedral of Saint Joseph should be on everyone’s list.
You can take self-guided tours of the cathedral throughout the day and there are guided tours available by request, although you have to arrange them in advance. The interior and exterior architecture offers impressive features and the pipe organ is definitely something to behold.
For those interested, mass takes place here and can be attended by visitors, which gives you the full effect.
Details: 521 N Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
SIOUX FALLS BIKE TRAILS
The Sioux Falls bike trails are a wonderful addition to the city and great way to explore all Sioux Falls has to offer.
In an effort to make it easier for people to enjoy exploring Sioux Falls, officials created a path of bike trails that can be picked up from several locations throughout town, including Falls Park. You can ride the bike paths in their entirety, or just take them on your way to other attractions.
The bike trails cover almost 30 miles, and loop around the city. The paths cover 3,178 acres of parklands, and include easy access to cafes, malls, museums, and more.
Biking isn’t the only thing to do on the trail — it’s also perfect for walking and jogging.
BUTTERFLY HOUSE AND AQUARIUM
The Butterfly House & Aquarium, formerly the Sertoma Butterfly House & Marine Cove, is a great place to see more than 800 species of butterflies and marine life from around the world.
See the butterflies fluttering about inside 3,600 square feet of space inside the Butterfly House. There are butterflies from around the world found here. You can even feed them! You can rent butterfly feeding equipment for $3 for an up-close-and-personal experience.
A short walk to the other side of the complex will take you to Marine Cove, which is home to coral, fish, and plenty of marine life. There’s even the option to touch a stingray or shark if you’re feeling brave!
Details: 4320 S Oxbow Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106 | Website
GREAT PLAINS ZOO AND DELBRIDGE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Looking for something to do that everyone in your group will enjoy? A visit to the Great Plains Zoo and the Delbridge Museum of Natural History is a great choice.
The zoo and the museum are connected, making it easy to see both. At the zoo, you’ll find so many animals, such as tigers, rhinos, leopards, kangaroos, bears, flamingos and more. You’ll also see a red panda, and a handful of endangered species here. In addition to all the animals, the zoo also has fun attractions — like the Sanford Carousel and the Express Train. You’ll also find walk-through exhibits, zookeeper chats, and events hosted here throughout the year.
Make time to stop by the Delbridge Museum of Natural History while you’re at the zoo, where you’ll see 150 mounted animals. The museum is focused on natural history, so it naturally extends the learning process and is a great complement.
Details: 805 S Kiwanis Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
PETTIGREW HOME & MUSEUM
The Pettigrew Home & Museum offers a chance to see a timeless collection of art in a classically restored home.
Built in 1889, this house was sold for $12,000 to Senator Richard Franklin, who created the house as it is known today. This destination is a great learning experience and offers a nod to South Dakota history that includes natural history specimens, Native American artifacts, and much more of Sioux Falls’ heritage.
Details: 131 N Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
DOWNTOWN SIOUX FALLS
In downtown Sioux Falls you’ll find tons of tourist attractions, shops, cafes, and theaters. If you’re looking to get out on the town, head downtown and find boutiques, bookstores, galleries, salons, souvenir shops, and plenty of dining options. You could easily spend a few days exploring everything downtown has to offer!
You’ll also find trolley rides, brewery tours, museum workshops, and plenty to do. Plus, there are dozens of hotels just steps from all the attractions.
OLD COURTHOUSE MUSEUM
If you really want to see some old history in Sioux Falls, visit the Old Courthouse Museum. This building was built in the late 19th century, and is impressively constructed from Sioux quartzite stone.
There are 16 different murals inside this building, along with tons of fireplaces, stained glass, and architectural details that will catch anyone’s eye.
You’ll find self-guided tours available throughout the day, and you can call ahead to ask about guided tours and special events.
Details: 200 W 6th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | Website
BIG SIOUX STATE RECREATION AREA
The Big Sioux State Recreation Area is one of the most beautiful destinations in the state. It’s located on the banks of the Big Sioux River and has plenty of space for camping, hiking, biking, and canoeing.
If you come during the winter months, you can even enjoy snowmobiling and cross country skiing here. Never done cross-country skiing? Don’t worry. South Dakota’s Game, Fish & Parks division offers an outdoor skills education center in Sioux Falls, called Outdoor Campus. Volunteers there can teach you everything you need to know, and more, about South Dakota’s outdoor sports.
Horseback riding, a disc golf course, and even rental cabins can also be found at Big Sioux State Recreation Area. Whether you’re looking to unwind or to try out some thrilling experiences, or a little of both, this is the place to do it.
Details: 410 W Park St, Brandon, SD 57005
THE BIRD CAGE
Baseball lovers, a trip to Sioux Falls Stadium to see the minor league team, the Sioux Falls Canaries, is a must! Affectionately called the Bird Cage, this stadium is full of fun for the whole family.
In addition to the games, you’ll find fun events and more, without breaking the bank.
Although it may be one of the oldest stadiums in the American Association, a renovation in the late 1990s brought luxury box seats, an expanded picnic area, and a new grass berm down the third base line. This is stadium is fun, and a great place to enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO SOUTH DAKOTA
- YOUR SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION
- SD ROAD TRIP: 7 STOPS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS
- ALL THINGS SD: 23 Really Amazing Things To Do In South Dakota
WHERE TO STAY IN SIOUX FALLS
Best Upscale Option. Hotel on Phillips is an upscale chic boutique hotel featuring 90 unique and elegant guest rooms along with many luxury suites. It’s location on Phillips St is dubbed Sioux Falls’ heart and soul of the city.
Best Historic Option. Historic Victorian Inn is located in the heart of Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota and touted as more personal than a hotel – and usually more affordable. In the summer enjoy the Victorian wrap around porch. All within walking distance of great bars and restaurants.
Best Budget Option. Super 8 by Wyndham Sioux Falls is close to the airport and central to many of our recommended activities. It’s a well-rated location for an affordable price.
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