A sculpture-filled downtown, a famous park and nearby outdoor rec funnel visitors to South Dakota’s biggest metro, Sioux Falls.
Arc of Dreams Sioux Falls South Dakota
Arc of Dreams
| Credit: Paul Schiller/Acts of Nature

From the top of Falls Park's five-story viewing tower, visitors snap photos of the Big Sioux River plunging 100 feet over pink quartzite ledges. The natural people magnet becomes a full-blown attraction with the addition of a dozen sculptures, a cafe in the 1908 Sioux Falls Power and Light structure, and historical buildings like the 1881 Queen Bee Mill.

From the park, the 29-mile Big Sioux River Recreation Trail loops the city, and the Phillips to the Falls walking-driving route lands you downtown. There, the 50-plus displays on SculptureWalk and the recently completed Arc of Dreams over the river create the feel of an outdoor art gallery. On 8th Street on the East Bank, locally owned shops and restaurants reinvigorate a warehouse district with shopping and gastronomical delights.

SculptureWalk Sioux Falls
| Credit: Ryan Donnell

Day 1

Start with caprese Benedict on freshly baked biscuits at All Day Cafe by Minervas, then watch the Big Sioux River's tumbling waterfalls in Falls Park. Arc of Dreams, part of SculptureWalk, stretches across the river between 6th and 8th streets.

Falls Park Sioux Falls South Dakota
Falls Park
| Credit: John Noltner

Stroll the downtown galleries and stop for impossibly pretty cakes at CH Pâtisserie or Queen City Bakery.

See a classic movie at the Beaux Arts-inspired State Theater, reopened after a multimillion dollar restoration.

ROAM Kitchen + Bar is a meat-lover's paradise that features sausages, rotisserie chicken and smoked brisket. The city's new boutique lodging, Hotel on Phillips, combines historic elegance and modern design touches in a former bank building. Walk through the vault to sip a cocktail in the lounge.

Butterfly House Sioux Falls South Dakota
Butterfly House
| Credit: Chad Coppess/TravelSouthDakota

Day 2

Phillips Avenue Diner serves fluffy pancakes and local eggs in a retro setting. Two miles of walking trails and the Butterfly House and Aquarium await at Sertoma Park.

Old Courthouse Museum Sioux Falls South Dakota
Old Courthouse Museum
| Credit: Ryan Donnell

For more animal encounters, the 45-acre Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History houses more than 1,000 creatures.

Try house-made sopes (thick corn tortillas with toppings) at Jacky's Restaurant.

Explore regional history at Old Courthouse Museum or Pettigrew Home and Museum, spend a summer evening at the Birdcage ballpark watching the minor league Canaries, or retreat to the recently expanded Palisades State Park, 23 miles northeast of the city, for hiking trails and great views of quartzite rock formations.

More information: visitsiouxfalls.com