Sioux Falls South Dakota, the largest city in the state, has seen many changes since its days as a frontier outpost. Over the years, it has grown into a lively and eclectic place, with an array of museums and cultural sites. Add to that a variety of welcoming Sioux Fall hotels, places to shop, and tasty restaurants, and well-rounded itineraries are a snap.
The list of Sioux Falls attractions includes many museums, where visitors can explore the history of the Old West, Native Americans, and the US military. The Center for Western Studies at Augustana College works to interpret life on the Great Plains. An extensive collection of art and artifacts from Native Americans and frontier settlers is on display in interesting exhibits at the center. Special events include the Arts of the Plains Show held every February. The USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial honors the sailors who served on the decorated ship in the Pacific theater from 1942 through 1945.
Among the most-visited Sioux Falls attractions, the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History offers a variety of experiences on its 45 acres. With children's programs and more than 800 animals from around the world, the zoo features natural habitats and a newly added African savanna. Visitors will find plenty of things to do in Sioux Falls here; they can take a whirl on the carousel, enjoy a train ride, and meet the four-footed residents in the critter barn. The museum also features mounted animals and settings that re-create environments from five continents.
A network of Sioux Falls attractions, the Siouxland Heritage Museums include the Old Courthouse Museum and the Pettigrew Home & Museum. Standing since the 1890s, the quartzite courthouse has been restored and transformed into a regional history museum. The historic home, another example of Sioux Falls's transformation from frontier outpost to thriving city, was the home of South Dakota's first senator. Visitors can take guided tours of the Queen Anne-style residence and explore the interesting exhibits.
Not all of the things to do in Sioux Falls involve being inside. Those who enjoy golfing will find several courses. Dakota Golf Management oversees three public golf courses: Elmwood, Prairie Green, and Kuehn Park. In addition to its golf course, Kuehn Park is a favorite place for hiking and admiring the scenery. Visitors also can learn where Sioux Falls South Dakota got its name when they make a visit to Falls Park. Its visitor center is topped by a five-story observation tower; those who make it up to the top will be treated to views of the Big Sioux River and the pink quartzite rock deposits.
Just outside of town, Palisades State Park is another place to see quartzite. Whether hiking the trails, fishing, or lounging on the front porch of one of the cabins, visitors will have plenty of opportunities to admire the views. Another one of the state parks, the Big Sioux Recreation Area is another place to enjoy the great outdoors.
Among the wealth of things to do in Sioux City, connecting with local arts and culture is another option for visitors. The Sioux Empire Arts Council launches special events and manages the Horse Barn Arts Center in Falls Park, and this historic building is filled with creativity all throughout the year. In charming downtown Sioux Falls, there is an array of outdoor sculptures to admire and galleries to visit. Walking tours will also help reveal the intriguing story of the city through several interpretive panels.
The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Sciences is another place to experience culture in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Its Husby Performing Arts Center provides a home for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra and Broadway-caliber stage shows. The institution also offers several other entertaining things to do in Sioux Falls through visits to the Visual Arts Center, Kirby Science Discovery Center, and the CineDome Theater.