Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota.
Located in the eastern part of the state, Sioux Falls is often overshadowed by the famous tourist attractions in Western South Dakota.
However, the city is worth a visit for its amazing urban attractions, culture, cuisine, and the beautiful nature.
Discover the amazing indoor and outdoor things to do in Sioux Falls with this epic guide to the city.
Best Things to do in Sioux Falls
From the must-see Falls park and the Midwestern Art Museum to the Sculpture Walk and breweries, there are plenty of things to do in Sioux Falls.
We recommend starting your trip in Downtown Sioux Falls. Visit the most popular attractions before venturing to nearby destinations like Good Earth State Park.
Here are the best Sioux Falls attractions to make the most of your trip.
Visit the Falls Park in Downtown Sioux Falls
The Falls Park is definitely one of the best things to do in Sioux Falls, SD.
Situated on the banks of Big Sioux River, it is filled with interesting attractions including the majestic namesake waterfalls.
On a visit to the Falls park, you can enjoy stunning views of the Big Sioux River as it cascades its way down the Sioux quartzite rock formations to create a spectacular panorama.
The park is also home to several historic structures.
One of the favorites is the old Queen Bee Mill remains.
The Visitor Center, with its observation tower, is also great to visit.
You can also see sculptures and interactive exhibits in the park.
The park also has several miles of nature trails for hiking through the scenic landscape that surrounds the falls.
The Sioux Falls bike trails are also a good way of getting some sunshine and exercise on your trip.
Be sure to visit the Falls Overlook Cafe to grab something to eat with a view of the falls.
You can also visit Falls Park during the winter months as it turns into an icy winter wonderland and has stunning holiday displays and events.
Take a step back in history at the Old Courthouse Museum
History lovers should make a beeline for the Old Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls!
The museum is housed in the original Old Minnehaha County courthouse building, which was built in the 1800s from local Sioux quartzite.
The building has excellent architecture and features decorative elements such as stained glass windows, clock tower, and dormers.
The building has been restored to its original glory and is now filled with exhibits that tell the story of Sioux Falls and the surrounding area.
Visitors can explore everything from the early days of settlement to more recent history.
There is also a section dedicated to local art and murals, and visitors can see pieces by some of the most renowned artists in South Dakota.
There’s also a great gift shop where you can buy souvenirs to take home with you.
Enjoy the attractions at Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science
South Dakota’s Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science is a must-see attraction in the Midwest.
The Pavilion features an art museum, a science museum, and a performing arts center all under one roof.
The Pavilion is also home to the Great Plains Zoo and the CineDome Theater.
Art lovers will enjoy the beautiful rotating exhibits at the Visual Arts Center.
There’s something for everyone at the Washington Pavilion!
You can explore the exhibits, catch a show, or see the animals.
See the dinosaurs at Kirby Science Discovery Center
Kirby Science Discovery Center in Washington Pavilion deserves a special mention.
As the only hands-on science center in South Dakota, it’s a great place to learn about everything from the formation of the Earth to natural history to dinosaurs that roamed long ago!
The Kirby Science Discovery Center is also home to exhibits ranging from space and the night sky to making of music and films.
Here you can touch a real meteorite or even create your own geode.
This is a great place to take the kids for a fun, educational, interactive experience.
View the sculptures along the SculptureWalk
If you’re visiting Sioux Falls, be sure to check out SculptureWalk, a free outdoor art exhibit featuring over 50 sculptures by local, regional, and national artists.
This annual event features sculptures by artists from all over the country, and it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather.
The sculptures are located throughout downtown Sioux Falls and are a great way to explore the city.
Plus, it’s free to visit the sculptures, so there’s no excuse not to check it out!
Admire the colorful butterflies at the Butterfly House
Sioux Falls is home to one of the most unique attractions in the Midwest – The Butterfly House & Aquarium.
This unique attraction features a butterfly conservatory, a reptile exhibit, and an aquarium filled with fish from around the world.
Inside The Butterfly House & Aquarium, you’ll find dozens of beautiful butterflies flitting about, as well as see a variety of fish and other aquatic creatures in the aquarium.
You can also explore the nature trails on the property to see more of the beautiful flowers and plants that thrive in the Midwest.
This hidden gem is a must-visit for anyone traveling through Sioux Falls, or looking for a fun and educational activity for their family.
Take a stroll in the Japanese Gardens in Terrace Park
One of the most beautiful attractions in Sioux Falls is the Japanese Gardens, which can be found by Lake Covell in Terrace Park.
These gardens are a lovely place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area.
The serene setting is also perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll.
Visitors can admire the traditional Japanese architecture and landscape design, as well as take in the beauty of the several ponds and waterfalls located in the garden.
A visit to the Japanese Gardens is sure to leave lasting memories!
Take the kids to the Great Plains Zoo
The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls is a popular place to visit for families.
There are dozens of animals to see, including lions, tigers, bears, and elephants.
The zoo also has a butterfly garden, petting zoo, and playground for kids.
Admission is affordable and there are plenty of food options on site.
Feel inspired at the South Dakota Battleship Memorial
A visit to the U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship Memorial is a must for military enthusiasts.
This Memorial pays tribute to the USS South Dakota, a battleship that fought in the Pacific theater of WWII and received 13 battle stars.
The battleship was commissioned in 1941.
It played a critical role in World War II before being decommissioned in 1947.
While the entire ship could not be saved, the memorial features outline of the concrete deck with salvaged parts inside the exhibit.
The memorial’s design replicates a sunk battleship surrounded by grassy land and is very striking.
Visitors can walk around the memorial and then step inside to see the many exhibits narrating the story of this decorated warship.
Admission to the museum is free, making it a favorite with families!
Enjoy a walk in Downtown Sioux Fall
Downtown Sioux Fall is full of history, delicious food, and quaint coffee houses.
There are several art galleries to see downtown as well as a wide variety of boutique stores to buy souvenirs and knick knacks.
Along with local artwork on display, you can also enjoy a nice stroll along the Big Sioux River that runs through the center of downtown.
Understand Native American history at Good Earth State Park at Blood Run
Good Earth State Park is located in the southeastern part of South Dakota.
It makes a great day trip from Sioux Falls.
One of the most popular features at Good Earth is its museum.
It features several exhibits on the area’s Native American history.
The site has been site of continuous human settlement by indigenous people because of its excellent location.
The park also offers visitors plenty of activities, including camping, fishing, hiking, and biking.
Enjoy hiking at Big Sioux Recreation Area
The Big Sioux State Recreation Area is a great place to visit.
Managed by the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department, the park has lots of amenities.
This park offers outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, star gazing, and camping.
The area is also popular for water activities in the summer including kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
In winter, you can enjoy snowmobiling or snowshoeing at the park.
If you’re looking for a nature escape close to the hustle and bustle of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, then your best bet is Big Sioux State Recreation Area.
Best Time to Visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota
If you are looking for the best time to visit Sioux City, South Dakota, then plan your trip around the summer season.
Many events are held in the city during summer and the downtown area is alive with visitors.
Spring and fall are also great seasons to visit for low crowds and low rates.
In winter, the temperatures get very cold and everything is icy.
If you are looking for snow activities and are prepared for the cold, then you can plan a winter trip to the city as well.
Sioux Falls is a large city with a cozy small-town feel.
Visitors can enjoy all that this beautiful place has to offer including waterfalls strolls, murals and sculptures, Downtown shopping district, and more on their visit to Sioux Falls.
We hope you liked our post of things to do in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.