That’s what we kept hearing from people when we told them what our first destination was.
Well, I’ll tell you what’s in Sioux Falls: a lot!!
Even though we rolled in on an about-to-be-flat tire and ended up replacing the full set (see Ashes, Ashes), Sioux Falls soon calmed our jangled nerves and gave us a great two weeks.
Yes, two weeks. I confess, we had really only imagined spending a few days, long enough to take care of business and the tires, but then we started discovering what the city has to offer.
Biking. More than twenty miles — just on one trail!
Parks. Falls Park in the heart of the city is a gorgeous oasis, featuring the waterfalls the city was named for. We spent a lot of time here poking around, people-watching, bird-watching, ice cream-eating, and bicycling. It was a great starting place for cycling into town, or heading in the opposite direction along the bike trail.
It was nice to spend some time getting to know a place, so we explored the local museums. The Old Courthouse Museum (6th St. and Main Ave.) was a great way to learn about the area — and a nostalgic reminder of the days when public buildings had elegant marble restrooms!
Unfortunately, something about the set-up of the Museam of Visual Materials missed us — it’s intended to be interactive, a way for people to try out beading or sewing or cooking, or whatever, but with all the cupboards closed and things “put away” the environment didn’t invite a lot of exploration and playing, and there were few clues as to what was available. So we walked through it and back out the door. Hmmm…. It’s located at 500 N. Main Ave. (very near the Old Courthouse) in case you’re willing to give it a try.
A great short hike around the Outdoor Campus gave us a chance to walk rather than ride. It’s at Sertoma Park (49th and Oxbow Avenue). You don’t find too many cities that have so much natural habitat within the city limits, which is another reason we enjoyed Sioux Falls so much.
Into art? Just walk downtown. Sculpturewalk includes dozens (hundreds?!?) of sculptures positioned up and down city streets. From elegant to fun, jazzy to traditional, the works are varied in style and subject, but consistently excellent in quality. You can even pick up a checklist if you’re the compulsive type who wants to be sure you don’t miss any of them!
We found some great restaurants, too. Though we intend to (someday) cook in the RV, we’re still feeling like we’re on vacation, which has always meant trying out the local restaurants. And Sioux Falls has some good ones. Places we ate more than once include The Original Pancake House, Minerva’s, Nikki’s Tanqueria, and A Taste of the Big Apple. Don’t miss out on Wild Whoopie, across the street from the Big Apple, where you can buy original or smaller sized whoopie pies, from the owner’s original Maine recipe!
We were going to try Mama’s Ladas, but had just eaten when we first stopped by, and when we went back another day not a table could be had, outside or in. Their menu is simple: enchiladas. Chicken or beef (or both, if you have an appetite). Given the crowd, and the fact that they can be successful with a one-item menu (okay, maybe the homemade Sangria and the wine bar help!) says a lot. The Wild Sage Grille also appealed to us, but we ran out of meals to eat out, and didn’t get the chance to try it.
All the reason to stop back through Sioux Falls, sooner rather than later!