While many people equate South Dakota with Mount Rushmore and the Badlands, there’s a whole lot more there if you saunter over to the southeast side of the state. Sioux Falls is the state’s largest city and just a one-day drive from Chicago, St. Louis, Winnepeg or Denver.
Central to the city is Falls Park, where the Sioux River flows over vast stone waterfalls, and where you’ll find 123 acres ready to enjoy by locals and visitors alike. Bike trails connect with almost 20 miles of greenway that will loop you around the city. Stick around after dark and enjoy the Falls Park Sound and Light Show which recounts the city’s history at 9:30 p.m. each evening. Around Christmastime, a special lighted holiday display is available November 19 through January 8, 2013.
The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History share space at 805 S. Kiwanis Avenue, and are places you won’t want to miss if you enjoy animals. Over a thousand animals await your visit, including a special “Rare Rhinos of Africa” exhibit. Inside the museum, 150 animals are on display in environmentally appropriate backdrops, including three-dozen vanishing species. This area is great for photographers, since the animals never lay down or hide behind a tree.
Coming for the pheasant season? There are two places to check out. Clay Bird Shotgun Sports is located 5 miles west of town and is a year-round operation offering skeet, trap and sporting clays. Hunters Pointe Shooting Club in Humboldt, SD, is about a thirty minute drive west of Sioux Falls. There you’ll find a 560 acre pheasant preserve with a 20-field sporting clays course as well as rifle and pistol lanes.
Looking for some Wild West, bronco busting, bull riding rodeo adventure? Check out McCrossan Boys Ranch where each year they hold the Xtreme Event Challenge Rodeo. This year drew riders from South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota. It’s the full rodeo experience with bull-riding, barrel racing, kid’s muttin-bustin, entertainment and the proverbial rodeo clown.
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For more information on Sioux Falls and their wide variety of cultural and entertaining opportunities, check out the visitors site at http://siouxfallscvb.com.
Also published on Medium.