Sioux Falls

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States South Dakota Sioux Falls

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Introduction

Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota with about 160,000 inhabitants and is located in the southeast of the state. Founded in 1883 in what was then known as the Dakota Territory, Sioux Falls has grown from a sleepy Midwestern town into a resort for shopping and tourism in the northern Great Plains. It is widely recognized as the largest urban center between Minneapolis and Denver.

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Sights and Activities

The natural wonder that gave Sioux Falls its name, Falls Park offers multiple viewing areas and a five-story observation tower. From there, you can view not only the impressive waterfalls but some of the city's earliest and most historic buildings.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Sioux Falls has a moderate continental climate. Summers from June to September average around 25 to 30 °C during the day with nights around 15 °C. Winters from December to early March have maximum temperatures slightly below zero with nights mostly between -10 and -15 °C. Precipitation averages around 600mm a year, with most rain falling during the summer months. Winters see around 20cm of snow a month on average.

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Getting There

By Plane

Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) has flights to/from Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta and Detroit.

By Car

Sioux Falls is at the intersection of two major interstates, I-90 and I-29. Another interstate, I-229, travels from the southwestern part of the city to the northeastern part. This forms a loop around the city.

From Chicago, Travel west on I-90 to Sioux Falls. Approximate travel time is eight hours.
From Denver, Travel east on I-76 into Nebraska until the I-80 interchange. Merge east onto I-80. Stay east on I-80 until you reach Omaha. From there, go north on I-29 to Sioux Falls. Approximate travel time is nine hours.
From Kansas City, Travel north on I-29 to Sioux Falls. Approximate travel time is five hours.
From Minneapolis, Travel south on I-35, and then west on I-90 to Sioux Falls. Approximate travel time is four hours. An alternative route would be US Highway 169 southwest of out the western suburbs of Minneapolis. Travel south on Minnesota State Highway 60, just west of Mankato. Travel southwest to Worthington, and travel west on I-90 to Sioux Falls.

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options. Jefferson Lines provides bus service into Sioux Falls from a number of U.S. and Canadian cities, including Dallas, Tulsa, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Billings and Winnipeg. Connections with Greyhound and numerous other bus companies mean Sioux Falls is accessible from anywhere within the continental USA, Canada and Mexico. Fares range from $50-200 round-trip, depending on your point of origination. All buses arrive and depart from the Sioux Falls Bus Depot.

The terminal has been described as one of the nicest in the country - it is clean, comfortable with a TV lounge, internet cafe, souvenir gift store and snack bar.

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Getting Around

By Car

While there is some public transportation in Sioux Falls and taxis are generally available, the easiest way to get around the city is by car. Roads are generally well-maintained (with the occasional summer road construction) and traffic is quite light by typical North American standards, especially considering the exponential growth of the city.

As mentioned above, Sioux Falls is located at the intersection of I-29 and I-90. Another interstate, I-229, runs from the southwest to northeast corner of the city, meaning that the vast majority of Sioux Falls is accessible via an interstate.

Most of the major attractions, shopping areas, and dining establishments are located near two major east-west roads - 12th Street and 41st Street. Minnesota Avenue also has a large selection of restaurants and shopping places.

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

By Public Transport

Sioux Falls Transit operates 15 bus routes throughout the city. Fares are $1 for adults with books of 10 available for a 15 percent discount. Buses generally run every half-hour during the day, but nearly all routes stop running by 7PM and bus service on weekends is very limited.

Sioux Falls Transit operates a trolley that operates Monday through Saturday from 10AM-8PM during the summer, and on Saturdays through the fall. The trolley operates through downtown Sioux Falls from Falls Park to the Washington Pavilion.

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Eat

Due to the recent influx of immigrants settling in Sioux Falls, a large number of ethnic restaurants have sprung up throughout the city, offering ethnic Balkan, Italian, Ethiopian and eastern Asian cuisine. You can also find all of the usual chain restaurant suspects (everything from Outback Steakhouse to Olive Garden) the number of remarkable independent restaurants is small. However, there are a few eateries in the budget (less than $10), mid-range (less than $20) and splurge (more than $20) categories to get you by.

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Drink

Sioux Falls does sport a variety of nightclub options:

  • Crow Bar, 2805 S Minnesota Ave, ☎ +1 605-332-2981. Across the street from Poppadox Pub, this bar has the reputation for being a biker hangout in the* past.
  • Poppadox Casino & Pub, 2808 S. Minnesota Ave, ☎ +1 605-336-8000.
  • Wiley's Tavern, Main Ave (downtown).
  • PAve, Phillips Ave (downtown).

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Sleep

  • Center Inn, 900 E. 20th St (Located next to Avera McKennan Hospital), ☎ +1 605-334-9002.
  • Cloud 9 Motel, 4904 N. Cliff Ave (Located in the northeast part of the city, off of I-90), ☎ +1 605-336-0650.
  • Days Inn, 3401 S. Gateway Blvd (Located just west of I-29 & 41st Street), ☎ +1 605-361-9240.
  • Motel 6, 3009 W. Russell St (Located near the Arena & Convention Center and bus terminal), ☎ +1 605-336-7800.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites, 2901 S. Carolyn Ave (located close to 41st Street and I-29), ☎ +1 605-361-7484. Clean, comfortable hotel.
  • Red Roof Inn, 3500 S. Gateway Blvd (Located just west of I-29 & 41st Street), ☎ +1 605-361-1864.
  • Rodeway Inn, 4208 W. 41st St (Located near Empire Mall), ☎ +1 605-361-2345.
  • Sleep Inn, 1500 N. Kiwanis Ave (Located near the Arena & Convention Center, off of Russell Street. 1 mile from the bus terminal), ☎ +1 605-339-3992.
  • Super 8-Cliff Avenue, 4808 N. Cliff Ave (Located off I-90), ☎ +1 605-339-9212.
  • Super 8-East 10th, 2616 E. 10th St, ☎ +1 605-338-8881. Clean hotel with pool & easy access to I-229.
  • AmericInn Motel, 3508 S. Gateway Blvd (Right just west of I-29 & 41st Street), ☎ +1 605-361-3538.
  • Baymont Inn, 3200 S. Meadow Ave (Located just west of I-29 & 41st Street), ☎ +1 605-362-0835.
  • Best Western-Empire Towers, 4100 W. Shirley Pl (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-3118.
  • Best Western-Ramkota Inn, 3200 W. Maple St (Located next to the Ramkota Exhibit Hall/Convention Center), ☎ +1 605-336-0650.
  • Comfort Inn-South, 3216 S. Carolyn Ave (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-2822.
  • Comfort Suites, 3208 S. Carolyn Ave (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-362-9711.
  • Fairfield Inn, 4501 W. Empire Pl (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-2211.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 2501 S. Shirley Ave, ☎ +1 605-361-0122. Newer hotel with indoor pool and easy access to restaurants and shopping.
  • Homewood Suites, 3620 W. Avera Dr, ☎ +1 605-338-8585. Recently built hotel in a growing sector of the city.
  • Quality Inn & Suites, 5410 N. Granite Ln (located of I-29 & 60th Street North), ☎ +1 605-336-1900. Newer hotel, with good access to the airport.
  • Ramada Inn Limited, 407 S. Lyons Ave (Right off I-29 & 12th Street), ☎ +1 605-330-0000.
  • Ramada Inn & Suites Airport, 1301 W. Russell St, ☎ +1 605-336-1020. Adjacent to the Arena & Convention Center and opposite the bus terminal.
  • Super 8-41st Street, 4100 W. 41st St (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-9719.
  • Courtyard, 4300 W. Empire Pl (located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-2211. Built in 2008.
  • Clubhouse Hotel & Suites, 2320 S. Louise Ave, ☎ +1 605-361-8700. Off of I-29, a short drive from the shops and restaurants of 41st Street.
  • Hampton Inn, 2417 S. Carolyn Ave (Located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-362-1700.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Empire Mall, 2501 S. Shirley Ave, ☎ +1 605-361-0122. Close to the Empire mall and restaurants.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sioux Falls Southwest, 3821 W. Avera Dr, ☎ +1 605-275-4155. Close to shopping and restaurants.
  • Holiday Inn City Centre, 100 W. 8th St, ☎ +1 605-339-2200. In the city center within walking distance of several major downtown attractions.
  • Residence Inn, 4509 W. Empire Pl (located in the Empire Mall shopping area), ☎ +1 605-361-2202. Built in 2008.
  • Sheraton Sioux Falls & Convention Center, 1211 West Avenue North, ☎ +1 605-331-0100. Sheraton Sioux Falls is connected to the Sioux Falls Convention Center via an enclosed walkway offering a total combined 147,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel features an indoor heated pool, the Link @ Sheraton, rooms with flat-panel televisions and on-property dining.
  • TownePlace Suites, 4545 W. Homefield Dr (located just off I-29 & 26th Street), ☎ +1 605-361-2626. Easy access to shopping and restaurants.

View our map of accommodation in Sioux Falls

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Accommodation in Sioux Falls

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Sioux Falls searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 10:08 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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