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Sioux Falls, South Dakota is the largest city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and is located in the north central United States.

South Dakota is bordered to the north by North Dakota, to the south by Nebraska, to the east by Iowa and Minnesota, and to the west by Wyoming and Montana. It is one of the six states of the Frontier Strip. It is probably best known as the location of Mount Rushmore.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Known to the Lakota Sioux as “Laughing Waters”, the Big Sioux River winds throughout the city of Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls takes its name from scenic cascades formed 14,000 years ago as Ice Age glaciers retreated. The shifting ice also exposed pinkish, quartzite bedrock, which was used to construct many of the city’s older buildings. Visitors can watch the river as it flows over the powerful falls from four viewing areas in Falls Park, one of which is a five-story observation tower. The Big Sioux River Recreation Trail and Greenway is a 16-mile-trail that begins at Falls Park and loops around the city providing walking, jogging, and biking trails as well as areas for in-line skating.

The Falls Park Sound and Light Show plays 30 minutes after dusk from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Sioux Falls is South Dakota's largest city and the center of commerce for the eastern part of the state. A good place to start a tour of the city is at one of the two Siouxland Heritage Museums: either the Old Courthouse with its Romanesque architecture or the Pettigrew Home which is designed in the Queen Anne style. While at the museums, pick up a map of the city's historic district and take some time to explore the Gothic, neocolonial, Queen Anne and Tudor architecture that dots the hilly parts of town.

Shopping and entertainment are major reasons for visiting the Sioux Falls area. In Sioux Falls there is the opportunity to shop in the largest complex between the Mall of America and Denver. The Empire/Empire East is one of the area's top attractions, with 180 retail shops and restaurants, Sioux Falls is also a city of casinos and casino resorts and is becoming a major gaming destination.

Many residents are avid outdoors enthusiasts who camp and hunt on its banks and fish and canoe. Tapping into this contingent, the city's “Outdoor Campus” (a joint venture between the Parks and Recreation Department and the Fish and Game Department) offers classes in boating, fishing, and wilderness exploration.

The Center for Western Studies on the campus of Augustana College contains exhibits of artifacts from the cultures of both the Sioux and of Iowa’s European immigrants. The Northern Plains Tribal Arts Festival is held in Sioux Falls every September.


The Sioux Falls Trolley is a seasonal and free trolley service operating Monday through Saturday 10-9, mid-April to late September; Saturday 9-5, early October-late December. The climate-controlled, reproduction trolley is typical of a streetcar used in Sioux Falls in the 1900s. Visitors should look for the trolley stop banners located throughout downtown Sioux Falls and Falls Park.

70 miles northwest of Sioux Falls is the town of De Smet where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and wrote. Six of the books in her pioneer adventure series were set in and around De Smet. Special tours of the town highlight 16 sites about which Wilder wrote. Actors and actresses re-create scenes from the books at the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, held the last weekend in June and the first two weekends in July.

Driving west from Sioux Falls on I-90, many travelers stop in Mitchell, 65 miles from Sioux Falls to see the turreted Corn Palace. The decorative patterns and pictures made up of grasses, corn and other grains are remade annually with locally harvested products. The Corn Palace Stampede Rodeo takes place in July, and the fully decorated palace is the centerpiece of Corn Palace Week each September.
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