While the title of this blog post may not be original it is, however, true – the Big Sioux River runs through the heart of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and is where we spent a few days checking out the city.
It took us over eight hours to get from the east side of Iowa to the east side of South Dakota. It was a long trip over some pretty bumpy roads. In fact, we bounced along mile after mile so rather than continuing to bounce all over the place and rearranging our guts we turned north and went into Minnesota where we drove along the southern end of it to Sioux Falls. Thankfully the roads were better the rest of the trip.
Since we didn’t have any internet service at Clark’s Ferry we decided to not book a place ahead of time which worked in our favor this time since we wound up leaving Clark’s Ferry a day early. There’s usually a better chance of finding a campground with an open site during the week so we took a chance and found a spot at the Sioux Falls KOA.
After a long day on the road we were ready to relax and unwind so we headed to the Safari Bar & Grill less than three miles from the campground (there was a flyer in the bath house which is how we learned of the place). The kitchen was backed up making service extremely slow but we really didn’t care so it was no big deal and the food was worth the wait. In the end, our beverages and appetizers were comped so it turned out to be a good night out. Then we went home and crashed!
The following morning it began to rain so we took advantage of having internet service and got caught up on emails and such and booked our next campground. As the afternoon rolled around and the rain turned to a drizzle we ventured out to check out Sioux Falls.
Our first stop was Hotel on Phillips. Back in the day this building was originally the Sioux Falls National Bank…
… built in 1918 and was the tallest building in the city at the time. One hundred years later, in 2019, it was transformed into an upscale chic boutique hotel featuring 90 unique and elegant guest rooms along with many luxury suites. The lobby boasts original high fluted columns and chandeliers.
The main focal point of the lobby is the original Bank Vault which serves as the entrance to The Treasury Lounge.
(In the center photo I am standing inside the vault looking into the lobby and that door… it is SO thick!)
This hammer was found in one of the ceilings during the renovations and is hanging inside the vault…
I’m thrilled that this beautiful historic building was restored and given a new purpose for many to enjoy for years to come.
In fact, there are many original historic buildings scattered amongst the modern ones that are still standing and being used today maybe not for its original purpose but like the Hotel on Phillips for a completely different purpose.
We walked around town for a bit…
… before heading to Falls Park at the edge of the city.
The view from the observation tower at the information center…
The following morning dawned bright and beautiful with perfect temps. We headed back to the downtown area and stopped at Josiah’s Coffeehouse, Cafe & Bakery for some breakfast…
… before hopping on our bikes and tackling a portion of the Big Sioux River Recreation Trail. One can cruise (or walk, run or rollerblade) around the city on 34 miles of pavement as the trail follows the course of the Big Sioux River. We only made it about a mile and a half before heading back as the clouds were rolling in and we didn’t want to overdo it.
We stopped at Falls Overlook Cafe for some ice cream for Ronnie and a root beer float for me (they remind me of my Grandma who made them every time we visited).
(You can barely see my white bike at the corner of the building in the above photo.) This is another building that has been given a new purpose as it was originally a power plant.
Our three miles consisted of stopping several times so that I could get a photo. One such photo was that of the Arc of Dreams…
This high-profile sculpture is part of the SculptureWalk and spans 285 feet across the Big Sioux River. It is dedicated to the dreamers of the past and present and serves as an inspiration to dreamers of the future.
There is much to see and do in this city for locals and for tourists. Other than the restoration of old buildings for new purposes I think my favorite thing about Sioux Falls is that the city has something for everyone. I also like the recreation trail around town giving folks a safe place to get outside and get some exercise. I wish every city or town could do that or something similar to encourage its citizens to “get outside and blow the stink off ” as my Mom used to say to me!