This park has a lot to offer.. 6 viewing platforms..trails.. fishing..history.. a relaxing day if anything.
This 42-acre park is home to the namesake of the city, the falls of the Big Sioux River. The very first town of Sioux Falls was laid out on this site before its abandonment in 1862. Today, some of the highlights of the park include the ruins of the Queen Bee Mill and the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company hydroelectric plant, both on the east side of the falls.
The Queen Bee flour mill was originally a seven-story building constructed in 1881 by R.F. Pettigrew. The mill was never successful and the building was used for a wide variety of things over the years. In 1956 a fire destroyed the building.
The hydroelectric plant was built in 1908. It later came under the ownership of NSP and closed for good in 1974.
The Horse Barn, which was reportedly used for city maintenance horses, is today an art gallery and workshop for local artists.
The Falls Park Visitors Center is an essential part of any visit to the falls. The center boasts a five-story observation tower, with an elevator to the top, which provides an unsurpassed view of the falls and the surrounding area. The main floor contains an information center for Sioux Falls and South Dakota attractions along with a great selection of area souvenirs.
The Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls is pretty nice and has a good assortment of animals. It has some rather unique ones such as: a Red Panda, some Snow Leopards, and some Siberian Tigers. The place does require some walking, but it's not too bad. Overall it's a nice place to visit if you come here. If you like to see "stuffed" animals, this zoo has a good collection of those too.
The Sertoma Butterfly House has a large butterfly flight room, where you can go and see many different species of butterflies flying around, if you're lucky, one may land on you! Just be sure not to take it into the gift shop with you!
The South Dakota Battleship Museum is worth visiting, it is the outline of the actual battleship with a building that contains parts from the actual ship in it. The Ship served in World War 2 and was nicknamed "Battleship X". The building also has a video about the ship and a giftshop in it.
The Falls the city was built around are showcased in this park. If you're visting Sioux Falls, I recommend that you stop here first. You can walk around viewing platforms near the falls or go into the tower on the site and see a spectacular view of the city, Just don't go up there on a windy day, Falls Park is right next to Morrell's! If you're looking for food, go check out the Falls Overlook Cafe. Located in the old NSP plant, the Falls Overlook Cafe has various snacks and other food. Be sure to check out Falls Park, it's Sioux Falls star attraction.
Falls Park features the waterfall that gives Sioux Falls its name. Here, the Big Sioux River goes over the falls, which are made of pink quartzite. The remnants of the old Queen Bee Mill, built in 1887, are stil plainly visible. Also visible is what's left of the hydroelectric plant, constructed in 1908.
Since I visited, a new Visitor Information Center has opened up, with an Observation Tower. This is one of the best municipal parks around. While here, if you have time, stroll along the Big Sioux River, through downtown. It offers some fine hiking and excellent views of the city.
In addition to the beautiful falls; there is also the Old Bee Mill, House Barn Art Center, the 5 story observation tower (also the visitor center), a cafe, and various statues through out the park.
Right next to downtown Sioux Falls, the Falls Park features the Falls of the Big Sioux River. The 42-acre park also includes the ruins of the Queen Bee Mill and a hydroelectric plant. Inside the park in also an old horse barn that now houses an art gallery and workshop for local artists. The park's visitor center has an observation tower so you can get a bird's eye view of the falls--and some of downtown Sioux Falls.
"The Biggest, (And Best) Show in Town". The Sioux Falls Storm is one of the coolest things to see in Sioux Falls. Part of the United Indoor Football League, the Sioux Falls Storm plays during the spring and summer months in the Sioux Falls Arena, And in 2004 were champions of their conference. Most Storm games start at 7:05 PM and end at around 10:00 PM. The entire game is fun and exciting, it feels like a big party at times! If you are in Sioux Falls when they have a home game, I highly recommend you check it out! ( If you enjoyed the game and want storm stuff to take home, then I recommend that you check out the storm shop, they'll have everything you're looking for.)
(August 2005) ---- The Storm are the first ever United Indoor Football, United Bowl champions!!
(July 29th, 2006) ---- The Storm have an undefeated season and win the United Bowl, making them back to back champions!
(The Storm had another undefeated season in 2007.
This is by far the best zoo in South Dakota, and it's always expanding so it's definitely worth a visit. They have all the typical animals--lions and tigers and bears, oh my!--plenty of North American animals, and then some rare animals like Amur Tigers, Eastern Black Rhinos, the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, the Giant Anteater, the Siamang Gibbon and many more! It's definitely a pleasant zoo and a nice place to go in Sioux Falls. The Delbridge Museum of Natural History is connected to the zoo and is a nice place to stop off in the air conditioning and learn more about animals as well.
A water park that features a wave pool, a lazy river, a swim-up bar, several large waterslides, bumper boats, kiddie pools, and a pretty awesome pirate water attraction for kids, as well as batting cages, paintball, go-karts, mini golf and more! If you're in Sioux Falls in the summer, it's a nice place to hang out and cool off. Great for kids, families, young people, pretty much anyone.
Unfortunately, I only had about 45 minutes to explore the downtown area of Sioux Falls on the morning I was leaving town. A few days prior I had driven through the downtown area on a cold, rainy day and saw a number of interesting sculptures and shops and thought I would go back the next day after work and browse around for a little bit.
But the fates (or should I say local management) decided it was a better use of my time to drive up to Aberdeen, SD for a few days and assist some of our people up there with their new handheld computers (it was indeed a better use of my business time). Anyway, I made sure to squeeze in the limited time I had left to do a brisk photo walk through the downtown area where I was able to get a glimpse at some truly outstanding art work.
I've included 4 pictures with their titles along with a travelogue of the other pieces I took pictures of. Altogether I believe there were about 40 to 50 pieces of artwork in the downtown area. And from what I've seen on the website this is a yearly sculpture competition.
The old Minnehaha County Courthouse is a really cool building with some unique exhibits inside. The building features a clock tower, murals, nice stairwells, a beautiful courtroom, cool gift shop and several other features. The exhibits change through out the years.
The battleship USS South Dakota, designated BB-57, served with great distinction in the US Navy during World War II. The same class as the Alabama and Massachusetts, she was armed with nine 16-inch guns, twenty five-inch guns, and a formidable array of light anti-aircraft guns.
Clearly, there would be no way to bring such a giant warship so far inland, but Sioux Falls has an organization dedicated to the memory of the ship and all the sailors who served aboard her. They have created a fitting memorial to all of them, which is worh seeing. One of the battleship's massive 16-inch guns is on display, as well as a model of the ship, some assorted memorabilia, and a historical plaque.
If you go downtown, you'll probably notice sculptures made by local and regional artists placed in various sections of the area. These are part of Sculpturewalk, a program showcasing local and regional sculptures, you can even vote for your favorite one. While you are at it, you might also want to check out some of the local architecture of the buildings near the sculptures.