Sioux Falls, South Dakota: population 168,586.
Latitude 43º 32’ N, Longitude 96º 43’ W, Elevation 1300 – 1550 feet above sea level
Average daily temperatures January = 16.6º, July = 73.0º, average days over 90º = 18, under 0º = 26
Your first impression of the city kind of depends on where you enter it. Our hotel was on the Northern end, close to the airport and lots of industrial areas. Other than the occasional Air Force jet screaming overhead, it was pretty quiet and the traffic volumes relatively low, even when we went downtown and back.
On later days we traveled into the Southern end of the city and found wide thoroughfares with every franchise, store, and chain known to Americans, where the traffic was a lot more concentrated. Downtown has historic buildings, lots of great restaurants, music venues, shops, museums, and things to do. The Big Sioux River runs along the East side of downtown, providing scenic overlooks, walking and biking trails, and a big park centered around an impressive series of waterfalls. The official tourist booklet lists festivals and concerts all year.
Our visit was short and preoccupied by all of the details of changing addresses and insurances but overall, I found Sioux Falls a nice, livable city with lots of things to see and do. Great food is everywhere. There are a plethora of shopping opportunities downtown, in the many malls, and in the major big boxes. The many taprooms and breweries feature a wide variety of great beers.
We did not have time to visit many of the museums, but we did stop to see the Sertoma Butterfly Museum. There is something incredibly serene and tranquil about being surrounded by butterflies that is both wonderful and hard to explain. Go there in the winter to bask in the warm, humid, summery atmosphere.
All things considered, I would consider living in Sioux Falls if it were not for that one thing: the winter weather. If I wanted that, I could have stayed in Minnesota. Yesterday we were out looking for pho and suffered through a little blizzard with snow and 25 – 30 mph winds. We agreed that it is time to pull up stakes and start our migration South. Omaha tomorrow then on to Branson MO.