I teamed up with the fine folks over at Matador Network to make this video and photo essay showcasing everything I love about my home town of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. The largest city in South Dakota has a lot to offer someone looking to work, play, start a business or raise a family. A flourishing economy, a vibrant art and music scene, parks, bike trails, endless restaurants, and an interesting history. I’m proud that I planted roots in South Dakota and to have called Sioux Falls home for the past 20 years.
Growing up in Sioux Falls, the 2 things that shaped me the most were skateboarding and music. I was lucky enough to come up in a time when punk music was thriving in Sioux Falls. There was always a DIY house show to attend in a musty basement or a new group releasing a record that they recorded themselves, with their friends, for the love. Luckily, today’s rock enthusiasts have places like Total Drag that will host their favorite indie touring band and stock their record on the shelf of their record shop. Liz and Dan Nissen are doing all they can to help preserve and progress all ages DIY music in Sioux Falls. We’re lucky to have them.
Sioux Falls is home to over 70 beautiful public parks. As a husband and father to 2 little girls, the park system in Sioux Falls is something that my wife and I constantly utilize and enjoy. From Monday evening concerts at McKennan park to having lunch at the Japanese Gardens, there is a surplus of plush green landscapes to soak in and enjoy with your friends and family.
One of the most important things to local business and a thriving economy is the strong sense of community built through places like M.B. Haskett, Total Drag, and Queen City Bakery. Not only do these places offer a superb product and experience, they also offer a place for people from all walks of life that gather, eat, listen, observe and indulge in conversation with each other. The connections and relationships built in these places are what makes this community great.
The Sculpture Walk
If you spend any time wandering around Downtown Sioux Falls, you’ll notice the sidewalks lined with dozens of sculptures from artists representing regions from coast to coast. The Sioux Falls sculpture walk’s guiding principle is to be the highest quality, most professional, financially strong, artist friendly, year-round outdoor sculpture program in the United States. It adds an artistic element to the downtown community and encourages people to get out, walk and observe art as they work and play downtown.
There’s nothing that excites me more than a great meal at a restaurant I love, with company that I enjoy. The conversation, the laughs, and the collective anticipation over what’s about to be served. Over the past 5 years, I’ve watched the food scene in Sioux Falls grow and evolve into something we can all be proud of. From a lunch at M.B.Haskett that I know was prepared with care and leaves me feeling good about what I put into my body, to grabbing a burrito on the go from Nikki’s Burrito Express, to indulging in a French macaroon from CH Patisserie, there’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to food in Sioux Falls.
There is so much history in Sioux Falls to enjoy. From the historic All-Saints neighborhood located just south of Downtown, to the Bronze historical markers at nearly every turn describe a moment or event significant to the history of Sioux Falls. There is no shortage of deep roots that run through this city. One of my favorites is witnessing the St. Joseph Cathedral lit up at night. It’s a great dose of perspective to how far this city has come since the old days.
The Cinedome at The Washington Pavilion
My family and I love taking in a movie at the Wells Fargo Cinedome located in the Washington Pavilion. With a constant rotation of Hollywood movies and educational documentaries, the Cinedome boasts a 60 foot wide, 4 story tall screen accompanied by an immersive sound experience. The tickets are only $5 for adults and $3 dollars for kids. There are barely ever any lines and no previews to sit through. NO PREVIEWS! Catching a movie here is definitely a hidden gem in Sioux Falls.
Something I love about Sioux Falls is my ability to be Downtown one moment, and if I drive 15 minutes in any direction I can be in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. One of my favorite things to do is strap my camera bag on the back of my motorcycle and head to the edge of the city. Endless corn fields and vistas, summertime thunderstorms and sunsets that will blow your mind. I love the contrast between the faster paced urban landscape and the slow pace of the country. It’s the best of both worlds.
The Bike Trails
Sioux Falls has a great biking community. The Sioux Falls Bike Trail forms a loop of nearly 30 miles of paved, multi-use pathways around the city that links many of our parks and green spaces. A great alternative to driving your car, I often use the bike trail system as a shortcut to get to a parks or as an alternate route into downtown. A great place to get some exercise, take a cruise on my skateboard or take my daughter out to practice riding her bike.