Top 15 Tourist Attractions In Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Sioux Falls is South Dakota's largest city, with plenty to offer visitors, including 5,000 hotel rooms and more than 500 restaurants.

It is a major upper Midwest destination, and Sioux Falls attractions include gorgeous parks and educational museums.

One of the major attractions in Sioux Falls is the incredible Falls Park with its waterfalls and 34 miles of bike trails to view the city and major attractions in Sioux Falls while exercising in the fresh air.

Another thing to do in Sioux Falls is to embrace its artistic elements. The Sculpture Walk in downtown Sioux Falls is an extraordinary exhibit of local art that can actually be purchased. And the Washington Pavilion is a nod to both North Dakotan and international artists, with its seven galleries under one roof.

Here are 15 of the top tourist attractions in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Things To Do in Sioux Falls

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1: Falls Park

Falls Park

For anyone traveling across South Dakota, visiting Falls Park is one of the most exciting things to do in Sioux Falls.

The calming effects and beauty of this 128-acre park by the Big Sioux River are almost surreal. Visitors can enjoy a picnic or visit the Falls Overlook Café.

There is a visitor center to answer questions, sculptures along the walkways, and light shows in the evening.

An incredible 7,500 gallons of water drop down 100 feet of the fall every second. It's as if nature were whispering, "Relax. Just be." There are benches everywhere to take in the scenery.

Once you have had enough of the falls, you can visit the Queen Bee Mill, Millrace and Dam, Seney Island, the Horse Barn, and multiple sculptures that are located inside the park.

The old Light and Power Company Building has been turned into the Falls Overlook Café, and it is the perfect place to take a break and have a bite to eat.

The Observation Tower, which has an elevator, provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city skyline, and a trolley from downtown Sioux Falls runs to the falls every day except Sundays from April to October. There is also parking available.

Address: 131 E Falls Park Dr, Sioux Falls, SD 57103

2: SculptureWalk Sioux Falls

SculptureWalk Sioux Falls

Downtown Sioux Falls is an amazing place, but what enhances the area is the Sculpture Walk. Throughout Downtown, people can see sculptures on display year-round.

The SculptureWalk is a must-see in Sioux Falls. Each sculpture is exhibited for one year, and the public gets to vote on its favorite.

The winner becomes a part of the park’s permanent sculpture collection. This is the largest annual sculpture collection in the U.S.

Many of the sculptures are created by unknown artists who have dared to dream big and have seen their dream come true.

The visitors center is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and opens at noon on Sundays.

The cornerstone of the sculpture collection and a part of the permanent collection is the Arc of Dreams which spans the Big Sioux River between 6th and 8th Streets.

It is a signature sculpture for the city of Sioux Falls, encouraging everyone to follow their dreams.

Address: 300 S Phillips Ave L104, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

Also Read: The Best Downtowns in the USA

3: Butterfly House and Aquarium

Butterfly House and Aquarium
Flickr/Ruiwei Qi

Places to visit in Sioux Falls, especially with children, is the Butterfly House and Aquarium.

The 10,000-gallon saltwater aquarium has hundreds of fish species and coral reefs from the Caribbean to the Pacific.

Anyone who is a little more adventurous will want to touch one of the stingrays or sharks at the touch pool.

The Butterfly House is a lovely tropical retreat exhibiting butterflies from all over the world.

This tropical zone is home to 800 stunning butterflies. They are not just exquisite to look at, but visitors can feed the butterflies out of their hands.

The Butterfly House can serve as a tropical wedding venue for up to 12 guests for a unique, intimate wedding. The rental cost is $500.00.

Entry to the Butterfly House and Aquarium Admission is $14.00 for adults and $10.00 for children under the age of 17. It is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Address: 4320 S Oxbow Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Also Read: 25 Best Aquariums in the US

4: Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum

Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum
Flickr/Ruiwei Qi

Animals of all kinds can be found at both the Great Plains Zoo and the Delbridge Museum.

The zoo has hundreds of animals on exhibition, with the Snow Monkey exhibit winning a national award. Many of these animals are endangered and in the zoo’s protection program.

There are not too many other zoos where visitors can get as close to the animals as they can at the Great Plains Zoo.

While many people love seeing the Asian Cat exhibit and the Rare Rhinos of Africa exhibit, the best exhibit is the Hy-Vee-Face-to-Face Farm. This is where everyone can feed the animals, ride camels, and even kiss a sheep or two.

The Delbridge Museum of Natural History at the Zoo is a rare one-of-a-kind Sioux Falls attraction with 150 mounted animals.

Hunting animals was prevalent decades ago. Currently, 38 of these animals have vanished or are endangered, and the museum serves as an invaluable educational tool.

Visitors can enjoy a 25-minute guided tour of several habitats in a golf cart for $30.00. Tours leave the Komodo dragon area every half hour from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The zoo is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except on Wednesdays during the summer when it remains open until 7:00 p.m.

The entrance fee is $15.50 for adults and $11.50 for children under the age of 11.

Address: 805 S Kiwanis Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

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5: Old Courthouse Museum

Old Courthouse Museum
Old Courthouse Museum | Dreamstime/Paul Brady

Construction on this old courthouse began in 1889, and after its completion in 1893, it was used as a courthouse until 1962.

What was once considered the largest courthouse between Chicago and Denver had become too small, and a new courthouse had to be built.

No one wanted to see the old courthouse demolished, and it was converted into a museum in 1974.

Now everyone can explore the old courthouse and see the slate stairs, granite pillars, stained glass windows, and the circuit courtroom where cases were heard for decades.

The public can visit three floors, and it is one of the places to go in Sioux Falls to learn more about its history.

It encourages education with tours, lectures, workshops, and year-round concerts. It is handicapped-accessible.

The museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. It closes at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and is open from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free.

Address: 200 W 6th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

6: Terrace Park

Terrace Park

How delightful to find a park with something for everyone. One of the attractions in Sioux Falls that draws people is the multi-faceted Terrace Park. And it is one of the Sioux Falls tourist attractions visitors should not miss.

The Shoto-Teien Japanese Gardens is designed for calm with its bubbling water, Japanese lanterns, and benches to take it all in.

Covell Lake offers fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Or visitors can simply enjoy a picnic and share food with the ducks and koi.

During the summer, the band shell hosts regular concerns. Sit back and enjoy.

Although the aquatic center doesn’t open until June, water slides and pools will refresh the entire family.

For anyone with the energy to spare, Terrace Park has a playground, a basketball court, and a baseball field. Entrance to all this fabulousness is free.

Address: 1100 W 4th St, Sioux Falls

7: Good Earth State Park at Blood Run

Good Earth State Park at Blood Run
Good Earth State Park at Blood Run

Good Earth State Park is one the unique places to go in Sioux Falls which is often considered one of the oldest inhabited places in the US – almost 9,000 years old.

The area became a trading center for Omaha and other tribes around 1300.

Located by the Big Sioux River, a forest, and the prairie, this region was once called Blood Run due to the rusty (reddish) iron deposits in the soil.

There are wonderful trails for exploring, bird watching, picnicking, and fishing these days. The Indians have been fishing for bass, walleye, and catfish for thousands of years.

The River Lookout Trail is an easy loop with great views of the river. Also, along the river, the Bur Oak Trail is a bit longer and more challenging. Either trail is highly recommended for birding.

Address: 26924 480th Ave, Sioux Falls

8: Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science

Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science
Washington Pavilion

The Washington Pavilion of Arts & Science is one of those rare Sioux Falls attractions that combines art, science, and entertainment under one roof.

Eight galleries exhibit the works of local and international artists. The Kirby Science Discovery Center provides visitors of all ages with hands-on experience to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of sciences.

The CineDome uses music, technology, animation, and videos to educate visitors about the planets and their stars.

There will be date nights for gazing at each other and the stars, discussion groups about the universe, and the opportunity to learn about the state of space exploration. It’s exciting stuff!

Click here for the various costs of the different activities.

Address: 301 S Main Ave, Sioux Falls

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9: Cathedral of Saint Joseph

Cathedral of Saint Joseph
Dreamstime/Doug Peters

Visitors interested in appreciating meaningful Sioux Falls catholic history will appreciate this as one of the Diocese's major Sioux Falls attractions.

St. Joseph a major part of Sioux Falls' skyline and has been important in the enhancement of the neighborhood.

Saint Joseph Cathedral was created in 1915 by the Diocese of Sioux Falls and boasts a pipe organ with 3,293 pipes.

The ceiling illustrates the stories of the Nativity, Joseph’s death, and the Annunciation.

Perhaps not Michelangelo, but certainly close. A renovation returned the cathedral to its initial splendor with original paintings and moldings.

Visitors can take self-guided tours Monday through Friday and should make arrangements with the cathedral office. Volunteers offer guided tours at 1:00 p.m. on weekdays.

Address: 521 N Duluth Ave, Sioux Falls

Also Read: Most Beautiful Churches in America

10: USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial

USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial
USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial

The USS South Dakota fought bravely in major WWII battles from 1942 to 1945 to become a highly decorated ship.

It disabled 32 Japanese planes and was the initial ship to attack the Japanese home islands.

She belonged to South Dakota, but it was impossible to get the entire ship back into the state following her retirement.

They saved what they could, poured a concrete outline in Sioux Falls' Sherman Park, and used the salvaged pieces to complete a miniature replica of the great battleship.

Fragments such as the bell, propeller, and others are placed within the boundaries of the outline.

This ship should not be forgotten, and one of the things to do in Sioux Falls is to come and see a battleship, or at least portions of one, in the middle of the U.S. plains as it appears to be to rising out of the ground of Sherman Park.

The statue is open year-round. The gift shop is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Address: 2705 W 12th St, Sioux Falls

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Also Read: Best Battleship Museums In the USA

11: Veterans’ Memorial Park

Veterans’ Memorial Park
Flickr/Missy Kitzman

Some men and women put their lives on the line to keep the rest of the country safe.

It seems that they don’t always get the gratitude they deserve. Veterans' Memorial Park is one of the Sioux Falls attractions that does much to rectify this.

The park honors the veterans who have protected, served, and sacrificed to keep the principles of life, liberty, and happiness intact.

The park has a Medal of Honor Garden, memorial walls, sculptures, flags, and historic and military displays.

Visitors can explore and remember as they walk the trails and cross the park’s bridges. It’s a way of keeping memories alive.

The Rosie the Riveter Garden tells the story of how six million Americans bravely supported our country. Sioux Falls does much to honor the memory of America's brave fighters.

During the summer, free entertainment is regularly provided at the amphitheater.

Address: 1021 W Bailey St, Sioux Falls

12: Wild Water West Waterpark

Wild Water West Waterpark
Wild Water West Waterpark

The Wild Water West Waterpark is one of the fun places in Sioux Falls that truly embraces visitors.

Families especially will love the cooling park and campsite. It's Eden for water enthusiasts with rides, pools, and slides suitable for both adults and children, such as the Lazy River, Thunderbolt Falls, splash zone, and wave pool.

The Flaming Campgrounds has its own amenities like mini-golf, bumper cars, batting cages, and other fun activities.

Admission is $25.99 for adults and $19.99 for children. Season passes begin at $69.99.

Address: 26767 466th Avenue, Sioux Falls

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Also Read: The Best Water Parks in the USA

13: Great Bear Recreation Park

Great Bear Recreation Park

Anyone looking for Sioux Falls attractions to visit in any season must look no further than Great Bear Recreation Park.

This marvelous 220-acre Sioux Falls park has something going through the entire year. It’s an outdoor haven that does not disappoint.

During the winter, it’s a prime venue for skiing and snowboarding. But it is also the place to go hiking and enjoy the views during the warmer spring and summer months, as the park is also an excellent place for picnics and watching the fall leaves change.

Regardless of the season, the park is free and open until 7:00 p.m.

Address: Great Bear Ski Valley, 5901 E Rice St, Sioux Falls

14: Candy Cloud Factory

Candy Cloud Factory
Candy Cloud Factory

Sweet Sioux Falls attractions include the Candy Cloud Factory with its 18 flavors of freshly made cotton candy, as well as delicious popcorn, ice cream, and pretzels. It’s sugar heaven.

The company provides its goods for parties, weddings, and other events to sweeten anyone’s day.

The Candy Cloud Factory is closed Monday and open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. They remain open until 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Address: 701 N Phillips Ave Unit 160, Sioux Falls

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15: Museum of Visual Materials

Museum of Visual Materials
Museum of Visual Materials

The Museum of Visual Materials is a private venue that can be rented for weddings, parties, and other events.

When there is no private event, the museum provides art classes for both children and adults.

Visiting the museum is one of the things to do in Sioux Falls that is fun and creative for guests of all ages.

Adult art classes last up to an hour and a half and take place Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The cost is $25.00. Art classes for children over the age of five years are $5.00.

The museum is open Monday through Wednesday for classes. Private events need to be scheduled separately.

Address: 500 N Main Ave, Sioux Falls

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FAQs about Sioux Falls attractions

1. What is Sioux Falls famous for?

Sioux Falls may be best appreciated for its magical Fall Park and the waterfalls sending down 7,500 gallons of water every second. Visitors can walk along the shoreline or check out the observation decks. The park has hiking trails, and the SculptureWalk within the park is an artistic creation in its own right and shouldn't be missed.

2. What is the best time to visit Sioux Falls?

There is much outdoor activity in Sios Falls, and the summer month from May through the end of September is an excellent time for a visit.

3. What is the number one attraction in Sioux Falls?

Again, Falls Park tops the list with its waterfall, observation tower, and café. There are also beautiful sculptures placed within the park, and a seasonal farmers market does business here. During the holiday season, Falls Park is lit with holiday lights.

4. What is the most unique thing to do in Sioux Falls?

The Butterfly House and Aquarium provide a touch of the tropics to Sioux Falls with its giant aquarium and its tropical butterfly house with 800 butterflies flying around. The butterflies will happily eat from the hands of visitors. Also unique and unexpected in the upper Midwest is the lovely Shoto-Teien Japanese Gardens.

Plan your trip to these Sioux Falls attractions soon!

The Big Sioux River runs through Sioux Falls and adds to the many things to do in Sioux Falls, such as kayaking, canoeing, or doing yoga by the river. The Cathedral of St. Joseph is a major Sioux attraction for connoisseurs of architecture and history. Veterans play a major part in Sioux Falls with the USS South Dakota Battleship Memorial and the Veterans' Memorial Park, reminding us of the debt we owe those who kept us safe.

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