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The last two weeks… in Sioux Falls, SD…PART 1

Thursday, 9/8/11

Lennox, SD

The last two weeks seemed to fly by quickly, even though we really didn’t do too much.  We met with an insurance agent, did some sightseeing, made a couple of mail runs, checked out some campgrounds, went to Wal-Mart a number of times, and just relaxed.  I also had an issue with my laptop.

One of the “must see” places in Sioux Falls is Falls Park.  The name says it all.  It’s a park located at the falls on the Big Sioux River near downtown Sioux Falls.  The falls  are beautiful, even though they're right in town.  There are nice walkways on both sides of the falls with a bridge to access both sides.
Here are a couple of views from the observation tower.
The five-story observation tower is connected to the Visitor Information Center. 
Falls Park has some historic sites including a millrace and dam, the remains of the Queen Bee Mill, a horse barn, and the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company which now houses the Falls Overlook Café.  During the summer, there's a light show at night.  It wasn't quite what we expected, but it was still worthwhile to see.  We thought the light show was going to take place on the falls.  It was actually a “history lesson” utilizing light lasers, music, and narrative.  At times during the presentation, they did have different colors of light directed on the actual falls.  However, the light show took place on the side of the building that houses the Falls Overlook Café.

Another place we visited was the Old Courthouse Museum.
This is a very interesting place.  There are exhibits on bicycles, dogs, hot air balloons, and the history of underwear.  There's also an extensive exhibit on the Vietnam War.  We spent quite a long time here and still didn’t see everything.  The building itself is very beautiful with an ongoing restoration project.

Another day we visited the Pettigrew Home and Museum.   Richard Franklin Pettigrew and his wife moved into this house in 1911.  He played a very integral part in the development of Sioux Falls and was South Dakota’s first senator, serving two terms in Congress.  He was also an avid collector and  built a museum on the back of his home.
The addition for the museum incorporated petrified logs from Arizona.  He owned a company that purchased and polished petrified logs.
This, too, was a very interesting place to visit.  It includes the museum and a guided tour of the house.

All of these places are free to the public.  Also, there's a free trolley that circles around the downtown area including Falls Park.
We used the trolley to get to the Old Courthouse Museum.  You can avoid parking fees by using the trolley.  Speaking of parking fees, Sioux Falls utilizes “high tech”parking meters.
They take VISA and Mastercard!
It was free parking on this particular day due to Labor Day Monday.  Terri and I like free stuff.

Stay tuned for PART 2…


  1. SO glad to see you guys again!
    Really hoping Part II will include "the history of underwear" I laughed just thinking about it.

    Beautiful falls!! I guess Sioux Falls must charge more than a quarter for parking if their meters take mastercard. I LOVE it!!

  2. Hmm..the history of that's something I've never thought about before. The Falls in downtown do look nice.

  3. Hmmm. The history of underwear???

    It's obvious that our next trip to Sioux Falls will have to be in the summer. We didn't even know they had falls there. They were probably frozen in January :)

  4. Thanks for the tour. We have been by there several times without stopping. Hope we can correct that mistake.

  5. When I was in Souix Falls 20 years ago for a conference, beneath the falls were thousands of cigarette butts floating in the water. I hope they've cleaned up that problem by now.

    Waiting on the skivvie history lesson. :c)

  6. We loved the Dakotas our first "run" through them. Hope next time we can slow down and see some of the great things you have shared!!

    Safe Travels and Happy Trails...

  7. Who knew Sioux Falls would have so many sights, and free too boot!! It will be on our must see list for sure.