Now is the time to do what you want. Summer in Sioux Falls brings many opportunities to seize the moment and make new memories with close friends or your significant other.
We thought we’d share a few of our own favorite summertime activities to give you ideas for ways to spend your hard-earned vacation days and weekends.
#1 Attending Outdoor Social Events
We cannot get enough of outdoor concerts and events. One of our top picks, JazzFest, happens every July. Over the years, we’ve set up a blanket and chairs on the lawn in front of a massive stage and watched singers such as Joe Walsh, Sheryl Crow, and the Neville Brothers play for free! Insider tip: If you attend, be sure to bring some cash to grab some lunch or dinner from the dozens of food trucks. This isn’t your average food-truck fare. Trust us.
Campbell’s RibFest is another great Sioux Falls festival. We’ve spent hours here sampling different flavors of succulent ribs. You’ll get a great variety of flavor as meat masterminds from all around the world cook up mouthwatering meals just for you. The entertainment, featuring music for all tastes, is just as good as the ribs.
Finally, Hot Harley Nights, which benefits Make-A-Wish® South Dakota, is something we mark our calendar for every year. The city becomes a Harley-lover’s heaven as thousands of motorcycles make their way through downtown Sioux Falls. You can watch or ride but, either way, the party lasts all night!
#2 Sitting on the Patio
Enjoying a meal or cold beverage along downtown Phillips Avenue is a highlight of summer in this city. When we’re craving a tender, juicy steak but don’t feel like firing up the grill, we head straight to the patio at Minerva's Restaurant & Bar. Afterwards, we walk next door to CH Patisserie and indulge in every bite of their gourmet lemon tart.
On a beautiful week night, we usually find ourselves at CRAVE, the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown’s restaurant. Their river view is spectacular!
For Sunday brunch, our top picks are All Day Cafe, which is on the mall-side of town, and Bros Brasserie Americano in downtown Sioux Falls. In addition to their beautiful outdoor seating, you can’t go wrong with a single menu item from either eatery.
#3 Biking the Trails
Biking all 26 miles of our paved trails may seem daunting, but we love making a day of looping around the entire city. The Big Sioux River Greenway goes directly through downtown along the Big Sioux River and weaves through wooded area and plains. If you’re biking the whole trail, we recommend parking and starting at Falls Park and heading southeast. This will give you easy access to a rest stop before you head out and when you return. You’ll also have the option to grab a scoop of amazing ice cream at the Falls Overlook Cafe.
If you need to rent a bike for the day or a few hours, Spoke-N-Sport has both road and mountain bikes. The staff over there will even help you find the bike trail from the store.
In the summer, our picnic basket is ready to go at all times. We’ve spent countless afternoons under the open sky on a blanket reading and savoring epicurean deli sandwiches from the Pickle Barrel and Erbert & Gerbert’s. When we want to spread out in a large grassy area, we head to McKennan Park. It’s wonderful to stretch your legs after lunch with a walk through the park to see the Mediterranean Sunken Gardens and sculptures throughout the park. However, we have been known to set up picnic spots in many of the other parks, including the Japanese Gardens in Terrace Park and Tuthill Park.
On Sunday afternoon, we often grab a couple lawn chairs and head to Strawbale Winery for their Sangria Sundays. They have live music and two delicious types of sangria slush. Best of all, you’re welcome to bring your own picnic basket.
Not only are the golf courses in town well-maintained, they’re also affordable. If you love to golf, pack your golf clubs as you’ll have an abundance of areas to practice your swing. A long-time favorite of ours is Willow Run Golf Course, which was reconstructed Summer 2015 and hosts the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge as part of the LPGA Symetra Tour. Elmwood Golf Course and Prairie Green Golf Course are two other top-notch picks of ours, too.
Visit Sioux Falls
Now that you have some inspiration, plan your trip to Sioux Falls.