The lighter side of real estate

21 Things You Need To Know About Sioux Falls Before You Move There

A booming economy, an arts scene to rival New York, and an actual waterfall in town. Find out everything Sioux Falls has that your city doesn’t.

Kris Norton

144 articles, 0 comments

1. Sioux Falls Is Growing Fast

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Source: Downtown Sioux Falls Inc. Facebook

Sioux Falls consistently ranks in the top 50 growing cities in the United States. With a stellar economy and an expanding downtown with a booming arts scene, Sioux Falls is the fastest growing city in South Dakota and has seen a population increase of 22 percent since 2000. Multiple projects have revamped the downtown district and continue on plan set by the city to make Sioux Falls an even better place to visit and live.

2. In Fact, It’s Kind Of The Center Of The World

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls Facebook

At least, to South Dakota. With a population of approximately 237, 251 residents, the metropolitan area of Sioux Falls makes up 29 percent of the entire state’s population. Sioux Falls is what’s going on in South Dakota and they know it.

3. Business Is Booming

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls Facebook

The city of Sioux Falls boasts consistently low unemployment rates, falling well under the national average at 3.5 percent. This is partially due to the number of white collar jobs that continue to grow in the city with major financial companies that headquarter here for the lack of corporate state income tax. In 2013 Forbes listed Sioux Falls yet again as the Best Small Place For Business And Careers.

4. The Accent Is Minnesota-Light

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Source: Flickr user jmawork

If you’ve seen the show “Fargo,” then you know that the region has one of the heaviest accents in the country. The good news is that it’s not nearly as thick in Sioux Falls, but you’ll still get bombarded with waves of “yeah, you betcha’s!” which you’ll pick up eventually, too. It’s contagious, don’tcha know?

5. You’ll Never Have To White-Knuckle Your Commute Again

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Source: All Around Sioux Falls Facebook

Coming from any other city, you’ll probably find the drivers in Sioux Falls to be a breeze. In 2012 the city was named Allstate Insurance’s “America’s Safest Driving City” – for the fifth year in a row. The report cited that locals averaged an accident once every 13.8 years!

6. Why Yes, There Is An Actual Falls

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls Facebook

Does your city have a massive waterfall running through it? Didn’t think so. Covering 123 acres, an average of 7,400 gallons of water drops 100 feet through the Falls each second. Be mesmerized by the breathtaking view from many different spots in Falls Park, like The Visitors Center and The Queen Bee Mill.

7. A Sports Haven For Miles Around

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls Facebook

Sioux Falls might not have any professional teams in the Top Four majors, but it gets by just fine without them. With a variety of teams to follow from high school to the minor leagues, there’s always a good game to catch. The Sioux Falls Canaries AAIPB baseball team won the 2008 American Association championship, and the arena football team, the Sioux Falls Storm, has won seven championship titles—the longest winning streak in professional sports history.

8. Get A Real Cup Of Coffee From The Little Guy

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Source: Black Sheep Coffee Facebook

Skip the chains and head to the wonderfully quaint coffee shops for your roasted pick-me-up. Coffea Roasterie has some of the best java in the city – some might even argue in the region, with real coffee, slow drips, lattes, espressos and everything else your caffeine loving heart can handle.

And at Black Sheep Coffee, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Seattle the minute you walk through their hip doors.

9. There’s An Art Scene Inside…

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Source: Washington Pavilion Facebook

With the growing economy in the city, the city has taken major strides in building a strong arts community. The Washington Pavilion’s Visual Arts Center hosts six galleries of changing exhibits, and the Egger gallery which hosts the Northern Plains Tribal Art collection.

The VAC hosts a variety local, regional and nationwide exhibitions, as well as Blockbuster exhibitions like Rodin, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams and Toulouse Lautrec. And the VAC is free on Tuesdays, Saturday Mornings and the evenings of the First Friday of every month.

10. …And Outside

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Source: SculptureWalk Facebook

Downtown Sioux Falls also hosts “First Fridays” in which all the local businesses join together to create a unique event filled with live music, street art, and tours of the local galleries. Join in the First Friday Chalk The Walk Competition to have your art displayed for everyone to see.

But most notable is the city’s SculptureWalk, where new and unique sculptures are brought to the streets every year to represent the ideals and culture of the city and for anyone walking by to enjoy.

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11. The Marching Bands Put Your Band Camp To Shame

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Source: Lincoln High School Band, Sioux Falls, SD Facebook

Marching bands have never been as cool as they are here in Sioux Falls. The Festival of Bands regional competition hosts more than 40 Midwest marching bands each summer in a parade that runs through the city’s downtown with finals held at Howard Wood Field. Alternately, the Sioux Empire Spectacular brings thousands of Drum Corps participants together from across the country for this regional competition.

12. The Written Word Is Dead—Said No One In Sioux Falls Ever

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Source: Flickr user eltpics

Poetry is alive and thriving in Sioux Falls. There are multiple writers groups throughout the city, and are some of the only ones to be found in South Dakota. Writer’s Voice hosts a variety of poetry and literary events around the city, and high school students can get involved with the scene in the Lincoln High School Writer’s Guild.

Literary events and readings can be found everywhere from Leonardo’s Café in the Washington Pavilion to coffee house locations like Black Sheep Coffee.

13. Eat Fresh And Shop Local

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Source: Sioux Empire Farmers Market Facebook

If you’re a locavore, you’ll always have a place to go in Sioux Falls. The Sioux Empire Farmers Market is a huge venue packed with vendors selling everything from organic produce to hand-woven rugs. And Falls Park hosts a Farmers Market on Saturdays May through October where you can get yourself some flower baskets and a stone-fired pizza from Skipping Stone’s.

14. A Runner’s Paradise

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Source: Sioux Falls Marathon / Half Marathon Facebook

Along with 5k and 10k races throughout the year, Sioux Falls also hosts some high level events for the more seasoned athletes. The Sioux Falls Marathon and Half Marathon is held every September and takes runners through the city, providing a great landscape to help you along the tracks. Bike lovers can show off at the Tour Sioux Falls that encourages healthy, active lifestyle and raises money for charitable causes by taking riders around the Falls’ popular loop.

15. Get Inside The Mind Of A Tornado At The Kirby Science Center

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota Facebook

The Kirby Science Discovery Center is three floors of hands-on science fun located inside the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science. With over 100 exhibits, there’s something fun to learn for everyone from how tornadoes work to climbing rocks and making movies.

16. A Festivus For The Rest Of Us At The Sioux Empire Fair

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Source: Sioux Empire Fair Facebook

The Sioux Empire Fair draws tens of thousands of people from across the region and state to enjoy the various festivities at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. It’s a 10-day extravaganza of everything from carnival rides, talent shows, live acts, great food, and tons of vendors.

17. Like M.C. Hammer Said, St. Joseph’s Is Why We Pray

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota Facebook

…Or something like that. This Renaissance Revival Cathedral is considered the holy gem of the city. The amazing high ceilings and stained glass windows are so breathtaking you might find yourself paying attention more to the décor than the services. The Cathedral has undergone a recent remodel complete with immaculate murals and a warm feel that will make you feel like you’re at home… if your home was a castle, of course.

18. There’s Music Around Every Corner

Move to Sioux Falls

Source: Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society – Jazzfest Facebook

Marching bands aren’t the only source of music to tap your toes to in the city. Jazz fans can get… well, jazzed… for the Sioux Falls JazzFest held at Yankton Trail Park every year. You can find free outdoor music at Terrace Park during the annual Party in the Park event. And the city’s new Riverfest brouhaha features a variety of live music and local bands.

19. There’s Always Something Fun To Do

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Source: Visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota Facebook

Don’t worry about the kids getting bored here because there’s always plenty to do. The Great Plains Zoo has over 1,000 animals from around the world located on their 45 acres. And the Thunder Road Family Fun Park provides endless adrenaline fun with go-karts, bumper cars, mini golf, batting cages and 5,000 square feet of laser tag.

20. Grab A Hearty Brew At Germanfest

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Source: Germanfest Sioux Falls Facebook

What more could any beer lover as for than a free celebration full of German culture, food, music, dancing and entertainment? Oh yeah, the beer. But you’re in luck because Germanfest has that, too. And lots of it.

Hosted by the Sister Cities Association of Sioux Falls, people come from all over the region to enjoy a this annual end-of-summer event.

21. There’s No Excuse Not To Get Outdoors

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Source: Catfish Bay “The Greatest Show On H20” Facebook

Sioux Falls has more than 70 parks for getting out and enjoying the great outdoors, including splash parks, waterparks and pools. There are also plenty of basketball courts, hiking and biking trails, playgrounds and more.

But if you’re looking for some serious outdoor fun, Catfish Bay Water Ski Park offers waterskiing classes—not to mention the chance to see a bunch of clowns do it like pros at the Clowning Around show.

What do you love about living in Sioux Falls? Tell us in the comments below!

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posted on: June 26, 2014
70,994 views, 7 comments


  1. Peter

    An art scene that rivals New York? Really?

  2. Teresa Halling

    Jason, you are so right-on! SF has terrible drivers!! That is the reason I said I would never live here. Yet, here I am; living in SF. But, I still struggle with the drivers at least 4 times a day.
    And on another front, there are only 2 seasons, winter and road construction.

  3. Chad

    LOL…traffic in Sioux Falls is NOTHING compared to larger cities…you obviously don’t live in big cities if you are complaining about that! And just to add a correction….the SIOUX FALLS STORM now hold 8 national championships after this past weekend! Sioux Falls is a great place to live and raise a family….you will ALWAYS have the negative nannies who complain about the crumbs on the table.

  4. Chad

    Yes Peter…per square mile/ population per capita….Sioux Falls actually does outshine New York by almost 17%!

  5. SoDak

    Sioux Falls sits on a vast frozen wasteland, devoid of any redeeming qualities. Trust me, you would not like it there so don’t move there. Go to Ohio or somewhere.

  6. John

    I really love Sioux Falls, I spent the later part of my childhood in this city and I would love the privelege of spending the rest of my life in this city. There is always something going on, something new being built, and something exciting to do – all while offering great schools, low crime rates, forward thinking politicians, and growing oppurtunities. I’ve started reading a local blog called – its got lots of posts about some of these same things! I love Sioux Falls, and I’ll share it with the world!

  7. john moss

    wherever you are..there you are…you have the power to find the happiness in any city


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