Destination Guide: Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Dog-Friendly & Plenty of Craft Beer

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

This Summer we had the pleasure of visiting South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls.  Located along the Big Sioux River in the southeastern corner of the State at the junction of Interstates 90 & 20, this charming Midwestern town is very visitor & pet friendly & has something for everyone.

Phillips Avenue is the main drag of Downtown Sioux Falls (hereinafter referred to as “DTSF”) where visitors will find plenty of culture, cuisine & craft beers! While in town, we walked our way to a number of local craft breweries that can be found all throughout town.

Must Drink: Sioux Falls

The first brew pub we visited was Woodgrain Brewing Company on Phillips. The beer selection was fantastic and the service was wonderful. They offer both inside & outside seating. Jared is an IPA guy, and he was pleasantly surprised with their IPA selections. He really enjoyed the Snobbery New England IPA & the Woodgrain IPA. They also offer ciders in case you’re not a beer drinker which Janine tried & loved! Her favorite was the Loon Juice Cider. The owner herself poured our beers, and we visited this stop first on recommendation of our hotel’s Front Desk Staff. The only downside to this spot is that they do not serve a full food menu but they do offer snack mix.

The second brew pub we visited was Remedy Brewing Company on 8th Street which has a small bar area but a large area for indoor seating.  While we were there, an event was taking place & if we were locals, this would be a fun & dog-friendly spot to frequent.

Remedy offers a full food menu & we’ve heard great things about their burgers. Jared tried an American IPA which he loved & Janine had the Summer Pants Pilsner.  Both were delicious & very refreshing on this 100+ degree day in Sioux Falls!

Our final brew pub in Sioux Falls was Covert Artisan Ales also located on 8th Street. Although Covert does not brew their beer onsite, this is the perfect spot to cool off in Downtown Sioux Falls with a delicious beverage & the friendliest service. Covert is dog-friendly & offers both a large bar and indoor seating.

We honestly can’t say enough about how friendly & knowledgeable our bartender was. We may have given her a hard time for not having any tanks (required for brewing the beer on site), but she sure knew her beer & we had a great time chatting about our favorite (& the owner’s favorite too) TV Show, The Office! The only things we’d change about this spot is add tanks & a “threat level midnight” brew to the catalog – fans of The Office will get that one 🙂

Must Eat: Sioux Falls

With so many good eats in Downtown Sioux Falls, it’s easy for spots to get lost in the shuffle. We tend to lean into TripAdvisor, local recommendations & comments from all of you when dining out in a new city. On our first night in DTSF, we chose the No. 1 ranked restaurant according to TripAdvisor, Minerva’s on Phillips.

Our meal at Minerva’s wasn’t a bad meal, but it wasn’t great either. We were seated on time per our Open Table reservation, but our server was friendly but definitely spread thin (to no fault of her own).  In addition, our menu items took over an hour each between appetizer, salad & entrée to arrive meanwhile there was no one in the restaurant other than those also seated in our server’s area. When our food did arrive, our appetizer of muscles appeared to be cooked from frozen, the salads were served warm & lacked dressing, and both entrées lacked any real flavor or substance. We’re sorry Minerva’s, but this was not a meal worthy of a No. 1 ranking. We would also like to add that there is a very dangerous ramp up to the restrooms & from where our table was, we watched many patrons almost trip headfirst into the floor. If we hadn’t seen others do so, we would’ve done the same.

Applewood Bacon-Wrapped Filet 6 oz & Fries
Pheasant Risotto

We had our best meal at Parker’s Bistro on Main Avenue in Downtown Sioux Falls.  Located in the heart of Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Parker’s is a beautiful Bistro & one of the best meals we’ve had in the Midwest. Parker’s staff knows how to make good food & how to provide a great experience. The kitchen staff prepares all meals from scratch in a long open kitchen behind the bar with farm-to-table ingredients & our server was friendly & knowledgeable. Parkers offers both indoor & outdoor seating, fantastic food & friendly service in a charming & romantical setting in historical Downtown Sioux Falls.

We began our meal with a few glasses of Pinot Grigio & Riesling which were crisp, light, clean & simply fantastic. The Cesar Salad came with fresh white anchovies – this is the standard to which all future Cesar Salads will be held! The Wagyu Steak & Frites & Egg was phenomenal. Parker’s pièce de résistance was the Scallops & house-made squid ink pasta. Although the scallops were the main feature of this innovative dish, and by design so, the fresh squid ink linguini was a delicious & delightful surprise.

Cesar Salad with White Anchovies
Scallops & House-Made Squid Ink Pasta in a garlic cream sauce
Wagyu Steak & Frites + Egg
Wagyu Steak & Frites

Parker’s portions were sized & cooked to perfection. For the record, Parker’s is ranked No. 8 out of 294 restaurants in Sioux Falls.  In our opinion, Parker’s hands-down deserves a higher ranking on TripAdvisor – maybe even No. 1!

Must-Do: Sioux Falls

However, no visit to Sioux Falls would be complete without a trip to the town’s namesake, “The Falls,” aka Falls Park. If you are driving through Sioux Falls & only have time for one stop, this is the spot you simply can’t miss! At over 128 acres, Falls Park is completely free to visit & our favorite times to visit this naturally beautiful spot were sunrise & sunset as there is nothing more beautiful than Golden Hour on cascading The Falls.  Looking for a spot to relax or have a picnic lunch in Sioux Falls? Grab a bench on the riverfront & enjoy the calm & peaceful surroundings of Falls Park.  You can literally spend hours here & it won’t cost you a dime! Just remember, there is no alcohol allowed in the Park.

Within Falls Park, there are paved walking paths, bridges, a café, a giftshop & an observation tower (5-stories tall) that all afford various overlooks of The Falls.  We followed the winding pathways through Falls Park to see The Falls and the Sioux Quartzite rock formations – a hard pinkish stone from every angle.

The Falls are also home to the remains of the Queen Bee Mill & the Sioux Falls Light and Power Company building both rich in history & almost as fun to photograph as The Falls themselves.

Free outdoor concerts & a Farmers Market take place seasonally at The Falls & the park turns into a Winter Wonderland when it is decorated with Christmas lights during the holiday season.

The one thing we loved the most about Sioux Falls, South Dakota was the Big Sioux River Greenway, a riverfront recreation trail that spans 19+ miles along the Big Sioux River. Walk, bike, or run your way through Sioux Falls along this wide paved Greenway that follows both the riverfront & the railroad. If 19+ miles isn’t enough, visitors have the option to explore 15 additional miles of additional Parks (there are 80 public parks in Sioux Falls!) & neighborhood offshoots from The Greenway. The best part? These trails are maintained year-round which means even in the winter, you can still get outdoors!

We finished 6 miles on the Big Sioux River Greenway just as the sun came up

The Arc of Dreams in Sioux Falls sculpture represents the leap of faith dreamers take to see their dreams come true.

There’s no better way to end a run than with a relaxing cool down through Falls Park

We began every morning in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a run along The Greenway through both urban & wildlife areas.  We ended each of our runs with a cool down walk through scenic Falls Park. Some mornings were horribly humid which made getting our miles in difficult even though we were up and out before the sun came up.

Travel Tip: Although Sioux Falls is on Central Time, We do not Adjust our Time When Traveling. We Always Live in our Home Time Zone.

With the trail being so wide, we never had issues with other runners, bikers or walkers. In addition, and although there are a few inclines here and there, there are no major changes in elevation. The trail is shaded in many spots which makes staying out of the sun easy for the late risers. To say we loved this trail would be an understatement & it’s something that we truly wish we never had to leave!

Dog-Friendly: Sioux Falls

Perhaps the nicest feature of this friendly Midwestern town, in our opinion, was the amount of dog-friendly businesses found throughout Sioux Falls. Bring your four-legged friends along for your walk, bike or run on the Big Sioux River Greenway. Afterwards, head downtown.

Travel Tip: Many of the local businesses advertise they are pet-friendly with stickers in their windows, but if you don’t see anything – feel free to ask!

Everything from convivence stores to craft breweries & restaurants were dog & pet-friendly. Although we didn’t bring our girls along on this trip, it was nice to know that they would’ve been welcome throughout Sioux Falls.

Must-Stay: Sioux Falls

While in Sioux Falls, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Sioux Falls. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant (the popular chain restaurant – Crave) serving full breakfast, lunch, & dinner, a full bar inside and a full bar outside with a riverfront patio, a fitness center, free parking, meeting services, a pantry & daily housekeeping.

The view of the Big Sioux Riverfront from the Hilton Garden Inn
The view from King Room #407

The hotel staff was friendly & the hotel was perfectly located in the heart of Downtown Sioux Falls easily within walking distance of area restaurants & shops.  However, the hotel’s best feature was it’s riverfront proximity to the Big Sioux River Greenway.

Getting There: Sioux Falls

Although there is a regional airport just outside of downtown Sioux Falls, we chose to fly into Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport & make the four hour drive through scenic Minnesota to extend our time in the Midwest. If you’re heading West towards Mt. Rushmore, Sioux Falls is the perfect spot to stop for lunch & stretch your legs on your road trip.

If you decide to travel to the Midwest & visit Sioux Falls which we hope you do, we hope you have the chance to experience the culture, cuisine, craft beer & the beautiful outdoors of this charming Midwestern town – even if it’s just as a pitstop. Full of friendly people, amazing restaurants and a picturesque landscape, Sioux Falls, South Dakota has something for everyone & we can’t wait to return to this very visitor & pet-friendly town.

Have you had the chance to visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota? If so, let us know in the comments below.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Raquel says:

    I’ve lived in Sioux Falls my entire life, and I just think you did it perfect justice. The parts you pointed out and points you made, I think the majority of us could agree with. We’re glad you enjoyed your stay here!! I hope you’ll come by again soon! (Perhaps in the winter?)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. bucation says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! You’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful town. We truly enjoyed every minute of our time in Sioux Falls & we hope to return during the fall & winter months next year 🙂


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