I opened up the May/June 2011 issue of Midwest Magazine and saw an article titled "Dakota Delight." It was a write-up about Sioux Falls. The article says it only takes a day in Sioux Falls to see that South Dakota's biggest city is also its hippest.
For those of us who live in Sioux Falls, we know what wonderful things this city has to offer. The article says it best. The article calls Falls Park a spectacular urban park to showcase those namesake falls. When my relatives and friends come from Virginia, where do I take them? We go to Falls Park and take the elevator up the visitor tower so we can see the full beauty of the falls from up high. We visit Overlook Cafe and sit outside and eat ice cream. We take photos of ourselves with the falls as a backdrop.
We ride the trolley through downtown and stop to stroll along Phillips Ave. and view the sculptures. We have taken pictures of ourselves next to and sometimes right on the sculpture. I had a marvelous time showing them the heart of the city. My visitors remark on what a wonderful city this is and how quaint and unique the downtown area is and what a wonderful park Falls Park is.
I have even taken my family visitors on a driving tour around Sioux Falls starting at the Falls going North to Arrowhead Park, down Highway 11 past Harmadon Park, traveling through the central part of the city showcasing McKennan Park area and the beautiful older homes, to both hospital campuses. A drive through downtown and past the Orpheum Theater and the Washington Pavilion. Moving west along 57th Street and then traveling north to Southeast Technical Institute campus and University Center. Back through the city past the Great Plains Zoo and down 41st Street and the commercial corridor. I took my Virginia Beach friends to see the U.S.S. South Dakota Battleship Memorial and they got a kick out of the fact that this was a replica and not the real thing like they are used to seeing steaming out of Chesapeake Bay. You don't realize how wonderful Sioux Falls really is until you drive through and around the city and see it through the eyes of your visitors.
This article in Midwest Magazine reminded me how pleased my visitors were to be shown our city and what it has to offer and how surprised they were at what a wonderful city Sioux Falls is. My friends talk about how blue the sky is and how black the dirt is and how fresh and clear the air is - no smog. They love to come here and they live near the ocean. Go figure.
Too often we think we are just some little Midwestern town that is boring with nothing to offer. This article in Midwest Magazine talks about SculptureWalk that converts Sioux Falls' historic district into an outdoor gallery. It talks about Phillips Ave. filling with pedestrians in the summer to view the sculptures and visit shops, galleries and restaurants on Phillips and Main and 8th Street Railroad.
If you take a minute to read this article, you will understand why the Phillips to the Falls and the downtown area is called the heart of the city. Then I suggest if you never go there, to get in your car this summer and visit Falls Park and take the trolley through downtown and get out and walk and explore the heart of your city. You may find that downtown has more to offer than you think. I wish more locals could view our city through the eyes of our visitors.