Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is the state’s largest city and the seat of Minnehaha County. Located on the banks of the Big Sioux River, the city is home to 171,544 people (2015 census estimate). The city’s metro area saw a 22 percent increase in population from 2000 to 2010; it accounts for roughly 29 percent of South Dakota’s total population.
Sioux Falls History
Sioux Falls takes its name after the cascades on the Big Sioux River, which lured native Americans to settle nearby. To this day, ancient burial grounds remain atop the bluffs and around the area. The basis of today’s community formed in 1856. However, it did not take strong root until some 20 years later, following the establishment of Fort Dakota (1865) and incorporation as a village (1876). During the 1880s, the population more than quadrupled, from 2,164 to 10,167.
Sioux Falls Weather
Winters are chilly in Sioux Falls, with average low temperatures of 7°F in January and average highs of 26°F. Perfect for ice skating! The average high for the year is 56.4°F and the average low for the year is 34.8°F. You can expect 44 inches of annual snowfall and 26.4 inches of rainfall. On the comfort scale, the city is considered average for the U.S.
Sioux Falls Transportation
Ground transportation in and around Sioux Falls relies on I-29/229 and I-90, as well as state highways 38, 42, and 115. Public transportation is provided Monday through Saturday via the bus system (Sioux Area Metro). The average commute is just under 17 minutes. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you can ride the Sioux Falls Trolley downtown all day for one dollar. The primary hub for air travel is the Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD), a.k.a. Joe Foss Field.
Cost of Living in Sioux Falls
According to Sperling’s Best Places, living in Sioux Falls will save you about five percent compared to the averages for all U.S. cities. You’ll save on groceries, housing, healthcare and transportation, but pay a little more for utilities. As for taxes, South Dakota marks tax freedom day on April 8th, and ranks third in the nation with overall taxes lower than 47 other states. How far will your salary go in Sioux Falls? Use the links below to find out.
Sioux Falls Schools
Sioux Falls School District is the largest public school system in South Dakota. It contains 23 elementary (K-5) schools, five middle schools (6-8), three traditional high schools, an alternative high school, a technology high school, and a career and technical education academy. There are several private schools in Minnehaha County; the Catholic school system has six elementary schools, one junior high and one high school. There are several colleges in Sioux Falls, including the state’s largest public university, South Dakota State University, which is located about an hour’s drive north.
Sioux Falls Hospitals
There are six hospitals in Sioux Falls and another six within 30 miles. Two of the larger ones are Sanford USD Medical Center (511 beds) and Avera McKennan Hospital (400 beds). Sanford USD is nationally ranked in two adult specialties and high-performing in eight procedures/conditions. Avera McKennan is rated high-performing in five adult procedures/conditions.
Sioux Falls Real Estate
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Sioux Falls had 69,744 housing units and an owner-occupied rate of about 61 percent. The median value of owner-occupied houses was $157,800, and owners with a mortgage paid median monthly costs of $1,230. Renters in Sioux Falls paid median monthly costs of $726.
Sioux Falls Hotels
You’ll find a nice choice of lodging in Sioux Falls, with overnight accommodations ranging from $50 and up. Among the three-star properties are Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Holiday Inn Sioux Falls-City Center, and Hilton Garden Inns (Downtown and South). If you’re looking for a bed and breakfast, the Victorian offers lavish suites in a historical setting downtown.
Sioux Falls Restaurants
Got the munchies? You’ll find a variety of choices for dining in Sioux Falls. K Restaurant is a popular choice downtown for American fare—steak, seafood, chicken, and pasta. For Latin America dishes, get a table at Jacky’s where you can enjoy a fish or shrimp taco for just $3. Lam’s Vietnamese Restaurant is a delicious place to sate your Asian cravings. Ironically, you’ll find it at 1600 E. Rice Street.
Things to Do in Sioux Falls
You’ll definitely want to see the cascades on the Big Sioux River—like a scene right out of a fairytale. There are several historical sites here worth your time, such as Queen Bee Mill and Falls Overlook Cafe (formerly the Light and Power Company Building). If you visit from Thanksgiving to mid-January, the area is adorned with lights to become a fantastic “winter wonderland.” You’ll also see nearly five dozen original sculptures on display throughout the downtown area on the Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk.