Photo by Chad Coppess
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, emphasizes outdoor experiences for visitors, and winter brings an opportunity to see the area in a way most summertime visitors never do.
A great place to begin is the Outdoor Campus, an organization that focuses on introducing visitors to a variety of outdoor activities.
“They’re all about getting people interested in going back outside. And if there’s an activity that you haven’t done before, the Outdoor Campus is the place to try it,” said Cathy Buchheim, tourism sales manager for the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau. “They have a two-mile walking trail that you can experience on snowshoes. They help get you strapped in and show you how to walk on them.”
After that introductory experience, groups can head to Great Bear Recreation Park, a winter recreation area that has numerous snowshoeing trails. The park also offers cross-country skiing, as well as slopes that guests can ride down on skis, snowboards and inner tubes.
A winter visit to Sioux Falls should also include a stop in Falls Park downtown, which takes on a festive glow from Thanksgiving through the first week in January.
“The whole park lights up for Winter Wonderland,” Buchheim said. “There are lights on the falls that make them turn colors and twinkling Christmas lights that show different animations and characters. There’s a five-story viewing tower so you can get a 360-degree of the park and our downtown area.”