Sioux Falls, South Dakota

When I started planning my summer in Omaha, I had big ideas for weekend trips. I had never been to the Midwest. This was my opportunity to explore! While the first five weeks of class would be busy (I was team lead and teaching a lot), I would be mostly free for the second five weeks. Plenty of time for a few road trips.

The first weekend I was free, I did a couple of things – one of which was a quick day trip to Sioux Falls. Just three hours away, it seemed entirely feasible. My friend and colleague, Dan, joined me. We did a bit of preliminary research, found a few museums and restaurants, and set off.

By the time we arrived in Sioux Falls, we were starving. So we stopped for a local favorite – chislic. What is chislic? According to the Sioux Falls website,

Chislic first originated in Freeman, South Dakota by a Russian immigrant over 100 years ago. . . it’s fried cubes of meat . . . traditionally made with lamb. The meat is cooked in a deep-fryer until medium-rare and then topped with garlic salt. 

It really was fantastic. Dan opted for the lamb; I got the black bean burger version – still amazingly good! (pics below)

Satiated, we moved on to the Pettigrew Museum (one of the first senators of South Dakota) and then the Falls themselves. We managed to get a few pictures in before the downpour began, and enjoyed watching the ducks dive for fish!

After a coffee warm-up, we stopped at another museum. By the time we finished there, the skies began to clear. We headed downtown to check out the shops and the Sculpture Walk. The city contracts with artists, who loan their sculptures to the city for one year. From May to September, people vote for their favorite sculpture. There are supposedly 55 total sculptures on display in the downtown area. (pics below) We managed to find a French bakery – which we were happy to confirm was completely legitimate.

The day was a complete success. Once again, I was completely surprised by all the hidden gems we found in this Midwest city. I was so happy to cross another state off my list, and excited to see South Dakota for the first time. What a fantastic day! I would absolutely visit Sioux Falls again.

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