When we left last Thursday to visit Sioux Falls, I anticipated a weekend at the South Dakota Peach Festival, meeting people and talking about my books and photography. I didn't expect to fall in love with the city.
Sioux Falls is a little-known gem. It's beautiful, vibrant and filled with citizens who love their city. Hot in the summer, yes. Cold in the winter, yes, but the people adapt.
The downtown is vibrant, filled with people going about their business or just walking about enjoying the sculptures and flower-lined streets. Buildings may have been constructed of quartzite many years ago, recently renovated, or brand-spanking new. What strikes the visitor is the cleanliness and obvious pride in the city.
Falls Park, the home of the falls from which the city derived its name, is in the middle of town. Here the Big Sioux River tumbles over boulder after boulder of beautiful rocks. Not only is it picturesque, it is also a great outdoor destination for visitors and residents. Kids of all ages climb on the rocks from dawn to dusk. I, like other photographers, scampered around from one vantage point to another. (Truthfully, I'm wearing a boot, so scampering doesn't exactly describe my activity, but that's another story).
We saw people enjoying the many parks and trails. It's a young demographic, loads of families spending time together. Not only did I enjoy the beauty, but I truly felt the energy of the city.