Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Queen City



Sunny Days: 211
41100 Affordability
90100 Schools
33100 Diversity
74100 Safety

South Dakota was a place where you could take risks. You could break barriers and get away with it. -Jessi Combs

The Best Thing About Sioux Falls?

The Great Outdoors

Not only does Sioux Falls have access to everything from skiing and snowboarding to biking and fishing, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good view while doing it. Particularly for a midwest city, the variety of outdoor options will likely surprise you. The beautiful Big Sioux river snakes throughout the city, with parks and trails sprinkled throughout. Outdoor options are available in Sioux Falls area regardless of the season.

A transplanter who lived here for several years notes what they liked about Sioux Falls:
I moved to Sioux Falls in 2004 and lived there until 2014. I loved the city, the culture and the people. The river runs in a circle around the city so there is a lovely ring of parks that offers plenty of recreation year round. There are also other recreation areas within a short drive so its easy to get away. If you move to Sioux Falls invest in a good snow shovel, but treasure the summers. I suggest Frisbee golf at Tuthill park, or go camping at the Palisades.

For more reviews of what living in Sioux Falls is like from locals check out: The Buzz

The Worst Thing About Sioux Falls?

The Weather and Isolation

About those seasons… Winters are frigid, with temperature drops into single digits and ~40 inches of snowfall per year. Summers can be brutal on the other end of the spectrum, and if you think you’ve driven far enough west to escape the midwest humidity, think again. Severe rain, high winds, and tornadoes are also unfortunately common in the area. While most small midwestern cities usually aren’t too far away from bigger metro areas, that’s not the case with Sioux Falls, which is more than 150 miles from the nearest big city.

Here's a transplanter on where Sioux Falls struggles:
It seems new development ignores what people love about the town (or at least what I love). The downtown area is being developed but the other areas are just large shopping centers or housing. If they spread the vibe downtown around the city we can avoid where others have struggled.

Traffic. As it gets worse the response seems to be tactics that clearly don’t work. It is by no means bad but it could get there with rapid growth.

State politics. This is obviously personal but in the year I have been here it’s been scandal after scandal with no end in sight. People just seem ok with it because it’s their team. The state can do better red or blue.

Lifestyle of Sioux Falls

The culture in Sioux Falls is family friendly with a small town atmosphere. That atmosphere, unfortunately, might further stem from the fact that Sioux Falls falls short of many U.S. cities in terms of urban amenities. Like many small midwestern cities, residents are generally regarded as polite, reserved and politically moderate. It’s a gorgeous place to live and make friends, and the issue that young people and families alike will have with Sioux Falls probably won’t stem from the people, but the lack of things to do with them in the area outside of its solid restaurant scene.

Worklife of Sioux Falls

A healthcare island in the middle of what most people think of as a flyover state, Sioux Falls is home to Avera Health and Sanford Health among other big players in that industry. Sioux Falls provides residents with great medical care and a plethora of job opportunities to go along with it. Speaking of job opportunities, the overall job market in the city is rock solid, with unemployment rates locked under three percent for years. No income taxes paired with a top ten ranking in some rankings for hottest job markets in the US, Sioux Falls is a great place to go for your next gig both now and in the foreseeable future.

Why Move Here Now?

Friendly People/Great Schools

If you can put up with the weather and lack of big city amenities, the friendly people and budding job market make Sioux Falls an excellent choice to further your career and live with your family (Sioux Falls has some of the best public schools in the state). Just don’t forget to pack a shovel and some salt for melting the snow.

Neighborhoods in Sioux Falls

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Young Professionals

Sioux Falls ranked #1 in smartasset’s review of the best cities for young professionals due to affordability, labor force participation and concentration of entertainment establishments. What’s not to like? For specific neighborhood recommendations we start with Downtown Sioux Falls. It ain’t Manhattan but it’s faster-paced than the more suburban options and it is filled with great restaurants, boutique shops, cafes and micro-breweries. Pretty much everything is within walking distance but you can also take the Downtown Trolley all around for just $2 a day.

  • Downtown

McKennan Park


If you’re looking for an upscale spot check out McKennan Park. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Sioux Falls, it has some of the city's oldest, most historic and beautiful homes.These include smaller craftsman’s and much bigger colonials. These homes also surround the city’s oldest park, which has a performance bandshell, sunken garden and pool for the littlest of beans. Cherry Lake is another ideal location, locals can live lakeside and get to fish, swim and enjoy the beaches during the warm months.

  • McKennan Park
  • Cherry Lake
  • East Sioux Falls
  • West Sioux Falls