My thoughts after a year in Sioux Falls
This is for all the people asking what it’s like to live here. I honestly didn’t know this place existed before about a year and a half ago and I moved after one week of searching for a home. I’m from the north east and was living in the deep south for about a decade so the Midwest and South Dakota were not on my radar at all. I feel like I have a good perspective as I have lived in a handful of other states so here we go.
The city itself is beautiful and historic in a way that you don’t expect. The art and parks here are for a city it’s size second to none. So many cities have sprawled out and neglected to maintain green space or a small town feel but somehow Sioux Falls has done that while also developing an amazing food scene. This unfortunately does not apply to the developing areas which are 110% parking lot sprawl. That being said I dont have to travel 3+ hours to a major city because somehow what I need is here but also only 10 minutes away.
The downtown is incredibly picturesque especially when it snows. It’s like looking into a nostalgic film from the past somehow. The community putting up lights and developing new areas is honestly unheard of in many places. They could work on the streets away from the river a bit more as Main feels quite dead. Also I have never lived in a place where you have to fix the sidewalk.
The sense of community is great while you honestly don’t need to know people to see it working. The development at Falls Park, the Zoo, and new artwork appearing all the time is a testament to this. It seems like people love the city and want it to thrive.
The food scene is amazing compared to other cities this size. While the city lacks a signature food style it makes up for it with delicious options at the low and high end. From Morries to Watecha Bowl to Pizza Cheeks there are a ton of quality options all at different price points. While chains are prolific there seems to be an equal number of local places.
There are constantly events largely free that are actually worth going to. Riverfest, The Parade of Lights, and Levitt at the Falls provide a great atmosphere for anyone. There are also plenty of theatrical performances and random concerts as well as every type of sports team.
The economy is solid and while there are always issues many of them seem to be at the state level like teacher pay and culture war stuff. I have yet to be accosted in the streets for my views and parts of the town are accepting if not fairly progressive. The town skews religious and conservative but not in an uncomfortable way. While I find the state politics a dumpster fire that doesn’t come across in day to day life.
The type of area you want to live in exists here. City living? The area south of downtown is great. Suburbs? Plenty of that on the west side. Rural living? A ton of farm land just outside of town.
The weather you get over almost immediately. Yea it gets cold just run between all doors.
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.
Overall I love it here. Everyone who has visited me has loved it. I hate the thought that I will inevitably have to move. It feels like home.