Without a doubt, the weekend getaway of choice for my wife and I is downtown Sioux Falls. City leaders have focused on the downtown area in recent years and have done a great job converting it into a vibrant hotspot of culture, unique shopping experiences and fine dining options.
There are only two hotels downtown that I know of — the Holiday Inn City Centre and the Country Inn and Suites. Both are on the north end of downtown, near the Big Sioux River and within walking distance of everything you’d ever want to do in the downtown area. They’re also within a longer walk of Falls Park. When we were in Sioux Falls last week, we sprang for a jacuzzi suite at the Country Inn and Suites.
We always stay in one of those two hotels when we go to Sioux Falls for a weekend without the kids. We leave our car at the hotel and spend the whole weekend walking around downtown, looking at the shops, the historic architecture, the sidewalk sculptures and theÂ fountains.
There are lots of fantastic places to eat in downtown Sioux Falls, but our favorite is Minervas, which could make a legitimate claim to the title of South Dakota’s best restaurant.
It’s an easy walk from both of the hotels on the north end of downtown to Minervas at the corner of 11th and Phillips. Or, if you’re arriving in a car, there’s a parking garage only a few hundred yards east of the restaurant.
Minervas is that special kind of dining experience where every table and booth feels like a private alcove, the lighting is just dark enough to have a soothing effect, and the service is the kind that makes you want to be a big tipper. And then there’s the food. I usually order fish when I go there, because it’s tough to find a restaurant that serves good fish in steak-crazy South Dakota. Last week when we were at Minervas, I had a salmon dish that I can still taste when I close my eyes and think about it.
During our recent trip to Sioux Falls, it happened to be a First Friday, a special day of shopping, art and entertainment downtown. After our exquisite and relaxing meal at Minervas, we strolled down to the outdoor patio in front of Stogeez Cigar Lounge, where we enjoyed some drinks and listened to a pair of young men playing guitar music.
Sitting on an outdoor patio in beautiful downtown Sioux Falls on a mild South Dakota evening is a truly decompressing experience. Things move at a slower pace. People stroll rather than walk, smiles and laughs come easy, and the summer seems to slow down, if only for an evening.
If you need a quick getaway to slow down and recharge your batteries, downtown Sioux Falls is a great destination.