Sioux Falls in the largest city in South Dakota, with a population close to 200,000. Situated on the banks of the Big Sioux River, the area has been inhabited since pre-European times by many different Indian tribes. The area experiences hot and humid summers and only light snowfall in the winter, averaging about 39 inches. It enjoys a relatively low crime rate. It has more than 50 parks and greenways. The surrounding area provides many attractions for the hunter and sportsman. With its beautiful surroundings, its very good economy, and the low crime rate, those moving to Sioux Falls will discover a wonderful place to live.
Sioux Falls has had a long history of agricultural economy, but has diversified to becoming a more service-oriented economy. Because it has no corporate state income tax, Sioux Falls has become home to many large financial companies. Sioux Falls also features a large regional health care center. Although it is not as dominant an influence as it once was, it still has a large food-processing economy as well. Sioux Falls also is an important regional shopping hub. It frequently ranks high with both Forbes and Inc. magazines as a top business city.
Inhabited by many Indian tribes, the area was first visited by Europeans in the early 1700s by French Canadian explorers. The first known visit by an American was in 1832. Two Land Companies claimed the area around the falls of the Big Sioux River, seeing it as an excellent place for a community. In 1865, Fort Dakota was established there, and many settlers flocked to the area. In the late 1880s, the railroad arrived. When the John Morrell met packing company opened and the stockyards were built, Sioux Falls was fast becoming a community to be reckoned with.
Sioux Falls has over nine different museums, dedicated to everything from historical information, to a museum of natural history. One popular attraction is the SculptureWalk, where local artists display their sculptures and people are encouraged to buy them. The sculptures change regularly. There is a large symphony orchestra that performs year-long. The Washington Pavilion hosts arts and science events all year long. Sioux Falls has a large zoo. There is a ski resort close by. The Old Courthouse Museum is a three story, quartzite building built in the 1800s that houses regional history exhibits. There is even a cowboy ghost town to visit.