EASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA TRAVEL GUIDE: PART 1

During the first weekend in October, Scott and I hopped on a plane headed to Sioux Falls, South Dakota! Growing up, I visited South Dakota a few times with my family -- which included trips to the popular destinations of Mount Rushmore and Sturgis. However, Scott had never been before and seeing this beautiful state was always on his travel wish-list. So when the kind folks over at South Dakota Tourism reach out to us about visiting the Eastern side of the state, we immediately said yes! A few weeks later we arrived in South Dakota and were greeted with the most beautiful autumn weather and an exciting itinerary that included spending time exploring their cozy downtown, apple picking, taking in the beautiful sights of the falls and visiting lots delicious restaurants and coffee shops -- sounds like our kind of weekend, right? After spending four days around the Eastern side of South Dakota, I have so much to share -- but today I wanted to start from the beginning of our trip and share our first evening in Sioux Falls, including our first sights of autumn, a delicious restaurant and their local art & wine walk that made us feel right at home! 

After a quick, direct flight from Phoenix, Scott and I landed in Sioux Falls and were greeted with the chilly weather we were hoping for! We hopped in the rental car and made the short, colored-filled drive to our hotel for the evening, the Hilton Garden Inn. Once in our room, we threw on a few extra layers and headed downtown for an evening out! SF's downtown is super cute and was full of life on this beautiful Friday night. Scott and I parked the car and headed toward Parkers Bistro for dinner, but not before snapping a few photos in front of this autumnal wall that caught our eye! 

Parkers Bistro is located in downtown Sioux Falls in an old brick building that had so much charm! We walked in and were quickly seated at a candlelight table for two. Scott and I were both wanting something warm, so we each got the chicken soup, along with salads and truffle fries for two. Everything was so delicious and ambience felt so cozy and inviting. We loved Parkers and would definitey suggest trying it out if you're in the area! 

After finishing up our dinner, we headed on over to Plum's Cooking to check out their cookie decorating demo, and also pick up a few goodies to bring home. The shop itself is a cooking lover's dream, filled with all the best cooking equipment, yummy eats and an amazing at-home coffee brewing section (totally our speed)! 

After browsing the store for a bit and looking in every nook and cranny, Scott and I made our selections -- pumpkin butter, salsas for our family, cookie cutters and some apple cider spice for a special occasion. We definitely could have spent a lot longer in Plum's, but it was time to explore more of the Sioux Falls Art & Wine Walk

After finding a parking spot, Scott and I bundled up and walked up and down downtown Sioux Falls -- stopping in every shop and art gallery that was open for the evening, including Coffeea Roasterie, Rehfeld's and our personal favorite -- Unglued! Unglued was full of handmade, local items, including prints, artwork, wooden home decor and just about every cool gift you could think of! We could have spent hours in there, but after awhile of browsing through each section we made our final purchases (wooden ornaments and a cactus pin, respectively).  

After leaving unglued, we decided to call it a night and get some rest before a very busy and exciting Saturday! Scott and I went to bed thinking how grateful were to be able to explore such a beautiful state together, and during our favorite season no less! 

I'll be back soon to share part 2 of our travel guide, which includes a trip to the apple orchard, the most beautiful gardens and an evening spent in Brookings, South Dakota! Also, I'm now curious to know -- have you ever been to South Dakota before? If so, what was your favorite part about your trip there? Any suggestions for things to do and places to eat? Share the wealth and please leave them below!

A huge thank you is also in order for the folks over at South Dakota Tourism for sponsoring this post! Scott and I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunity to visit their gorgeous state!

-Chelsea xo