Hello, sweet friends! I’m back today with part 2 of our South Dakota travel guide! In case you missed part 1, Scott and I partnered with the kind folks over at South Dakota Tourism to explore the eastern part of their beautiful state in early October! Today, I’m sharing all about our second day of our getaway, including a farmers market date, a beautiful garden and lots of autumn colors that left this desert gal in a state of awe! Anyways, on our second day in SD, we woke up to a chilly morning in Sioux Falls. After packing our bags for our next destination, we bundled up and headed to Josiah’s Coffeehouse for breakfast! Josiah’s came highly recommended, so we knew we were in for a treat.
Josiah’s was a quick drive from our hotel and had the coziest space — a perfect spot for sharing a hot breakfast and a couple of iced coffees before heading to the Falls Park Farmers Market! Scott and I try to go to a local farmers market in every town we visit, so getting to see Sioux Fall’s very own was right up our alley!
The Falls Park Farmers Market was a short drive from Josiah’s and was bustling with people when we arrived! Filled with fresh flowers, fall goods and all the fresh fruit you could hope for, Scott and I decided to take a stroll around the whole market before making our purchases. Truth be told, I could have bought something from every booth — flowers, fresh produce and all the baked goods we could eat!
After making our purchases, including this autumnal floral arrangement, we jumped into the car and headed to a local apple orchard for some apple picking! We have SO many photos from our time there, so I’m planning on sharing those separately, but after the orchard we were off to our next destination — Palisades State Park in Garretson! This state park is a truly unique area, with a flowing creek that’s lined with Sioux quartzite formations — varying from “shelves” several feet above the water, to 50-foot vertical cliffs! I can tell you from our experience that this place is so, so gorgeous and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area!
Next up on our list was grabbing lunch at “O” So Good! This charming restaurant is nestled along main street in Garretson and offers comfort food with a Southern flair. By the time we got there, Scott and I were both pretty hungry — so we split a mushroom melt and a veggie pizza! Both were delicious, and filled us up — a perfect situation for our next mini road trip to Brookings where we would spend the evening!
The drive to Brookings was quick, easy and filled with autumn colors. Once arriving in this bustling college town (which was extra packed for dad’s weekend at South Dakota State University), we headed straight for the first stop on our list — McCrory Gardens!
McCrory Gardens, named for a beloved professor at SD State who helped kickstart the project, was envisioned to be a research garden for trees, flowers, shrubs and grasses that were or could possibly be a part of South Dakota’s landscape. This same vision is still the main focus for all the work done at the Gardens today and the results are truly breathtaking!
Scott and I spent about an hour walking through the gardens and taking in each vignette of scenery — each unique and oh so beautiful! There were also two weddings going on this day (what a beautiful place to get married in!), so we tried or best to stay out of those areas while exploring each section of the gardens! Our favorites were the butterfly, mum and red gardens!
The sights surrounding the gardens are equally as gorgeous — these trees that sat right outside the garden gates were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! This desert gal was having a complete shock and awe moment — there’s just so much beauty in seeing the leaves turn and feeling that chilly air on a sunny, autumn day! South Dakota autumns will always hold a special in my heart now!
After working up an appetite at the gardens, Scott and I headed to the Old Market Eatery for dinner! This spot came highly recommended and felt definitely our speed! We loved how airy and light their front room was, including a chilly breeze that was blowing in from the open windows, and were really excited about their delicious sounding menu!
Scott and I were pretty hungry at this point, so we started with their black bean and corn salsa — which was SO good! For dinner, Scott ordered the special of the night (a fried chicken burger!) and I had a grilled chicken sandwich on GF bread. Both were delicious and super filling — but don’t worry, we definitely saved enough room for desert! 😉 Homemade cheesecake with raspberry sauce was calling our name and was the perfect way to end the evening — full bellies, a cool breeze and the best dinner date in such a beautiful place!
I’ll be back soon to share part 3 of our travel guide, which will be all about our time at the Country Apple Orchard! And if you’ve been to South Dakota before, don’t forget to share your favorite places and spaces you visited with me! Scott and I are hoping to go back one day soon to visit the Western side of the state!
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 beautfuil state!