Sioux City manages to keep its connection with its history while developing into a fun weekend getaway spot. Here are some ideas to make the most of a Sioux City visit.
Try a tavern
Taverns are a loose meat sandwich, akin to the sloppy joe without the sloppy part (no tomato). Depending on what list you look at, two places in Sioux City serve one of the best loose meat sandwiches in Iowa, The Miles Inn and Tastee Inn & Out. Though, in this part of Iowa, they’re called taverns.
For a tavern with cheese, go to Tastee Inn & Out. It’s called a tastee sandwich there. The restaurant has onion chips and dip that pair nicely with it.
1. The Miles Inn, 2622 Leach Ave.
2. Tastee Inn & Out, 2610 Gordon Drive
Stay in a historic home
With a name like Chocolate Mansion, you can’t not stay here. Each room and suite at the gorgeous rental home has a candy theme to it. I stayed in the Kisses Family Suite in the carriage house adjacent the main house, for instance.
While the home is on the National Register of Historic Places, it has all the amenities of a modern home…plus an outdoor pool.
3. Chocolate Mansion, 2900 Jackson St.
Visit a local brewery in the Fourth Street District
This is historic part of the city with brewpubs, breweries and restaurants, all things I love. It’s probably my favorite part of the city, outside of the trails a Stone State Park.
4. Jackson Brewing Co., 607 Fifth St.
5. Marto Brewing Co., 930 Fourth St.
Have a Lewis & Clark history lesson
The Missouri River will forever be connected with the explorers Lewis & Clark. To learn more about Sioux City’s and the surrounding area’s connection, visit Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. It has hands-on exhibits, making it a good place for history buffs and families to visit.
And, the center is free to visit!
Nearby, you can visit the Sergeant Floyd Monument, a stop on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail. The national monument honors Charles Floyd, the only member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition to die on the journey.
Both are free to visit.
6. Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, 900 Larsen Park Road
7. Sergeant Floyd Monument, 2601 S. Lewis Blvd.
Go for the gaming, stay for the music
Well, sure, most adults come to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City to gamble. It’s casino, after all.
But it’s also a Hard Rock.
So, while you’re there, walk around and view some rock and roll history.
And while I’m talking about music, Hard Rock hosts live music acts and comedians year-round, including at the popular outdoor venue, Battery Park.
8. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 111 Third St.
There are a few restaurants I remember well in Sioux City, and of them, there are two I whole-heartedly recommend. First, Taqueria La Juanita, a restaurant with burritos so good, Esquire Magazine readers once ranked them in the Top 5 in the country. The readers poll released in 2013 included the Iowa burrito – the only one in the Midwest – as one of the 10 “most life-changing burrito in America.” For what looks like a hole-in-the-wall taqueria, it’s anything but.
Main + Abbey is also another great spot, and one to go to if you want to impress someone. They have a great beer list, poutine and locally-sourced steaks.
And if you’re an Instagrammy kind of person, order the pretzel appetizer.
9. Taqueria La Juanita, 1316 Pierce St.
10. Main + Abbey (inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino), 111 Third St.
Take a hike
While Stone State Park is technically in city limits, the park tucked in the Loess Hills feels miles away. Long trails of varying difficulty can be found here.
t’s also near the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center which has shorter trails that are still scenic. THe great thing about the nature center is that it has a lot of hands-on ways for kids to explore the Loess Hills’ natural history, both indoors and outdoors.
If you have young kids, don’t miss the natural Playscape Area that’s a short hike from the nature center.
Broken Kettle is home to a bison herd, which makes hiking pretty limited but the view makes it worth a visit.
11. Stone State Park, 5001 Talbot Road
12. Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, 4500 Sioux River Road
13. Five Ridge Prairie State Preserve, 5561 260th St., Westfield, Iowa
14. Broken Kettle Grasslands, located near Westfield, Iowa (you’ll want to follow these directions)
Try the Twin Bing
The Twin Bing was created in 1923 Sioux City at Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe, and the candy store still exists today. If you’ve never had a Bing, it’s a chocolatey, cherry nougat treat.
The store carries an abundance of other sweets from factory seconds to gourmet truffles and handmade fudge.
15. Palmer’s Olde Tyme Candy Shoppe, 405 Wesley Parkway
Take the kids to a museum
There are four museums you should have on your to-visit list with your kids; and if you don’t have kids, I’ll say that there are THREE museums to have on your to-visit list. If your kids are young, LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is a wise choice for hands-on learning and play.
When you go to the Sioux City Art Center, be sure to visit the Grant Wood corn room. The museum is free to visit. Another free museum, Sioux City Public Museum, explores the city’s history with interactive areas that kids will like.
There’s also the Sioux City Railroad Museum where you can learn how railroads shaped Sioux City. Plus it has a grand-scale railroad open for rides.
16. LaunchPAD Children’s Museum, 623 Pearl St.
17. Sioux City Art Center, 225 Nebraska St.
18. Sioux City Public Museum, 607 Fourth St.
19. Sioux City Railroad Museum, 3400 Sioux River Road