Sometimes what it takes to make you appreciate something you generally take for granted is, having someone else tell how great it is. That could very well be the case with Falls Park.

Livability, is a website that uses statistics, demographics, and original photography and video to rank small and mid-sized cities in terms of quality-of-life. In the past, they have ranked Sioux Falls very high on their "livability index" in many categories, health care, traffic, cost-of-living, education, and career opportunities, and more.

This time Sioux Falls has shown up on their "9 of the Coolest City Parks in the U.S." list. Falls Park came in second to Royal Gorge Park in Cañon City, Colorado, which honestly, I had no idea, was even a city park.

Royal Gorge Park has a 1,200-foot deep gorge and 5,300 acres.

Falls Park has a mere 123 acres, but its profile is boosted by having a 50-foot observation tower, artwork, the Farmer's Market in spring, summer, and fall, and Winter Wonderland in the winter. Not to mention the walking and bike trail system, and the falls themselves, which are impressive year-round.

As a longtime Sioux Falls resident, I can remember a time when Falls Park was a fairly scary place to even drive through, let alone park your vehicle and take a stroll in. Back in the early 80s, that might have been considered extremely risky behavior.

Now, Falls Park is a destination that draws in visitors from across the country. The transformation of that once, desolate, dirty, and dangerous area, has been remarkable! Would it be even more impressive if the water was cleaner? Yes, but you can't have everything you want.

Here is the Livability list of the 9 Coolest City Parks in the U.S.:

  1. Royal Gorge Park - Cañon City, Colorado
  2. Falls Park - Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  3. Scioto Audobon - Columbus, Ohio
  4. Rifle Mountain Park - Rifle, Colorado
  5. Fairmount Park - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. City Park - New Orleans, Louisiana
  7. Zilker Park - Austin, Texas
  8. The Gathering Place - Tulsa, Oklahoma
  9. Papago Park - Phoenix, Arizona

Source: Livability

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