Cultural Experience | South Dakota

Southeast South Dakota, 10 Hidden Gems in a Midwestern Treasure

Shopping, wineries & the Dakota Dome, Southeast Sth Dakota has it all.

By Kaitlin Christenson, University of South Dakota

Vermillion, SD is a small town with a big personality and home to the University of South Dakota. This college town has many hidden gems and I’m going to give you the scoop on what makes Vermillion a Midwestern treasure.

1. Silk Road. If you are craving Maki Rolls, Pho Soup, or Lo Mein, Silk Road is your go-to hot spot on West Main St.

latte da


2. Latte Da. Latte Da offers the best variety of options for coffee lovers. The charming coffee shop offers a breakfast and lunch menu with fresh bagels and homemade banana bread. They have a drive through for when you are on the go.



3. Alainn. If you are looking for a cute outfit for a night out, check out Alainn boutique in Sioux City on Pearl Street, which is about a 25-minute drive from Vermillion. They have lots of cute accessories, clothes, and gifts.


4. Carey’s. Carey’s has been a popular hangout for students for over 50 years. The bloody marys with a beer backer and long island iced teas cannot be beat. The bartenders know you by name, and Justin Bieber never plays on the stereo.

Come early for the free popcorn, and stay late for a game of darts and to hang out with the bartenders.

careys bar

5.  Sharing the Dream in Guatemala. Shopping has never felt so right at this local non-profit filled with hand crafted Guatemalan products. Volunteers run the store. Some of the items sold include:  hand carved wooden wine racks, bamboo cotton scarves, beaded key chains, glassware, and coffee beans.

6. Red Steakhouse. For date night or wine night, Red Steakhouse gives Vermillion a glimpse of the big city. The historical building gives character to the swanky restaurant with delicious cuisine like Korean Beef Wraps to Swordfish Oscar. Try the beer sampler to taste the seasonal beer on tap.

7.  Old Lumber Company. Stop by “OLC” to watch the game on one of the many big screens while having a tall beer from the wide selection of beer on tap.  You don’t want to miss 65cent wing night on Wednesdays and the daily drink specials. Bonus: free peanuts all the time.

r-Pizza8.  R-Pizza. How do you like your pizza? R-Pizza will make it up any way you want it. The thin and crispy cheesy pizza will leave you wanting more. Swing by R-Pizza for the after bar menu: pizza by the slice or cheeseballs.


9. Missouri River. In need of some scenery? Check out the hiking and campground area by the Clay County.

10.  The Dakota Dome. Watch a University of South Dakota Coyotes sporting event while enjoying one (or two) of the world famous “Dome Dogs.” Dome Dog (noun): an oversized delicious hotdog topped with loads of mustard and ketchup.

dakota dome



Bonus: Check out Valiant Vineyards Winery and experience South Dakota’s first and oldest winery.




Kaitlin Christenson

U of South Dakota | 3 stories

My name is Kaitlin Christenson, and I am a public relations major at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD. As a 22-year-old, my life is full of adventure. I love traveling, cooking, good books, and taking on new challenges.

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