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Huffington Post Says Sioux Falls Cooler Than San Francisco

This isn’t just hipster irony, is it?

In absurdly wonderful marketing news, the liberal Huffington Post that ought to give anti-Coastal South Dakotans heartburn labels South Dakota’s Queen City the new San Francisco.

Adding to the gleeful absurdity, this juicy local marketing gift is written by a woman named Rufus:

All those things that everyone loves about the famous, jaded, sea-beaten SF (and more!) can also be found in a fresh, friendly, affordable Midwestern SF: Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

One’s hilly. One’s flat. Both are beautiful. And you’ll never believe how much they have in common [Anneli Rufus, “Step Aside, San Francisco: ‘SF’ Now Stands for Sioux Falls, South Dakota,” Huffington Post, 2015.08.27].

Sioux Falls—more awesome than San Francisco?
Sioux Falls—more awesome than San Francisco?

Rufus (again, !!!) finds San Franciscan delight in Sioux Falls’ trolley cars, entrepreneurs, locally roasted coffee, street sculptures, food trucks, artisanal desserts, bison, free outdoor music festivals, natural disasters (no, I say tornadoes are nothing like earthquakes), replicas of works of Michaelangelo, “brewerieswineriesworld-class performance venuesart museumsscience centers, hipsters… and vegan buffets.”

But Rufus says the city by the Falls beats the city by the Bay on jobs, affordable housing, and public tidiness.

The Convention and Visitor Bureau couldn’t have written and placed a better promo for Sioux Falls. Now if Huffington Post can just convince readers not to notice the regressive absurdity of legislators in and around Sioux Falls, we might see more happy visitors!


  1. happy camper 2015-08-29 06:37

    The comments are fun! You’ll love this one:
    Another difference with San Fran is we aren’t a liberal bastion, locked in with only one side in power. We are more conservative as a State, but we have an open mindedness to look past the party and vote the individual, as long as they are effective and work together to solve problems as evidenced when we’ve elected people like Tom (Daschle) and George (McGovern). We like to call our pols by their first name & many times they address us back with ours. Our City elections are essentially apolitical and the results have been overwhelmingly positive as noted in the national media. At the same time we are both very charitable to those in need, but we also expect and encourage people to work hard and take responsibility for themselves. It can be done.

  2. Donald Pay 2015-08-29 07:44

    Too many South Dakotans don’t respect what they have, so when someone from the outside points out that, just maybe, in some aspects of life that matter, Sioux Falls might be as good or better than San Francisco, they just don’t see it. How many posts have you done on neat areas (Hilger’s Gulch or, what was it, some building in Madison) where there has been no vision, because they don’t respect what is there?

    There was one time I was out on some ranchland owned by a Native American family. I can’t even remember why I was there now, but it was one in a long line of attempted travesties of a “development project” usually involving dumping something from somewhere else on the prairie. The young man gave me a buffalo bean he had just picked from the nicest mixed grass prairie I’d ever seen, and said, “They tell us there is nothing out here. This look like nothing?” There are South Dakotans who would say, “yes.” They would think nothing of putting a medical or nuclear waste dump there. Those are the people South Dakotans tend to elect to high office. They don’t respect what is there.

    So, yeah, I’m sure Sioux Falls can compete with San Francisco and many levels.

  3. mike from iowa 2015-08-29 08:49

    HC sounds like he has been nipping the aftershave. A handful of years ago California was gooberned by Ahnold Schnoggenhogger and not too many years before that wingnut Pete Wilson was in charge and allowed Enron to wipe out resident’s savings with rolling blackouts of electricity.(not to mention forced the state in debt by billions) Cal isn’t and hasn’t always been that liberal.

  4. happy camper 2015-08-29 09:06

    That comment isn’t mine, it’s copied from the Huff Post article. Sioux Falls has become quite a nice little city 4 or 5 months out of the year but it’s not a mini San Francisco.

  5. Heidi Marttila-Losure 2015-08-29 09:45

    I just spent a day in DT|SF, as the signs say. It’s such a vibrant, pleasant place to be. The visionaries who helped make it so deserve major applause.

  6. Roger Elgersma 2015-08-29 09:57

    Cooler than San Francisco even in global warming, oh we are further north. But really, if we get Pierre on the new monopoly game were Boardwalk was and a national magazine saying we are better than a well know big city, one wonders where that state economic development money is really going. Ever since Wall Drug got successful by advertising, South Dakotans think that advertising is way more important that other states do. Did you know that Iowa gets more tourism dollars than South Dakota and we spend about eight times as much advertising on tourism per dollar we get in than Iowa spends.

  7. Lynn 2015-08-29 10:19

    Minnpost refers to this claim as Yeah, good luck with this: “Step Aside, San Francisco: ‘SF’ Now Stands for Sioux Falls, South Dakota” [Huffington Post]

    Duluth is called the “San Francisco of the North” and it is a very cool city not just in temperature either. lol

    Sorry but after spending quite a bit of time in San Francisco which is my favorite city(downside expensive) and the south bay. Sioux Falls is as much as the new SF as claiming Pierre is the P rather than Paris France.

  8. Rich 2015-08-29 10:35

    I was in San Francisco for a week in late June and I agree with the Huffington Post’s opinion. Especially on public tidiness. We stayed at The Westin Hotel on Powell Street and everytime we walked out the hotel, the smell of urine from people randomly urinating outside the hotel was at times overwhelming. It was like that every where we went in the Union Square/downtown area. But the city does have some amazing and beautiful cathedrals! And fantastic dining options.

  9. Lynn 2015-08-29 10:58


    Presidio, the parks, The diversity & culture, telegraph hill, the nightlife, museums, art galleries, different unique neighborhoods, architecture, bart, and much more. October is supposed to be best month weather wise to visit.

    Did you read the new anti-urination paint they are using there? It bounces the urine back on to the pet or person urinating. lol

  10. grudznick 2015-08-29 11:47

    Both places are bastions of soft brained libbie thinking and pompous libbie arrogance. Sioux Falls thinks it is Minneapolis West and we need to re-draw the line so it falls into Iowa.

  11. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-08-29 12:47

    I am surprised! I disagree with the comment HC copied about voting for the individual rather than the party. Yes, that was true once, but not for a decade or so.

    In the meantime, good for SF!

  12. happy camper 2015-08-29 13:41

    One guy’s reply to that post was very DFP:
    Funny. Sioux Falls is a conservative baston, locked in with only one side in power. I’m not saying that’s evil or anything, I’m just saying that’s the way it truly is. Since you live there, how many liberals do you honestly know? Probably less than ten of all the people you know. Obama’s name is on 80% of bumper stickers there…. but it’s always with other words like “Impeach” or “worst mistake ever” or “Can’t take MY guns”
    Even the black people in South Dakota are Republican.
    BOTH of them!
    South Dakota historically had elected liberal congressmen because the theory was that liberals spend more, and therefore bring more pork back to the state… not because of any open mindedness. That theory actually did pretty well for the state, helping with funding for public works and all, but it’s no longer in use today.
    “… very charitable to those in need” That’s laughable. South Dakota has no usury laws that put a limit on interest rates for credit cards or others. (SD usury 54-3-1.1). There are rates and upwards of 300% for short term lenders like Sioux Falls’ beloved Dollar Loan Center. I mean, even South Dakota’s state government has their hand in the pot of taking advantage of those who are financially irresponsible. They have state funded “Video Lottery” which is just gambling at a state owned device akin to a slot machine. And there’s a “casino” every 2 to 3 blocks on the main roads throughout Sioux Falls, you know right next door to a payday loan company in case they need some more gamblin’ cash.
    The entire South Dakota theory on preditory lending is “They should have known what they were getting into.” or “They should have read the fine print” Which really takes advantage of people who need money and aren’t that bright.
    People that, if someone was actually charitable, should be helped rather than to have their pockets emptied by whoever is clever enough to find a way to empty them.

  13. jeniw 2015-08-29 14:11

    Being a native of California, and have been to San Francisco many times, there is no way, ever, that Sioux Falls will be another San Francisco.

    Both cities have their merits and weaknesses, but IMO, it is all about culture, attitude, and lifestyle.

  14. jerry 2015-08-29 18:01

    The coldest winter I ever experienced was the summer I spent in San Francisco. Not a quote by Mark Twain

  15. Rich 2015-08-30 00:55

    Lynn, I did not read about the anti-urination paint but that is hilarious! And needed. We enjoyed just about every place or thing you mentioned. I especially loved the Japanese Tea Gardens. We stayed away from all touristy things like the Fisherman’s Wharf. And Uber is the best option to get some where quickly if it’s a short to medium distance. And cheap! Nightclub atop The Sir Francis Drake Hotel is a great time.☺

  16. Douglas Wiken 2015-08-30 10:25

    The idea that Sioux Falls is another San Francisco should scare the crap out of urban planners. Sioux Falls, Rapid City and nearly every other place in SD fails to consider alternate means of movement than vehicles or plan for those in the future. Urban sprawl is a waste of land and infrastructure. There is no reason for SD cities, counties, etc to make the same kind of stupid mistakes that other cities have made a hundred years ago. Even South Dakotans in the middle of nowhere need to study history and so not be damned to the make old mistakes new again.

  17. larry kurtz 2015-08-30 13:07

    Sioux Falls is cooler than the Bay Area like Pat Powers is svelte. Santa Fe runs laps around Soo Foo in every category except 6 month winters.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-30 16:33

    Good work on those comments, HC! Indeed, anyone thinking that there is not a close-minded political monolith running the show in South Dakota really isn’t paying attention. It’s fine to talk up the good points about one’s hometown, but it’s not a good idea to make things up.

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