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During the 18th Century Sioux City was a Spanish and French fur trappers haven with the first steamboat arriving in 1856 complete with pre-framed houses for the settlers to erect. Several small factories were attracted to Sioux City in 1868 when the railroad came through and a large meat packing facility led to a thriving livestock industry for the town. The Floyd River flooded the town in 1892 and during the years of World War II, the United States Army set up Sioux City Army Air Base. Today the town builds its economy on its utilitarian roots of culture, the arts and preserving its natural surrounding landscape.
It is a quirky fact that in this one city you can travel across state lines without leaving town. The largest section of town is in Iowa, North Sioux City is in South Dakota and the southern area is in Nebraska. The town sits on the Missouri River in Woodbury and Plymouth Counties with areas cradled by the Loess Hills formations. It is known as one of the best small places for businesses and careers, but has also been named on the list of 40 "Drunkest Cities in America". So bottoms up! Maybe this is because it is definitely a students' playground as there are 4 colleges: Morningside College, Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech Community College and St. Luke's College.
There is plenty to do if you don't want to join the kids on the grog, such as paying tribute to Chief War Eagle. Chief of the Ihanktowan or Yankton Sioux and a peacemaker, you can see his burial site in War Eagle Park. For the sports enthusiasts you can cheer until you are hoarse at a home game of the Sioux City Explorers in the Lewis and Clark Park. For the water babies that like to row a boat, take one across the wide expanse of the Missouri River for a bit of fun. If the shopping bug is biting then go to the Milwaukee Railroad Shops Historic District for a bit of railroad history whilst thrashing the credit card. If you need more along the historical line, go to the Sioux City Museum overflowing with Native American objects, artifacts from the pioneer days and military memorabilia. You should head to the Loess Hills State Forest for some outdoor fun or hard body punishing trekking. The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center and Stone State Park in the hills will have you walking through prairie grasses and bur oak forests that are home to 150-year-old giant trees. For those that believe in luck there are several casinos to win or lose at.
If you want a bit of culture then you should head to The Orpheum Theater or the Sioux City Art Center. When the food craving takes hold, the Fourth Street Historic District is awash in bars and restaurants amidst buildings dating from 1889 to 1915.
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