Cook’s Kitchen practically oozes small town charm. Budget-friendly with hefty portions, this downtown diner is a family favorite and popular with the college crowd. The décor alone is enough reason to visit—you can almost count the square inches of white space on the wall on two hands.
One town’s trash is also their treasure, at least when you turn the landfill into a park. Dakota Nature Park, on the south end of town, came from humble beginnings as a 135-acre dump. Literally. Now its complete with trails, natural grass prairie and fishing ponds. You can rent snowshoes from the nature center to explore off-trail, and fishing poles if you want to pull sunfish through the ice
Since 1929, Nick’s Hamburgers has served delicious fried patties by the bagful. There’s nothing fancy going on here (menu options are hamburger, double hamburger, cheeseburger and double cheeseburger). What’s special is the unmistakable flavor and the unforgettable atmosphere you’ll find in this Brookings landmark.
Agriculture is fun! Seriously, anyone who likes history or wild-looking machinery will love the stories and artifacts at South Dakota’s Ag Museum. Call ahead and ask for a group tour. It’s free, although a small donation is recommended.
Afterwards, admire dozens of beautifully decorated trees at the Festival of Trees, presented by the Brookings Arts Council. This indoor holiday event is being held with extra safety precautions, included limited admission and masks required