The town of Brookings is the epitome of South Dakota’s natural wonders. You’ll visit breezy patios and fuel up for an outdoor adventure. This itinerary will take you kayaking or hiking and to an immaculately kept botanical garden and arboretum. Enjoy all that Brookings has to offer in one sun-soaked day.
Kool Beans Coffee and Roasterie
Located downtown, Kool Beans is a local favorite. This cozy café is where you should start with a caffeine boost and some avocado toast to refresh your energy for exploring outside. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with soft lighting and comfortable seating that makes you feel right at home. The coffee is exceptional, with a wide variety of roasts and bIn ends. The staff is friendly and attentive, always ready with a smile and a warm greeting that instantly makes you feel like a regular. You’ll find something you love!
Enjoy the outdoors with the immaculately kept McCrory Gardens. With a mix of native and exotic plants, the combination of annual and perennial flowers makes for a diverse and beautiful garden. The McCrory Gardens, complete with fountains, cottages, and other features, show off the best gardening and plant care practices. Inside the visitor’s center, you can also find helpful staff here to educate and assist in making your visit a truly remarkable experience. In the visitor’s center, McCrory Maple ice cream is available for sale – made on campus from the garden’s abundant maple trees. The park is maintained year-round and is worth a visit in any season.
Dakota Nature Park
One of Brookings’s best-kept secrets is Dakota Nature Park. This 135-acre green space is the best of South Dakota’s outdoor wonders in one place. You’ll see birds, fish, and other wildlife exploring the miles of trails. You can also bring (or rent!) a kayak or canoe to explore the multiple small lakes that dot the area. Check out the calendar for exclusive workshops and activities designed to make the most of the park.
Craft Chophouse & Lounge
Craft Chophouse is a Brookings staple. Located just off the SDSU campus, this is the spot for fresh Italian food and cocktails. After a long day of exploring the natural beauty of Brookings, the breezy patio is the best way to cap off your adventure. Known for their cocktails, you’ll love the immaculate service and upscale ambiance that makes Craft so popular.