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Best Places to Live in South Dakota

Sep 15, 2023|

Home to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Parks, South Dakota is a beautiful Midwestern state with a relatively low population. As of 2023, South Dakota had an estimated 923,484 residents. No matter where you live in the state, you'll be just a drive away from hiking trails, parks, and other recreational destinations.

Along with the picturesque views and rural living opportunities, South Dakota is a popular choice among residents because of its diverse employment opportunities, low cost of living, and lack of personal income tax. Here is a closer look at the best places to live in South Dakota.

Aerial View of Sioux Falls, South Dakota at Sunset


Brookings is a popular city that consists of high-ranking public schools and many fun and exciting activities. The place has a small-town feel that might appeal to people who want a combination of rural and urban where they live. Since South Dakota State University has a campus in Brookings, it's a college town with an energetic nightlife.

There's always something for you to do in Brookings. If you have kids, take them to the Children's Museum of South Dakota. The entire family can take part in the Brookings Summer Arts Festival. If you want to try some local beers, stop by the Wooden Legs Brewery Company to take a tour and sample their offerings. Consider spending time at the South Dakota Art Museum, Pioneer Park, or McCrory Gardens.

The safest neighborhoods in Brookings include Brookings South and Sunnyview.


Madison is a small town in Lake County that provides residents with a comfortable and relaxing place to live. It also contains the Madison Airport, which effortlessly connects you to cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago. The average home value is a relatively low $240,220, which pairs well with the low cost of living.

If you opt to move to Madison, you'll find many things to do and attractions to visit. For example, the Dakota Cinema plays host to the most popular blockbusters as well as smaller indie fare. If you're searching for a fun outdoor spot that the whole family will love, consider taking a trip to the Great Plains Zoo, Bramble Park Zoo, or Arnolds Park. A few additional destinations to check out include Lake Herman State Park, Stadium Sports Grill, and Prairie Village History Museum.

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Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is a beautiful city that's a favorite among South Dakota residents. In sprawling Falls Park, you'll see the Big Sioux River, which cascades down a series of rock faces and provides residents with great photo opportunities. Even though Sioux Falls is the most populous city in South Dakota with around 203,287 residents, the average home value is a reasonable $313,630.

Along with many highly rated schools, residents have access to popular destinations like the Great Plains Zoo, the Butterfly House & Aquarium, and the Big Sioux State Recreation Area. Consider visiting the Sioux Falls Convention Center as well.

A few of the safest areas in Sioux Falls are Shindler, Pepper Ridge, and Pine Lakes.


While Pierre is South Dakota's capital city, it has a small-town atmosphere. Many properties in Pierre have clear views of the Missouri River. Because of the proximity to this river, you can go camping, boating, or fishing without needing to travel far to reach your destination.

When you're looking to grab a bite to eat or visit a local brewery, stop by Mad Mary's Steakhouse & Saloon or the Bill of Rights Brewery. Right beside the State Capitol Building is Hyde Stadium, which plays host to several collegiate baseball teams. Also worth a visit are the South Dakota Discovery Center, South Dakota State Historical Society, and Lariat Lanes.

The safest areas and neighborhoods in Pierre include Pierre North and City Center.

Exterior of the South Dakota State Capitol building on a clear, summer day


Yankton is a small city on the bank of the Missouri River. It's home to many bars and a popular nightlife scene. The city has a rich Native American history that's on full display at numerous parks and museums throughout the area. If you love golfing, stop by the Fox Run Golf Course.

You can also enjoy the great outdoors by visiting Fantle Memorial Park or the Lewis & Clark State Recreation Area. Several additional locations that might interest you include Charlie's Pizza House, the Walnut Tavern and River City Relics.

The safest areas in Yankton include Napa Junction, Yankton North, and Yankton East.

Rapid City

If you wish to live in an urban destination that provides you with a big city atmosphere and energy, consider Rapid City. This destination is highly sought after because of its proximity to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills National Forest. Residents benefit from great commuter routes, a strong school system, and many outdoor activities.

There are plenty of things to do in Rapid City. If you're looking to spend time in nature, consider visiting Dinosaur Park, Storybook Island, or Reptile Gardens. Badlands National Park is another oft-traveled destination. Many of the shops and restaurants are present in bustling Downtown Rapid City. Other places that might interest you include the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Museum of Geology, and Bear Country USA.

The safest areas in Rapid City include Colonial Pine Hills, Johnson Siding, and Green Valley.

Benefits of a home security system and home automation in South Dakota

Even if you live in the city with the lowest crime rates, it's important to have a security system in your home. The following are just a few ways that a security system can keep your home and family safe:

  • Secure doors: You can lock your doors and keep your South Dakota home secure with smart door locks. These locks are programmable, which means that they open by means of a code instead of a key. Every member of your home can have their own unique code so you always know who is coming and going.
  • Increase control: Once you install a home security and automation system from Vivint, you can control every smart device from your phone with the Vivint app. Even when you're on vacation, all it takes is a few taps on your phone to check in on your home.
  • Fine-tune HVAC settings: With a smart thermostat, you can waste less energy and only cool or heat your home when necessary. Smart thermostats give you full control over the heating and cooling in your home.
  • Lower energy bills: Whether you live in Rapid City or Pierre, you can reduce your monthly energy bills by installing smart devices that focus on saving energy. Smart lighting and smart thermostats are two solutions that may help you save money.
  • 24/7 monitoring: If an intruder triggers an alarm or a sensor in your home security system, you'll receive an instant alert on your phone. So our security team. We’ll reach out to confirm if there is a real threat and call any necessary first responders for you so you can focus on getting to safety in an emergency.
Person arming their Smart Hub and view of living room

Safeguard your South Dakota home with a Vivint home automation system

With access to the Black Hills mountain range, Wild Cave National Park, and Rapid City, it's easy to find something to do when you live in South Dakota. Whether you decide to move to a rural destination, small town, or big city, it's wise to pair your home with a feature-rich security and home automation system from Vivint.

Learn how Vivint can increase your peace of mind. Give us a call today at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation.

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