South Dakota Journals

Verm Town

A January 2006 trip to South Dakota by Mandan Lynn

Doo-Wop Shake Shop Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: I lived here for four and a half years. Supposedly, I should know a little bit about it.

Verm Town

Overview

Quote:
Highlights of Vermillion? VERMILLION? Well, it's a college town, so you're bound to run into lots of young people doing random, inappropriate things. The university pulls several big events into town every year, such as concerts and speakers (recently Blues Traveler and Garrison Keillor), and there are always other things going on--plays, sporting events, poetry readings, debates, college stuff in general.There are several good restaurants, and the bars are fun. Vermillion is small and relatively safe, though you should play it smart and walk with a buddy after dark, but that's true for anywhere in the world. If you're drunk (or just need to get home), the Drunk Bus gives free rid...Read More

Texas Roadhouse

Restaurant | "Roadhouse"

Quote:
The Roadhouse (formerly known as the Texas Roadhouse) is a favorite among college students. It closes at 3am on weekends--1 hour after the bars close, so it is common for the bar-goers to stop here for some food before heading home. The well-stocked bar (perhaps the best in town?) serves huge, inexpensive drinks. Happy hour earns you free pizza or chicken wings with the purchase of drinks.There are plenty of items on the menu for under $10. The pizza is excellent and filling--don't be afraid to ask for the kid-size version. Pasta, burgers, steak, quesadillas, chicken wings--you really can't go wrong at the Roadhouse.Saturday night is karaoke night, and don't be surprised t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

Texas Roadhouse
911 East Cherry St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-7336

Chae's

Restaurant | "Chae's Oriental Dining"

Chae's Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
Chae's Oriental Dining is my favorite restaurant in Vermillion. While it's not the absolute best Oriental food I've ever had, it's still really, really good. I find any excuse I can to visit Chae's.They have a great lunch buffet for $6.29. This generally includes eight different dishes (beef and broccoli, sweet and sour pork, and cashew chicken are often on the menu), two soups, egg rolls, and another fried treat, often onion petals. If you're not up for the all-you-can-eat experience, you can also order from the large menu. While the meals are more expensive at dinner than they are at lunch, most dishes are still under $10.The menu is typical of an Oriental restaurant, though they do ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Chae's
8 West Main Street
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-2294

Cherry Street Grill

Restaurant

Quote:
Cherry Street Grill has an old diner sort of feel. The floor is black and white tile, the walls are red, and the bar stools are red. The atmosphere is nice and the food is good, but I have to warn you, Cherry St. Grill does have a reputation around town of being a little crummy. However, people still flock in for the convenient hours and the extensive menu.There is a smoking and non-smoking section, which basically means that if you spend any length of time in there, you'll leave smelling like smoke.Breakfast is served all day and includes a 101 Omelet Menu. Choices include the usual: ham, cheese, peppers, and any combination of things like this, and the far from usual: Reeses Peanut B...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Cherry Street Grill
1122 E Cherry St.
Vermillion, South Dakota
(605) 624-8879

Coffee Shop Gallery

Restaurant

Coffee Shop Gallery Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
The Coffee Shop Gallery is located on the corner of Main and Market Streets in Vermillion. It's a cozy place, as are most coffee shops. The menu is fairly typical and includes sandwiches and wraps. I'm not a big coffee drinker, so I'm not the best judge, but I do enjoy my drinks from the Gallery.The Gallery is decorated with art work, often by local artists, and often for sale. My favorite aspect of the Gallery is that they host the Vermillion Literary Project's monthly poetry readings and slams. The readings usually feature either a local or visiting poet (Lee Ann Roripaugh and Elliot Harmon have both done readings there), and the slam is open to anyone who would like to participate.W...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Coffee Shop Gallery
24 W Main St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-2945

Doo-Wop Shake Shop

Restaurant

Doo-Wop Shake Shop Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota
Quote:
The Doo-Wop Shake Shop is a relatively new addition to the Vermillion community. Find it on Main Street.The front part of the shop is a gift shop - if you walk through that you'll get to the yummy part. You can buy various flavors of fantastic ice cream - I just tried the Anniversary Cake flavor the other day - as well as other soda fountain treats. I love their malts and shakes, and who doesn't enjoy a good root beer float? Their sweet menu includes things I've never even heard of but look forward to trying. The best part? They're reasonably priced and usually not even all that busy. In my experience, the works behind the counter are willing to help you out if you'd like a little extra flavor...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Doo-Wop Shake Shop
Main Street
South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-7077

Little Italy's

Restaurant

Quote:
There are four major pizza places in Vermillion—Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Fox's, and Little Italy's. Little Italy's is a fierce competitor, and rightfully so. Their menu includes pizza as well as various pasta dishes. And don't forget their desserts! My old roommate was a longtime fan of the Snickers pie.Take out and delivery (on orders over $8.00) are also available.Are you hosting a dinner or party? Little Italy's has a separate room perfect for such occasions. My friend had her wedding rehearsal dinner there, and we all had a great time and good food.The restaurant is located in a little strip mall on Cherry Street, and it doesn't look like much -- but don't...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Little Italy's
844 E Cherry St, Vermillion, SD
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-8000

DakotaDays

Attraction

Quote:
DakotaDays is the University of South Dakota's homecoming week. In 2006, it's the first week of October, with the festivities leading up to the football game against Central Washington University on Saturday, October 7.During the week, expect jell-o wrestling, live music, the coronation ceremony, and drunken cries of "HAP-py D-Days!" among other things. The quality of these diversions vary greatly from activity to activity and year to year. The jell-o wrestling is always a favorite, but sometimes the D-Days organizers end up having speakers give talks on random subjects--I went to one on dolphins once.The parade is at 10am on Saturday the 7th. It's usually a lot of fun. If you're ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

DakotaDays
414 E Clark St.
Vermillion, South Dakota

Main Street Pub

Attraction

Main Street Pub Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota
Quote:
The Pub attracts a fairly mellow, intellectual crowd. It's by far my favorite bar in Vermillion, and it's usually pretty crowded on the weekends. Food is served during the day--I especially like the soups. It's a favorite spot for lunch dates, and if you go over the noon hour you might have trouble finding a table.Thursday night is Twofer night--two drinks for the price of one. Four dollar mixed drinks come in huge glasses--glasses that make ordering mixed drinks in Europe very disappointing indeed. The Pub consistently makes the best Amaretto sour I've had in Vermillion.The booths are cozy, the tables roomy, the bathrooms skeezy but clean (they finally installed hand dryers...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

Main Street Pub
11 West Main St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-7670

The Pressbox

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

The Pressbox Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota
Quote:
The Pressbox: there's a dance floor upstairs and a patio out back. There are pool tables, darts, Foosball, and occasionally karaoke. You'll probably get served more quickly at the bar upstairs, but it's not as well-stocked, so if you want something not so run-of-the-mill, you're better off waiting downstairs for the bartender to get to you.Thursday is ladies night--women with student IDs drink for free; other women drink for $3 all night. No one really seems to want to like The Pressbox. They make fun of the "trashy" college girls who frequently make a Thursday night visit, and the men who go on Thursdays to hunt those women. But, that's bar life no matter where you go. Whether yo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

The Pressbox
9 West National St.
Vermillion, South Dakota
(605) 624-9400

America's Shrine to Music Museum

Attraction | "America's Shrine to Music: the National Music Muse"

America's Shrine to Music Museum  Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota
Quote:
National Music Museum
Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 2-5pm
Donations encouraged

Who would have thought, but this little University in this little town is home to a world-class music museum. The museum houses more than 10,000 instruments from all over the world. Self-guided audio tours are available.

Its Brown Bag Lunch program offers a free concert featuring different musicians almost every Friday at 12:05.

I'd say this is a must-see, especially for students of music.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 9, 2006

America's Shrine to Music Museum
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, South Dakota
(605) 677-5306

University of South Dakota

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

University of South Dakota Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
The University of South Dakota is South Dakota's oldest university and home to the state's only accredited law, med, and business schools.Blah blah blah. I'm not a recruiting officer. But I can tell you that thanks to the U, Vermillionites have something to do with their free time.The campus is pretty enough, if you care to stroll through it. It won't take long. They're on a huge beautification kick, so things should be getting prettier all the time. It's no Concordia, but they're trying.The DakotaDome is the home of USD athletics, and includes an indoor track, swimming pool, and football field (which gets rolled up in the off-season). The university has basketball, softb...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 13, 2006

University of South Dakota
414 East Clark St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(877) 269-6837

Open Mike's

Attraction

The Pressbox Photo, Vermillion, South Dakota
Quote:
Open Mike's is Vermillion's newest -and most popular- addition to the bar scene. They opened more than a year ago and consistently bring in the crowds with their live music. The building was recently renovated and is now twice its original size. They don't have a liquor license -yet- but do serve wine and beer. Mike's has a nice big stage that is occupied at least once a week by local or visiting bands. Tuesday night is jazz night, and when I lived in Vermillion I remember fielding the question "Are you going to jazz?" all day on Tuesday, every Tuesday. The jazz musicians are local; they're often students or professors in the College of Fine Arts.Thursday is karaoke and/or live ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 15, 2006

Open Mike's
Main Street
Vermillion, South Dakota

Carey's Bar

Attraction | "Carey's"

Carey's Bar Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
Carey's is a hugely popular bar and tends to attract the athletic and fraternity crowds. If you're living in Vermillion, you're bound to run into friends if you stop by Carey's. Carey's has two main rooms which are generally packed. On the weekends, you'll probably have to fight your way through to get to the bar or bathrooms. The main bar is just inside the entrance; the second bar is in the other room. It also has a patio with a third bar; there are exits into this beer garden from both rooms. When the weather's nice, it stays pretty full. Carey's has a few cozy booths, but get there early if you want to secure a seating place. They also have video lottery and darts. It's not a place...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 15, 2006

Carey's Bar
18 West Main Street
South Dakota
(605) 624-9921

Chalky's

Attraction

Chalky's Photo, South Dakota, United States
Quote:
Chalky's is right next door to the Main Street Pub, and my friends and I used to swing back and forth between the two. Chalky's has a homey feel--it's always pretty dark, and the booths are ultra-cozy. They're circular: you sort of have to scoot in, and then you can fit a lot of people at one table. They have pool tables and dart boards. If I wanted to play pool, which has only happened once, this is the place I would go (and did). There is a lot of room in that area, so you don't have to constantly worry about hitting someone.In earlier years, I remember Chalky's being pretty busy. Lately it has been a little slower, but I haven't been there that often recently, so maybe I ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 23, 2006

Chalky's
9 West Main Street
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069
(605) 624-7611

Quote:
The Kickback is a local band who came onto the scene with a bang about a year ago. They play with fair regularity to an enthusiastic crowd at Open Mike's in Vermillion, and occasionally at the Eagle's in Vermillion or at various venues in Sioux Falls and Yankton. There is talk of a short tour this winter.The Kickback started as three guys, but there has been a little shuffling recently. The bass player left and was replaced, and then a fourth member was added. The band is fronted by Billy Yost, who writes most of the songs. Also in the band are Steve on drums, Cody on guitar, and Billy's brother Danny on bass.I admit I don't know a lot about music, but I've heard a lot of local bands w...Read More