Cars moving fast at night at downtown Vermillion.

Life in Vermillion

Experience all that Vermillion, South Dakota has to offer.

Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, Vermillion is an idyllic college town filled with restaurants, movie theaters and museums all within walking distance, perfect for students with or without cars.

Depending on the season, you can go kayaking, sailing, biking, hiking or golfing a few minutes from campus, or check out skiing or snowboarding at Great Bear Recreation Park about an hour north.

Feel like getting out of town for the weekend? Sioux City and Sioux Falls are within an hour’s drive, while you can get to Minneapolis and Omaha in less than a few hours.

Get to Know Vermillion

Vermillion is a vibrant community of artists, scholars, leaders and friends. The university and the city enjoy a close partnership, making this a welcoming and exciting place for anyone who calls USD or Vermillion home.

Just Visiting?

Whether you're seeking a comfortable place to rest your head or the perfect spot to savor a delicious meal, we've got you covered. Your guide to comfortable accommodations and mouth-watering dining experiences starts here.

Experience Vermillion
Like a Local

A Vibrant Entertainment Scene

Nestled in the heart of the Great Plains, Vermillion offers a unique blend of cultural and entertainment options that cater to students seeking a vibrant and enriching experience. From the big screen to cozy bookshops, trivia nights to artistic performances, this charming town has something for every student looking to get plugged into our charming community.

Catch the Latest Blockbuster at Coyote Twin Theater

For students who crave the cinematic experience, the Coyote Twin Theater is a go-to destination. Grab some popcorn (beloved by the community) and settle in to enjoy the latest blockbusters, indie films, and classics. The theater offers not only entertainment but also a sense of community as fellow students gather - make sure to catch free USD movie nights! And don't forget to BYOB - Bring your own BLANKET!

Enjoy Music at the AV Lounge

The AV Lounge is the perfect spot for music enthusiasts and those who enjoy a laid-back atmosphere. Live music performances, open mic nights, and DJ sets provide the soundtrack to unforgettable evenings. Whether you're a fan of local talents or simply want to unwind to the rhythm of the music, the AV Lounge offers a welcoming space for students to connect and enjoy the arts. 

Create Art with the Vermillion Area Arts Council

Immerse yourself in the world of arts and culture by exploring the programming of the Vermillion Area Arts Council. This dynamic organization hosts art exhibitions, workshops, and events that showcase local artists and creators. For students with a penchant for visual arts, this is a place to appreciate and be inspired by diverse artistic expressions. 

Outside of a Dog Books & Games: Beyond the Ordinary

Bookworms and board game enthusiasts will find their haven at Outside of a Dog Books & Games. With monthly book clubs that delve into thought-provoking literature and game nights that foster camaraderie, this cozy bookstore is a treasure trove of intellectual and social engagement. Engage in stimulating discussions or embark on epic gaming adventures with like-minded students and community members. 

Put Your Knowledge to the Test at Trivia Night

Challenge your intellect and have a blast at Vermillion's trivia nights. Venues across downtown host trivia events combining friendly competition and lively atmosphere. Gather your friends, form a team, and showcase your expertise on various topics while enjoying delicious food and drinks.

Immerse Yourself in Vermillion's Rich Cultural Tapestry

From music to history, art to architecture, Vermillion's cultural offerings are a testament to its rich heritage and its dedication to preserving and celebrating its unique identity.

National Music Museum

Step into the enchanting world of music at the National Music Museum, a haven that bridges the gap between history and melody. With an exquisite collection of musical instruments from around the world, this museum serves as a time capsule of sounds that have resonated across eras and continents. Visitors can marvel at the craftsmanship of ancient instruments and appreciate the evolution of musical expression, making it a must-visit for both music enthusiasts and history buffs.

Austin Whittemore House

The Austin Whittemore House stands as a living testament to architectural elegance and historical significance. This beautifully preserved mansion showcases the opulence of a bygone era while offering a glimpse into the life of early Vermillion settlers. Its intricate detailing and lush surroundings provide a backdrop for cultural events and gatherings that continue to celebrate the essence of the town's heritage.

W.H. Over Museum

Delve into the captivating history of Vermillion and its surrounding regions at the W.H. Over Museum. Through its carefully curated exhibits and engaging displays, the museum narrates the stories of the area's Indigenous people, pioneers, and their enduring connection to the land. The museum's dedication to education and preservation is a testament to its role in connecting the past with the present.

Vermillion's Murals: Streets Alive with Art

As you stroll through the streets of Vermillion, you'll encounter a symphony of colors and narratives on display through the Vermillion Area Murals. These captivating artworks adorn the town's buildings, narrating tales of local history, culture, and identity. Each mural is a brushstroke that contributes to the town's visual narrative, turning the streets into an open-air gallery that engages residents and visitors alike.

Vermillion's Sculpture Walk

Vermillion's Sculpture Walk brings art to life, transforming the town into a gallery without walls. As you wander through the streets, you'll encounter an array of sculptures that reflect a myriad of artistic styles and visions. This dynamic exhibit adds an element of surprise to every corner, inviting you to pause and reflect on the intersection of creativity and everyday life.

Explore Nature's Playground: Green Spaces and Outdoor Adventures in Vermillion

Vermillion isn't just a town of cultural delights; it's also a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. With its picturesque landscapes and abundance of green spaces, students can escape the hustle and bustle of campus life and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the great outdoors. Here are some of the top green spaces and outdoor destinations that Vermillion has to offer:

Clay County Park

Nestled along the meandering Missouri River, Clay County Park offers a serene escape for students seeking a peaceful retreat. The park's lush greenery, scenic walking trails, and riverfront views provide the perfect backdrop for hiking, picnicking, and bird-watching. Whether you're looking to recharge or simply enjoy the beauty of nature, Clay County Park has it all.

The Bluffs Golf Course

For students who enjoy golf, The Bluffs Golf Course offers a challenging and scenic course surrounded by the beauty of the South Dakota landscape. With its rolling hills and meticulously designed fairways, this course provides an enjoyable experience for both seasoned golfers and beginners.

North Alabama Bend

North Alabama Bend is a well-kept secret among locals, offering a slice of untouched wilderness. This secluded area is perfect for those seeking solitude and unspoiled landscapes. Hike through lush forests, explore hidden trails, and immerse yourself in the calming embrace of nature at its most pristine.

Spirit Mound 

Step back in time by visiting Spirit Mound, a place steeped in history and Native American lore. This hilltop destination offers panoramic views of the surrounding prairies and a chance to hike in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. The journey to the summit is as rewarding as the view itself, making it an educational and invigorating outdoor experience.

Prentis Park

Prentis Park is a well-rounded destination, offering everything from sports facilities to hiking trails. Engage in a game of basketball, take a swim at the Prentis Plunge (during the warmer months), play horseshoes with friends, or take a leisurely stroll through the park's green paths. It's a dynamic space that caters to a wide range of outdoor interests.

Lewis & Clark Lake

A short drive from Vermillion, Lewis & Clark Lake beckons with its clear waters and recreational opportunities. Whether you're into swimming, boating, or simply lounging by the shore, this lake offers a variety of activities for water lovers. The lake's expansive shoreline is perfect for hosting beach picnics and outdoor gatherings.

Discover Vermillion, South Dakota

Discover the Heart of Your Community: Shop Local and Support Your Neighborhood Retailers!

Exploring the shopping scene in Vermillion, South Dakota, is an enchanting experience that combines the charm of a small-town atmosphere with a diverse array of offerings. Whether you're seeking fashion finds, artisanal goods, or one-of-a-kind treasures, Vermillion's shops and boutiques provide a warm and inviting space to indulge in retail therapy. With friendly faces, personalized service, and a touch of local flavor, shopping in Vermillion is a true pleasure for residents and visitors alike. Make sure to support local artisans at the Vermillion Area Farmer's Market, where you'll find homegrown, homemade, and specially crafted foods and items.

View Vermillion's Shopping Directory

Getting Involved and Making a Difference: Volunteering with Vermillion's Esteemed Organizations

Vermillion thrives on the spirit of community engagement and giving back. If you are eager to contribute your time and energy to meaningful causes, there are several outstanding organizations that welcome volunteers with open arms. Here's how you can get involved and make a positive impact:

Vermillion NEXT

Vermillion NEXT is all about empowering the next generation of leaders. By joining as a member of this organization, you'll engage in various programs, workshops, and events designed to foster personal and professional growth, as well as community involvement. Meet other fellow Vermillion NEXTers, get connected, and create a network with other young professionals and business leaders in our community. 

Join Vermillion NEXT

United Way of Vermillion

The United Way of Vermillion's Community Connection Center is a hub of compassion and collaboration. By volunteering with this organization, you'll play a role in the initiatives that uplift families, foster educational growth, and promote community resilience. 

Volunteer at the United Way

Habitat for Humanity for Clay & Yankton Counties

Joining forces with Habitat for Humanity allows you to make a tangible difference in the lives of families and communities. As a volunteer, you'll work side by side with others to construct homes, create safe havens, and empower families to achieve their dreams of homeownership. Your dedication will not only provide shelter but also cultivate a stronger sense of belonging and stability.

Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity

Heartland Humane Society

If you have a soft spot for animals, volunteering at the Heartland Humane Society offers a chance to make a significant impact on the lives of furry companions. From walking dogs to socializing cats, your time and care will help ensure that these beloved pets find loving forever homes. By dedicating your efforts to the welfare of animals, you're promoting a compassionate and nurturing environment within the community.

Volunteer at Heartland Humane Society


Exploring Job Opportunities in Vermillion

As you embark on your academic journey here, you might also be considering employment to enhance your college experience and financial well-being. Fortunately, Vermillion offers a range of opportunities for students like you.

hear from a usd alum

Success story Dominic Long smiling.
I initially found out about USD while being recruited for football. After multiple visits to Vermillion, I felt at home with the small-town vibe and the campus size, but was especially excited to be in the KSM department. Once I got to my sophomore year and a bit more immersed in the KSM curriculum that I had been anticipating, I knew that I found the right fit and I could not be happier with my decision.

Dominic Long

B.S Kinesiology and Sport Management, Exercise Science '20
Sports Performance Coach, First Pick Performance
Lincoln, NE

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