Since it’s safe to say that we are finally on the backside of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure many people are taking advantage of every opportunity to just get outside and breathe. Enjoying the great outdoors is certainly the perfect cure for the COVID-19 blues.

In South Dakota, we are very fortunate to have a variety of outdoor activities literally at our fingertips.  From bike trails to state and national parks, South Dakota truly is the place to enjoy nature.

I recently found a little secret hideaway that’s not in Sioux Falls or even in the west river area. This sanctuary of gardens is actually located in Brookings, specifically on the South Dakota State University campus.

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The McCrory Gardens are full of trees, open spaces, and flowers for miles.  According to its website, "The arboretum features 45 acres of tree and shrub collections and approximately 1.6 miles of trails that are open and accessible to the public from dawn to dusk."  The biggest attraction in McCrory Gardens is its annual TuliPalooza. Tulips literally line the gardens from every vantage point imaginable.

Since the McCrory Gardens is located on the South Dakota State University campus, garden admission for students is free! All they have to do is show their valid Student ID.  Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if some Jacks convince their professors to conduct class outside when the weather is cooperating.

My friend Sarah recently took me to McCrory Gardens for the very first time, and I was truly mesmerized.  There was so much beauty and color.  I literally felt like I was in "Alice In Wonderland" walking through the tulips. There were also waterfalls throughout the gardens. One waterfall even looks like a mini Falls Parks.

The tulips won't be in bloom for long at  McCrory Gardens. Be sure to head over to the gardens and experience the 2021 TuliPalooza as well as all of the other wonderful gardens, collections, and programs McCrory Gardens has to offer!

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