Sioux City is a city in Woodbury and Plymouth counties in the western part of the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 82,684 in the 2010 census, a decline from 85,013 in the 2000 census, which makes it currently the fourth largest city in the state. The bulk of the city is in Woodbury County, of which it is the county seat, though a small portion is in Plymouth County. Sioux City is the primary city of the four-county Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with a population of 143,005 in 2000 and a slight increase to an estimated 144,360 in 2009. The Sioux City-Vermillion, IA-NE-SD Combined Statistical Area had a population of 156,503 as of 2000 and has grown to an estimated population of 157,850 as of 2009.
Interstate 29 is a major controlled-access highway in Sioux City and the surrounding area providing easy access of the 20 mile stretch covering Sioux City and the majority of its suburbs. It approaches the city from Omaha to the south before curving northwest along the Missouri River near downtown. The highway then enters South Dakota and curves back to the north as it approaches Sioux Falls. Interstate 129 is an auxiliary Interstate Expressway that connects South Sioux City, NE to the north side of Sioux City and works as a bypass for travelers to other surrounding suburbs. Interstate 129 also interconnects with U.S. Route 75 which is in expansion to interstate form connecting Sioux City to Worthington, Minnesota. U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the United States spanning 3,365 miles (5,415 km) is also in the works of expanding from a two-lane highway to four-lanes from Sioux City, Iowa to Dubuque, Iowa which will provide a faster and easier access for travel from the over crowded highway of Interstate 80 in Iowa.
Sioux City Transit, the local public transit organization, operates 16 bus lines within the city. Recently, the city added a new transfer station in Sioux City's Downtown Area. The Sioux City Paratransit serves members of the community who would otherwise not be able the travel by providing door to door service. Sioux City also has several taxi companies that operate within the city. Jefferson Lines runs long-distance bus routes to Sioux City. Non-Transfer destinations include Winnipeg, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Omaha. There is no Amtrak passenger train service that passes through northwest Iowa.
The city is served by Sioux Gateway Airport 6 miles (10 km) to its south. American Airlines' affiliate American Eagle will begin service in the spring of 2012. Delta Airlines runs a reservation call center within Sioux City, originating out of the former JC Penney building.
The Sioux City Community School District serves 13,480 students living in Sioux City; there are three public high schools West High School, North High School, East High School (grades 9-12), three public Middle Schools, West Middle, North Middle, and East Middle (grades 6-8), and 19 Elementary Schools (grades K-5). Because of sprawl, districts around Sioux City continue to grow at dramatic rates. South Sioux City, Hinton, North Sioux City, Lawton, Bronson, Elk Point, Jefferson, Vermillion, Le Mars, Hawarden, Akron, Westfield, Ponca, Sergeant Bluff, Wayne, Sioux Center, along with other school districts that serve many metro-area students.
Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic School is a centralized private Catholic School System that includes six schools: They teach preschool through twelfth grade. Siouxland Community Christian School educates grades K-12.
Sioux City is home to Morningside College, Briar Cliff University, Western Iowa Tech, St. Lukes College, Bellevue University and Tri-State Graduate Center.
Parks and recreation:
- Stone State Park is in the northwest corner of the city, overlooking the South Dakota/Iowa border. Stone Park is near the northernmost extent of the Loess Hills, and is at the transition from clay bluffs and prairie to sedimentary rock hills and bur oak forest along the Iowa side of the Big Sioux River. The park is used by picnickers, day hikers, and for mountain biking.
- Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is a destination nature preserve for Woodbury County, and is located within the boundaries of Stone State Park. The butterfly garden is unique to the area; wild turkeys and white-tail deer are commonly sighted from the well-marked trails.
- Downtown entertainment venues include the casino, the 10,000-seat Tyson Event Center/ Gateway Arena, Sioux City Orpheum Theatre, Promenade Cinema 14, Martin Ballroom, Galaxie Ballroom At-Bellevue and the Anderson Dance Pavilion which overlooks the Missouri River.
- Pulaski Park is named for the Polish General Kazimierz Pułaski, who fought in the American Revolution. This park features baseball diamond facilities, and is located in western Morningside along old U.S. Highway 75 (South Lewis Blvd.). It is largely built on the filled lakebed of Half Moon Lake, which was originally created in the 1890s by the excavation of fill dirt to build the approaches for the iron railroad bridge spanning the Missouri near the stockyards. The neighborhood on the bluff overlooking the park was historically settled by Lithuanian and Polish immigrants, many of whom worked in the meatpacking industry during the early 20th century.
- Latham Park is located in a residential area of Morningside, and is the only privately owned and maintained open-to-the-public park within the city limits. It was left in trust in 1937 under the terms of Clara Latham's will; her family had built the house on 1-acre (4,000 m2) of ground in 1915. The house and grounds are currently being restored by the Friends of Latham Park.
- First Bride's Grave is tucked in a corner pocket of South Ravine Park, lies a series of paths, trails, and steps leading to the grave of the First Bride of Sioux City, Rosalie Menard. She was the first bride of a non-native American to be wed in Sioux City, Iowa, thus receiving her title.
- War Eagle Park is named for the Yankton Sioux chief Wambdi Okicize (d. 1851) who befriended early settlers. A monument overlooks the confluence of the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers. The sculpture represents the chief in his role as a leader and peacemaker, wearing the eagle feather bonnet and holding the peace pipe.
- Riverside Park is located on the banks of the Big Sioux River. One of the oldest recreational areas of the city, it is home to the Sioux City Boat Club and Sioux City Community Theater. The park is on land that once belonged to the first white settler in the area, Theophile Bruguier; his original cabin is preserved in the park.
- Bacon Creek Park is located northeast of Morningside and features a scenic walking trail, dog park, picnic shelters, and playground equipment.
Golf courses, city parks, and aquatics: Sioux City is also home to several municipal public golf courses, including Floyd Park in Morningside, Green Valley near the Southern Hills, Sun Valley on the northern West Side, and Hidden Acres in nearby Plymouth County. Sioux City also has a number of private golf clubs, including Sioux City Country Club, and Whispering Creek Golf Club. The city has over 1,132 acres (5 km2) of public parkland located at 53 locations, including the riverfront and many miles of recreation trails. Five public swimming pools/aquatics centers are located within Sioux City neighborhoods.