Vermillion is the proud home to an endless number of unique offerings that you can’t find anywhere else. Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, Vermillion delivers no shortage of arts, culture, history, and heritage to explore. Whether setting out to explore any of our beautiful parks, many historic sites, or some of our countless artistic sites and venues, visitors are sure to discover many reasons to #LOVermillion.
Historic Downtown Vermillion
Shop, dine, and enjoy the nightlife in beautiful historic downtown Vermillion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you’ll find more than 90 locations offering fine dining, art galleries, theaters, pubs, entertainment, specialty shops, and other businesses and services. Enjoy the pocket parks, Sculpture Walk and murals, and beautiful architecture. The annual festivals held in and near historic downtown, as well as regularly scheduled live music during Thursdays on the Platz during the summer months, prove that Vermillion is far from ordinary.
The Clay County Historical Museum is located in the Italian Villa style home known as the Austin-Whittemore House. The house was built in 1881 atop the river bluff after a disastrous flood swept three-fourths of the town away. The house is filled with Victorian furnishings and items of local interest, including many historical records and documents. Open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and by appointment. Free admission. 15 Austin Street in Vermillion.
Vermillion’s Annual Oktoberfest happens during the harvest season and brings lots of fun to downtown! Head to the Ratingen Platz on the corner of Main and Market Streets during the last weekend of September to hear some great live music, enjoy delicious, German-themed food, and celebrate Vermillion’s German heritage with a variety of vendors and tons of fun! You’ll find regional Polka bands, folk-dancing, German beer and food, costumes, and exciting events for the whole family. Vermillion is the sister city to Ratingen, Germany, and uses the phrase “Platz”, or “the Place” for its downtown center of activities.
W.H. Over Museum
The W.H. Over Museum highlights the collection of William H. Over, a distinguished naturalist of the northern plains from 1913 to 1945. See South Dakota’s largest collection of natural and cultural history, including a Lewis & Clark display with an 8×20 mural depicting the explorers’ visit to Spirit Mound in 1804. Find pre-reservation and early reservation Dakota and Lakota artifacts and the Stanley J. Morrow collection of historic photographs, firearms, and clothing. The museum also hosts events throughout the year, including Welcome Fall in October and W.H. Over Christmas Festival in December, and provides visitor and tourist information for the Vermillion area. Enjoy a tour and educational program offered at the museum, browse the gift shop for unique souvenirs, and pick up visitor and tourist information.