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Posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Dave!And so today I flew into Sioux Falls so I could rent a car and drive down to Sioux City... home to the latest US Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It's nothing overly-fancy, but it does have some nice pieces of memorabilia and pretty good theming throughout.

But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

As you can tell in that last photo, the hotel part and the casino part are two separate buildings. The hotel was the former Simmons Hardware Company Warehouse (which you can read about here)... then they plastered the casino building right up next to it. You can see that they used the original exterior wall as the new interior dividing wall when you use the rear entrance...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City

The lobby is beautiful and decorated nicely for the holidays...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Lobby

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Lobby

Interestingly enough, the reception desk has a full bar behind it. I don't know that I've ever seen that before!

The rooms are great, but not terribly "Hard Rock." With the exception of a guitar painting and a strip of photos next to the toilet, there's just not much to distinguish this from a "regular" hotel room... albeit a very nice one...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Rooms

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Rooms

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Rooms

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Rooms

Hallways are pretty mundane and memorabilia-free, except for the carpet and door art...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Hallway

Memorabilia is fairly good once you get to the casino portion. Not so much on the casino floor, but all the way around it...

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia
A shirt worn by Elvis Presley!

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Memorabilia

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City Rock Shop

Not wanting to spend all my time in a casino (I'm not much of a gambler), I decided to head out into the city and see what museums could be found in walking distance from the Hard Rock. The first I ran across was the Sioux City Art Center... which is not an actual museum, but they do have a small collection. The building itself is one of their best works of art, however...

Sioux City Art Center

Much to their credit, they had a beautiful Dale Chihuly seaform vase in their collection...

Sioux City Art Center Chihuly

And a series of paintings focusing on cornfields. I couldn't really tell if they were painted to be faded and tough to make out... or if they were badly faded from sun damage or something. Still interesting. Though I found it impossible to photograph them well...

Sioux City Art Center

Much to my surprise, they also have a Jackson Pollock on loan...

Sioux City Art Center Jackson Pollock

Not one of my favorites by him, but Polock's works are alway great to see in person... the way the paint layers up is an interesting effect that gets lost in photos.

From there I walked to the Sioux City Museum, which focuses on the history of (you guessed it) Sioux City...

Sioux City Museum

There's a lot of history in a relatively small space... almost too much at times, because it gets so cluttered you don't know where to look...

Sioux City Museum

Sioux City Museum

Sioux City Museum

A nice museum, really... and totally free (though you can make a donation).

After a while I decided to head back to the hotel... disappointed that both cities I visited bearing the name of the Great Sioux Nation didn't actually have a museum dedicated to the Native Americans which inhabited (and continue to inhabit) the region. A teepee and a few crafts in the City Museum were about it. Perhaps one of the Indian reservations would have a museum, but they're so scattered I wouldn't know where to begin looking. I've done some cursory Google searches and came up empty. Guess I need to find a book.

Oh... and I found this cool shot along the way...

Sioux City Alley

Dinner was an interesting side journey.

Three days ago, Blogography reader "Omaha Carl" left this comment...

As always, just LOVE it when you share your travels.
If you ever get to fly-over country. i.e. the Omaha region, consider me for a guide, or at least for suggestions.
Carl Mann
(NOT the country singer from the 50s and 60s)

Smartass that I am, I replied with this...

I’ll be in flyover country day after tomorrow… see you then! :-)

It was a joke... but then I got to thinking about how Omaha couldn't be more than an hour-and-a-half south of Sioux City. So I Googled it and, sure enough, an hour and thirty-four minutes...

Google Maps

So... a couple emails later and I was off to Omaha for a terrific dinner with Carl...

Anthony's in Omaha Nebraska

If you're ever in Omaha, Anthony's makes a mean bowl of pasta (and it's way more than I could eat!). I'm just sad that I didn't have room to eat a salad with some Dorothy Lynch dressing (which is apparently a very Omaha thing to do given that it was invented in the city of St. Paul, due East of the city).

Thanks so much to Omaha Carl for the great evening!

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Categories: Hard Rock 2014, Travel 2014Click To It: Permalink


  1. Annette says:

    Amazing, you made it to Omaha! It’s where I live, and hey, Anthony’s, pretty good food! We like the steaks and prime rib though. You’re right about the Doro Lynch. It was my mother’s favorite, and we always had it on hand.

  2. That hotel room looks really really nice actually.

  3. Fluffycat says:

    I love the high ceilings in that hotel room, looks very cool and rustic.

  4. martymankins says:

    I always like to read about your extra travels to visit another blogger. Keeping it real IRL.

    That bar behind the reception desk is incredible. Would love to visit and have a drink there someday.

    Also, nice snap of the Slash memorabilia you got to see.

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