Brookings is a city in Brookings County, South Dakota, United States. Brookings is the fifth largest city in South Dakota, with a population of 22,056 at the 2010 census.
The city is the county seat of Brookings County, and home to South Dakota State University, the largest institution of higher education in the state. Also found in Brookings are the South Dakota State Art Museum, the Children's Museum of South Dakota, the annual Brookings Summer Arts Festival, and the headquarters of a number of manufacturing companies and agricultural operations. The city has a lot of popular attractions and recreation opportunities to offer.
The county and city were both named after one of South Dakota's pioneer promoters, Wilmot Brookings (1830 - 1905). In a letter sent to Chicago on September 30, 1879, Land Commissioner Charles E. Simmons communicated the layout of the series of towns in Brookings County to be passed through by the railroad. These towns were to be Aurora, Brookings, and Volga. The railroad crossed the Minnesota state line and into Brookings County on October 2, 1879. With tracks being built at about one mile per day, the track and first train reached Brookings' Main Street on October 18, 1879. The railroad station was opened a month later.Brookings was laid out in 1880.
South Dakota State Art Museum, McCrory Gardens and South Dakota State Arboretum, and the Children's Museum of South Dakota are amongst the 3 most popular attractions in Brookings.
The South Dakota Art Museum houses more than 6,500 works of art. Among its seven spacious galleries, four feature rotating art from its permanent collections including Harvey Dunn paintings, Native American art, Paul Goble illustrations and Marghab Linens. The remaining galleries exhibit the latest trends in contemporary art from regional, national and international artists.
McCrory Gardens and South Dakota State Arboretum are botanical gardens and an arboretum located on the South Dakota State University campus in Brookings, South Dakota. McCrory Gardens has over 25 acres of formal display gardens & 45 acres of arboretum featuring hundreds of different flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses in harmonious settings to display, educate, and further the development of new varieties.
Located in the heart of downtown Brookings at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Kidoodle Way, the Children's Museum of South Dakota is the only one of its kind in South Dakota to feature 44,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space 4-acres of Praire. The unique museum sparks imagination and learning for all children and grownups through play, creativity and discovery.
When visiting Brookings, we recommend you spend some time in the historic downtown. Walking tours will reveal the history of this community, complete with several options for entertainment. The city clerk offers guided tours that detail the downtown area as well as other Brookings attractions, and visitors also can spend time shopping, dining, and enjoying the night life at unique and charming local businesses.
Spending time outside is a must for any Brookings vacation. Anglers have their choice of many fishing lakes, including Lake Campbell and Oakwood Lake. When visitors spend time at Oakwood Lakes State Park, they have the chance to do some fishing; they also can go hiking, cross-country skiing, and swimming. Shaded campgrounds and cabins are available for overnight accommodations.