While you're in Brookings, be sure to visit the "Great 8," which includes the Children's Museum of South Dakota, the McCrory Gardens, the South Dakota Art Museum, the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum, Nick's Hamburger Shop, the Brookings County Outdoor Adventure Center, the SDSU Dairy Bar, and the Brookings Arts Council. After picking up a Great 8 passport, you can receive a stamp at each location. Once you've earned at least six stamps, you can turn in your passport for a chance at a $25 cash card via the monthly drawing.
When to Visit Brookings, SD
If your main concern is the weather, the best time to visit Brookings is during the summer, when you'll experience mild or comfortably warm temperatures in the high 50s to low 80s. Summer is also the best time to visit if you want to enjoy some of the annual events hosted in Brookings.
The Brookings Kite and Bike Festival in June features huge show kites, a bike obstacle course, face painting, food vendors, and more. Downtown Brookings hosts the family-friendly Crazy Days in late July and Downtown at Sundown on Thursday nights in July and August, with live music, cold drinks, and family fun. Summer also brings the Brookings Summer Arts Festival, the Wing and Brew Festival, and the Uncle Sam Jam on the Fourth of July.
Winter has its share of events, too, such as Frost Fest and the Festival of Lights. Just keep in mind that Brookings averages 33 inches of snow each year, and winter temperatures tend to stay below 30 degrees.
Spring and summer are the busiest tourist seasons in Brookings, with fall and winter being much slower. Hotel rates will likely reflect that, with better deals available during slower months.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Brookings, SD:
Brookings by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean price trends by star rating class in Brookings, SD. You can use these illustrations to determine the cheapest time period to book a room in Brookings throughout the year.
Luxury Hotel Options in Brookings, SD
You won't find any true luxury hotels in Brookings. However, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings and the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Brookings are both on the higher end of the price spectrum and offer excellent quality and amenities. As their names suggest, both hotels also have suite options.
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites offers several complimentary services, including tea and coffee in the common areas, Wi-Fi, self-parking, and breakfast. The hotel boasts its own fitness center and an indoor pool, and the daily Express Start Breakfast Bar serves eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, and its signature cinnamon rolls, plus its own 100 percent Arabica Smart Roast coffee.
The Fairfield Inn & Suites offers similar amenities, including free Wi-Fi, breakfast, coffee and tea in the common areas, newspapers in the lobby, and self-parking. Guests also have access to fitness facilities, a 24-hour business center, computer stations, an indoor pool, barbecue grills, a picnic area, and a snack bar/deli.
Affordable Hotel Options in Brookings, SD
3 Star Average Prices: $116.16
For many travelers, a great vacation starts with finding a budget-friendly hotel. Whether you're traveling to Brookings for a wedding, a business trip, or to drop off your new college student at South Dakota State University, you can find several affordable hotel options in the area.
Within Brookings itself, the Super 8 Brookings SD is a great option. It's located in the business district on Lefevre Drive and has earned high marks from past guests. You can choose rooms with one queen bed, two queen beds, or one king bed. There are also accessible rooms and suite options available. The hotel has its own indoor pool, allows pets, and offers free breakfast.
The Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is another budget-friendly option in Brookings. Here you'll find amenities such as an on-site restaurant and bar, a pool table, an indoor pool and children's wading pool, free Wi-Fi, and free newspapers in the lobby. Business travelers will appreciate the 24-hour business center, while families can save money with the free continental breakfast. Pets are allowed, and you can take advantage of an area shuttle for a small surcharge. This hotel is located close to McCrory Gardens.
You may be able to find even better rates if you're willing to stay 25 to 30 miles outside of Brookings. The Super 8 Madison and Americas Best Value Inn & Suites Clear Lake both offer affordable accommodations within a 45-minute drive of Brookings.
2 Star Average Prices: $87.69
Which Brookings hotels have real discounts?
You won't find a shortage of discounts in Brookings. The Super 8 Brookings SD offers AAA/CAA, military, and government discounts. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Brookings and the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Brookings both offer lower rates to AAA members. Comfort Suites University offers discounts for AAA members and seniors. Travelers can save even more at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites with special rates for seniors and AAA members.
Keep in mind that the discounts above are not a complete list. Many other hotels in the area have similar deals. Some even offer special online rates and flash sales on certain rooms. If your trip is still a few months away, you may be able to snag a deal if you check back regularly.
Best Value Options in Brookings, SD
Three mid-range hotels in Brookings stand out. My Place Hotel Brookings SD gives guests a home-away-from-home experience with in-room kitchenettes that feature full-sized refrigerators/freezers and stovetops. Some rooms even have their own recliner, where you can sit to watch the complimentary cable TV after a long day. Breakfast is available for a small surcharge, but both wired and wireless internet access are free. The hotel also has its own business center, convenience store, and snack bar/deli for guests.
The Days Inn Brookings is a great pick for families and business travelers alike. The former will love the on-site water park (available with a surcharge), while the latter will benefit from the business center and conference space. Free Wi-Fi, fitness facilities, and an on-site restaurant and bar round out the hotel's amenities.
Comfort Suites University tends to be pricier than other mid-range options, but as its name implies, it's convenient to the SDSU campus. Amenities include an indoor pool, fitness facilities, and free Wi-Fi and breakfast.
Local Eateries in Brookings, SD
While you're in Brookings, be sure to sample some of the local bars and restaurants. Start your day with breakfast at Cafe Coteau. Although located inside the Children's Museum of South Dakota, this cafe is open to the public and requires no admission. It serves handcrafted menu items made with as many local ingredients as possible, and opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. It stays open until 5 p.m., so you can return for a sandwich and salad at lunchtime.
Cook's Kitchen (304 Main Avenue) is another breakfast favorite. Try one of their ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls, and don't worry about dressing up. It opens at 6 a.m. on Monday through Saturday and at 7 a.m. on Sunday and serves lunch daily. On Wednesday through Saturday, the restaurant bumps its closing time to 8 p.m. from the usual 2 p.m.
For lunch, head to 1000 Degree Neapolitan Pizzeria, where you can build your own pizza and watch it bake in the 1000-degree brick oven. The best part? You'll pay the same amount no matter how many toppings you choose. There's even a gluten-free crust option. The pizzeria is located in the Eastside Commons off 22nd Avenue South and is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Craft Italian-American Fusion (610 Medary Avenue) is another great option for lunch or dinner. This restaurant, open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays, combines local farm-fresh ingredients with fine dining for a delicious experience. The restaurant also hosts Sunday brunch, a Ladies Night with half-priced drinks on Wednesdays, and a daily happy hour from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
For dinner, take in a game at Cubby's Sports Bar & Grill (307 Main Avenue) or spend an evening at the Pheasant Restaurant and Lounge (726 Main Avenue South), where you can try the award-winning salad lettuce wraps and Trevor's Artisan Ice Cream. The restaurant also serves three kinds of burgers — beef, veggie, and bison — and has its own olive oil and balsamic tasting bar. If you have room for dessert, head to the Cherry Berry self-serve frozen yogurt bar on 6th Street or the SDSU Dairy Bar at 1225 College Avenue, open year-round on weekdays.
With so many exceptional eateries and kid-friendly attractions, Brookings has all the makings of a fun family getaway destination. The kids will love collecting stamps in their Brookings Great 8 passport, and you might even win a $25 cash card. Plus, you'll get to experience the best of Brookings along the way.
Verified reviews of the city of Brookings
Below are reviews of the city of Brookings, SD from an actual visitor's perspective.
Score 5.0 / 5
Beautiful town. We enjoy our visits there
The average traveler rating of the city of Brookings, SD shown above is 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 reviews