“Wallcome to Wall Drug!” If you’re traveled much on I-90 anywhere from Boston to Seattle, you may have seen a “Wall Drug, 500 miles — Free Ice Water” sign or two or twelve along the way. They are EVERYWHERE! I’d seen some of the signs before but never knew exactly where it was located. Lo and held, there it was in good ole Wall, South Dakota right by the entrance to Badlands National Park as well as the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Quite a golden triangle right there! Of course, we had to check off Wall Drug and see what the fuss was all about. I’ve got to say it is way, way, WAY better than the God-awful “South of the Border” on 95 hunkered on the border between the two Carolinas.
In a lot of ways Wall Drug embodies the American entrepreneurial spirit. The owners created a destination out of nothing but a wide open prairie in the middle of Wall, South Dakota (aka The Middle of Nowhere.). It takes some grit, determination, and cahunas to pull that off! Kinda like settling out West as a pioneer or making it as a Native American on the Great Plains.
Apparently Wall Drug opened back in the 1930s in hopes of catching all the interstate traffic. When they had no business, they came up with the idea of signs offering free ice water.
And voila, people started to stop and shop by the droves. Now Wall Drug is a destination in its own right, a whole bunch of stores. (Pardon me if these photos are upside down. In its excitement to be at Wall Drug, my iphone went nuts.)
Here is MAP of the place! It is humungous with everything you can imagine and more! There are tons of stores, kids’ activities, and even a travelers’ chapel. And most importantly, their donuts are outstanding!