Monday, March 9, 2009

Wall, South Dakota: Wall Drug

If you have driven in South Dakota in the past 70 years, you've probably seen a sign for Wall Drug. They are relentless, like "South of the Border" on I-95 in the Carolinas. By the time you get to Wall (town's name), you must stop and look around. And they've got you.

Wall Drug started in the 1930's. Business was slow until Dorothy Hustead came up with the idea of offering free ice water to travelers on Route 16A nearby. It worked. The facility has grown from a mere drug store/soda fountain to a square-block-sized shopping mall of sorts.

You can buy drugs at Wall Drugs. You also can buy souvenirs, meals, hats, shoes, jewelry, books, artwork, and boots. Plus, you can pose for pictures with a dinosaur or while riding a jackalope or bronco. You can even pray at the chapel. The front of the facility is shown.

When you do stop in either to and from Badlands National Park, be sure to get your free ice water. They still offer it.

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