Wall Drug is an experience. I guess I really wasn’t prepared for it when I arrived. I knew it used to be a drug store in Wall, SD. Today it is a bustling little city within Wall. It claims to be one of the nations favorite roadside attractions. With 76,000 square feet of entertainment, shopping, and attractions, one could spend quite a few hours of time there.
For a great history of the store, read here: http://www.walldrug.com/t-history.aspx. In short, Ted Hustead and his wife Dorothy purchased the store in 1931. At the end of a five year trial with the store, they came up with a great idea. Modeled after the Burma Shave highway signs, Wall Drug advertised cold water to the passing cars. Long story short, they started selling ice cream and soda with that free ice water and today tens of thousands of visitors from around the world come to Wall Drug. “It taught me my greatest lesson, and that’s that there’s absolutely no place on God’s earth that is Godforsaken. No matter where you live, you can succeed, because wherever you are, you can reach out to other people with something they need!” – (Ted Hustead in an interview with Guideposts Magazine as referenced by walldrug.com). What a great lesson for all of us!
Wall Drug is about a full city block. It has a diner, an ice cream shop with homemade ice cream, a city center, and a water park along with a whole bunch of stores in and around it’s mocked up city center. Here are a few shots from inside one of the restaurants on site:
behind the first row of shops and restaurants in Wall Drug, there is a backyard area you can visit as well. It has another row of shops as well as entertainment including a water park and a place where you search for your own gold and gems. Here’s just a sample of what you might see when you visit:
If you are coming to Wall Drug, make sure to give yourself at least a few hours here. We visited for an hour and felt really rushed to make it through.