All photos by Dan Wentzel
Wall Drug is considered the world’s largest drug store. In 1931, the Husteads bought the only drugstore in Wall located at the edge of the Badlands in South Dakota. But the business was not growing much so in 1936 Dorothy started looking for a solution. She reasoned the travelers would be thirsty after their drive so started putting up signs approaching their business to invite drivers to stop in for a glass of ice water. The idea brought folks in droves growing their business till today when Wall Drug takes up a whole block. You still can receive free ice water. In fact, 5,000 glasses are given away each and every day.
The building and surrounding areas look just like an old western town. It is easy to visualize this place and what it could be like when the cowboys came into town to let off steam.
To give you some idea of the scope of this place you can buy Sioux pottery, Western wear a, especially boots and hats, camping supplies, rocks, Black hills gold, art, glassware, souvenirs and even drugs. There is one whole section devoted to Western Books.
For me the best thing was the art galleries filling all dining rooms. There are over 300 original paintings. Some artist included are NC Wyeth, Harvey Dunn, Dean Cornwell, Benton Clark, Matt Clark, Gutzon Borglum, Oscar Howe, Harold Von Schmidt, Morton Stoops, Will James and Frank McCarthy.
The food was great also. The menus feature lots of items such as home- made pies. We enjoyed the Buffalo burger and 5 cent coffee. There is also an old fashioned soda fountain.
There are several animated features inside and lots of fun displays at every turn.
Besides being able to purchase almost anything you can think of Wall Drug is filled with free attractions for the whole family. This roadside attraction features a back yard with a giant roaring T-Rex, a 6 ft. Jackalope, animated displays and stuff for the kids to do.
Besides the free ice water and lots of attractions, you may also claim a free bumper sticker.
Allow some time to investigate and enjoy this attraction. We cut the visit short and regretted t later as there is so much to do and see. There are even more things to do if you visit during the summer months. In summer this attraction draws up to 20,000 people.