As you’re headed out Interstate 90 East from Rapid City, you’ll see a sign almost every other mile telling you of something you just can’t miss at Wall Drug Store, just ahead! And if you’ve ever followed a highway sign, this is one to follow because Wall Drug Store was definitely worth the time to drive out there!
When you’re planning a big road trip, as we did during our Road Trip to Rushmore, you usually ask everyone you know for advice on where to go and what to see, because time is limited and you don’t want to waste a minute of it, especially in a place with as much to do as in the Black Hills! Everyone I asked told me to visit Wall Drug Store! Taking them on good faith, we went with little expectation on what we were going to see, plus it’s on the way to Badlands National Park, but we spend SO much time in Wall! It’s such a fun place, and much more than just the Drug Store! Here’s my top 10 Reasons to Visit!
1. It’s Much More than Just a Drug Store!
The City of Wall has definitely grown around the Wall Drug Store, which has been in business since 1931, during the Great Depression before Mount Rushmore was a thing, luring in thirsty travelers with FREE ICE WATER! Today, you can still get the cup of water, but much more!
Sure, it’s a tourist trap, but isn’t visiting fun and unique roadside attractions part of what every good Road Trip is about?
Yes, we walked out with a few bags full of souvenirs!
Does anyone need a jackalope?
Because we were at Wall Drug Store and starving, we chose to eat at Wall Drug, which has a serving line or you can order cheeseburgers, etc. from a menu (you still need to stand in line). They also have bison hamburgers and hot dogs, and while in South Dakota you must eat some bison!
But the BEST thing to do at Wall Drug Store is get a fresh-made, still hot maple donut, because it’s amazing! They are touted as the best in South Dakota, but it’s the best I’ve ever had!
2. Head to the Backyard to get a photo with a Jackalope!
The jackalope is BIG in South Dakota and Wyoming, and there is an even taller statue in Douglas, WY, which also sells Jackalope Hunting License for $2.
3. Let the kids cool off at the Train Station Water Show
It’s hot (not by Texas standards, but you will still sweat), and the kids have been cooped up in the car so let them play at the Splash Pad! Bring a towel and enjoy a cup of $.05 coffee or Free Ice Water, or a Root Beer Float, while the kids run around! Hint, it’s not JUST for kids!
4. Don’t miss feeding time for the T-Rex!
We had my son convinced that they bring out a little animatronic goat that gets eaten, which they don’t, but the lights before feeding time and hearing him roar are worth the wait!
5. Wall Drug Mining Company
My kids can never have too many rocks and gems, and Wall Drug has gem mining and a fun, fake little mine the kids can go inside. Since my kids have done gem-mining a lot and we were going gold mining, I originally planned to skip this, but the fake little mine was pretty cute! It’s all air conditioned and the kids will love it!
6. Badlands Harley Davidson
Motorcycles are huge in South Dakota, because the roads are just so incredible, and during a visit to you’ll find a ton of Harley Davidson stores, as well as other motorcycle shops, and you’re within an hour drive from Sturgis, a huge motorcycle town. We had to get my husband a Badlands Harley Davidson t-shirt, one of many HD t-shirts on this trip! It’s a great reminder to watch for riders, which are EVERYWHERE in South Dakota!
7. Wall Post Office
It’s another fun, touristy thing to do but my Mother-in-Law asked the kids to send her postcards of our trip, and they had the best time picking them out and we mailed them from the little post office!
8. Check out the other fun shops
There are lots of other cute shops to visit in town, and we had a blast. I think we walked out with a new belt, a pair of moccasins from the Minnetonka retailer (Minnetonka is located out of Minnetonka, Minnesota, which is the next state over) at Buckboards Western Apparel, handfuls of t-shirts and bags of snacks for our trip!
9. Tour the Wounded Knee Museum
Relocated from Main St., after a fire a few years ago, it takes just about an hour to visit the museum, and is a great precursor to a visit to the Wounded Knee Massacre Site.
I like to tie in movies to our trips, and both movies, Legends of the Fall and Hildago make references to the Massacre at Wounded Knee. Legends of the Fall may be a little much for younger kids, but my kids enjoyed Hildago.
The Wounded Knee Massacre Site is located south of the Badlands National Park near Pine Ridge.
10. Visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
Just outside of Wall, this is a must-see! Click HERE for more information!
Where to stay in Wall
We didn’t stay in Wall, but there are several hotels and we passed by Frontier Cabins, which is cute and convenient to both Wall Drug and the Badlands! Click HERE to visit their website.
Wall Drug Store
510 Main St., Wall, SD
Click HERE to visit their website.
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