Hampton Inn Mitchell

1920 Highland Way, Mitchell, South Dakota, 57301, United States
Hampton Inn Mitchell
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  • Families96
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  • Business91

More about Mitchell


The DepotThe Depot

Mount Rushmore...In cornMount Rushmore...In corn

Wonder of the PlainsWonder of the Plains

Corn PalaceCorn Palace

Travel Tips for Mitchell

Corn Palace decor

by JennJenn

Each year, in the summer, the Corn Palace murals are changed. The abstract decor is changed throughout the summer. The actual murals are changed when the corn is harvested in the fall.

The 2004 murals theme is Lewis and Clark (stapled on the building in fall 2003). The Palace was NOT redecorated in 2002 because the drought made corn scarce.

The designs are made with milo, rye, oat heads and sour dock. The murals are made by drawing the designs on black roofing paper. They then staple halves of different colors of corn onto the building. It's like paint by numbers. They use about 270,000 ears of corn.

On the way to Mount Rushmore

by LadyXoc

"The Corn Palace"

So you will see lots of signs for The Corn Palace along the way. Wall Drug too. Absolute tourist traps. But when you are driving with three little kids who have a propensity to touch each other, finding something to stop for is a blessing. If you don't like corny (pun) stuff, don't stop.
The Corn Palace was originaly called The Corn Belt Exposition" and was established in 1892. Early settlers displayed their harvests on the buildings exterior to prove the fertility of the soil in South Dakota. Now the exterior is stripped down every year and new murals are created by local artists including Oscar Howe.

WFTR's new Mitchell Page


The Corn Palace is the civic center for the city of Mitchell, South Dakota and is probably on most people's short list of all-time "tourist traps." Corn Palace certainly isn't a place that I would make a special effort to see, but I don't judge it quite that harshly. I stopped in 1990 on my way to the big parks in the western part of the state and looked a little more closely.

The Corn Palace is actually the civic center, and the folks of Mitchell have been decorating it every year for about a hundred years of so. They decorate it with corn husks that they paint in different colors to produce various designs. The design changes every year, and the original point of this effort was to celebrate the corn harvest which is the economic lifeblood of the area.

Admittedly, one of its primary functions today is to serve as an excuse to place billboards along I-90 to draw tourists to the restaurants and motels in Mitchell. Eastern South Dakota is comprised of miles upon miles of corn fields, and the traveler driving across I-90 will be looking for almost anything to distinguish one exit from another. The Corn Palace gives them that reason to stop, fill the gas tank, and get something to eat.

I stopped fairly late in the evening of the Saturday before Labor Day, and the place was still open. The inside generally looks like many other civic centers across the country. It has a few features unique to its role as an unusual tourist attraction.

Along one wall is a line of pictures taken of the Corn Palace showing almost every decorating scheme that has been used in its history. One of the more interesting designs was a swastika design of the early 1900's. With that design, the building looked as if it could have come directly from Nazi Germany. Underneath the photo is a note explaining that the swastika was a popular pattern among American Indian tribes for centuries before the Nazi's used it as their symbol. Needless to say, they'll never be able to use that design again. I believe there may be one or two missing years when the town didn't have time to decorate because of the war effort.

At the front of the main auditorium was a large souvenir junk stand. The stand sold all of the usual stuff that one expects to see in these places. I'm sure that it was made so that they could take it apart and move it into a back room when they needed to use the auditorium for other purposes.

Again, I don't necessarily recommend the Corn Palace or Mitchell to the average traveler, but I enjoyed seeing it once.


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 Hampton Inn Mitchell

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Address: 1920 Highland Way, Mitchell, South Dakota, 57301, United States