Ice : Give it and They Will Come
Any person who visits Wall will be amazed by its size (nearly two blocks). Most visitors will remember that they give out free ice water, but few know why. The history goes that when Wall Drug was first started in the rural area business was hard, particularly in the depression. As a lure to attract customers, they used one of the most sought after and cherished items of the time, ice, by giving it free.
People would drive for hundreds of miles to stock their pantries and fill their gas tanks with the lure of ice. With people covering all that distance, one can easily see how over time Wall Drug gained it reputation particularly of billboards in next state.
I can't judge Wall...
I can't judge Wall Drug harshly enough to call it a tourist trap, and I don't want to elevate it to the status of 'must see.' It's hardly 'Off the Beaten Path' because it has put Wall, South Dakota on the map, but I think this category is best for it.
Wall Drug may be a drugstore in some sense of the word, but mostly it is a huge souvenir shop. I've walked through the official Wall Drug once, and I found bins upon bins of every kind of souvenir stuff that one can imagine. Many people are turned off by the whole Wall Drug empire. Wall Drug has rented billboards along I-90 for hundreds of miles on each side of Wall. The average tourist driving to South Dakota will start seeing these signs a day or two before arriving. If one is inclined to be stuffy about these things, Wall Drug is a tourist trap specializing in the worst kind of crass commercialism. I just think it's kinda funny. When I was there, I bought a Wall Drug Frisbee and sun shade for my truck.
There are other little shops along the 'main drag' in Wall although I don't believe all of them are owned by Wall Drug. I bought some gifts for my family in a western shop across the street from Wall Drug. I'm sure that these things are slightly overpriced, but they aren't too bad. I guess the short version is that I think Wall is kinda cute in its own way.
More than just a Drug Store!
"My brother was in the Military in SD"
And he was stationed in Rapid City and so we would visit all sorts of pretty little remote towns in the Plains. Wall was one. There was an interesting Drug Store in Wall. I remember this. For miles we would see signs for this most annoying Drug STore. And then we got there. It was just a Drug Store with lots of souvenirs. And water.
That's Wall for you.
Do your excercises men.
You may have to go to Wall some day.
It's a long drive. Many miles to get to Wall. You see the signs tell you how many miles it is to Wall.
"And here is the text"
Cause you need the background!!!
Wall-How many miles away are you?
"I am 1295.1 miles away"
Wall, SD has always been a stop for us whenever we have been in the area as I was growing up. The main reason for going was of course Wall Drug but the town is a nice little community in itself. Several museums can be found as well as some real good food. And of course all the fun of the Wall Drug backyard.
oneonta_ni's new Wall Page
Wall is a very small town, even by South Dakota standards. The only reason that folks stop there is for the Wall Drug Store. Yes, it is a tourist trap, but it is fun to explore. They have everything imaginable there with loads of things aimed at kids. There is a restauran, many gift shops, a pharmacy, jewelers and more. It is a nice diversion on a long drive.