It's a tourist trap, but I would say it's a must-see! Wall Drug just feels unique in many ways: Its location in the middle of nowhere, its free attractions providing many photo opportunities, its many interesting gift shops, its excellent food (from buffalo burgers to pies), and its overall western feel. Also, most importantly, there's free ice water and 5-cent coffee for all!
It is conveniently located off I-90 in South Dakota, Exit 109 or 110, near the entrance to Badlands National Park.
Unique Suggestions: This is a nice rest stop to take a fun break from your long distance driving!
Oh Wall Drug with your oh-so-many alluring signs on the side of the road...why oh why are you such a disappointment!? For Miles and Miles around, even in wyoming, you will see signs pointing you in the direction of Wall Drug. You can't resist, you must go and see what all the fuss is about, but all you will find is a ridiculous, overpriced, over touristy, unfriendly (which is weird because most places in SD are quite friendly) just not worth your time tourist trap to end ALL tourist traps. There isn't even any decent cheesy souvenier that you must take home with you! So Sad.
The story of Wall Drug is this...Way back in the day, even before Mount Rushmore was carved out of the mountain, Wall Drug was bought by a couple looking to make a buck out here in the middle of nowhere. The wife says to her hubby, "Hey why don't we put up signs saying we will give away free ice water, people need water in this hot, hot weather, that will bring them to us" So the hubby goes out and puts up a ton of signs along the highway and by the time he gets back, the store is teeming with people, all with a cup of water in hand. But not only that, they are buying ice creams and snacks and whatnot. And so Wall Drug is born....(this is of course my version, but you get the idea, Mrs. Wall Drug was a smart lady, eh?)
Yeah, it's definitely a tourist trap. But it's still a FUN tourist trap, so don't blow it off, thinking it's not worth your while. There's a little bit of everything there, so stop in, soak it up, and enjoy!
And like the billboard says, they really do have free ice water.
Wall Drug - It's cool to visit this place once, get the story of how/why it exists. The place is about a full city block in size and a maze of stores within that building. Most of the stores have some fairly cheesy products but if you need that souvenir I guess this place will do.
Unique Suggestions: Eat breakfast there.