Tourist Attractions in South Dakota

  • Wall Drug
    Wall Drug
    by meteorologist1
  • Wall Drug
    Wall Drug
    by meteorologist1
  • Wall Drug
    Wall Drug
    by meteorologist1

Most Viewed Tourist Traps in South Dakota

  • DueSer's Profile Photo

    Cheese in the Dakotas

    by DueSer Written Jan 27, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Wall, SD is a weird little town located between Rapid City and the Badlands National Park. There are signs all along Interstate 90 to be sure to stop in Wall to see "World Famous" Wall Drug Store. It's basically a huge five & dime-type store with a bunch of knicknacks of very low quality and really cheesey "attractions" like fake dinosaurs, fake cowboys, and other assorted stupid stuff that might entertain travellers under 5 but really isn't worth the time to exit the interstate and find a parking place. It was featured on the Today Show or something like that but that doesn't mean it's the hub of excitement their billboards along the road make it out to be.

    Unique Suggestions: If you must go, at least make it a short stop to refuel you or your car. Spending the night is a frustrating experience. There are very few restaurants and the ones they do have aren't very good and the motel rooms seem to fill up very quickly.

    Fun Alternatives: Spend the night in Rapid City and then you won't have to stop in Wall, you can just keep moving on down the road.

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    Keystone

    by tarced Written Jan 24, 2008

    Almost the entire town of Keystone is a tourist trap, but that doesn't make it any less fun. There are quite a few shops that sell "Black Hills Gold". Speaking of which, there are gold mines where tourists can mine for gold. Don't expect to be able to retire on what you find - still the experience can be interesting if you keep a fairly open mind!

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  • tarced's Profile Photo

    the town itself

    by tarced Written Jan 24, 2008

    Almost the entire town of Keystone is a tourist trap, but that doesn't make it any less fun. There are quite a few shops that sell "Black Hills Gold". Speaking of which, there are gold mines where tourists can mine for gold. Don't expect to be able to retire on what you find - still the experience can be interesting if you keep a fairly open mind!

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  • kazander's Profile Photo

    WALL DRUG

    by kazander Written Jan 18, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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?)

    Unique Suggestions: Oh Geeze, you still have to go!!! Just don't spend forever in there, do a tour around and get back on the road

    It's off of Rt 90, an hour and a half or so east of Rapid City. You certainly won't miss the signs!

    1 of the thousands of signs advertising Wall Drug!
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    Dont be too much pushy!

    by Alicja1 Updated Oct 11, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Native people dont trust foregin visitors, what is uderstandable after everything they went through. Dont treat them like a "museum item" Dont look for a stereotypes! They are like us. I know how it is to be treated almost like an "alien" Leaving in UK tought me how hard sometimes can be to deal with rasism or simply lack of knowledge.

    Fun Alternatives: Be honest and friendly but not pushy

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  • sunchasers's Profile Photo

    Wall Drug

    by sunchasers Written Sep 1, 2006

    Wall Drug will be impossible to avoid as it is signposted on billboards as you drive across the state. This mini-mall has nearly everything you could imagine road-trekking tourists: cheap food, souveniers, photo ops, singing cowboy machines, western attire and yes it's even a drug store too.

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    Crazy Horse Monument

    by sunchasers Written Aug 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's ironic that the destruction of land held sacred to the Lakota nation bears the face of Crazy Horse. Culturally, it's an abomination to Native Americans that European settlers chose to carve out the Presidents and later Crazy Horse in this once pristine region.

    Monetarily speaking, the admission to see Crazy Horse is a staggering $20. The reason for this is that this project is not federally funded so they must rely on other means to finance this endeavor. If you are a fan of Mt. Rushmore and want to see Crazy Horse completed, go ahead and pay the $20. If you feel a bit guilty about the history of the region or simply economical, bypass this monument. In any case, you can see his head, the only portion that is finished, from miles away.

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  • Florida999's Profile Photo

    Wall Drug

    by Florida999 Written Aug 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of course we stopped! We are probably only going to drive through South Dakota once, so we didn't want to miss even this potential tourist trap, plus it was hot and we wanted to get ice cream. The homemade ice cream at Wall Drug was pretty good actually.

    And who says there are no Jackalopes? :-)

    Unique Suggestions: I would go look at it, you don't have to buy anything, and can just get snack or something. There is not a whole lot else in the area.

    no comment! Wall Drug

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  • axeeugene's Profile Photo

    Wall Drug = Waste of Time

    by axeeugene Written Mar 5, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The very definition of a tourist trap, Wall Drug offers you nothing you can't find at Niagara Falls, Wisconsin Dells, or any other crap vendor locale. You'll probably visit it, since once you get out to the distant west of SD, there really isn't any other place to stop, but be aware--it's worth a postcard, and nothing else.

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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    South Dakota's "Original" 1880 Town

    by bpwillet Written Apr 2, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Just outside Murdo, SD this composite of buildings is not a town at all. It is a bunch of old style buildings set up to resemble an old town. The area has no historic significance other than a Lakota Indian ground.

    605-344-2259

    Unique Suggestions: Check for the Dances With Wolves movie props.

    1880 Town-Murdo, SD
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  • bpwillet's Profile Photo

    Wall Drug

    by bpwillet Written Apr 2, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This began as a humble little drugstore in rural South Dakota by the Hustead family in 1931. It grew into a stopping point for all passing through this part of South Dakota and especially off to the Badlands. They boast Free Ice Water-the only place to ever offer the beverage for free. The rest is history.

    Unique Suggestions: There is so much chinsy Wall drug and South Dakota memorabilia to make your head spin. However, there are some great other stores inside the Wall Drug complex that you can get away from all the Wall Drug hoopla. Many people like it - which gives testament to its popularity. Check out the "welcome" wall filled with greetings and notes in different languages (near the restroom) and the outside park area.

    Fun Alternatives: You can walk the streets of Wall itself and see if there are other things that catch your eye. If not-keep driving.

    Famous Wall Drug
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  • Pick and Choose in the Black Hills

    by JustinVn Written Feb 26, 2003

    The Black Hills can be a wonderful getaway, or the capital of kitch and hucksterism. Stay away from the Heart Ranch, even if they promise you a TV for looking around. Keystone is one giant tourist-trap, with nothing but shops and overpriced food. Deadwood used to be impressive, but it's turned into a gambling town with little other merit.

    Unique Suggestions: If you must go to Keystone, go see the Wax Mueseum of Presidents. I haven't been there since they added Clinton or Bush 43, but it is still one of more interesting things in town.

    Fun Alternatives: If you've got young ones -especally boys, go see Repile Gardens. Lots of gross-out snakes and crawling things. As always, there are the tic-tac-toe playing chickens, the giant turtles, and the alligators.

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  • On the way

    by JustinVn Written Feb 26, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Starting on I-90, after Sioux Falls, the signs and the traps begin. Pan for gold, "world famous" burgers, obscure museums, some old Soap Opera was filmed up in 100 miles and on and on. Stay on the road. Don't be tempted to stop over. Keep going until you reach the Hills.

    Unique Suggestions: I'm going to go out on a limb and say go to Wall Drug. Avoid the Dairy Queen in town (overpriced!), but go at least have a cup of coffee and stretch your legs. You can let the kids run around the backyard area, and give then about a dollar in quarters to watch the singing monkey and duel with the gunmen. The upside is, you can get out of the car, get a glass of water or coffee, grab a doughnut, and still spend less than $5 for a family. Or don't. They don't charge to go and look around.

    Fun Alternatives: If you need a break on the way, stop at Chamberlin and take a picture of the river. There's a great Interstation Rest Stop on I90, and you get a very nice view. On the other side, there's a few places as well.

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  • caffeine_induced78's Profile Photo

    I want my money back!

    by caffeine_induced78 Updated Feb 14, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "How much is the fee?" I asked the booth attendant. From this point I had not even glimpsed the not-yet-completed Crazy Horse monument.
    "Eight dollars," He said. This was a whole dollar more than Rushmore and the thing wasn't even done yet!
    "Part of this better be going towards dynamite," I replied acidicly as I handed him my hard earned cash.
    After I parked my car and proceeded to the museum which also housed the man who was building this thing my anger only grew. The longer I was here the more angry I became at what I saw. The sculpture was being blasted out of the side of a mountain but all of the detail work was being done on the other side of the mountain. I could pay another 10 dollars for the bus tour to see anything good - but I didn't. Oh yeah - the museum. The museum was huge. The living quarters also was huge. The Sculpture has been a work in progress for 30 some years and the guy has a HUGE house. I'm thinking the guy is milking this little project. Then I have to watch a bunch of people oogle over drawings by Native Americans found in any run-of-the-mill County historical museum on the plains. I'm a quarter Native American so if this guy is feeding off of the white American guilt complex than I want my piece of the pie, or at least my money back.

    Unique Suggestions: Get your picture taken with a real Biker! After the Sturgis Motorcycle rally in Early August they are all over the place.

    Fun Alternatives: Rushmore - see Mount Rushmore. Also save your money and do some hiking in the Black Hills instead.

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  • While you really should stop...

    by ScooterDeb Written Sep 7, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While you really should stop and see Wall Drug in Wall, SD, skip the restaurant. The food is overpriced and generally tasteless. There is a 'good selection', but my eldest daughter chose a side order of mashed potatoes, a side order of green beans, and a small drink. The total was well over $5.00 and of course, she was still hungry.

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South Dakota Tourist Traps

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