Roadside attractions in the United States are usually fun little stop-offs that take a couple of minutes to visit. You stop, snap photos, and move on. Usually, if you didn’t previously know about the attraction, or if it doesn’t look that interesting from the road, you may not bother stopping.
On one of my previous road trips through South Dakota, while heading towards the Badlands, I started to notice signs for something called Wall Drug. I really didn’t give it any thought, as I had no desire to stop at some random drug store.
After a while, more and more signs started to pop up. They advertised things to do and see at Wall Drug, making it sound like a significant stop. That time, we did not end up taking the time to stop and kept moving on. After leaving our My Place Hotel room in Rapid City, the signs finally got my attention.
The Most Advertised US Road Side Attraction
I can’t confirm that this is the most advertised roadside attraction in the United States, as no one seems to know the actual number of signs on the road. I did end up counting 76 signs within 13 miles as we were approaching Wall, South Dakota. Apparently, this advertising has paid off, as they are said to receive 20,000 visitors during some days during the summer months!
What Is Wall Drug?
Wall Drug Store is essentially a tourist attraction with lots to do. It started as a drug store that gained popularity by offering free ice water to those who stopped by. The city of Wall has a speed limit of 20, and Wall Drug seems to take up most of the small town.
One of the other things they use as a big advertisement is the fact that they still offer coffee for five cents. On the inside, Wall Drug is basically a mini-mall. You can buy plenty of souvenirs and even jewelry.
I am sure this place was more interesting and useful back when it started, but it seems to be a place that focuses more now on getting tourists to come to buy things. Not that there is anything wrong with that, after all, every business has to make money to stay open.
There is also a rather large restaurant here, so if you find yourself doing some shopping you can also grab a bite to eat. The “backyard” of Wall Drug has plenty of photo ops, with props set up all around.
Should I Visit Wall Drug?
As with many roadside attractions, this is totally dependant upon what kind of attractions you like. There are plenty of people who would love stopping here. The five cent coffee, the shopping, the restaurant, and the opportunity for photos can certainly be alluring. It is definitely a populated place to stop when you are heading to Badlands National Park or Mount Rushmore.
Even though I didn’t buy anything, I am definitely glad I stopped. It is pretty difficult seeing so many signs and not being curious as to what Wall Drug has to offer!