Wonderful, Wacky Wall Drug

Most of you have probably heard of Wall Drug. If not, let me tell you about this tourist trap shopping phenomenon in Wall, South Dakota. It started out as a small drugstore in 1931, bought by Ted and Dorothy Hustead. They attracted customers from the nearby highway to their tiny store by making up numerous signs (similar to the Burma Shave signs) and offering free ice water. Read more about the history of Wall Drug here.

Ice water sign that we saw on the way to Wall Drug.

In fact, we started seeing signs 45 miles from Wall Drug. As you get closer, the sign are more frequent; then about every 400 feet or so.

It's become somewhat of a joke about Wall Drug signs. They are popping up all over the world. Here is one in Afghanistan.

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Sign found in the South Pole

photo courtesy of http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=122869&page=5

And then there's the sign in Amsterdam

photo courtesy of kevinw.com/Trips/EuropeTrip/index.html

The once small drugstore is now huge, with many rooms filled with toys, souvenirs, clothing, and even a cafe. They offer free coffee and donuts to Veterans and honeymooners. (I wonder how you prove that you're on your honeymoon?) There are several other stores, too.

Walking in the halls of Wall Drug

Towards the back and outside are things for kids, like this moving, roaring dinosaur.

This place draws, on average, twenty thousand people a day. Now THAT'S good advertising.

Would I go there again? Probably not. But at least I can say that I've been to Wall Drug!
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