Wall Drug: Not worth the trip

If you head to Mt. Rushmore or the Black Hills or Badlands National Park, you’re bound to see tons of signs for Wall Drug, which bills itself as the world’s largest drug store. It has become a tourist attraction in its own right. Yet many people say it’s overrated.

Your intrepid Quirky Travel Guy hit up Wall Drug in the town of Wall, South Dakota to find out the truth. It turns out the place is kinda ridiculous – and not in a good way. Wall Drug is not a drug store at all, but a series of small, unrelated stores under one roof. A glorified shopping mall, basically. The stores are all part of the same company, meaning that technically, they could be considered one store.

Wall Drug

The history of Wall Drug is interesting. Apparently, business started booming when they started offering free ice water to travelers, which was a big luxury back in the day for those going to Rushmore in the summer.

Currently, Wall Drug has every kind of small store you can imagine. There’s a leather goods store. A soap store. Convenience stores. Even a chapel.

Wall Drug chapel

We spent a few minutes in some of the stores before losing interest. We managed to kill time playing video games. Of course, this being South Dakota, the game was a hunting contest in which I had to shoot bighorn sheep. I may love these sheep, but I will take them down in a heartbeat in order to win a game!

Wall Drug bighorn sheep video game

So that’s about it for Wall Drug. Despite the warnings that Wall Drug was overrated, I went anyway, just to experience it for myself. And now, you don’t have to.

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About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Looking for a hotel? I always recommend Booking.com where you can easily compare hotel rooms, prices, and availability. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the head’s up!! I hadn’t heard of this place before, and from your description it doesn’t really sound like I’m missing out on all that much. Did you end up beating the game after all?

    ~Heidi

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