Planning a trip to South Dakota?
You probably won't be able to miss signs for Wall Drug. It's one of the kitschiest road trip attractions in the U.S.A., and it's a must if you visit Badlands National Park nearby.
Wall Drug is a gift shop, restaurant, pharmacy, photo op and free family attraction all in one. We were excited to see it during our day trip to Badlands National Park from Rapid City, and Wall Drug did not disappoint.
The parking lot was full of cars from all over the U.S. and Canada. This is where we checked off Maine on our license plate game. As we walked back to our car, a young couple from California asked us excitedly, “Is it as kitschy as we've heard?” Yes it is.
Here's what to expect at Wall Drug in South Dakota.
Where is Wall Drug?
Wall Drug can be found in the city of Wall, South Dakota. It's 50 miles west of Rapid City on Interstate 70. It's an easy day trip from the Mount Rushmore and Black Hills attractions, and close to other fun things to do.
Wall Drug is located just a few miles Badlands National Park, which is beautiful and wild. It is also near the National Grasslands Visitor Center and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. You can collect Junior Ranger badges at all three.
Wall is a small town in rural South Dakota, with a population under 1,000. You'll find Wall Drug, a few hotels and other services here, but not a whole lot more.
Parking was free when we visited Wall Drug. We had a little trouble finding an open space on Main Street on a busy summer afternoon, but there are several parking lots nearby. There is a large parking lot on 6th Avenue and Floyd St. with space for RVs and other large vehicles. Expect large crowds in the summer months.
Wall Drug has a restaurant and soda fountain. We bought ice cream cones and floats for an afternoon treat. Don't forget, there's free ice water and 5-cent coffee.
Wall Drug's Western Art Gallery Restaurant seats 500+ people and prides itself on family-friendly, traditional fare. Popular menu items include homemade doughnuts, pie and ice cream, hot beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes and buffalo burgers.
Wall Drug is a sprawling gift mall where tourists can wander from shop to shop and find everything from inexpensive souvenirs to to Black Hills gold jewelry. Wall Drug is still a pharmacy, so you can also replenish any necessities.
Between and behind the shops, free photo opportunities abound. The biggest and best are in the Backyard. You'll know you're there when you spot the giant jackalope. He has a saddle, so climb right up. Inside, an animatronic T-Rex roars at visitors every few minutes.
Wall Drug was on the verge of closing forever in 1936, when the owner's wife came up with the idea to put up a sign on the highway offering weary travelers free ice water. That's when everything turned around. Now it's an American treasure, and a fantastic roadside attraction.
If you're planning a trip to Badlands or the Black Hills, be sure to stop at Wall Drug if you get the chance.
Good to Know
Where: 510 Main Street, Wall, South Dakota
When: Wall Drug is open every day from 7 AM to 7 PM. The Cafe and Mall Shops close at 6:30 PM.
How Much: It costs nothing to visit Wall Drug, walk around and enjoy the photo ops. You'll probably want to budget some money on food or souvenirs.
How Long: 30 minutes to 2 hours
Amenities: free parking, restrooms, snacks, restaurant, shopping, pharmacy