Continuing our westward jaunt through scenic South Dakota, we saw dozens of billboard signs, such as the one below, inviting us to visit Wall Drug.
John had been there before years ago while on a guys’ motorcycle tour, so we pulled in to check out this complex of retail boutiques, cafes and historical displays. And we actually had a great time.
Wall is a town on the edge of the Badlands and this attraction started out as a drug store in 1931. The business struggled during the Depression but when they started posting road signs on the highway advertising ‘Free Ice Water’ in 1936, the tourists began to flock there. Today during the summer, an average of 20,000 people visit Wall Drug daily. Omigosh!
We had lunch in the cafe and then walked around the shops, archades and displays. The highlight for me was that Wall Drug has over 300 original oil paintings of Western and Illustration art in their private collection and these pieces are displayed in the dining rooms and hallways between the stores. Unfortunately photography was not allowed, otherwise I would love to share with you some of the fabulous art works we saw grouped on the walls. There was also a display of black and white photo portraits of famous Indian Chiefs that intrigued me. Altogether, a very worthwhile and interesting spot!