Wall Drug Store is one of the biggest, fun, travel attractions in South Dakota! Welcoming over 2 million visitors per year, and about 20,000 per day during peak summer seasons, Wall Drug is a “must stop” for any road tripper!
The adventure begins long before you get to the store! The Wall Drug billboards that you drive by will keep you entertained until you arrive!
Wall Drug Store History
Wall Drug Store opened in 1931 in Wall, South Dakota. Over the years it has evolved into a much larger store, pharmacy, and more!
Wall Drug was bought by Ted and Dorothy Hustead for $3,000 using the inheritance Ted received from his father. Ted and Dorothy struggled in the early years, and Wall was known as “the geographical center of nowhere”!
The original Wall Drug Store was only a 24 by 60-foot building! Today, Wall Drug spans almost an entire block of the downtown district of Wall, with a 76,000 square foot store!
Wall Drug Billboards
Five years after opening, Dorothy had a great idea. A billboard! In 1936, the first sign was placed on Rte. 16, and it offered free ice water.
This one great idea helped make Wall Drug a success. The idea to offer a break for travelers, and provide free ice water, worked! By the end of that summer, they began scouting locations for other billboards!
All the billboards are hand painted, and let me tell you, they work! We saw our first Wall Drug sign shortly after crossing into South Dakota.
We had no idea what Wall Drug was, so of course, I goggled it! And that was all that was needed to entertain us for the next several miles!
The signs are colorful, and they offer a glimpse into what you can see, buy, and eat at Wall Drug. Click here to see some of the Wall Drug billboards.
Wall Drug Offerings
Wall Drug offers just about everything a traveler could need! In addition to the main store, there are restaurants, mall shops, a pharmacy, souvenir shops, specialty items, over the counter drugs, batteries, phone charges, t-shirts, boots, hats, and more!
The Western Art Gallery Restaurant seats 500, and is famous for homemade donuts, rolls, pies, hot beef sandwiches, buffalo burgers, and the 5-cent coffee! They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Soda Fountain Ice Cream Shop is open seasonally and offers homemade hard and soft ice cream, floats, sundaes, shakes and malts.
The backyard features jumping jets, a roaring T-Rex, and a giant jackalope! There is also shopping, an arcade, food, and a display of over 1400 historical photos of South Dakota. The backyard is where you will also find some free ice water!!
- Nearly 1 million homemade donuts are sold every year
- Over 200,000 slices of pie are sold every year
Photo Opportunities at Wall Drug
There are many great photo opportunities at Wall Drug. Take a photo with the larger than life jackalope, (oh yes I did!), T-rex, life-sized historical figures of Wyatt Earp, Crazy, Horse, Butch Cassidy, or Anne Oakley. If you know me, then you know I took about two million pictures!
There is a beautiful little chapel in the middle of the Western Mall called The Travelers Chapel. This quiet little chapel was completed in 1985.
The walls are constructed of South Dakota brick, the ceiling is cedar, and the floor is red oak. The altar is solid walnut. The two candle holders on the altar are in honor of Ward Van Horn, who donated the chapel.
The Chapel features five stained-glass windows that came from a church in the state capitol of Pierre, SD.
The Chapel is still used today by locals and tourists. Many stop in for a rest, to pray, and to reflect. There are also gatherings during Holy Week and special services are led by the pastors of local churches
Location and Hours
Wall drug is located at 510 Main Street in Wall, South Dakota. There is free parking all around the area.
The main store at Wall Drug is open 8am-7pm, with the café closing at 6:15pm, mall shops close at 6pm, and the pharmacy closes at 5pm.
Wall Drug is About:
- 8 miles to the Badlands
- 55 miles to the Black Hills National Forest
- 77 miles to Mount Rushmore
- 80 miles to Sturgis
- 80 miles to Custer State Park
- 92 miles to Crazy Horse Memorial
- 93 Miles to Deadwood
About Wall South Dakota
In the 1930’s Wall, SD had about 300 residents. Today the town has about 876 residents. Wall, SD has the reputation of being a small-town, charming, and welcoming community. And we must agree! We loved our visit to Wall, SD.
The growth of Wall, SD can also be attributed to the building of the first road through what we now call the Badlands as well as the success of Wall Drug Store!
Wall, SD is about 8 miles from the Badlands National Park, and it has become a hub for tourism. It is often referred to as the Gateway to the Badlands or the Window to the West!
Main Attractions in Wall SD:
- Wall Drug Store
- Badlands National Park
- Dahl’s Chainsaw Art
We loved our visit to Wall Drug and the town of Wall, SD. We roamed around the store and backyard for quite a while!
This store is a must stop on any road trip! There is something for everyone!
Have you been to Wall Drug Store? Leave us a comment and let us know about your visit!