Wall (South Dakota)
Wall, South Dakota is probably known best to cross-country travellers for its main attraction, Wall Drug. Advertised on gigantic billboards for hundred of miles to the west and east on Interstate 90, the gargantuan drug store has put Wall on the nation's map. There are also Wall Drug signs all over the world telling how many miles to Wall Drug.
Wall is on Interstate 90 just north of the Badlands of South Dakota and just east of Rapid City.
- Wounded Knee Museum, 207 10th Ave (one minute from Wall Drug), ☎ +1 605 279-2573. 9AM to 5PM daily from May to October. Informative displays feature photos, text, graphics, music, models, and an audio tour describing the exhibits. This narrative museum tells the unforgettable stories of the 1890 massacre of up to 300 Lakota men, women, and children at Wounded Knee Creek. The museum's gift shop features books, Indian gifts, and self-guided tour maps to the massacre site.
- Wall Drug, 510 Main St (main exit off the interstate), ☎ +1 605 279-2175. 6:30AM-6PM daily. In 1931 the store's entrepreneurial owners, Ted and Dorothy Hustead, had the brainstorm idea to give away free icewater for passing motorists. They started to put up signs and billboards along the highway with the distance to Wall Drug. These signs have been spread around the world and to extreme polar reaches. It is joked that based solely on the billboards, future archaeologists will probably consider Wall Drug to be the most important building on the North American continent. From this seed of signs and billboards grew the tourist attraction that Wall Drug is today: giftshops, museums, restaurants, and of course the original drug store. Get a bumper sticker while you're there; it's the mark of a true cross-country traveler. Free (includes ice water and bumper sticker).
- Minuteman Missile National Historic Site - 1960s Delta-01 Launch Control Facility, Launch Facility/ Missile Silo: Delta-09, nuclear tourism visitor centre with information on Cold War history. This Minuteman ICBM site could rain down nuclear devastation six thousand miles away in 30 minutes or free. Guided free tours of launch control are available from the visitor centre; numbers are limited so large groups will need to book a few weeks ahead.
- Black Hills National Forest
- Deadwood is possibly America's most storied small town from the wild frontier days.
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a short drive away, and so is the even larger Crazy Horse Memorial.
- Rapid City is a transportation hub for the region. It has a few museums, and plenty of cheap hotels and restaurants (chain and local).
- Sturgis, roughly 12 miles to the East of Deadwood, is the home of the famed Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August.