Monday, August 24, 2009

South Dakota: Corn Palace and Wall Drug

Well, we've returned from our trip to South Dakota! I was quite surprised by how much there was to do in the state; apparently tourism is their second most important industry there. Who knew?

On our first day we stopped at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota.

The Corn Palace was kind of interesting, but there wasn't much to do there. It's basically just the town's community center that happens to be decorated with corn every year.

The interior is just a big basketball court with a gift shop set up in the middle. Underwhelming for sure. Really the most exciting part was that instead of a concession stand they had a corncession stand. Get it?

After having lunch at the Corn Palace we moved onward to Wall, South Dakota, which was our first stop. Now anyone who has traveled through South Dakota has seen the signs for Wall Drug, and I've heard a lot about it from others. It's a very strange place, very hard to explain. Really it's just a giant gift shop and restaurant. But they have a singing gorilla.

Yeah, that was weird. Oh, and did I mention that they have a giant Jackalope?

That was a little strange too. The story behind Wall Drug is that the owners wanted to attract travelers in the area to their little drug store, so they started offering free ice water to anyone who wanted it. Within a year they had gone from a tiny operation to having nine employees. Now it's the biggest thing in Wall, South Dakota.

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