Restaurants | Food

Free Ice Water and Donuts Attract 22,000 Daily Visitors To This Small Town

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It's said that some of the best things in life are free. That's what changed the luck of a struggling small family business that now has been serving their customers for over 4 generations.

Thanks to some clever marketing, the legendary Wall Drug Store has been a pit stop off Route 16A in South Dakota for families and travelers for decades.

With hundreds of billboard signs guiding hungry and thirsty travelers to the store that offers free ice water, 5 cent coffee and the best donuts in the state, it's no wonder they can see 22,000 people come through their doors in the peak of summer holiday.

Country Living

Located on Main Street in the tiny Midwestern town of Wall (with a population of  882 as of 2014), Wall Drug just made Bill Clevelen's popular book Top 100 Things To Do in America Before you Die.

The store employs over 200 people during its peak season of summer and 60 year-round. From May to August many tourists flock to the area while en route to the Badlands or to see Mount Rushmore.

Country Living

With an old-fashioned soda fountain, a mechanical T-Rex and a giant jackalope sculpture outside, there are many photo worthy moments at Wall Drug.

Country Living

"A big part of what we do is customer service—50 percent of our business is repeat business," current owner, Rick Hustead, tells CountryLiving.com. "We're a very interesting, unique attraction that grew up in the hard times of the Depression and is continuing today into the fourth generation. We take great pride in what we do."

But see what really makes them special on the next page.

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