Anyone who's been on a road trip westward has seen the signs. Heck, they span over 650 miles, all the way from Minnesota to Greybull, Wyoming.

Seeing the billboards as you head westward reminds you of the long road trips you would take as a child and the anticipation as you began to close in on Wall Drug. It was a brilliant marketing decision and has paid off tremendously, as the historic spot still serves its free ice water and 5-cent coffee to this day.

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Wall Drug Store
(Photo by Doreen Spooner/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
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How Many Billboards Are There For Wall Drug?

While there are a number of unofficial signs scattered around the U.S., there are officially 300 paid signs in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming.

Wall Drug
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You might ask what started drawing people to the store in the first place. The Giant Dinosaur? The Jackalope? The five-cent coffee? Nope. It was the free ice water.

In 1936, things were looking bleak for Dorothy and Ted Hustead. The U.S. was still in the middle of the Great Depression and the drug store the two had been operating for five years was struggling. In a last-ditch effort, Dorothy decided to place a sign on Route 16 that simply said "Free Ice Water". It worked and thirsty travelers began pouring in, drinking the ice water and also buying things. Wall Drug Store was saved and has since become an American institution.

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It also helped that Mount Rushmore was nearing its completion at that same time. Mount Rushmore officially opened a few years later and Wall Drug started putting up signs everywhere.

Did we mention they have 5-cent coffee? Who's up for a road trip?

Story Source: The Hot Flash Packer

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