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5 Upper Midwest Tourist Traps: Been There – Got the Shot Glass

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Alexander Milanese_Thinkstock

Every state has a “tourist trap.” A place where you’ll go out of your way to find and by the time you park, look a round, take a photo, and get back in the car, you’re left wondering, “what’s the big deal about this place?”

It would come as no surprise that Business Insider has named Wall Drug the worst tourist trap in South Dakota. Many articles have cited the same. After all, the nearly 300 billboards across the state builds excitement and the sign touting “clean restrooms!” makes you want to hold it till you get there!

I’m not sure it’s the worst. I won’t point out all of the destinations that left me feeling less than awed (Ahem, World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas), but I happen to enjoy Wall Drug. Heck, last fall I picked up a nifty pocket knife, a hatchet, a pair of boots, a spiffy shot glass, and free ice water. And the restrooms were pleasant. Here’s the 5 Things I Didn’t Know About Wall Drug after that trip.

So, B.I. writers (who hate free water and big green dinosaurs) what if I venture across our borders to our neighboring states? Here’s their other Midwest tourist traps:

North Dakota: The gigantic metal pheasants and grasshoppers along the Enchanted Highway. Okay, that I can see.

Nebraska: Carhenge in Alliance, NE. What’s not to like about 39 cars stacked to resemble Stonehenge.

Minnesota: The Mall of America. A day of shopping, nice restaurants, and a theme park? Other than being slightly crowded, we’ve enjoyed our trips there.

Iowa: In Riverside, there is a plaque in the center of town that reads, “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, March 22, 2228.” I know. Only serious Trekkies would understand this.

Admittedly, I was shocked to see Times Square in New York on the list. For the record, ice cream cones are about $9 cheaper at Wall Drug than Time Square.

I’ll bring the camera.

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