"Wisconsin-Happy Festival State", by Eve Phillips. My husband and I love to travel in the state of Wisconsin where we live and get great pictures on the way. My name is Laurie Kutil and photography has become a great passion of mine since 2010. One thing I have learned in researching each town before visiting it is that, "Every town has it's story". When I do uncover those stories by connecting with local residents, our experience becomes so much richer. In turn, sharing the stories with you brings me joy :)
We finally made it to the Spam Museum, the last attraction at the conclusion of our Westward Ho! vacation. We arrived at 12:18 and left at 1:30. The people at the desk greet you with a friendly “Hello” and are ready to answer any questions you might have about Hormel’s popular canned meat.
There were many visitors today, enjoying the many interactive exhibits. Here are some highlights I filmed there.
As you can see, Spam cans take a ride above you on a conveyor belt. Someone put a camera up there so you can see what they see 🙂
Spam™ has played an important part in American history, including feeding the troops during WWII as well as people in other countries. One of them is Hawai’i, our 49th state. Spam™ is still a part of many recipes there. An exhibit also pays homage to the famous Spam™ skit on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. One of my favorites!
Watch it here!
A Hormel delivery wagon.
Spam™ for every meal! Get your recipe ideas here at this console.
Plenty of signage teaching visitors the history of Spam and Hormel.
Stop at the gift shop before leaving, we got a Spam™ slicer. And yes, you can buy Spam here too, many flavors. We got a couple of these too.
This museum was great fun to visit and even though we were only here just over an hour, we could have spent even more time here. Come if you can and enjoy Spam™!
Wall Drug Store is one place you must see if you visit South Dakota. My dad came here a log time ago and said we needed this unique place on our itinerary. We stopped here on our way to the Badlands to see what the buzz was about.
This place is big so allow yourself plenty of time. We spent about 90 minutes here, a whole day is really needed to see everything. It is not just one store but MANY stores. We explored the main store on the left. That alone was big enough. Another new store was going up.
We entered the main building, it looks like an old west scene, complete with characters to take selfies with.
Even Zoltar the fortune teller.
There is even a chapel inside the store, very beautiful! Quite an interesting story of its history too.
Just before leaving we stopped in the ice cream shop for a treat. As always, ice water is free.
Also the gift shop, what do you choose?
You could easily make a day of this place, we had a hard time leaving but the journey continues. Be sure to bring your camera!
Sturgis is a city of 6,627 in Meade County, South Dakota and is known as the City of Riders. That’s because it is the ground zero for motorcycle riders and a HUGE motorcycle rally. We made this one of our stops on our way to Wyoming and wanted to see it since a friend of mine has been there. Sturgis is best known for their big Motorcycle Rally every August. Sturgis also has a radio station that follow the rally, KNKL.
The first order of business was having lunch. The place that was recommended to us was Jambonz Grill and Pub. The owner Sheree Schriver came out and chatted with us a few minutes while we waited for our food, which was delicious! Al had a club sandwich while I had the catfish, yum!
A couple doors down is Sturgis Guns, an employee there told us about Jambonz, thanks!
Just down the street is a historical marker dedicated to Charles Nolin, a Pony Express mail carrier. He was ambushed and killed here by Indians on August 19, 1876. This was still a very dangerous territory then.
After lunch we spent about 1/2 hour exploring downtown. Sturgis want people on the highway to know what community they are passing, so they put “STURGIS” in large, friendly white letters on a nearby hillside.
Downtown is the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. On the left side of the building is a poster of a photo taken during the motorcycle rally. The street is FULL! This is the community’s biggest event of the year.
On the other side of the building.
Photo by Al Kutil
There is a lot going on here, some landscape work being done, new curbing and other improvements being done. See here for the many places to shop in Sturgis.
On our right is the historic Sturgis Armory building.
The city is in the process of replacing the sidewalk with engraved bricks. They are off to a good start!
The historic bank building on the corner of First and Main, built in 1886.
Love this view, the motorcycle museum would be on your right. The Knuckle Saloon is on the left.
As expected, there are tattoo parlors here, more than one. Sturgis Tattoo in a historic hotel building and The Tattoo Cellar. Since we have no tattoos and have no knowledge on the subject, read this article first before deciding where to go.
There are many places to get a souvenir downtown on this block.