Road Side Stop: Mitchell Corn Palace

Apparently there are two places in South Dakota that everyone must stop if you trust the billboards.  One is Wall Drug.  The other is the Mitchell Corn Palace, which also happens to be the World’s ONLY Corn Palace.

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Does this really surprise you?  I mean, how many corn palaces could there really be, anyway?

I had no idea what to expect with this one.  I’d seen a few pictures of the outside, but they don’t really give you any idea of what you’ll actually see when you get here.  Every year, the outside of the building is redecorated.  When we were there, the theme was Rock N Roll.

I’d heard there was a visitor’s center inside, so I expected some souvenirs and maybe a display on corn.  That is not at all what you find!  The inside of this place is HUGE!  On the main floor, it is a gymnasium.  The local high school and college teams play basketball here.  The rest of the time, the gym floor is a giant gift shop.

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If you can make it out of corn or some how relate it to corn, they have it.  Upstairs is a balcony with a great view of…the street.  There is also a fun little children’s play area.  It’s kind of an interactive corn museum for them to learn.  Our kids were a little old to enjoy it for long, but I’d say the 8 and under set would like it a lot.

Overall, I think it was an interesting stop, and I’m glad we did it once.  I’m not sure I would make a trip specifically to come back here, but it was fun.

By this point, it was dinner time.  We found that a great way to save time and money on road trips was to pack up a cooler with some picnic foods and eat that one meal per day.  It rotated between lunch and dinner, depending on what we were doing.  I have to say by the end of the trip everyone was a little sick of picnics, but it definitely worked.  I tried to find scenic parks or recreational areas where we could stretch our legs and get some fresh air.  For our first night, we stopped at Frank’s Bay in Mitchell, South Dakota, a picnic area right on Lake Mitchell.

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By the time we finished dinner, it had been a long day and we were all ready for a good night’s sleep.

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