The Corn Palace is one of the headliners of South Dakota's impressive lineup of odd and not-so-odd (Mount Rushmore?) roadside attractions. Built to promote the state’s corn farming industry, the Palace is in Mitchell, a town in the southeast corner of the state that has long been an important agricultural hub. (With a population of 15,000, Mitchell is the sixth largest city in South Dakota.)
The grain-based murals on the exterior walls are eye-catching, as are the Moorish style towers. These features make the Corn Palace a tourist attraction for travelers driving along I-90. However, the building is more than a mere photo op for passersby. The palace is a kind of civic center that hosts basketball games and performances. It's also the site of the annual Corn Palace Festival, which is held each summer.