Explore Wild West History in Deadwood, South Dakota
The Wild West still intrigues at this northern Black Hills destination. Head to Wild Bill Hickok's hilltop grave, which lies beside the real-life Calamity Jane's. Then wander the historic main street to Saloon No. 10, where Bill played his last poker hand in 1876. (Sort of. The exact spot makes for a long story.)
The two-story building, once home to former Deadwood mayor W.E. Adams, houses Black Hills treasures from the historic town's pioneer, mining and Wild West days. Look for notorious gambler Wild Bill Hickok's pistol, Potato Creek Johnny's 7 ¾ ounce gold nugget, a plesiosaur skeleton and an antique 1900s slot machine.
Broken Boot Gold Mine
Explore the century-old shafts of a gold mine-turned-tourist attraction and try panning for gold. Guided tours show off a mine that made more from iron pyrite, or "fool's gold," than it did from the actual metal.
Days of 76 Museum
Get a feel for Deadwood's rowdy past at this museum dedicated to the annual Days of '76 celebration, started in 1924 (and originally inspired by Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show). Displays focus on the parade and rodeo and highlight a large collection of horse-drawn vehicles and carriages. The Don Clowser Collection includes Old West artifacts, archives and firearms, plus a room detailing the region's Native American history.
Mt. Moriah Cemetery
Weathered tombstones mark the resting place of Deadwood's infamous gunmen, gamblers, lawmen and madams. Explore on your own after watching a short interpretive video at the visitors center or take one of the guided tours offered by local operators. The late Victorian-style cemetery affords a great view of Deadwood surrounded by mountains once rich with gold.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
If hanging out with hundreds of thousands of bikers sounds like your kind of fun, head to the Black Hills in August (August 4-13, 2023), for one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world. Expect concerts, bike shows and organized rides.
Tatanka: Story of the Bison
At Tatanka: Story of the Bison, a bronze sculpture commissioned by Kevin Costner depicts bison and Native American hunters; an interpretive center gives insights into the role of bison in Lakota life.
Eat and Drink
Deadwood Legends Steakhouse at the Franklin Hotel
The Franklin Hotel has hosted guests since 1903; join in the tradition at its restaurant with hearty food like Braised Elk Gnocchi or Bone-In South Dakota Buffalo Ribeye.
Deadwood Social Club
At Saloon #10 (where you can see a re-creation of the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok three times a day) head upstairs to the Deadwood Social Club for creative dishes such as smoked pheasant over fettuccine.
Business travelers and families will appreciate SpringHill Suites' spacious guest rooms, hot breakfast, free wi-fi and quiet atmosphere.
Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel
Located in a former gold ore processing mill, this boutique hotel, casino and convention center complex overlooks the town of Deadwood. The 98 rooms are comfortable and nicely appointed, with historic Deadwood artwork on the walls. The complex includes a spa, two restaurants and a coffee shop.