The days when Wyatt Earp helped to keep the peace in Dodge City Kansas might be long gone, but the legend lingers. There are few cities in the country that are as famous as Dodge City is when it comes to Old West history and the early frontier days. It was the cattle trade in the latter part of the 1800s that led to the growth of Kansas cities like Abilene and Wichita, but once that trade was pushed further west in 1876, Dodge City moved to the forefront. It quickly became the state's top "cow town," and people started flooding in. A true frontier settlement, Dodge City Kansas gained a reputation for being a good place to make some money, both as an honest person and as a crook. Together with Charlie Bassett, and others who helped to form the Dodge City Peace Commission, Earp enforced the law of the land in the 1870s and 80s.
Wild West lore is something that is very much attached to Dodge City Kansas, and the city eventually became the setting of an array of books, television shows, and movies that depict the frontier days. As one might imagine, some of the top Dodge City attractions revolve around the Old West, and they include the Boot Hill Museum and the Gunfighters Wax Museum. The Boot Hill Museum offers exhibits that revolve around life in Dodge City in the nineteenth century, and its reconstruction of the city as it was in 1876 is a must-see Dodge City travel attraction. Summertime events at the Boot Hill Museum include things like stagecoach rides, gun fight reenactments, and special chuck-wagon dinners. The Gunfighters Wax Museum might not be as comprehensive or as highly-visited as the Boot Hill Museum, but it deserves a look if you have some time. A wax figurine of Wyatt Earp figures among the characters here, as do Doc Holliday and Buffalo Bill, among others.
The famous Santa Fe Trail, which was used by pioneer wagons between the years of 1821 and 1872, passed some nine miles west of Dodge City, and you can visit the historic site to this day. A two-mile stretch of the historic trail is still clearly defined near Dodge City Kansas, and it's the longest continuous stretch of the trail that remains so clearly evident. Back in town, you can start getting a handle on some of the top Dodge City attractions by taking a historic trolley tour. These tours highlight historic sites, and since they only last an hour, they are easy to fit into your Dodge City travel plans. Walking tours of the city's historic district are also an option when it comes to things to do in Dodge City, and you can combine them with tours of the city's Trail of Fame if you are interested. The Trail of Fame is one of the more unique Dodge City attractions. Famous Dodge City natives and actors who have starred in television shows like Gunsmoke, are honored by special medallions and sculptures that are found along the Trail of Fame. Guided tours of both the historic and the Trail of Fame are available for a small fee.
It isn't all about museums and historic sites when it comes to the Dodge City attractions, and you might take a trip to the local zoo when looking for things to do. The Wright Park Zoo, as the Dodge City zoo is known, is a small zoo that features mammals and birds. The Siberian Tiger is one of the most popular animals at the Wright Park Zoo, and if you have never seen buffalo or longhorn cattle before, you can see them up close here. For those who are making summertime Dodge City travel plans, the Saturday morning Farmer's Markets are worth checking out. You'll learn a lot about some of the people who call Dodge City Kansas and the general area home during your Farmer's Market visit, and you just might find some things that you want to take back to your hotel. There's always something to do in Dodge City, and while it's a bit of a ways away from the more heavily-populated eastern part of the state, it begs inclusion on any and all Kansas vacation itineraries. Find your Dodge City hotel today, and come check out this culturally-rich and historically-renowned destination for yourself. You'll be glad you did.