Chances are, you already know about Deadwood South Dakota, at least the one from the Wild West and the recent HBO series. This gold camp of the Dakota Territory was home to outlaws, gamblers, and frontier lawmen. While the city today retains its historic flair, it has grown into a full-service place to vacation, complete with interesting things to do, comfortable places to stay, and entertaining places to dine and spend time.
Deadwood has a special distinction—this Victorian gem is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a Deadwood vacation allows visitors to spend time in the past without giving up modern comforts. When visitors step into a Deadwood casino, visit the historical attractions, explore a gold mine, and simply admire the architecture, they can experience the city's historic charm.
The casinos are some of the biggest draws in this city in the Black Hills; some date back to the 1876 gold rush. Today, there are more than 80 places in Deadwood South Dakota where visitors can try their luck. It's possible to plan a whole Deadwood vacation around the casinos because several of them are also resorts, offering accommodations, dining options, and other visitor services. With nickel slots, table games, or $100-limit bets, a Deadwood casino will provide plenty of gaming. At Mustang Sally's, visitors can take a break from betting, see the display of antique slot machines, and stop for something to eat. One Deadwood casino has quite a claim to history. The Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall, complete with three floors dedicated to gaming and the Historic Eagle Bar, is where Wild Bill Hickok met his untimely end during a card game.
Along with spending time at a Deadwood casino, visitors can also get out and do some exploring outdoors. Several local outfitters lead tours by foot, on horseback, by GPS, and even on Segway. Some of the tours include a taste of the Old West such as a chuck-wagon supper, and others go through a genuine gold mine. Other attractions in Deadwood take visitors into the majestic scenery of the Black Hills. A favorite for hiking and snowmobiling, the area has more than 300 miles of trails, including the Mickelson Bike Trail, which winds through miles of interesting scenery.
An interesting array of museums pays tribute to Wild West history and other local topics. The Days of '76 Museum has more than 50 horse-drawn vehicles in its collection, including the Deadwood Stage. The Adams House, one of the most elegant places in Deadwood South Dakota, can be explored on a guided tour. This beautiful Queen Anne-style mansion dates from the days when the town was transforming into a more genteel place than it had been in the Wild West. The affiliated Adams Museum is an excellent place to learn about the people from Deadwood's past, including the cantankerous Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. These legendary figures were laid to rest in the Mount Moriah Cemetery, and historical tours are offered here regularly. Visitors also can connect with Native American history at Tatanka: Story of the Bison. Created by actor Kevin Costner, the interpretive center features an amazing life-size bronze sculpture of seventeen of the creatures that were once found all over the plains.
Some travelers, especially those who travel by motorcycle, make Deadwood vacation plans for the late summer. In August, engines are rumbling for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and the Legends Ride in the nearby town. Another one of the top events in South Dakota happens a few weeks later, the Deadwood Jam, where top-tier musicians join newcomers and rising stars in this Black Hills music festival.