Few periods in American history are as enchanting as the frontier days of the wild, wild west. What’s not to love? Bucking broncos, grizzled... 4 Cities with Frontier Town Experiences


Few periods in American history are as enchanting as the frontier days of the wild, wild west. What’s not to love? Bucking broncos, grizzled cowboys, hopeful prospectors – even hardy maidens taming the wild deserts and prairies. Many of today’s most fabled 19th century boom towns offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience life as the pioneers did. If your vacation plans include a trip out west, visit one of these four cities and soak up some history.


Tombstone, Arizona

This iconic town will live in history as the site of the 1881 shootout at the OK Corral. It was also a mining town “too tough to die,” that eventually produced some $37 million in silver. Today, visitors can relive the past at carefully preserved attractions, such as the Birdcage Theatre, one of the most famous saloons in Arizona. You won’t want to miss the Tombstone Courthouse, a 12,000 foot museum dedicated to the history of law and order on the Arizona frontier in the late 1800s. Of course, stop at the OK Corral, where Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers took on Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers.


Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

The city of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma had its beginnings when a community of Creek Indians was forced to walk the Trail of Tears from their homes in Alabama. Today, the city honors its frontier past with a faithfully replicated Old West boom town voted “Best in the World” in 2014. The authentic 1880s Main Street, complete with dusty boardwalks and saloon doors, houses a cleverly disguised shopping center featuring turn of the century antiques and collectibles, handmade crafts, wooden furniture, custom glass work, and even jams, jellies, and authentic frontier treats.


Deadwood, South Dakota

The city of Deadwood is so faithfully restored to its Gold Rush era glamour that the entire city appears in the National Register, a rare distinction. But you’d expect no less from the town that brought us Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Must-see attractions include panning for gold at Lost Boot Mine, visiting the graveyards at Mount Moriah Cemetery, and the Adams House and Museum. Of course, Deadwood is now a gaming mecca, so if gambling is your style, don’t miss Silverado and the Deadwood Mountain Grand.


Dodge City, Kansas

Fans of TV’s Gunsmoke recognize Dodge City’s mystique as a frontier town. With the 1872 arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad, Dodge City claimed its status as “The Queen of Cowtowns,” a place made famous by Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp. Don’t miss Boot Hill Museum, a tribute to the Old West, complete with gunfights and stagecoach rides. Fans of the TV series will soak up the history in the Dodge City Trail of Fame, where they can experience the sights and sounds of sheriff Matt Dillon’s daily life. Don’t forget to check out Fort Dodge and the old Santa Fe Trail.

If your travels take you westward – and you’re a fan of history and the American frontier – you won’t want to miss these epochal frontier towns and attractions.