Few places encapsulate the mystic of the American West like DEADWOOD, a Gold Rush town with a spectacular setting and a pantheon of iconic former residents such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Yet the truth is that Deadwood was only briefly the wild town of legend (the Gold Rush was over by 1877), and by the 1880s it was a prosperous trade and supply centre. Only in the 1920s was it consciously developed into a parody of the “Wild West”, but by the 1980s Deadwood was virtually bankrupt; it was only the legalization of gaming and casinos in 1989 that saved it. Though its handsome buildings are now wonderfully preserved (most of the Wild West tack is long gone and the whole town is a National Historic Landmark), and elegant houses line the slopes, casinos now dominate business here, making it something of a year-round resort – adjust your expectations accordingly and Deadwood can still be lots of fun.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

King of the road: on the Civil Rights Trail through America’s south

This year marks 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr and also the launch of a new Civil Rights Trail through the USA's south – a route…

10 Jan 2018 • Ella Buchan local_activity Special feature
An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in New York City

An expert’s guide: the best area to stay in New York City

For dynamism, cultural impact and sheer diversity, New York City is hard to beat. The city is a global leader in art, architecture, music and food, and is cramm…

10 Jan 2018 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
Why you should head to Minnesota and Wisconsin for winter thrills

Why you should head to Minnesota and Wisconsin for winter thrills

Though it may be tempting to escape to the sunshine this winter, there's a lot to be said for revelling in the snow and ice, too. And there’s plenty of beau…

27 Dec 2017 • Michelle Bhatia insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right