Deadwood, SD might not be on the list of most popular tourist destinations, but it has plenty of fun things to do. This city is the home of the 1876 Gold Rush, and it holds a lot of historical charm to this day.
So, if you’re looking for a peaceful and educational adventure for your family, it might be time to head to South Dakota.
Here are nine of the most exciting things to do in Deadwood, SD.
#1 – Historic Main Street
If you’re visiting Deadwood, then you need to take a walk down Historic Main Street. It’s full of many historical sights, including shops, restaurants, and signs. Throughout this area, there are plenty of exhibits, shows, and historical reenactments. Plus, there’s no shortage of souvenir shops, so you can bring a gift back to your friends at home. Taking a walk down this unique street is sure to make you feel like you’ve transported back in time.
#2 – Broken Boot Gold Mine
For families looking to experience a piece of history, Broken Boot Gold Mine might be as close as you’ll get. 1876 was a big year for Deadwood because people went crazy looking for gold. This city was an excellent place to find gold, so the Broken Boot Gold Mine tries to keep that piece of history alive. At this gold mine, tours run every 30 minutes. The tour guide will show you around the mine and teach you how gold mining worked. At the end, they’ll even let you try to mine for gold yourself.
#3 – George S. Mickelson Trail
The George S. Mickelson Trail is perfect for anyone looking for an outdoor adventure. The trail goes on for about 100 miles, and it passes through some of the most scenic areas in South Dakota, including bridges and rock tunnels. You can hike, bike, or even go horseback riding along this beautiful trail. You can find local bike shops throughout Deadwood, so you can still go on adventures even if you didn’t come prepared.
#4 – Story of the Bison
The Story of the Bison is a large, one-of-a-kind attraction that is a tribute to the thousands of bisons that used to live in the area. Also, the attraction pays tribute to the native cultures that lived alongside these impressive animals. It showcases large bronze sculptures of Native Americans following bison on horseback. After viewing these massive displays, you can also learn more history at the Northern Plains Peoples Educational Interpretive Center. At the center, you can find informative displays and presentations.
#5 – The Adams Museum and Adams Historic House
If you want to learn about Deadwood’s most notorious individuals, then the Adams Museum is one of the best things to do in SD. It has plenty of artifacts and exhibits about characters you now see in Western films, such as “Wild Bill” Hickok and Calamity Jane. Then, only a few blocks away from the museum is the Adams Historic House. It was built in 1892, and it has been left untouched since 1934. You can take a tour through this unique home to learn a little more history about it. It’s known for its stained-glass windows, canvas wall coverings, and original furnishings.
#6 – Days of 76 Museum
As mentioned before, 1876 was a big year for Deadwood. During the Gold Rush, the city’s population almost doubled, so a lot of its history is about what happened during and after that year. So, this museum showcases 32,000 square feet of artifacts and exhibits from around that time period. The museum has had many updates throughout the years, including a new building in 2004. Some other events that you won’t want to miss include the Days of 76 Parade and the Days of 76 Rodeo.
#7 – Mount Moriah Cemetery
A cemetery might not seem like the best vacation destination, but this one is a huge part of Deadwood’s history. It’s not necessarily spooky or haunted, but instead, it’s fascinating. The Mount Moriah Cemetery was created in 1878, and thousands of individuals were buried there. It even has the graves of many famous historical figures and murderers. Some graves you might recognize on-site include “Wild Bill” Hickok, Calamity Jane, Preacher Smith, and Potato Creek Johnny. Exhibits and pamphlets can help you learn more history about some of the people buried there.
#8 – Mount Roosevelt Monument
The Mount Roosevelt Monument is also commonly referred to as the “Friendship Tower.” Deadwood’s first mayor, Seth Bullock completed it in 1919. He built the 30-foot stone tower to commemorate Theadore Roosevelt, who was a close friend of his. On top of having lots of historical significance for the former president, it’s also surrounded by gorgeous scenery. You can hike up the stairs of the tower, which reveals beautiful views of the Black Hills when you reach the top. Best of all, it’s free to access this gorgeous monument.
#9 – Terry Peak
Not all of the things to do in Deadwood, SD have to be about history. Terry Peak is just a fun place to go skiing. It’s just outside of Deadwood, and it’s home to the highest lift service in all of the Alps and Rocky Mountains. It has a summit of about 7,100 feet, and it supposedly has more snow than any of the nearby areas. It’s the perfect place to visit in the winter if you’re a thrill-seeker. You can even make a whole weekend trip out of it if you stay in one of the nearby lodges.
If you’re sick of visiting big cities and crowded beaches, then it’s time to try something a little different on your next vacation. Deadwood, SD has so many fun things to do. So, bring your family to this quaint town for a little adventure, entertainment, and education.