Once the very definition of lawless, this town built on gold attracts a different kind of fortune-seeker these days with 80 gambling halls big and small that would no doubt put a sly grin on the faces of the hard characters who once stomped these grounds. Then again, loser’s largesse is paying for Deadwood’s restoration, even as it turns into a mini Vegas of the Plains.
Settled illegally by eager gold rushers in the 1870s, Deadwood is now a National Historic Landmark. Its atmospheric streets are lined with gold-rush-era buildings lavishly restored with gambling dollars. Its storied past – made famous by the namesake HBO TV series – is easy to find, and there's eternal devotion to Wild Bill Hickok, who was shot in the back of the head here in 1876 while gambling.