There is alot to see and do in Deadwood beside gamble if you are interested in Deadwood's historical aspect. The original buildings on Main Street burned in a huge fire many, many years ago. The Main Street buildings are old and of interesting architecture. What I would suggest to you would be get an early start, sightsee first and then hit the casinos. Here is a list of Deadwood's "must sees", IMO:
THE ADAMS MUSEUM- Many artifacts from the gold rush days
THE ADAMS HOUSE- House with original furnishings depicting the life of a wealthy Deadwood family
SALOON #10- Not the original saloon where Wild Bill Hickock was killed but the saloon houses the chair he was sitting in when he was shot as well as a ton of pictures and artifacts from the gold rush days.**
MT MORIAH CEMETERY- Graves of Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane and many other Deadwood characters are here. A great place to get an understanding how hard life was during the gold rush days.
DAYS OF 76 MUSEUM - Another museum depicting life as it was in Deadwood. I personally like the Adams Museum better but found this museum interesting as well.
TROLLEY TOUR - Tour takes you around Deadwood and to the cemetery. A guide gives you a history of the town.
**A re-enactment of the shooting of Wild Bill Hickock is performed throughout the day at the Saloon #10. Shoot-outs are also held in front of the saloon as well.
If you are interested in the mining history of the area:
THE HOMESTAKE MINE MUSEUM - Located in neighboring Lead, the home of the Homestake Gold Mine, once the largest gold mine in the northern hemisphere. It closed in the early 2000's. There is also a trolley tour of Lead.
THE BROKEN BOOT GOLD MINE - Tour of an early mine located between Deadwood and Lead
SPEARFISH CANYON - Located between the towns of Lead and Spearfish, not far from Deadwood. This is a gorgeous canyon with several beautiful waterfalls and some nice hiking trails. Roughlock Falls is about a mile behind the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, Spearfish Falls a short hike behind the Latchstring Inn across from the Lodge and Bridal Veil Falls can be seen from the main road, Hwy. 14A. Spearfish Canyon is at its best in the fall with the fall colors peaking the end of September.
I am not a gambler and really cannot advise as to the best casino. There are many to choose from but the casino at the Franklin Hotel seems to be the most popular.
Deadwood has alot of mediorce restaurant choices and a few good ones. Because you are in a tourist town, dress code for all would be casual or if you prefer, you can dress up. I have rated what we feel are good to excellent and included websites so you can look at the menus.
DIAMOND LIL'S - Owned by Kevin Kostner. Houses alot of his movie memorabilia. Sports bar atmosphere and type food.
THE DEADWOOD SOCIAL CLUB - Above the Saloon #10
JAKES ATOP THE MIDNIGHT STAR - Kevin Kostner's 5 star restaurant. Excellent food, good service, elegant and very pricey.
THE DEADWOOD GRILLE - Located in the Lodge at Deadwood. Excellent food, service and not quite as pricey as Jakes. This is Jakes competition. The dining room has a contemporary feel and is very, very nice but not as elegant as Jakes.
CHEYENNE CROSSING - Although this is a completely different type restaurant than Jakes and the Deadwood Grille, the food is excellent. This little whole-in-the-wall cafe is located at the south entrance to Spearfish Canyon. The building was originally a stage coach stop and very old. The food is all prepared from scratch and soooo good, especially their Indian Tacos. Desserts are supurb; carrot cake is the best we have ever had and the pies are to die for!
A popular destination for locals, this little place can get very busy. You can also dine outside. The service is good and very friendly. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. (Check website for hours - they close early on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday and at 8 p.m the rest of the days.
There is not alot to see in Sturgis when the rally is not going on. There is a Motorcycle Museum, which I have never been to. Worth seeing if it interests you is Bear Butte State Park and Ft. Meade, an old calvary sight. Bear Butte is sacred to the Native American's who hold religious ceremonies there often.
I realize this is very wordy but it should give you alot of options of things to do.
Thanks for the post, had read some about deadwood, but wanted some first hand knowledge. Thanks again.
Well put mountainmama!
South Dakota Dept. Tourism
The Homestake museum would be a good use of time, but in September definitely try to get outside for a hike to enjoy the hopefully great weather. The hikes around Spearfish Canyon are excellent (some shorter and accessible). Take your camera!
The Deadwood Social Club is a great dinner option.
I noticed on trip advisor there is a trail ride in Deadwood that is highly rated, anyone know anything about that ? Don't want a generic ride.
First, all great suggestions by MountainMama
As a quick snippet:
Hampton Inn (Four Aces)
Don't forget to check out out the "Celebrity" while there. Neat museum and also one of the top rated hotels in the state to boot. Also, don't forget to visit the Kevin Costner owned "Midnight Star".
Jakes Atop the Midnight Star
Deadwood Social Club
Tin Lizzie (for a cheap big eat)
Gems Steakhouse and Saloon
Ignore the rest...