Are you are like a lot of Americans, you just want to saddle up and ride into the sunset for a break from reality? There is so much going on that makes many want to escape. Between the negative news, the rises in the costs of living, and the stresses of life, we all want to experience something that brings back childhood memories. Remember, the days of watching Roy Rogers and the joy you felt the first time you rode a horse? Well, guess what? I am going to tell you about just some of the locations in the states you can escape reality for a few days. Ready to ride?
Towns that travel back thru time to the old wild west:
- Cody, Wyoming. Named after Buffalo Bill Cody, it is the rodeo capital of the world! At Old Trail Town, old frontier buildings including outlaws’ cabins, a school, a blacksmith shop, and a saloon have been meticulously reassembled for visitors to explore.
- Pendleton, Oregon. September’s iconic Pendleton Round-Up has been drawing rodeo lovers to town since the early 1900s and remains one of the nation’s largest such events. A major concert, parades, and the Happy Canyon Indian Pageant are staples of the experience, too.
- Amarillo, Texas. Go for a horseback ride at Cowgirls and Cowboys in the West, and be sure to catch “Texas,” an outdoor musical drama that traces the state’s settlement in the 1800s and has been performed in Palo Duro Canyon State Park for more than 50 seasons.
- Tombstone, Arizona. Stroll Tombstone’s streets on the second and fourth Sunday of each month and the Tombstone Vigilantes will entertain you with historical fashion shows and re-enactments.
- Bodie, California. An authentic mining ghost town that hosted more than 60 saloons and dance halls at its peak, its decay have been frozen by park authorities.
- Fort Worth, Texas. Today, you can head to the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District to see massive steers amble down the street in a twice-daily cattle drive, take in re-enactments of gun battles, explore the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, and much more.
- Cripple Creek, Colorado. Come in June for Donkey Derby Days, a two-day jamboree featuring donkey races, a tradition dating from the ’30s.
- Oatman, Arizona. On Route 66, its historic buildings and roaming wild burros, descendants of the animals brought to town by miners, give it plenty of appeals.
- Durango, Colorado. This is the site where Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid was filmed. Take a carriage ride through the historic downtown, hop aboard the scenic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, or use their own wheels to explore the breathtaking but hair-raising Million Dollar Highway.
- Dodge City, Kansas. The “wickedest little city in the West” sprang up as a trading center near the Santa Fe Trail, which connected Missouri and New Mexico for much of the 1800s. Today, the experience is best memorialized at the Boot Hill Museum, which boasts more than 60,000 artifacts and a replica of Dodge City’s infamous, lawless Front Street as it looked in the 1870s. Summer also means twice-daily gunfights and a nightly variety show at the Long Branch Saloon.
There ya go, cowpokes….saddle up and escape.
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