Big Western Cities We Love
No visit here is complete without a stop at the Stockyards National Historic District. Check out the daily Fort Worth Herd cattle drives, see some of the biggest Country music stars perform at Billy Bob’s Texas (the world’s largest honky-tonk) and watch the rodeo action every weekend at Cowtown Coliseum.
San Antonio, Texas
It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it before. The Alamo is one of the magical places that has transcended history and become legend. After your pilgrimage, take a stroll on the city’s celebrated River Walk (also known as Paseo del Rio), which is lined with restaurants and shops.
Cattlemen driving their herds to the railheads in Abilene, Kansas, often stopped at the Mead Trading Post. Once rails reached it in 1872, the town—then called Wichita—became a regional “cow capital.” Learn all about it at the Old Cowtown Museum.
Examine the history of the Old West through a different lens at the Black American West Museum, which highlights the role blacks played—as miners, soldiers, teachers, cowboys and lawmen-—in the settlement of the state.
El Paso, Texas
Tour one of the city’s most historic houses at the Magoffin Home State Historic Site. The nineteen-room adobe home, built in 1875 for pioneer and civic leader Joseph Magoffin, still holds original family furnishings.
In 1845 Portland’s founders, Francis Pettygrove of Portland, Maine, and Asa Lovejoy of Boston, Massachusetts, each wanted to name their new village after their hometowns. So they decided to flip for it, best two out of three. See the historic “Portland Penny” at the Oregon Historical Society Museum.
Take a trip back through time at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park. On Pioneer Demonstration Day costumed docents show how settlers worked, lived and played in those long-ago days.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum holds the most amazing collection of Western art you’re likely to find anywhere, with an assortment of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, as well as James Fraser’s iconic sculpture, The End of the Trail.
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Learn all about the history of the Great Northern Railway at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, then check out the miniatures at the Twin Cities Model Railroad Museum, especially the O-Scale Exhibit and its astonishing reproductions of some of the Great Northern’s most famous 19th-century landmarks.
Rodeo professionals may come to Cheyenne Frontier Days to compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes, but the rest of us come for the thrill of attending the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, a Cheyenne tradition since 1897. Mark your calendars now—Cheyenne Frontier Days run July 18-27.