Americans have always had a fascination with the Wild West. The gunfights, rodeos, tumbleweeds, and dusty saloons of America’s untamed frontier might sound like cinematic tropes, but they’re also a very real part of the country’s history. The Wild West represents a unique period in the growth of the US, when borders were being expanded and new lands discovered during the late 19th century.
Sure, Hollywood has dramatized the Wild West and turned it into a cinematic cliche, but that doesn’t detract from the period’s historic significance or how its cowboys, crooks, and gamblers have captured our imaginations. The days of Wyatt Earpp and Billy the Kid may be over, but there are still several towns throughout the US that evoke that old fashioned Wild West spirit. Here are the ones you can visit.