Dodge City, Kansas was once referred to as the most wicked town in the west. Established as a frontier cowtown in the 1800’s, the town soon became synonymous with wild and violent behavior. Gun-battles in the street were almost an everyday occurrence and lawlessness was rife.
To get a taste of the bad old days visitors can see a re-enactment of gun-fights at the Boot Hill Museum and see life-size sculptures of notorious Dodge City characters at the Gunfighter’s Wax Museum. History enthusiasts can take a self-guided walking tour along the
Dodge City Trail of Fame in the historic downtown, and visit the Home of Stone to get a glimpse of everyday life during the pioneer days
1. Home of Stone
© Dodge City Convention & Visitors Bureau
As the only limestone house in the town, the historic Meuller-Schmidt home is widely known as the Home of Stone. The elegant old homestead was intended to impress when it was built in 1881 and it remains a landmark in Dodge City. All the stonework and woodwork was hand-made by German craftsmen and the house remains intact on its original site. Visitors are invited to step inside and take a trip back in time to the 19th century. One of the most impressive features of the home is the beautifully crafted spiral walnut staircase which rises majestically from the foyer. Visitors can admire original furnishings in several of the rooms.
Home of Stone, 112 E. Vine Street, Dodge City, KS 67801, Phone: 620-227-6791
2. Dodge City Trail of Fame
© Dodge City Convention & Visitors Bureau
Setting off along the Dodge City Trail of Fame is a highlight of any trip to Dodge City. Along the course of this interesting walking tour through the Dodge City National Historic District you will be guided by sidewalk medallions and statues commemorating historic figures and the movie stars who have brought their characters to life on the big screen. The walk starts at the Dodge City Convention Center, where you can pick up a map at the Visitor’s Center. A few of the highlights of the tour include the Matt Dillon sculpture, the Doc Holliday sculpture and the Wyatt Earp statue. Unsurprisingly, most of the features of the trail are found along Gunsmoke Street.
Dodge City Trail of Fame, Gunsmoke Street, Dodge City, KS 67801
3. Fort Dodge, Dodge City, Kansas
Fort Dodge is located about 5 miles from Dodge City and was once home to an important defense post. Back in the 1860’s, Fort Dodge was established to offer protection to the wagon trains along the Santa Fe Trail, many of whom would stop here to rest and regroup on their way to New Mexico. Indian attacks at the campground were common and the fort was sorely needed. Today the old fort has been converted into a retirement home for Kansas veterans and most of the original buildings are still in use. Visitors can go on a self-guided walking tour of the fort and visit the small onsite museum and library to learn more about the history behind the old buildings.
Fort Dodge, East Highway US-154, Dodge City, KS 67843, Phone: 620-227-2121
4. Coronado Cross, Dodge City, KS
The Coronado Cross marks a historical spot near present-day Fort Dodge, which adds another element of history to your tour of Dodge City. Back in 1540 the Spanish nobleman
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado set off from Mexico with a small expedition team to find the legendary cities of gold. After an arduous journey the team finally crossed the Arkansas River and held a thanksgiving mass at the site where the cross now stands. The Coronado Cross, which was sponsored by the Ford County Historical Society, was erected in 1975 to pay tribute to the pioneer adventurers who held the first Christian service in the interior a good 100 years before the arrival of the Pilgrims.
The Coronado Cross, 11666 US-400, Dodge City, KS 67801
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5. The Long Branch Saloon, Dodge City, KS
The infamous Long Branch Saloon was a popular watering hole in Dodge City from 1874 to 1885. In addition to serving drinks the saloon also provided live entertainment and gambling and was the scene of many an altercation. Although the original Long Branch Saloon was burnt to the ground in 1885, visitors to Dodge City can visit a new Long Branch Saloon at the Boot Hill Museum and Theme Park in the city. This new saloon is based on the saloon in the long-running TV drama Gunsmoke and the exterior was modeled on photographs of the original building. It is furnished with original period pieces from the 1800’s including a pair of golden eagles which belonged to the original owner, Chalkley Beeson.
The Long Branch Saloon, Boot Hill Museum, 500 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd, Dodge City, KS 67801, Phone: 620-227-8188
6. Red Beard Coffee, Dodge City, KS
© Red Beard Coffee
Conveniently located in the heart of Dodge City’s Downtown Historic District, Red Beard Coffee is your go-to café for excellent coffee and a great atmosphere. The amazing coffee aromas wafting through the cozy interior set the scene for an excellent cup of quality java. The baristas are said to be very knowledgeable and friendly and will pull you the perfect cup of coffee your taste-buds are craving. They offer all the regular specialty coffees you can imagine and there is also a good range of non-caffeinated drinks including teas, hot chocolate, sodas and juices. Dairy-free options can be requested and they also serve kid’s lattes.
Red Beard Coffee, 319 Gunsmoke St, Dodge City, KS 67801, Phone: 620-789-0095
7. Long Branch Lagoon
© Long Branch Lagoon
Escape the heat at Long Branch Lagoon. The western-themed water park features 27,000 square feet of family-friendly fun with several water attractions and amenities. At the center of the park is the Wrangler Rapids wave pool, where visitors can enjoy riding the gentle swells. For those looking for more thrilling entertainment, the park offers a variety of splash pads and water slides like the near-vertical Doc’s Plunge. Leisure-focused amenities are also available, such as the 720-foot lazy river and private cabanas. Long Branch Lagoon is a popular attraction amongst locals and tourists alike, and visitors are sure to leave with unforgettable memories.
111 4th Avenue, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, Phone: 620-225-8156
8. Things to Do in Dodge City, Kansas: Wright Park
Nestled in the heart of Dodge City, people will find a tranquil oasis from the city’s hustle and bustle. The picturesque Wright Park features lush green spaces, towering mature trees, and well-maintained gardens for both relaxation and recreation. Visitors are invited to stroll or jog along the park’s pathways, unwind in the shade at Liberty Garden, or gather for some outdoor fun in various open spaces. Exciting amenities are also available within the grounds, including a playground, skatepark, and the Wright Park Zoo. Whether you’re seeking some peace in nature or a fun-filled family outing, Wright Park provides the perfect setting to appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.
71 North 2nd Avenue, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, Phone: 620-225-8100
9. Boot Hill Museum
© Boot Hill Museum
Discover the Wild West at Boot Hill Museum. Steeped in history, the museum offers a glimpse of the legendary American frontier era. The museum is uniquely located on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetary and is home to exhibits showcasing the history and culture of Dodge City during its famed days as a frontier cow town. Visitors can find several lively interactive displays and more than 60,000 artifacts—many of which belonged to original residents of Dodge City. The museum’s most popular attraction is its meticulously reconstructed replica of Front Street, complete with authentic buildings, saloons, and shops, allowing you to step back in time and experience the sights and sounds of the bustling western town.
500 West Wyatt Earp Boulevard, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, Phone: 620-227-8188
10. Boot Hill Casino & Resort
© Boot Hill Casino & Resort
Exciting entertainment awaits visitors at Boot Hill Casino & Resort. The premier destination offers thrilling gaming experiences, luxurious accommodations, and numerous other amenities that make for an unforgettable vacation. The casino features nearly 600 slot machines and a variety of table games, such as Blackjack, Craps, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, and Roulette. After a night of gaming, unwind in the resort’s upscale accommodations featuring 108 rooms and suites. Other amenities offered at the resort include live entertainment at the United Wireless Arena and delicious eats at Firesides. Try some of their Certified Angus Beefs steaks alongside other favorites like their Jackpot Burger and BBQ pork ribs.
4000 West Comanche Street, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, Phone: 620-682-7777
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11. Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame
© Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame
The first museum of its kind in the country, the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame pays tribute to the dedicated teachers who have shaped the lives of countless students throughout the state. Visitors will find displays of meaningful photos and stories from more than 400 local teachers from both the past and present day. Learn about their inspiring legacy and achievements, along with their innovative teaching methods and immovable commitment to their student’s success. The Hall of Fame not only honors the dedication of these excellent Kansas teachers but also stands as a reminder of the immeasurable impact that educators leave on their community.
603 Fifth Avenue, Dodge City, Kansas 67801, Phone: 620-225-7311
12. Central Station Bar & Grill
© Central Station Bar & Grill
Enjoy a night of great food, fun, and entertainment at Central Station Bar & Grill. Making its home in one of the city’s former train stations, visitors can choose to hang out in the restaurant, sports bar, or dance club. The restaurant offers some of the best steaks in Dodge City, cooked to perfection on the only mesquite grilled in town, while the sports bar broadcasts all your favorite sporting events on their 16 large television screens. The dance club comes alive with lights and live performances, and visitors can even enjoy jukebox nights and a variety of genres like country, rock, Spanish, and hip-hop.
207 East Wyatt Earp Boulevard, Dodge City, Kansas 620-225-1176
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