5 Reasons Why Deadwood SD Makes West River the Best Side of the State

“West River, Best River!” If you live in South Dakota or in a surrounding state, there’s a chance you’ve probably heard this rivalry phrase. Ask any South Dakotan and it’s likely they’d tell you that the state should actually be divided into two states — West Dakota and East Dakota.

Rivalry aside, we’re here to provide you with cold-hard facts about the state’s shining star — Deadwood SD; then, we’ll let you decide for yourself which side of the state is the best. 


Deadwood, SD is located in the northern part of the Black Hills National Forest. The Black Hills are known for their 1.2 million acres of ponderosa pines, wildlife, recreation, timber harvest, and livestock.  In the northern hills, you can find beautiful hiking, biking, horseback and OHV trails, along with waterfalls and so much more. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love this gorgeous part of the forest.


Deadwood was established in 1876 during the Black Hills Gold Rush after a miner struck gold in a canyon known as “Deadwood Gulch.” The gold mining camp quickly became a lawless, greed-influenced headquarters for some of the roughest characters in the west. With three town fires, a flood, and railroad installation along the way, Deadwood evolved from a wild frontier into a commercial, law-abiding community. Although this historic town faced many hardships, it always kept its’ character and appreciation for entertainment, gaming, and saloons.


Walk where the legends walked! It’s not often that you come across a town that was established in the 1800s and has still managed to keep its wild west authenticity. In Deadwood, SD, you can experience Main Street’s cobblestoned road, historic buildings, monuments and museums. Watch history come to life with the gun slinging reenactment of Wild Bill Hickok’s historic Dead Man’s Hand, which ultimately resulted in his death. You can see the realistic, family-approved shootout in front of our resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, at 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday during the summer (May 27- September 23)!


You may not be able to dig up gold like they did in the 1800s, but you can still strike gold in Deadwood, SD! Indulge yourself in a Vegas-style experience with live 3-card poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and slot machines. Deadwood attracts visitors from all over the United States with major events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Deadweird, New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and Days of ’76! You’ll love the 24-hour bright lights and night life of the mini cobblestone strip!


Deadwood’s most daring casino, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, offers a gaming experience unlike any other. With over 220 of the newest slot machines and eight dynamic live table games, you’ll have plenty to do while visiting Deadwood. Plus, you’ll never need to leave the resort! Our resort has various delectable dining options, an on-site Starbucks — so you can get your coffee fix, a hotel just steps from the action and so much more! Prepare yourself for an unforgettable Deadwood vacation when you stay at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort.

So, what makes West River the best side of the state? That’s a pretty easy answer, but like we said, we’ll let you decide for yourself. Plan your visit here.