22 Still-Standing Saloons of the Old West

Home to revelry, rivalry, and a bevy of brews, saloons were the nexus of social and political life in the Wild West. Fortunately for admirers of antiquity and ale, many of these taverns still stand to this day as a reminder of the gunslinging spirit of westward expansion. If you have a hankering for a cold one with a history chaser, grab a seat at the bar of one of these storied saloons.

Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, Colorado

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Silver Dollar Saloon in Leadville, Colorado

Fugitive John Henry "Doc" Holliday, who famously killed a policeman to avoid paying a $5 debt, was a regular at this bar, dealing cards, swigging drinks, and tapping out tunes at a piano in the back room.

Related: 20 American Treasures to See Now—Before They Disappear

flick.com via amayzing

Inside the Silver Dollar Saloon

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Inside the Silver Dollar Saloon

While there's been a piano on the premises since the Silver Dollar opened in 1879, these days the bar's outlaw patrons have been replaced by beer aficionados and foodies, who stop by the original mahogany bar for Doc's Omelette or a refreshing Fat Tire ale.

flickr.com via larry1732

White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas

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White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth, Texas

A bar brawl for the ages, the famous gunfight between White Elephant owner Luke Short and Fort Worth Sheriff "Longhair Jim" Courtright took place at this timeless tap house. Opened in the 1890s in Hell's Half Acre, the bar eventually moved to the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. 

flickr.com ragingwire

Inside the White Elephant Saloon

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Inside the White Elephant Saloon

While the White Elephant is now best known for its Texas Red Chili and live music, its Wild West past lives on; in fact, the long-lost lawman Courtright is rumored to haunt the saloon to this day.

flickr.com via atxjen

The Buckhorn Saloon in Pinos Altos, New Mexico

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The Buckhorn Saloon in Pinos Altos, New Mexico

Purveyor of pints since the 1860s, this mountaintop saloon in the former mining town of Pinos Altos has long been a gathering place, where diners can enjoy live music and good food in a surprisingly elegant setting.

flickr.com via Tom Blackwell

Pinos Altos Opera House

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Pinos Altos Opera House

Behind the rough-and-tumble exterior of the neighboring opera house lies an intimate performance venue, complete with a full bar, which draws revelers and musicians. It's also available for private events.

flickr.com via thetravelgal

Occidental Saloon and Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming

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Occidental Saloon and Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming

Despite elegant additions made way back in 1908, which included stained-glass-accented back bar and an embossed tin ceiling, you can't take the Wild West out this old-time barroom, a Buffalo favorite since 1880.

Related: The 18 Most Infamous Hotels in America

flicker.com via ungard

Inside the Occidental Saloon and Hotel

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Inside the Occidental Saloon and Hotel

Look up, and you'll still spy bullet holes in the ceiling from past shootouts involving former patrons, who included Buffalo Bill Cody and Calamity Jane.

Related: The Best Small-Town Inns in All 50 States

Wikimedia Commons via Paul Hermans

Big Nose Kate's Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona

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Big Nose Kate's Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona

Built in 1880 as the Grand Hotel, this historic establishment frequented by the likes of outlaw Doc Holliday and the Clanton Gang burned down just two years later. It was then reconstructed and is now operated as Big Nose Kate's Saloon.

Related: 15 Classic Roadside Motels You Can Visit Along America's Highways

flickr.com via lightcraft

Inside Big Nose Kate's Saloon

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Inside Big Nose Kate's Saloon

Named after Mary Katherine Horony-Cummings, the common-law wife of outlaw Holliday, the saloon—which contains the original long bar from the short-lived Grand Hotel—serves Southwestern cuisine and draft beers, and hosts Wild West reenactments.

flickr.com via hazeliis

The Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer, Alaska

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The Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer, Alaska

Since its construction in 1897, the Salty Dawg has served variously as a post office, schoolhouse, and grocery store.

Related: 25 Charming General Stores Across the Country

Wikimedia Commons via Derek Ramsey

Inside the Salty Dawg Saloon

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Inside the Salty Dawg Saloon

It wasn't until 1957 that the structure became—and has remained—a saloon. Novel touches include a lighthouse that was built to cover a water tower, and the thousands of dollar bills on its walls, tacked there by loyal patrons over the years.

flickr.com via jsmjr

Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona

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Crystal Palace Saloon in Tombstone, Arizona

Local notables like U.S. Deputy Marshal Virgil Earp and gunshot wound expert Dr. George Goodfellow all swung through the doors of this cheery redbrick drinking hole in Tombstone that served its first drink in 1879 as the Golden Eagle Brewery.

Related: 25 Tiny Towns to Visit for a Glimpse at How We Used to Live

flickr.com via carolinadoug

Inside the Crystal Palace Saloon

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Inside the Crystal Palace Saloon

Another character who haunted this establishment was gunfighter Buckskin Frank Leslie, known for his trademark buckskin jacket and his deadly blows, who did a short stint as a night watchman.

crystalpalacesaloon.com

Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, Nevada

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Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, Nevada

Though featured as a backdrop in films like "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Mexican," Pioneer Saloon enjoys a vibrant life in the real world as a popular stop for barbecue or a spirited game of horseshoes.

flickr.com via hawk59

Carole Lombard Memorial at Pioneer Saloon

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Carole Lombard Memorial at Pioneer Saloon

After the crash of the airplane carrying his wife, Carole Lombard, and 21 others in 1942, it is said that Clark Gable drank his sorrows away in this historic saloon, where he waited for news of her fate.

Related: 15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once

flickr.com via travelnevada

The Historic Montana Bar in Miles City, Montana

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The Historic Montana Bar in Miles City, Montana

A "contemporary" touch that anchors this tavern firmly in the prime of the 20th century, a Montana-shaped neon sign welcomes thirsty visitors to this time-honored 1908 watering hole that still has its original Italian tile floor and embossed tin ceiling.

themontanabar.com

Inside the Historic Montana Bar

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Inside the Historic Montana Bar

Reminders of its earlier days include mounted steer heads, the original stand-up bar, a double-drawer National Cash Register from 1914, and a bullet hole in a glass panel at the bar's entrance, a memento from a customer whose gun fired accidentally.

flickr.com via exitlines

Bucket of Blood in Virginia City, Nevada

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Bucket of Blood in Virginia City, Nevada

Despite its sinister-sounding name and the fact that it got its start in the aftermath of a tragedy—the bar opened in the wake of the Great Fire of 1875, which claimed more than 1,000 local establishments—Bucket of Blood has a reputation as a good-time hangout.

Related: 20 Weird and Wacky Destinations for a Family Road Trip

flickr.com via aresauburnphotos

Inside Bucket of Blood Saloon

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Inside Bucket of Blood Saloon

Patrons know and love the saloon for its bar crawls, annual chili cook-off, and live music from the house band, David John and the Comstock Cowboys.

flickr.com via kohaver

Old Style Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota

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Old Style Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota

Saloon No. 10 is famous for the 171 types of bourbons, scotches, and whiskeys on its menu, and infamous as the site of a dastardly deed. In 1876, the same year the saloon was built, Wild Bill Hickok met his demise here at the hands of assassin Jack McCall, who shot the Western legend in the back of the head.

Related: The Best Tiny Towns in Every State

flickr.com via baggis

Remembering Wild Bill Hickok at Saloon No. 10

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Remembering Wild Bill Hickok at Saloon No. 10

The pub pays homage to Hickok with a memorial wall and a free daily reenactment of the fatal encounter.

Related:  America’s 50 Most Infamous Homes

flickr.com via baggis

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