Happy Birthday, Jesse James!

Did You Know?
On this day in history, September 5, 1847, famed outlaw Jesse James was born in Kearney, Missouri. Following a tumultuous childhood and service in the Civil War, Jesse and his brother Frank grew bored with their Missouri farmer roots and joined a band of roving thieves.

The James brothers staged the first daylight bank robbery in U.S. history in 1866, and would go on to steal thousands more from banks, stores, stagecoaches, and trains over the next decade. Jesse James was quite the polarizing figure, revered by some as a romantic Robin Hood and feared by others as a vicious criminal.

Despite its sometimes violent past, the romanticism and excitement of the Wild West has been preserved or recreated in some of Global Discovery Vacations’ best Western destinations.

Branson, Missouri
Visit the Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson and go back to the 1800s with the park’s western-themed attractions. Silver Dollar City features music festivals, thrill rides, crafts, a water park and much more.

Learn about Branson’s history the creepy way with a Branson Ghosts and Legends Tour. These walking tours through historic downtown Branson are filled with local history, mystery, legends and stories of the past – perfect for Halloween!

Scottsdale, Arizona
Home to some of the Wild West’s most famous events, Arizona is a haven for Wild West enthusiasts. In Scottsdale, the Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse at Wild Horse Pass is Arizona’s largest western-themed attraction. Enjoy a real Wild West experience, from the world-renowned Rawhide Steakhouse & Saloon, to themed shops like the Silver Spur for western chic clothing, the General Store for souvenirs, and Blacksmith for decorative metal and personalized branding irons. Take the family for shows like live action stunts and shoot-outs by the Arizona Roughriders. Yeeeehaw!

Reno, Nevada
The brand new Gilley’s at the Nugget Casino Resort in Reno is a one-stop shop for Western-style entertainment. The 11-thousand square foot facility has a 250-seat saloon and features world-class barbecue. Get your boots a scootin’ with lots of line dancin’ and two-steppin’.

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Swagger in and settle down for some down-home Western grub in an elegant setting at the historic Sage Room Steakhouse at Harveys Lake Tahoe. A landmark since its opening in 1947, Sage brings back the authentic old West with décor from the Washoe Indian tribe and more meat on the menu than you can shake a stick at!

Park City/Salt Lake City, Utah
History buffs can find out first-hand how it was to live like one of the pioneers pushing into the unknown west by visiting the Deuel Pioneer Log Home, one of only two remaining original structures built by the Mormon Pioneers in Salt Lake Valley in the 1800s.

Maybe you’re actually related to Jesse James! Find out in Salt Lake City, which has been dubbed the genealogy capital of the world. The Family Search Center is an easy computer-based resource for the novice, with access to millions of worldwide records and guidance from volunteer staff. Fascinated by your family? Move on to more in-depth research at the Family History Library, the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records.

It’s a lot safer to rove the West now than it was in Jesse’s day, so plan to visit one of Global Discovery Vacations’ western destinations and enjoy the wild of the West with the luxury of modern convenience!

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is active with local community and city theatre.