August 17, 2020

Hundreds of museums celebrate the American West (including more than a few east of the Mississippi). But True West magazine says that a few do an especially outstanding job of presenting and showcasing the legacy of the West.

Those institutions are recognized in True West’ s Top Western Museums of 2020. The entire list of best museums is in True West’ s September 2020 issue, on newsstands August 11.

The Top 10:
10. Adams Museum, Deadwood, South Dakota
9. Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas
8. John Wayne Birthplace Museum, Winterset, Iowa
7. Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine, Texas
6. Blackhawk Museum, Danville, California
5. Museum of the Mountain Man, Pinedale, Wyoming
4. Pony Express Museum, St. Joseph, Missouri
3. Western Spirit: Scottsdale Museum of the West, Scottsdale, Arizona.
2. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming

And the #1 Western Museum—National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Two-time Spur Award-winning writer Candy Moulton and the editors of True West selected the winners for this annual award based on extensive travels, research and firsthand experiences in visiting dozens of Western museums each year.

“These Western museums are important in capturing and presenting the West, in a variety of styles, media and approaches,” says True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. “In doing so, they keep the Old West alive.”

The museum feature lists other institutions of note—including regional standouts—and the “Best Western Art Museums,” led by the Brinton Museum of Big Horn, Wyoming.

True West magazine is in its 67th year of leading the way in presenting the true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation. For more information, visit

Contact: Stuart Rosebrook

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