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Located in the southeast region of the state, Cheyenne is Wyoming’s capital, although it may feel more like a small town to many. Surrounded by vast open space, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, but you’ll find lots to do right in the city as well. Despite its size, there is a wide range of attractions to enjoy in this top Wyoming destination, many of which are related to the area’s peak during the days of the Wild West, including these.
What Is It? Cheyenne Frontier Days dates all the way back to 1897, starting as a cowboy roundup. Today, it takes place over 10 days, featuring a daily rodeo, a carnival, parades, an Indian Village, a Western Art Show, and major concerts with big-name musicians.
Why Do It? This is one of the largest music/rodeo events in the world, known as the “Daddy of ’em All” for both quality and size. Even those who aren’t into rodeo will find plenty of fun to enjoy here.
Good to Know: While any style of clothing is fine, this is the perfect time to don that cowboy hat, flannel shirt, and a pair of boots to get into the Western spirit.
What Is It? The Nagle Warren Mansion is a mansion designed and built as the most expensive home in the West, completed in 1888 for a cost of $50,000 (over $1.5 million in today’s money). While it’s now a B&B, public tours are available throughout the year.
Why Do It? It’s a Victorian time capsule for getting a taste of the good life back in the late 1800s and even following in the footsteps of famous figures like Buffalo Bill Cody, presidents Roosevelt and Taft, Billy the Kid, and more who were entertained in the Parlor Room and enjoyed meals in the Dining Room. If only the walls could talk!
Good to Know: The guided tours are free and at Christmas time, visitors can enjoy the “Tinsel Through Time” exhibit with holiday decor throughout the years in every room.
What Is It? The chance to explore Cheyenne the old-fashioned way, riding a trolley where you can hop on at various points and exit at any time to visit various sites around the city.
Why Do It? The Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley is a fun and easy way to tour Cheyenne, visiting museums, shops, restaurants, and other attractions whenever they catch your eye.
Good to Know: Themed tours are available for special occasions, including Halloween ghost tours and festive Christmas tours.
What Is It? Located in Lion Park, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens offers the chance to enjoy nature in the middle of the city.
Why Do It? There is a wide variety of award-winning, curated displays with every type of flower imaginable along with family-friendly activities in the Paul Smith Children’s Village.
Good to Know: The grounds are open from dawn until dusk, while the Grand Conservatory and Paul Smith Children’s Village is open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 5 pm.
What Is It? A railway station that now serves as a museum with vintage steam engines, model trains, exhibits on the Transcontinental Railroad, and more.
Why Do It? While trains haven’t run through the depot here for many years, it stands as a testament to a time when the railroad played a significant part in life in the West.
Good to Know: The Cheyenne Depot Museum is a kid-friendly attraction, providing a place not only to learn but to have fun, perhaps posing with some of the historic tools and other objects.
What Is It? The Terry Bison Ranch is a historic 27,500-acre bison ranch that’s been in operation since the 1880s and offers a variety of fun activities for the whole family.
Why Do It? They say it’s “America’s only bison train tour,” with opportunities to ride an old-fashioned train right into the ranch. You’ll not only encounter the famous bison herds, but other animals, including mules, donkeys, horses, llamas, and even camels.
Good to Know: It’s possible to enjoy horse riding around the property, feed and pet bison and cattle, and fish for your dinner in the fishing pond. There is a restaurant and gift shop on the grounds as well.
What Is It? Cheyenne is home to Antiques Central, which includes some two dozen vendors as a one-stop shop for finding rare treasures, collectibles, and keepsakes.
Why Do It? It’s fun just to browse, with just about anything sold here, from jewelry and art to books, clothes, toys, and furniture, but everything is vintage.
Good to Know: You can go beyond Antiques Central too as there is a great collection of flea markets and antique shops throughout the town, bringing the opportunity to bring home a slice of the city’s history.
What Is It? The Wyoming State Museum is a state-run museum focused on Wyoming’s history and cultural heritage.
Why Do It? If you have any interest in the state’s history, including prehistoric times with fossils and dinosaur bones, you’ll want to visit.
Good to Know: This is one museum where the kids won’t get bored – they can even climb into a covered wagon, play with items from the 18th and 19th centuries, and dress up in colonial costumes.
What Is It? A self-guided walking tour of Cheyenne’s historic district, which includes several blocks downtown.
Why Do It? Seeing the huge, mansion-like homes is one of the top things to do in the city. Anyone who appreciates gorgeous architecture and history will enjoy this tour.
Good to Know: Stop at the visitor center to pick up a map with several routes that can be taken, from a 0.7-mile-loop to a 1.7-mile journey that travels all the way to the Wyoming State Capitol building.
What Is It? A theater and National Historic Landmark in a building that dates back to 1887 and opened as a theater in 1908.
Why Do It? The Atlas Theatre is a great way to experience some old-fashioned fun with melodramas hosted here every summer. There are also comedy shows, concerts, musicals, workshops, and other events held at the theater as well.
Good to Know: The melodramas include audience participation which makes it even more fun as you can throw popcorn at the villains.
What Is It? The Nelson Museum of the West is a museum focused on the Wild West era in the U.S.
Why Do It? It features some of the most comprehensive exhibits focused on America’s early days with thousands of artifacts, including everything from silver spurs and saddles to colorful sombreros that highlight Mexican culture.
Good to Know: Don’t miss the beadwork and artwork created by the Pueblo and Plains tribes.
What Is It? A museum that focuses on the heritage of women in the West who did everything from raising families in the wild frontier to branding, riding, and sometimes even performing in rodeos.
Why Do It? The Cowgirls of the West Museum is a fascinating place to learn about the rarely discussed female role in the Wild West, with outstanding exhibits that include women’s attire, photos, tools, decor, and much more.
Good to Know: In the gift shop, you’ll find many Wyoming-made products along with books, western art, jewelry, and a children’s area, with all proceeds going to toward enhancing the museum.