If you didn’t already know, now you do: Cheyenne, Wyoming, should be on every American’s Travel Bucket List! Between the massive rodeo and 10-day festival that is Cheyenne Frontier Days to the awesome museums, from the incredible locally-owned restaurants and friendly people, there’s something for everyone. Most state capitol cities are overrun all year long and have that “big city” feel that’s not always a good thing, but Cheyenne has a friendly small-towniness about it that’s charming, relaxing, and fun to experience! Here are my top 10 picks for things to do in Cheyenne!
10. Sign a Guest Book
No really, you will be signing guest books! They’re not being nosey, they’re not going to send you junk mail, it’s just one of those friendly things people in Wyoming like to do. Almost every business, museum, and even some restaurants we went to had a guest book for us to sign. They just like to know how many people visit and where they all come from, so come prepared to sign a guest book!
9. Tour the Wyoming State Capitol
The Capitol has been closed for renovations and restoration for three years and is going to reopen soon! I’m glad I have friends who live in Cheyenne now to give me an excuse to go back and take this tour! The Capitol is absolutely beautiful from the outside, so when they open it back up for tours in the next few months, I’m sure it will be beautiful on the inside, too!
8. Visit the Wyoming State Museum
This museum was such a delightful surprise! Not only is it FREE, it’s also excellent. I’ve been to a lot of museums, and I’ve worked in a few museums, and this one is well-organized, well-thought out, and informative! You can see dinosaur bones, stuffed buffalo, military uniforms of every era, historic maps (is anyone shocked that a traveler like myself loves maps?), and more!
Wyoming also boasts a lot of firsts. It was the first government to give women the right to vote (1869), the first U.S. National Park is in Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park in 1872), and Wyoming is also the first state to have a woman governor (Nellie Tayloe Ross, 1925). All that information and more is in the Wyoming State Museum!
7. Visit a Bison Ranch
It’s true! You can visit a real ranch. Terry Bison Ranch is more than just Bison, though. They have camels, ostriches, miniature horses, chickens, and other animals. And they have horseback riding tours. And they have train rides. And they have an amazing restaurant! It will definitely be worth your time to visit. It’s also conveniently located just inside the Wyoming state border off of I-25, making it an easy stop on the way to or from the Denver airport!
6. Take Pictures with the Big Boots
If you go to Cheyenne and don’t get a “Big Boots” picture, did you really go? I think not! There are 25 Big Boots all over town, and you can get a map at the Visitor Center to help you find them all! There is also a FREE audio tour that lets you hear about many of the boots from the artists who painted them!
5. Tour the Historic Governor’s Mansion
Speaking of big, you really need to tour the Historic Wyoming Governor’s Mansion! It’s FREE, and there is an audio tour here as well. The mansion is beautiful and dates from 1905, and each room is decorated as if someone from an era in history still lives there. If you enjoy historic homes, this is right up your alley. If you don’t, you should still take a look!
4. Visit the Nelson Museum of the West
If you’re longing for a feel of the Old West, you should put the Nelson Museum at the top of your to-do list! This was a fun museum to explore, and it was just $5. You’ll get a taste of how rough the Old West could be with the gambling, outlaws, hangings, and more! And as an added bonus, you’ll see about a million pieces of taxidermy from all over the world!
3. Shop Local
If you know me, you know I do not like to shop! But I do love to support local businesses. Cheyenne had so many unique, locally-owned shops, I just couldn’t help myself! I got a pair of boots from a famous Cheyenne western clothing store called The Wrangler, a bracelet and natural soaps from The Prairie House Home Goods, and I loved looking in all the local shops right downtown!
2. Get Some Boots!
Again, I’m not a serial shopper. I’m also not a shoe shopper. But I really wanted an authentic pair of cowgirl boots! But only if they were absolutely comfortable—I do have surgically-corrected feet, after all. I was amazed at how comfortable they were as soon as I put them on! I wore them two days in a row and got no blisters, which is maybe the most amazing thing ever for my feet. I got them at The Wrangler, and Hannah was my helper. She was so kind, and she even showed me how to condition my new boots to keep them looking happy!
1. Experience the Wild West at Cheyenne Frontier Days
This is what Cheyenne is known for! I heard a few different numbers while I was there, but apparently during Frontier Days, Cheyenne goes from a small town of 60,000 to a huge city of half a million people! It’s been going on since 1897, and it’s the ultimate party: big-name concerts, rodeo, wild west show, Thunderbird flyover, and so much more! If you’re like me and you miss out on the Cheyenne Frontier Days Festival itself, no worries! Just stop into the Frontier Days Museum for only $10!
Are you ready to visit Cheyenne for the first time? Or have you been one of the many who know it from Frontier Days? Let me know below, and stay tuned for more about Cheyenne coming to the blog soon!
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