The capital of Wyoming, Cheyenne is a city with a rich history. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in this state as there are so many things to see and do. Although historical landmarks and attractions are high on the list of things to do in this city, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy that will suit various tastes and ages. If Cheyenne is your destination of choice, then planning your itinerary in advance means that you will not miss out on the best that this city has to offer. To help you plan ahead, the following are the 20 best things to do in Cheyenne, WY, for first-timers.
20. Watch the Cheyenne Gunslingers Show
If live entertainment is more your thing than museum then one of the best activities is to watch a show at Cheyenne Gunslingers, says Traveling Mom. This is a Wild West Show at Gunslinger Square, and every performance begins with a safety demonstration.
19. Experience Cheyenne Frontier Days
If you are lucky enough to be in Cheyenne during the Cheyenne Frontier Days, then make sure you get out on the streets and get involved. It is a western-themed event that takes place every year, and cowboys and cowgirls from across the globe go to Cheyenne to compete in various rodeo competitions. There are also parades, live music, cooking competitions, food stalls, carnival rides, and much more. This is a huge and exciting event, and you will find plenty to enjoy if you are in the area at that time.
18. Visit Wyoming Territorial State Historic Site
Trip Savvy suggests a visit to the Wyoming Territorial State Historic Site as one of the top activities to enjoy during your visit to Cheyenne. This jail was built in 1872, and some of the biggest villains have spent time there, including Butch Cassidy. In the early 20th-century, it became a scientific research facility with a focus on advancing farming techniques. Visitors can take a tour of the prison cells, explore the grounds, see a range of exhibits relating to both uses of the structure, and go to the gift shop.
17. Sample the Local Produce at the Farmer’s Market
Some amazing produce is grown and reared in Wyoming, and you have a chance to sample some of this if you visit the farmer’s market in Cheyenne. This market is outside in the warmer months, and it then moves indoors for the winter. You will find fruit, vegetables, fresh meat, cured meats, honey, lotions, and soaps on the stalls. There are also food carts so you can grab a bite to eat while you stroll around the stalls.
16. See the Big Boy Steam Engine
The Big Boy Steam Engine is the largest coal-powered steam engine anywhere in the world. In the past, it was used to pull a train between Cheyenne and Ogden in Utah. You will find this engine on display in Holliday Park.
15. Go to Wyoming State Capitol
Wyoming State Capitol is one of the most significant historical buildings in not only Cheyenne but also in the state of Wyoming. The structure was built between 1886 and 1890, and it contains the office of the Governor of Wyoming and the Wyoming State Legislature. Visitors can take a tour of the building, which is located on West 24th in Cheyenne.
14. Have Fun with the Kids at the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum
Travel Wyoming recommends a visit to the Wyoming Dinosaur Museum if you are in Cheyenne with children. This is a fun and educational attraction that all the family will love. It has one of the biggest collections of fossils in the world, and visitors have the chance to go on a real dig. Therefore, there are plenty of chances to get hands-on at this popular attraction.
13. See the Cheyenne Big Boots
A project called ‘These Boots Were Made for Talking’ involved local artists designing huge boots for display in the city, and the aim was to raise money for the Cheyenne Depot Museum. All the artists involved were told to design a boot so that it told the story it would tell if it could talk. If you want to see the boots, call into the Cheyenne Depot where there is information about the location of each of the boots. It is a fun way of exploring the city and you can take a selfie next to each of the boots to commemorate your trip. There is also a cell phone audio tour available with information about each of the boots.
12. Take a Cheyenne Street Trolley Tour
The Cheyenne Street Railway Trolleys are buses that were used in the city in the 1920s. Now they are used to give tourists 90-minute tours of the city. This is a fun way to see the sights and identify the local landmarks. It is a good activity to enjoy at the beginning of your vacation so that you can familiarize yourself with the area and identify which of the sights you would like to visit during your stay. The tours begin at the Cheyenne Depot, and riders enjoy narration throughout the tour. If you take the tour in the summer months, there is a stop at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum. This extends the tour by 30 minutes to two hours.
11. Go to the Historic Governors’ Mansion
This historic landmark was built in 1904, which was 14 years after Wyoming was granted statehood. It was designed in the Colonial Revival-style and was intended as a comfortable home for the Governor. There are two-and-a-half storys, a full basement, and a separate carriage house. Between1905 and 1976, the house was used by state governors. Since then, it has been a historic house museum. By appointment, there are guided group tours of the property. The rooms of the Historic Governor’s Mansion are designed to reflect different eras of its history. In each of the rooms, there is music playing that reflects the same era in which it is decorated.
10. Explore Curt Gowdy State Park
Those who want to explore the outdoors in the area surrounding Cheyenne should head to Curt Gowdy State Park. This public recreation area is between Cheyenne and Laramie, and it is set against the Laramie Mountains. There are 35 miles of trails, so it is a popular place for hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Nature lovers will also enjoy spending time at this state park because it is home to multiple species of birds, mule deer, and white-tailed deer. Another reason to visit is to enjoy a spot of fishing as the reservoirs are stocked with Kokanee salmon and rainbow trout. Boating and canoeing on the reservoirs are also popular activities.
9. Enjoy a Trail Ride at Bit-O-Wyo Ranch
Set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, you will find Bit-O-Wyo Ranch. Most people who come to this ranch do so to enjoy the trail rides, which leave the ranch twice a day. However, there is also a very popular dinner show hosted at the ranch every night, so lots of people combine the two activities for a full day of fun. The dinner consists of steak, baked beans, and apple sauce. While diners are enjoying their meal, they are entertained by a comedy and musical show. You can also spend the night at this attraction in one of the cabins. Another reason to visit is the spectacular views.
8. Visit the Cowgirls of the West Museum & Emporium
Something that many people do not realize is that women played an important role in the settlement of the American West. This museum is devoted to educating people on this topic. You will learn how women raised families, rode, branded, and performed in rodeos. It was for this reason that the women of Wyoming had voting rights 50 years before women in any other state. Among the exhibits are costumes, photographs, and the tools used by women.
7. Go to Cheyenne Depot Museum
Built in 1887, the Cheyenne Depot played an important role in the golden age of rail travel and it represents the opening of the American West to mechanized travel. Visitors to this building will learn about the early years of Cheyenne in the 19th century. They will also see two historic steam engines and a model train.
6. Meet the Bison at Terry Bison Ranch
There are many ranches that tourists can visit in Wyoming, and one of the best id Terry Bison Ranch. In the herd, there are 50 bison, and visitors can take an old-fashioned train into the depths of the ranch to feed the bison during their visit. On the ride, you will also see mules, donkeys, horses, and the occasional foal. Some of the more exotic creatures living on the ranch are the llamas, ostriches, and camels. This attraction also offers horse rides and the chance to take part in a cattle drive. You can enjoy a meal during your visit, as the ranch has an excellent restaurant.
5. Take the Kids to Paul Smith Children’s Village
A great day out for those who are visiting Cheyenne with children is the Paul Smith Children’s Village. The aim is to educate children about gardening in a fun way. They can build sandcastles, take part in craft classes, wade in the ponds, and play in teepees. There is a secret garden with a puppet theater, and there are weekly storytimes. As children explore the gardens, they will come across interactive spaces to learn about sustainability. This family-friendly attraction is part of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.
4. Stroll Around Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
One of the nicest places to spend time outdoors in Cheyenne is the Cheyenne Botanic Garden. This garden is predominantly looked after by volunteers, and it contains a diverse collection of trees, plants, and landscapes. Some of the sections include a rose garden, a cactus garden, a herb garden, and a labyrinth. There are also two community gardens where the local residents can grow their own produce.
3. Visit Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
The aim of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum is to educate visitors about the history and culture of the annual Frontier Days. There is also the largest collection of carriages in the world, a historic clothing display, and a collection of Western American art. Furthermore, there is an interactive children’s gallery and a research facility that is used by American West scholars.
2. Go to The Nelson Museum of the West
Everything from cowboys and Native Indians to the United States Military and western culture is covered at the Nelson Museum of the West. The museum boasts more than 14 thousand items in its collection, and there is also a book library with four thousand books. Visitors can also view a huge collection of art that includes work from Mexico, the most famous artists in the west, and the work of Plains and Pueblo Indians.
1. Learn About the State’s History at The Wyoming State Museum
According to Vacation Idea, the best thing to do in Cheyenne, WY, for first-timers is to go to the Wyoming State Museum to learn more about the area. The human and natural history of the state is the focus of the exhibits in this museum. You can learn about the flora and fauna of Wyoming and the history of the mining industry. There is a special room for children to enjoy where they can dress up in costume and handle some historical pieces. You will find something to interest and entertain everyone at this attraction, so it is an excellent day out for all the family.
Written by Liz Flynn
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