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12 Best Things to Do in Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Known for its classical Old West feel and cowboy culture, Cheyenne is Wyoming’s largest city and capital. The city welcomes thousands of tourists annually to explore its unique beauty and culture. I’ve gathered a list of my favorite things to do in Cheyenne. Take a look and mark down anything you want to try!

In southeast Wyoming, Cheyenne features an endless list of great things to do and see. This is an excellent choice for all visitors, with historical museums, monuments, botanical gardens, high-end restaurants, luxury hotels, and more.

One of the reasons I love Cheyenne and continue to visit Wyoming each year is that it feels like an undiscovered oasis and a very budget-friendly getaway destination.

TL;DR

Category Our Pick
Best Tour In Cheyenne Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley
Best Thing To Do In Cheyenne With Kids Visit Terry Bison Ranch
Best Place To Hide From Wyoming’s Wind Cheyenne Botanical Garden
Best Thing To Do For Nature Lovers Hike To Curt Gowdy’s Hidden Falls
Best Museum In Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
Best Place To Go On A Rainy Day Cheyenne Union Depot
Best Fishing Spot In Cheyenne North Crow Reservoir

Things to Do in Cheyenne, Wyoming

1. Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley

Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley in front of the Union Depot Plaza, Wyoming
Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley / Facebook

Address: 121 W 15th St #202, Cheyenne, WY 82001

These 1920s-era streetcars run every 90 minutes and deliver tourists a “jump on, jump off” experience, but only on weekdays. Tourists may hop off whenever they want to explore these striking tourist attractions and take the next bus, which passes by in 90 minutes. 

On summer weekends, the tour stops at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum for half an hour for no extra charge. A professional tour guide will provide narration during the ride, allowing visitors to become familiar with the city’s historical sights. 

See Related: Best Places to Stay in Cheyenne

2. Wyoming State Museum 

Building Front of Wyoming State Museum
Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons, CC0

Address: 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001

The Wyoming State Museum is a historical, cultural, and educational institution that dates back to the 1890s, and visiting is one of the best things to do in Cheyenne for a history buff.

The goal of the building is to collect, preserve, and interpret artifacts that present the natural and human history of the state and the Rocky Mountain West.

The Ghosts of War exhibit here is my favorite, as it examines the history of war in America from the Revolution through the present day. The collection is tied to early pioneers and modern-day heroes, and the artifacts gathered include items that saw Civil War battlefields and participated in both World Wars.

Anyone traveling through on their way to Yellowstone will enjoy the Wagon 99 experience, where you can see a restored touring wagon and read a diary that recounts what it was like to visit the first national park way back when.

Remember how I mentioned that Cheyenne is a particularly budget-friendly city? The Wyoming State Museum offers free admission! The museum is closed on Sundays and all Federal and State holidays.

See Related: Things to Do in Casper, Wyoming

3. Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park
Mark Brennan from Boston, MA, United States of America / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 1264 Granite Springs Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82009

Nestled between Cheyenne and Laramie, Curt Gowdy State Park is a great place to spend the day outdoors without heading too far from the city.

Spread over 3,395 acres, the 35 multi-use trails of the park provide access to panoramic views, geological features, waterfalls, and rolling landscapes. If you’re looking for one of the best things to do in Cheyenne and are a nature lover, you’ve found your place.

This public recreation area is a treat to travel through, with a reservoir, archery range, and campground. One of the best hikes here takes you along Crow Creek to Hidden Falls – but prepare to get wet!

You’ll need to wade in the creek to find the waterfall – and the first time I did this hike, I didn’t expect it and walked around with soggy socks for an hour. Despite my wet feet, this hike is always one of my favorite things in Cheyenne.

Curt Gowdy State Park is also a great spot for fishing. Granite, Crystal, and North Crow Reservoir provide tons of space to cast a line, and there are creek access spots, too.

All three reservoirs are home to rainbow trout. Crystal and Granite are also great places to catch kokanee salmon, and North Crow offers splake, rainbow and brown trout, and grayling.

See Related: National Parks to Visit in November

4. Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Address: 710 S Lions Park Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82001

For nature lovers, Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is among the must-visit spots in Wyoming. The gardens feature beautiful and sprawling collections, plants, and landscapes.

You will find various flowers, plants, trees, and medicinal herbs. There’s also a cactus garden and a separate community space enabling citizens of Cheyenne to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs. 

Volunteers maintain Cheyenne Botanic Gardens to ensure a positive impact through the therapeutic value of gardening. You can also rent this stunning place for weddings – talk about a fairytale. It’s one of my favorite places to visit on a windy winter day because the indoor conservatory will warm you.

Paul Smith Children’s Village makes up one big section of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens complex, and it’s a top spot to visit with kids. The garden area features fun, hands-on exhibits like a sheepherder wagon from the Wild West, a wetland boardwalk, and a farmers’ windmill.

See Related: Famous Landmarks in Wyoming to Visit

5. Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum

Front of Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum
Mark Goebel / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

Address: 4610 Carey Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001

The Old West Museum educates people about the history of Cheyenne’s Frontier Days. The museum houses an exclusive collection of Western American art, historic clothing & artifacts, and one of the United States’ most extensive selections of carriages. 

The Old West Museum will take up a few hours, and you’ll learn a lot about living in the Wild West during early settlement and frontier exploration. Of course, the best time to visit the Old West Museum is during the Frontier Days festival, held every July.

The museum also features a store, children’s programs, and a Cheyenne Frontier Days “Hall of Fame.” The property hosts summer camps for children aged 5 to 12 and advanced Western art camps for 10 to 14-year-olds. It’s a great spot to visit on a rainy day and close enough to the Cheyenne Depot Museum that you can easily combine the two in a day trip.

6. Cheyenne Depot Museum

Cheyenne Union Pacific Depot and Depot Plaza
pabrady63 / Adobe Stock

Address: 121 W 15th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

Established in 1887, the Cheyenne Depot Museum is one of the last depots remaining from the old era of train travel. This National Historic Landmark building was once the largest train depot in the West, and today, it’s a tribute to the modernization of transportation.

It describes the story of the city’s beginnings during the making of the Transcontinental Railroad in the 19th century. The Depot Museum’s history is fascinating – and we recently learned from Sarah Gadd, Museum Curator, that if the construction had been delayed just a year, it would likely not be standing here.

Completion of the depot in 1887 proved timely for the city and region. Construction of the Depot began in 1886 with Cheyenne as the wealthiest city in the world, per capita, because of the cattle industry. With construction of the building underway, Wyoming experienced the worst environmental disaster in its recorded history.

After years of range overgrazing by area cattle ranchers, the region experienced an extremely dry summer in 1886 that killed much of the forage. This was followed by the worst winter on record, with snow, icy winds, and sub-zero temperatures that ravaged the northern plains.

Starving cattle froze to death. The resulting carnage was unprecedented. The die-off amounted to tens of thousands of cattle, with some ranchers losing up to 85 percent of their herds. The cattle industry was decimated from Montana to Texas.

The bankrupting of such a large industry had a rippling effect on the territory’s economy that impacted the railroad, which relied heavily on revenues from livestock shipping. With Wyoming on its knees economically, it is unlikely that the Cheyenne depot would have been built had it been undertaken a year later.

This Depot Museum also features a model train and two historic steam engines: the 844 Steam King and Challenger 3985. The locomotive 844 Steam King was the last engine made for the Union Pacific Railway, and Challenger 3985 is the world’s largest steam engine in running condition. 

Accomplice Beer Company is one of the best breweries in the state, located right in the Cheyenne Depot Plaza. Be sure to stop by for a flatbread and a craft brew – my favorite lunch spot in town.

See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit

7. Terry Bison Ranch

Bison and calves in a field at Terry Bison Ranch in Cheyenne, Wyoming
CheriAlguire / Adobe Stock

Address: 51 I-25 Frontage Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82007

Located on the border of Wyoming and Colorado, Terry Bison Ranch is a 27,500-acre working ranch. The ranch is home to around 2,500 American bison, camels, horses, and ostriches, and you’ll meet them all when you go for a ride on a custom-built mini-train. You can even feed the bison!

The Kids Corral at the ranch is perfect for keeping little ones busy with pony rides, a Ferris wheel, and a trout lake. Tourists can enjoy horseback rides on the prairie and cattle drives that include herding cows from one grazing space to another while on horseback. 

The ranch’s Senator’s Steakhouse is one of the best steakhouses in Cheyenne. It’s known for serving locally sourced steak and burgers, ribs, and classic Western food.

The crew also hosts cookouts in summer, so if you’re looking for a great way to spend the day, a trip out to the Terry Bison Ranch is hard to top.

See Related: Warm Winter Backpacking Destinations

8. Cheyenne Civic Center

Musicians Performing Live at  Cheyenne Civic Center
United States Navy Band / Flickr

Address: 510 W 20th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

Live music can be hard to track down in Wyoming, but the Cheyenne Civic Center is one spot that always has a show to present. Off-broadway productions of musicals like Cats and Phantom of the Opera draw huge crowds.

Despite Cheyenne being so close to Denver, it’s not unusual for nationally touring musicians to book a night at the Civic Center. The spacious center can easily accommodate up to 1,500 people, making it an intimate place for performances without worrying about selling out.

9. Cheyenne Big Boots

Big Boots Statue in the Snow
Jason Rosenberg / Flickr

Address: West 15th Street and Pioneer Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001 

If you’re in Wyoming, don’t skip a tour of Cheyenne’s Big Boots. This attraction features eight-foot-tall cowboy boots hand-painted by local artists to display the city and state’s history. 

There are around 25 boots, with themes such as Where the Deer and the Antelope Play, Downtown Cheyenne, Don’t Feed the Animals, Governors of Wyoming, and others. Each boot tells a different story about Cheyenne and Wyoming.  

Go on a scavenger hunt with your group to cherish the distinct history of the place. Your trip to Cheyenne isn’t complete without a couple of enormous cowboy boot selfies.

10. Historic Governors’ Mansion

Old Mansion with Night Lights
Matt Howry / Wikimedia Commons

Address: 300 E 21st St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

Built in 1904, the Historic Governors’ Mansion is a beautiful building. Constructed in Colonial Revival style, the mansion is a two-and-a-half-story building with a separate carriage house and a full basement. 

The building was used by Wyoming’s governors from 1905 to 1976 as their residence, but now it’s a historic house museum. Each room in the mansion reflects characteristics of different eras, with unique music in the background. 

The property is wheelchair accessible, and visitors need appointments for guided group tours. The tour of the mansion is, again, free.

11. Cowgirls of the West Museum

Exhibit at Cowgirls of the West Museum
Cowgirls of the West Museum / Cowgirls of the West Museum

Address: 205 W 17th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001

The Cowgirls of the West Museum was founded in Cheyenne by five women who grew up there. They realized that while the stories of the men who “settled” the West were told all around town in museums, in the historic Governors’ Mansion, and during tours on the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley, these same landmarks and experiences rarely spoke of the women who lived here all this time, too.

These women knew the stories of their grandmothers and mothers – rodeo queens and barrel racers, suffragists who ensured that Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote, and homemakers who established communities in desolate and isolated environments.

The museum opened its doors in 1995, and since then, it has been amassing a huge collection of cowgirl memorabilia, including news articles, videos, photographs, artifacts, boots, and horse tack from the cowgirls that helped shape Wyoming’s history.

12. Camp, Hike, or Climb at the Vedauwoo

Summer sunset viewed at Vedauwoo in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest outside of Laramie, Wyoming
Kyle Spradley / Adobe Stock

The Vedauwoo is one of the coolest places on the planet – and the rocks here are among the oldest on the planet, too! The hoodoos are made of Sherman granite that’s over 1.4 billion years old.

You’ll find this unique campground and natural area between Cheyenne and Laramie, and it’s well worth a day trip from either city. If you’re a rock climber, chances are the Vedauwoo is already on your bucket list, but even if you’ve never climbed before, it’s a good place to start.

Would you prefer to keep your feet on the ground? There are miles of trails around the unique rock outcroppings, a family-friendly campground, and several picnic areas for day visitors.

Wyoming Highway 210, or Happy Jack Road, is the most scenic way to get to the Vedauwoo (and Curt Gowdy State Park, too). Of course, you can take I-80, but Happy Jack is one of the most scenic drives in Wyoming, and I-80 is just a windy interstate.

Best Places to Stay in Cheyenne

1. Little America Hotel & Resort Cheyenne Top Recommendation

Stay at the Little America Hotel & Resort Cheyenne, a Wyndham Grand hotel. Located in Wyoming’s capital city, our Wyndham Grand resort is near restaurants and shops. Enjoy views of the Rocky Mountains from our on-site golf course or relax in an outdoor hot tub. Take a dip in the seasonal outdoor pool or exercise at the fitness center. Explore downtown Cheyenne’s museums and historic attractions, or visit the nearby National Historic Trails Interpretive Center for a taste of local history.

2. Red Lion Hotel Cheyenne

The Red Lion Hotel Cheyenne features a restaurant, fitness centre, a bar and shared lounge in Cheyenne. This 3-star hotel offers an ATM and luggage storage space. The accommodation provides an indoor pool, free WiFi throughout the property and a 24-hour front desk. At the hotel, each room has a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. Guest rooms at Red Lion Hotel Cheyenne include air conditioning and a wardrobe.

3. Cheyenne Guest Inn

Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, Americas Best Value Inn Cheyenne offers affordable accommodations with free hot breakfast and friendly service. We offer a variety of room choices to meet your needs, including non-smoking rooms, accessible rooms and cribs. The hotel is conveniently located near several area attractions such as Frontier Park, The National Center for Atmospheric Research and Wyoming State Capitol Building.

How to Get Around Cheyenne

Once you’re in Cheyenne, there are several services that you may take to visit this beautiful region. Visitors should rent a car to get to places like the Terry Bison Ranch, Curt Gowdy State Park, and the Vedauwoo, as public transit is nonexistent here.

If you plan to stay in the city and enjoy Cheyenne Depot Plaza, Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, and the Frontier Days Old West Museum, you can make do with taxis and rideshare services. Uber and Lyft both exist in Cheyenne.

FAQs

When is the best time to visit Cheyenne?

Wyoming weather can be brutal, so the best time to visit Cheyenne is likely June through September. Mild weather in the summer means pleasant days with plenty of sunshine. June is still considered tornado season, but Wyoming has fewer severe storms than other prairie states.

Cheyenne is also a popular winter destination. It’s more affordable than Denver and close to the Snowy Range Ski Area. Eldora, an Ikon Pass resort, is just over two hours from Cheyenne, but the traffic can be pretty bad on weekends and holidays.

What are the best events in Cheyenne?

Cheyenne Frontier Days is the best festival in all of Wyoming, and it’s been part of July in the Cowboy State since 1897. Known as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo and Western Celebration,” this is the place to do it if you want to wear a cowboy hat and step back in time. Attending Frontier Days is one of the best things to do in Cheyenne.

How many days are enough to explore Cheyenne, Wyoming?

Cheyenne offers so much to keep tourists engaged and entertained during their visit. If you visit this beautiful city with your family or friends, spend at least three days there. If the weather cooperates, get to Terry Bison Ranch for one of those days. It will take up your afternoon and evening, but it’s worth it.

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