14 Best Things to Do in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Travelers to Cheyenne, Wyoming get to experience this capital city's cowboy-rich culture and Old West history. A stop into Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum and the Cheyenne Depot Museum gives you a glimpse of what life was like for those moving west to settle the American Frontier. A walk through the town's historic district details the mining and railroad history with the impressive hotels and homes that came along with the boom. Every July, Cheyenne hosts a Frontier Days festival, which includes rodeos, parades, and Native American performances. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the city's two golf courses, paddle boat rentals, and hiking trails. Cheyenne offers so much to do, keeping visitors busy exploring all the region has to offer.

01 of 14

Recreate at Curt Gowdy State Park

Landscape view of Curt Gowdy State Park

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1264 Granite Springs Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82009, USA
Phone +1 307-632-7946

Halfway in between Cheyenne and Laramie sits Curt Gowdy State Park, a public recreation area covering 3,395 acres. Within the park, 35 multi-use trails give you access to sweeping views, rolling landscapes, interesting geological features, and waterfalls. The trails here are considered some of the best mountain biking trails in Wyoming, as the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) awarded the park the designation of "epic." The park also contains a campground for overnight stays, a boat ramp to access Granite and Crystal Reservoirs, an archery range, and a visitor's center. Spend a weekend here taking in all the activities, while catching a glimpse of the park's wildlife and birds.

02 of 14

Look For Cheyenne's Big Boots

Big boot statue in Cheyenne

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Peruse the town in search of Cheyenne's 25 handpainted Big Boot statues, including boots depicting the people, places, and things of Cheyenne, the outlaws of Wyoming, and the governors of Wyoming. Download the audio tour and make a scavenger's hunt out of your day, as some boots lie within city limits, and others are located on the outskirts of town. Together, the Cheyenne Depot Museum Foundation and the Downtown Development Authority developed this “These Boots are Made for Talking” project as a way to raise money for the Cheyenne Depot Museum Endowment Fund. Each boot was painted by a local artist and tells a story about the region's culture.

03 of 14

Catch a Concert at the Cheyenne Civic Center

Concertgoer gives peace sign

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510 W 20th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001, USA
Phone +1 307-637-6363

The Cheyenne Civic Center performance venue hosts 1,500 people and holds events like country music concerts, children's programs, worship services, and holiday happenings. See what's playing when you're in town, and then book yourself a seat at the theater. The civic center is conveniently located near the city's major hotels, making it easy to pop in for a cultural night out. Afterward, head into town for dinner and drinks. Also check out the adjacent Ice & Events Center, which hosts ice performances, hockey games, comedy shows, and a circus.

04 of 14

Explore the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum

Deadwood Stage Exhibit at Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum

Matthew Idler

4610 Carey Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001, USA
Phone +1 307-778-7290

The Old West Museum features the history of Cheyenne's Frontier Days, the world's largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration. It also includes a rich collection of western artifacts and exhibits that highlight the culture of the region. The museum houses a significant offering of horse-drawn vehicles—many in their original condition—including, stagecoaches, a milk wagon, and a chuckwagon. The Old West Museum also features a Cheyenne Frontier Days "Hall of Fame," children's programs, and a museum store.

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05 of 14

Walk Historic Downtown Cheyenne

Downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming
Dennis Macdonald / Getty Images

Built around the railroad, mining, and cattle ranching boom of the Wild West, Cheyenne thrived during the decades proceeding Wyoming's state incorporation in 1890. The city's historic downtown reflects this colorful past in the form of grand hotels, stately business buildings, and lavish homes. Take a self-guided walking tour to learn interesting facts and rich stories about these historical buildings and the characters behind them. Brochures with maps and descriptions of over 50 of the city's structures are available online, at local businesses, and through the Cheyenne Visitor Center.

06 of 14

Attend a Parade at Cheyenne Frontier Days

Budweiser Clydesdale team at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade
Matthew Idler
4610 Carey Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001, USA
Phone +1 307-778-7290

Cheyenne's biggest event of the year, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Festival, runs for 10 days each July. Known as "the daddy of 'em all," the professional rodeo competition is the main attraction. Each scheduled rodeo includes a full range of events, like bronco and steer riding, along with entertaining acts hosted in the rodeo pen. Other festival offerings include the Grand Parade (which runs for several days in a row), the Chuckwagon Cookoff, an air show, and concerts performed by national country music stars. The Indian Village hosts Native American dance performances, storytelling, and food and vendor booths. The Wild Horse Gulch, an Old West street fair, includes food and craft booths, plus live entertainment.

07 of 14

Get Hands-On at the Wyoming State Museum

The front window of the Wyoming State Museum
Matt Bilden / USAF / Public Domain
2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82001-3110, USA
Phone +1 307-777-7022

The exhibits and collections at the Wyoming State Museum feature both the natural history and the cultural heritage of Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain region. During your visit, you'll learn about the mountains and prairies of Wyoming, as well as the people who inhabited them. Displays cover everything from dinosaur fossils, to pioneer-era trails, to Wyoming's transition from a territory to statehood. The resident wildlife and the displays focused on natural resources are also favorites of visitors. One gallery called the "Hands-on History Room" is designed to tell Wyoming's story in an interactive way that appeals to children.

08 of 14

Learn About the Railroad's History at the Cheyenne Depot Museum

The Cheyenne Depot Museum and Plaza
Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons / CC PD
121 W 15th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001, USA
Phone +1 307-638-6338

Cheyenne's initial growth was primarily due to the development of the railroad, which played an important role in the further settlement of the American West. The magnificent Cheyenne Depot served the Union Pacific Railroad operations in 1887, and is now preserved as a National Historic Landmark. The Depot Museum, located on the first floor of the building, offers exhibits related to railroad history. You'll also find a restaurant and brewery, offices, and an event space. The Cheyenne Depot Plaza serves as an outdoor community space, hosting events like the annual Depot Days and the city's New Year's Eve celebration.

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09 of 14

Ride the Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley

Cheyenne's downtown trolley

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For an informative and relaxing tour of the city, climb aboard the adorable red and green Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley. The journey begins at the Depot Building, and then drives through the historic business district, passing by the grand homes of former land barons and ending with a view of historical railroad relics. An expert guide provides narration during your ride, relaying bits of trivia and history about the town. During the weekdays, passengers have the option of hopping on and off at each of the seven stops, while on weekends and holidays, tours are without pause during the 90-minute excursion.

10 of 14

Tour the Wyoming State Capitol Building

Wyoming State Capitol Bulding
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200 W 24th St, Cheyenne, WY 82001-3642, USA
Phone +1 307-777-7767

Completed in 1890, on the same year Wyoming was granted statehood, the Wyoming State Capitol Building is constructed of locally quarried stone and built in a grand classical architectural style. The building is open for self-guided tours on weekdays, and group and guided tours require advance arrangements. During your visit, explore the capitol's interior public spaces, including the rotunda and its gorgeous stained-glass dome. Depending on the day's business schedule, you may also be able to view colorful murals, stained glass windows, and ornate fixtures in the various legislative chambers and meeting spaces. Outside, take in the architectural details of this National Historic Landmark, and view sculptures and monuments honoring Wyoming's important citizens and events.

11 of 14

Explore Wyoming's Historic Governor's Mansion

Historic Governors' Mansion in Cheyenne Wyoming

Matthew Idler

300 E 21st St, Cheyenne, WY 82001, USA
Phone +1 307-777-7878

Wyoming's state governors, and their families, occupied this home from 1905 to 1976. This stately Colonial Revival mansion has now turned into a historic museum that is open to the public for tours. During your free staff-guided or self-guided tour, you can explore the rooms on all three floors, and the basement, on Tuesday through Saturday. Furnishings and artifacts representative of life in 1905, the 1930s, the 1950s, and the 1960s are scattered about. Pay special attention to the Governor's Den, the basement fallout shelter, the VIP guest bedroom, and the library.

12 of 14

Wander Through Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Paul Smith Children's Village at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Matt Idler

710 S Lions Park Dr, Cheyenne, WY 82001-7503, USA
Phone +1 307-637-6458

Located between the Cheyenne Frontier Days Park and the airport, the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens provides you with a colorful place to stroll on a summer afternoon. Over 25 different gardens can be found on the grounds, including rose gardens, perennial gardens, a xeriscape garden, and a cactus garden. While there, check out the Shane Smith Grand Conservatory, featuring lush, tropical plants. Children will enjoy the Paul Smith Children's Village, complete with gardens, landscapes, and featured structures, like a windmill, a sheepherder wagon, and a geodesic dome.

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13 of 14

Ride Horses at Terry Bison Ranch

Man riding a horse


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51 I-25 Frontage Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82007, USA
Phone +1 307-634-4171

Seven miles south of Cheyenne you'll find a 27,500-acre working ranch with over 2500 head of bison, as well as ostrich, camel, and horses—all for view via a ride on a custom-built mini train. Guests can also play cowboy during a one-hour guided trail ride. And for kids, Terry Bison Ranch's Kids Corral keeps little ones occupied with a Ferris wheel, pony rides, and a trout lake. Guests won't go hungry at the ranch, either, as the Senator's Steakhouse and Saloon serves up award-winning Bison short ribs and burgers, alongside other classic western food. During the summer, the ranch hosts cookouts that draw in both locals and tourists.

14 of 14

Go to Jail at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site

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975 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070, USA
Phone +1 307-745-6161

Visit the temporary home of Wyoming's worst desperados at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site. Built in 1872, the prison housed the most menacing black hats of the era, including Butch Cassidy, before transforming into an agricultural scientific research facility in the early twentieth century. Today, visitors can explore the prison cells, picnic on the site's 197 acres, wander through exhibits, and visit the gift shop. The facility is open June through September, Thursday through Monday, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm., and is about a 45-minute drive from Cheyenne.

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14 Best Things to Do in Cheyenne, Wyoming