Located on the high plains between the Snowy Mountain Range and the Laramie Mountain Range, Laramie sprang to life with the establishment of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. The town's Old West and railroad heritage can be seen in its charming downtown and experienced at a variety of local attractions, including the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site and the Laramie Plains Museum.
Here are some recommendations for fun things to see and do while visiting Laramie, Wyoming.
Established in 1872, when Wyoming was still a US territory, this Laramie prison has housed the famous "Old West" outlaw Butch Cassidy. Today, visitors to this popular historic site can enjoy a walking tour of the complex, taking in various exhibits in buildings that include the Broom Factory, the Warden's House, and the Horse Barn. Guided tours are offered on select days, including a once-a-month nighttime lantern tour.
Located in the grand and historic Ivinson Mansion, the Laramie Plains Museum showcases items collected locally. Built in 1892, the mansion was the home of prominent Wyoming businessman Edward Ivinson and his family for many decades. Later, it served as a home for schoolgirls. It is now open for tours and has space available for special events. The mansion has been restored and its rooms are furnished with items that illustrate life in Wyoming's early settlement years. You'll see lavishly decorated living areas and bedrooms along with the more humble, but still fascinating, domestic workspaces.
Located just east of Laramie, Curt Gowdy State Park has a lot to offer whether you're a day visitor or plan to camp overnight. The park's three reservoirs are all popular for fishing, both from the shore and from a boat. Miles of hiking, biking, and horse riding trails pass through the park's varied terrain, along the lake shores and up and down hills. There are areas designated for mountain bike play, outdoor archery, horse camping, and wildlife watching.
Located in a distinctive teepee-shaped structure, the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center collects and preserves historical documents, maps, and photographs. While the facility serves scholars and researchers, it does have some exhibits available to the general public. This includes paintings by such prominent Western artists as Henry Farnys and Frederic Remington.
Wandering Laramie's historic downtown is a fun way to spend some time. You'll find well-preserved buildings that are packed with Old West charm, including a Carnegie Library that now serves as an official City of Laramie space. There are stores offering Western art, apparel, and souvenirs as well as sporting goods and gift items. Downtown Laramie rest stops include bar and grills, steakhouses, and cafes.