From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
The capital of the state of Wyoming (and named after a powerful and resourceful Native American tribe), Cheyenne combines the small-town western feel with big-town amenities. Here are our favorite things to see, do, and explore in Cheyenne.
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Wyoming is nothing if not wild, which is why there are so many incredible state and national parks and preserves in the Cheyenne, WY area. Here are a few to add to your itinerary.
Covering more than 1,100 acres of pristine and untouched Wyoming wilderness, the Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge creates a comfortable home environment for many different types of flora and fauna across its two distinct habitats: greasewood/grassland upland and alkali flats. Amongst inhabitants you may find pronghorn on land, as well as a wide range of migratory fowl and songbirds, such as black-crowned night herons, western meadowlarks, and Brewer’s sparrows, just to name a few.
Located halfway between Cheyenne and Laramie, Curt Gowdy State Park is a worthy stop on the way — and worth making a trip all its own, too. Covering more than 3,300 acres of rolling hillsides, dramatic granite rock formations, and a variety of beautiful water reservoirs, this park is popular for activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and also offers a well-developed on-site campground for both RV and tent campers.
Just about an hour northeast of Cheyenne, close to the Nebraska border, Hawk Springs State Recreation Area beckons. A relatively small preserve, this recreation area is still big on outdoor adventure opportunities, particularly for water-based activities like boating, fishing, and swimming, thanks to its large on-site reservoir. The park also offers a small campground, but it fills up fast, so be sure to have a backup plan!
Along with its state park status, Guernsey State Park has also been listed as a National Historic Landmark, thanks in part to its many intact examples of CCC-built structures. Along with its 6,000 acres of beautiful wild landscape, this park also boasts an informational museum and even a castle, and its onsite reservoir makes for a great place to swim, boat, and fish.
From hiking and wildlife spotting to hunting and fishing, the Laramie Peak Wildlife Management Area is your one-stop shop for all things outdoors. One of the least developed areas in the entire state of Wyoming, this 37,000-acre preserve is open seasonally and offers many once-in-a-lifetime adventuring opportunities, not the least of which is summiting Laramie Peak, an endeavor that requires climbing more than 2,700 feet over the course of a 10-mile hike.
Although technically south of the border in Colorado, Lory State Park only takes an hour or so to reach from Cheyenne, and it offers a whole different kind of Front Range experience. Its network of trails is well-loved by hikers and cyclists alike, and it’s also an ideal spot for horseback riding. Climbers are also frequently spotted on this park’s dynamic cliffsides, but be sure you have the know-how before you tackle those rocks for yourself!
During the cold war, missile alert facilities were tucked around the country, “hidden in plain sight,” ready to launch the most destructive weapons mankind has ever made if need be. Today, the Q-01 Missile Alert Facility Wyoming State Park preserves the last remaining missile alert facility of its type, and offers visitors a unique look into what life was like for those who were stationed inside.
One of the best parts about Cheyenne is that you don’t have to go far at all to find some incredible hiking opportunities. No matter your fitness or interest level, here are some of the best trails in Cheyenne to get your boots dirty on!
Short, sweet, and simple, Lions Park Loop is tucked away into the community park of the same name, and measures almost exactly a single mile with negligible elevation gain. Offering lakeside views and wildflowers when they’re in season, this trail is great for a quick walk or run, and is also open to well-behaved, leashed dogs.
A quick drive over the border into colorful Colorado, and you’ll find yourself at Bent Rock Trail, another worthy option for a beginning hiker looking to get some miles under their belt. At three miles in length and about 300 feet in elevation gain, this still-easy trail is a bit more of a challenge than Lions Park Loop, offering some gently undulating rocky hillsides and river views along the way. Enjoy the contrast of the green plants against the red rock landscape, all with blue skies above to punctuate the scenery even more.
A short, easy-to-moderately-challenging trail close to downtown Cheyenne, the Canyons Trail and Highline Loop runs just over a mile and a half altogether and sees a little less than 200 feet in elevation gain, which is to say it’s steep in some sections, but likely achievable for many hikers. This trail is best used during the temperate months between May and October, but a light dusting of snow makes for an even more beautiful trek — so it might just be worth bundling up and facing the cold!
What’s better than a beautiful walk in nature? A beautiful walk in nature that leads you to a waterfall, of course! Crow Creek Trail to Hidden Falls allows Cheyenne locals to go waterfall chasing without having to go too far from home at all, and at three-and-a-half miles and about 350 feet of elevation gain, this easy-to-moderate hike is achievable for a wide range of adventurers. It’s absolutely stunning in the snow, too!
The name of this hike might be a mouthful, but Pole Creek, Haunted Forest, Moose Loop and Meadow Trail bears the distinction of offering a wide range of natural habitats in the course of a single hike. As you make your way through the landscape, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and birds — as well as mountain bikers, who also like to make use of this beautiful pathway. This hike measures just over six and a half miles and climbs almost 700 feet along the way, putting it into the moderately challenging difficulty category.
With the incredible diversity of adventures to take in Cheyenne, you’re going to need some good fuel to keep you going. Good thing there are so many wonderful restaurants in town, offering every type of cuisine your heart could desire! From Mexican to Italian and beyond, here’s where to eat in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
A classic Cheyenne destination, Poor Richard’s Restaurant combines a casual ambiance with a cozy, intimate atmosphere, offering high-class meals in a comfortable setting. A winner of many awards, this spot is known for its rotating menu full of fresh favorites lovingly crafted in-house from the best local ingredients.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better, as Cheyenne locals who frequent Destination Taiwan know. Built into what was once a drive-through coffee shop, this incredible Asian eatery serves up immaculately crafted crowd pleasers, including authentic Chinese dishes like braised pork rice, braised chicken drumsticks, and milk tea. In other words, it’s not just another Americanized Chinese restaurant. (Plus, it’s the smallest licensed kitchen in the state of Wyoming — definitely something to see!)
Looking for an authentic taste of old Tuscany? Napoli’s is the go-to favorite for those in search of the best Italian restaurant in Cheyenne, and its broad menu of delicious, authentic dishes includes all your favorite comforting carbs as well as noteworthy wine selections. Catering is also available for large events and gatherings, though the quaint dine-in eatery offers a lovely place to sit back, relax, and allow yourself to be served.
Wyoming may be about as far north of the Mexican border as you can get without crossing over the other border into Canada — but make no mistake about it, you can enjoy some delicious and authentic Mexican eats in town! Hacienda Guadalajara Cheyenne is one of the best places in the community to enjoy fresh, authentic, spicy Mexican meals, and they also offer a full bar so you can choose which of your favorite adult beverages to wash it all down with. (We recommend, of course, a margarita.)
Whether you’re after a refreshing roll of sushi or something more hearty and satisfying, like pho, Bejo Sushi and Asian Cuisine offers a great opportunity to get an authentic taste of the east right here in Cheyenne. Better yet, vegetarian and vegan options are available for those following a plant-based lifestyle. There’s truly something for everyone!
From lazing about in the Cheyenne sunshine to watching cowpokes wield their lassos, there are so many incredible things to do in this western city. Here are some of our top picks for this weekend — or whenever you want.
Got the kids along for the adventure? Yeehaw — it’s gonna be a good one! Here are some of the coolest all-ages options to explore in Cheyenne.
The western frontier is essentially synonymous with railroads — and at the Cheyenne Depot Museum, you and your family get an up close and personal look at the locomotives that helped make this land what it is today. The museum offers a wide range of exhibits and the location hosts many events throughout the year, including special Depot Days that get the whole family in on the action.
Want to learn how the west was once — and how that legacy has made this place into what it is today? The Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum is one of the largest celebrations of cowboy culture in America, and the museum features a wide range of historical artifacts and exhibits that will help you understand exactly what life was like here, way back when. This organization also hosts what’s locally known as, simply, The Rodeo — an action-packed event full of spectacular animal husbandry and talent. Don’t miss it!
With a goal of collecting, preserving, and displaying the important artifacts that help us understand who we are and what brought us here, the Wyoming State Museum is chock full of incredible surprises and discoveries, including real dinosaur bones as well as Native American ephemera, informative exhibits about this state’s coal mining history, and more.
There’s certainly no shortage of to-dos under the bright Wyoming sun — but what about once night falls? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of diversions to keep your attention!
A honky-tonk that has it all, The Outlaw Saloon is stocked with a full bar, talented bartenders, pool tables — and most importantly, a dance floor and a regularly updated schedule of world-class live entertainment to encourage you get out there and get down with your bad self. Whether you’re looking for things for couples to do in Cheyenne or a night out on the town with your buddies, this is the first stop on the map, for sure.
If you’re after a slightly more laid back after hours experience, head to 2 Bar Bowl, the local bowling alley and party spot. Along with its well-organized lanes, this place also offers an on-site cafe and bar so you can enjoy some delicious eats and drinks while you face friends and family in friendly competition.
You don’t have to sell the farm to get familiar with Cheyenne! Here are some of the best spots in town to enjoy on the cheap — or even for free!
Want to wander around a vast plantery populated by both local and exotic specimens? Explore the flora that calls the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens home as part of a trip to Lions Park — or make the trek just for the gardens themselves. Either way, thanks to generous sponsors and donors, you won’t have to pay a cent for the privilege of checking ‘em out!
With an original cornerstone dating all the way back to 1887, the Wyoming State Capitol Building is a bona fide piece of history — one you can experience for yourself on a free self-guided tour. Along with feeling the stories of this long-standing structure, you’ll also get to revel in its incredible architectural details.
Sometimes, taking the scenic route is a destination all its own. Wyoming Highway 210, otherwise known as Happy Jack Road, runs from the heart of Cheyenne to Interstate 80, passing directly by Curt Gowdy State Park on the way. All you have to pay for is the price of gas to enjoy these beautiful scenes!
Sometimes, you just need to treat yourself with a bit of tenderness. Here are the best day spas to head to for some pampering in Cheyenne.
Dedicated to helping you both look and feel your very best, Adora Day Spa is Cheyenne’s premier destination for massage in a wide range of modalities, facials, body treatment, hair removal, manicure and pedicure services, and more. This location even offers select medical spa treatments such as dermal fillers and skin resurfacing.
Getting in shape — and staying that way — isn’t an easy task. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are some of the best gyms and yoga studios in Cheyenne for those looking to work it all out.
Fitness is about self-determination and hard work, yes — but it’s also about community and support. Fitness One offers all the equipment you need to make your fitness goals a reality, in the context of a friendly community environment that will motivate you and pump you up to get the job done. (Plus, they have a comprehensive fleet of equipment, so you’ll be sure to find what you need!)
Yoga is about more than holding strange positions and synching your breathing to your motion — although those can definitely be strengthening exercises. Rather, yoga is about finding the connection between the mind and the body and cultivating strength of spirit as well as body. At Little Lotus Yoga, compassionate and professional guides will help you find the perfect practice of your own.
While you certainly don’t have to get outside of Cheyenne to have fun, there are some worthy day trips within an easy drive! Here are some top contenders.
The third-largest city in town after Cheyenne and Casper, Laramie is just an hour north and well worth the drive. Along with the scenic views along the way (and the different skyline), this spot offers its own bevy of unique museums, shops, and eateries.
Head about an hour south, and you’ll find yourself in Fort Collins, Colorado, a significantly bigger city that offers a nice urban change of pace from Cheyenne’s more small-town vibe. Meander amongst the city’s historic houses, built in the 1800s, or sit back and enjoy a latte in one of its many coffee shops.
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Cheyenne that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Cheyenne? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.