CHEYENNE | Cheyenne is the capital and largest city in Wyoming. Founded in 1867, and named for the Cheyenne Native American people, the very mention of the city evokes memories of frontier days and the Wild West.
Cheyenne is a great city in which to enjoy a long weekend. Visitors to the city will find a place full of character that leans into its past, while also having a vibrant modern arts and music scene. Learn about cowboys, rodeos, and the railroads, then see a band or a show while enjoying a locally brewed brew.
Here’s my list of things to do in Cheyenne, to help you plan your visit.
Admire Authentic Historic Architecture
Cheyenne is a low-rise city. It’s tallest building is the Wyoming State Capitol, a grand sandstone building that was constructed between 1886 and 1890. You can tour the sandstone building, which is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.
Downtown is filled with beautiful Victorian-era architecture, which evokes the days of the Wild West. There’s theatres, mansions, and more, dating back to the early 1900s. Check out the Union Pacific Railroad Depot, Paramount Ballroom, and Cody Theatre.
Discover The City’s Bronze Statues
25 bronze statues have been installed across Cheyenne since 2010, with at least 30 more planned in the coming years. The statues feature western figures, people, wildlife and scenes from everyday life. They’re a representation the experience of the city, the state of Wyoming, and its people. Finding them, and reading the plaques on each, is a great way to learn assorted pieces of information about Wyoming.
Enjoy The City’s Food & Drink Scene
Downtown favourite The Albany is a casual bar and restaurant serving up American classics, while Railspur is a great choice for contemporary American eats. Another great options is The Office Bar and Grill, especially if you want to try a bison steak. For the best BBQ in town, be sure to visit T-N-T BBQ, which pops up a few times a week in the parking lot of trinket and antiques store Funky Monkey.
During the day, Paramount Cafe is a good choice for quality coffee, and tasty breakfast and lunch bites. For a drink, check out Westby Edge Brewing, Accomplice Beer Company, and Blue Raven Brewery.
Experience Cowboy and Cowgirl Culture
Cheyenne Frontier Days is a 10 day festival of rodeos, concerts, cultural celebrations, and a livestock show. It’s been run for 130 years and is the largest outdoor and rodeo celebration in the world. It happens in late July each year, and is a great way to experience the city’s cowboy and cowgirl culture.
If you’re not in town when the festival is on, there’s usually a rodeo on somewhere close to town.
Find The Giant Cowboy Boots
Dotted around downtown are 36 giant, 2.4 metre (8 foot), cowboy boots painted by local artists. Each “Cheyenne Big Boot” portrays a different theme, dealing with a different part of the city’s history. There’s the whimsical, like card-playing deer and antelope, to important events like women’s suffrage.
Learn About Wyoming’s History
Cheyenne was built in the era of the railway, and railways are one of the backbones of the city. The Cheyenne Depot Museum, a grand Romanesque stone building, teaches visitors about this history. The Nelson Museum of the West, meanwhile, deals with the ‘Wild West’ history of the city. To learn more about Cheyenne’s ranching and rodeo culture, visit the Cowgirls of the West Museum & Emporium.
Seek Out Street Art
Cheyenne isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about street art, but it’s a city that punches above its weight in that regard. There’s quite a few murals in downtown and around the industrial area in the western part of the city.
Murals are mostly painted by local artists and have a community focus. On the first Friday of each month, you can join a Cheyenne Artwalk, which are run by local artists.
Shop For Western Apparel
Consisting of a three story red-painted brick building dating back to 1892, and the adjacent former hotel is The Wrangler. It’s a one-stop-shop for ranch wear, Western clothing, hats, boots and accessories. There’s 500 different hats alone, with prices to suit all budgets. Even if you’re not intending to buy anything, it’s a fascinating store to walk through.
Spend Time In Nature
Located a 25 minute drive west of downtown, Curt Gowdy State Park is a public recreation area covering 13.7 square kilometres (5.3 square miles). It’s popular for its extensive biking, hiking, and horseback riding trails. You can also go boating, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, camping, rockhounding, and do archery.