Spend a Weekend in Gillette, WY

April 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Brian McCord

Gillette, WY is located in Campbell County, an area loaded with energy-producing elements, minerals, history, culinary delights and culture. Here's a weekend itinerary that lets you discover some of the best things to do, food to eat and sites to see in Gillette and Campbell County. 

Day 1 - Friday

Time: 5 p.m.

Activity: Que up for Bar-B-que

408 S. Douglas Highway

The sweet, smoky smells pouring out of the back of Pokey's BarBque beckon you inside this rustic restaurant. Owner Ric Schuyler is the one and only pit master at this joint, where nothing comes out of a can or a box. Every item, from the baked beans and potato salad to the burgers, ribs and steaks are freshly made. Save room for an old-fashioned milkshake or malt.

Time: 7 p.m.

Activity: Nightcap in the Cellar

1205 S. Douglas Highway

Choose from more than 3,500 bottles of world class wine for a relaxing drink before calling it a night at The Prime Rib Restaurant and Wine Cellar. The private dining rooms here are surrounded by a glass-enclosed wine case. You'll want to head for the Blue Martini Lounge, where there are 22 televisions (and a full menu of cocktails, if you don't dig wine).

Day 2 - Saturday

Time: 6 a.m.

Activity: Downtown Walking Tour

1810 S. Douglas Highway

Starting at the Gillette Chamber of Commerce, take a self-guided tour of downtown Gillette when the streets are quiet and the buildings do the talking. Or if you're not an early riser sleep in and head downtown for breakfast.

Time: 8 a.m.

Activity: Bagel Breakfast

2610 S. Douglas Highway

There's likely to be a line at the counter of The Main Bagel Co. and that tells you it's a popular place. Locals keep coming back for the thick Belgian waffles, french toast, egg and steak wraps and, of course, the New York-style bagels.

Time: 9 a.m.

Activity: Rockpile Museum

900 W. 2nd Street

There are several reasons why the Campbell County Rockpile Museum should be on your “do to” list. Among the top reasons is the fact that it's FREE. The museum and the giant rockpile near it mark the Gillette's earliest settlers. Museum exhibits showcase the town's mining history, growth, sheriffs, farming, railroad, automobiles and saloons.

Time: noon

Activity: Saloon Lunch

5877 U.S. Hwy. 14

Speaking of saloons, here's one you've got to try. Buffalo Jump Saloon & Steakhouse offers an authentic western experince. The original part of the building was a general store in the 1890s. You can get you hands around a buffalo burger or go big and order the King Cowboy Ribeye, a 20-ounce hunk of melt-in-your-mouth meat. 

Time: 4 p.m.

Activity: Drive and Dine

10619 Roughlock Falls Road, Lead SD

If you time it right, your two-hour drive to the Spearfish Canyon Lodge will be lit with a beautiful golden light as the sun sets behind you. Along the way you'll see spectacular landscapes and rock formations. The Lodge, located in the Black Hills, offers a dining room with a wonderful view and mouthwatering apps and entrees like deep fried onion chips, blackened trout, pan-seared walleye, buffalo ribeye and butternut squash ravioli.

Or

Time: 5 p.m.

Activity: Ice Skating

120 South 4-J Road

Time to work off that hefty lunch. Head to the Campbell County Ice Arena and strap on a pair of skates. The arena is open for public skating from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Time: 8 p.m.

Activity: Get down at Jake's Tavern

5201 S. Douglas Hwy.

Like to party? Here's a fun place. The Nearly World Famous Jake's Tavern offers areas to get rowdy or stay calm. The bar features a more laid back area to sit, relax and enjoy a drink and a 6,000-square-foot dance hall where a variety of performers rock, jam and get down. 

Day 3 - Sunday

Time: 7 a.m.

Activity: Breakfast with the Brothers

300 S. Gillette Ave. Suite 110

Located in the heart of downtown Gillette, Brothers Coffee Company is a great place to grab a warm breakfast and a hot cup of coffee. Their breakfast burritos are popular and their Java Junkie and Oreo bars are addictive.

Got more time?

Try some of these fun activities:

Swim at the new indoor pool and water park at 250 W. Shoshone Ave.

Hunt in the High Plans, go bird watching or hiking at McManamen Park or Lasting Legacy Park.

Head to CAM-PLEX, an 1,100-acre event center and RV park that hosts a range of events from rodeo competitions and motocross races to trade shows, concerts, theater performances and craft bazaars. 

Read about more things to do in Gillette, WY.

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City Accolades

Here, things are low-key and friendly, with people waving to you as you drive down the highway. It's the way life is meant to be.

John Flocchini, Durham Buffalo Ranch