Best Places to Live

Casper, WY

Population: 59,589
Photo: Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

When it comes to great deals Casper, WY, fits the bill for a wonderful winter vacation destination at an exceptional value. Casper's hotels, restaurants and most of the city's entertainment options cost less than those in many other winter playgrounds.

The nearby Hogadon Ski Area has three lifts and 24 trails, and just minutes from downtown, Casper Nordic Center has 26 miles of groomed trails, 27 miles of back-country trails and a lighted loop for night skiing. Visitors can rent ski equipment at Mountain Sports in downtown Casper. Ice fishing adventures await at a pair of lakes southwest of the city. More than a dozen guide services in Casper provide equipment and tips for reeling in a big catch of walleye, trout and perch. For those who prefer ice skating over fishing, Casper Ice Arena offers many public skating times.

Meanwhile, Casper's many cultural and historic attractions lure visitors indoors. Visitors can experience life as a settler traveling the Oregon, Mormon and California trails in the 1800s at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. The Science Zone, Nicolaysen Art Museum and Discovery Center also have fun and educational exhibits. The downtown area, with its historic buildings filled with shops and restaurants, creates a great setting for winter walks. In addition, the Casper Events Center hosts more than 200 events each year, from snowmobile races and basketball games to trade shows and conferences.

Activities: downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, hunting

Average Annual Snowfall: 72 inches

Winter Temps: 12 to 37

Must Try: Cross-country skiing at the Casper Nordic Center