Popular Cultural Attractions in Wyoming

An overview of a few popular attractions in Wyoming.

By
Kevin Litwin
On Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 08:59

Modern Dinosaurs

Thermopolis has preserved its past - its prehistoric past. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center & Dig Sites gives visitors an insight into the creatures that roamed the region between 65 million and 145 million years ago. The center, named by America's Best and Top 10 as the best dinosaur museum in the nation, includes more than 30 mounted dinosaur exhibits, a modern preparation laboratory and hundreds of displays and dioramas. Displays in the Hall of Dinosaurs include two Velociraptor specimens, which are shown hunting the early horned dinosaur Protoceratops. The hall also is home to “Stan,” a 41-foot-tall T-Rex, and The Thermopolis Specimen, the only Archaeopteryx in North America. Tours of the 60 dig sites in a 500-acre area around the center are available when weather allows. More at www.wyodino.org.

This Place Rocks

Is that an Allosaurus? Full-scale dinosaur skeletons are among the several exhibits on display to the public at Glenrock Paleontological Museum. Numerous artifacts showcase the fields of geology and paleontology, plus visitors can sign up for scheduled digs. The museum’s director of paleontology is Sean Smith, who has been at Glenrock for 15 years. More information is available at www.paleon.org.

Art Smarts

Exhibitions in six separate galleries are for the public to enjoy at the University of Wyoming Art Museum. The museum schedules a number of special events and even hosts classes in the Shelton Studio. Visitors can also take an outdoor walking or driving tour through “Sculpture: A Wyoming Invitational and the Laramie Mural Project.” See www.uwyo.edu/artmuseum for more information.

Buffalo William

The Spirit of the American West is celebrated each day at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The museum tour begins with the land and its first peoples, and extends through the centuries to the present day. The center has been around since 1917 to showcase the Western experiences that refined the spirit of our nation. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center was recently honored with the bronze award for “2012 Favorite Museum for Groups” by the National Tour Association. See www.bbhc.org.

Tracking Trains

The Cheyenne Depot Museum exists in a downtown building that was donated in 1993 by Union Pacific to the city of Cheyenne and Laramie County. Today, it tells the story of Cheyenne’s beginnings during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Besides the museum, there are also a brew pub and restaurant on site, all at 121 West 15th Street. Additional information is at www.cheyennedepotmuseum.org.

Wild for Wildlife

More than 5,000 catalogued items can be viewed at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson. The collection dates from 2500 B.C. to the present and showcases the history of wildlife in art, focusing primarily on European and American painting and sculpture. There is also an Art in Action program that gives visitors the chance to become involved with the artistic process. See www.wildlifeart.org.

Walk This Way

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper describes the significant role of the area’s historic trails in the history of the United States. The Center opened in August 2002 to better promote public understanding of both America’s western Native cultures and historic westward expansion. Several exhibits are open to the public. More information can be found at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/NHTIC.html.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Litwin is the author of Crazy Lucky Dead and a freelance feature writer with a career spanning more than 20 years.