If you're new to Campbell County, you may not know where to grab lunch, where to take the kids or which restaurant is best for a romantic evening – but a few locals do, and they’re willing to share some insider information. Read on to discover their recommendations based on your situation when you set out to explore.
Checking out Campbell County on your own? Resident Ann Edwards suggests heading to downtown Gillette for a day of eating, drinking and shopping.
“It’s fun to spend a Saturday in downtown Gillette, just walking up and down the main street,” Edwards says. “You can shop, pop into one of the coffee shops [such as Brothers Coffee], grab a cupcake at Alla Lala Cupcakes and Sweet Things or visit Breanna’s Bakery, and in the evening, you can have a nice meal at Fiesta Tequila Mexican Restaurant or The Chophouse Restaurant.”
When it comes to shopping downtown, Edwards recommends Magpie Designs, which she says has “all kinds of fun things from Wyoming and Montana, including unique clothing and home goods.”
For more shopping options, Edwards suggests heading a few miles south to Gillette’s Powder Basin Shopping Center that features a mix of big-box stores and specialty shops like Boot Barn and Heaven to Earth. Within walking distance of the shopping center is I Siciliani, another must-visit restaurant that Edwards says is “a little gem that’s tucked away, so people don’t always notice it, but they have great Italian food.”
Date Nights ... and Days
According to resident Laurel Vicklund, who with her husband owns Peregrine Academic Services and Peregrine Leadership Institute, Campbell County couples never run out of fun date-night destinations and day-time activities.
“There are a lot of opportunities in this community,” Vicklund says. “There’s always something going on at CAM-PLEX, and Gillette College hosts events like Saturday University, which takes place on Thursday nights and features speakers from various backgrounds. Plus, our AVA Community Art Center offers classes like Uncorked, where you can paint while enjoying wine or a cocktail with your partner.”
She suggests eating lunch at Candy’s Taqueria, known for its authentic Mexican food, and grabbing a to-go dinner at Pizza Carrello, a restaurant offering wood-fired gourmet pizzas. For a more formal dinner, Vicklund recommends Jordan’s Western Dining, which she says has a “wonderful atmosphere,” and she and her husband enjoy sushi meals at Sapporo Japanese Restaurant. Vicklund also praises The Coop – a restaurant specializing in Latin American cuisine – and calls it “one of Gillette’s best-kept secrets.”
Families with kids of all ages have plenty to do in Campbell County, too. Local mom Samantha Granat, who has a 9-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter, says the community’s many events keep them busy throughout the year.
For example, Granat says her kids enjoy the Children’s Festival at CAM-PLEX, a free annual event that includes a petting zoo, fire trucks and more than 20 exhibitor booths. She also recommends the Gillette Main Street Ice Fest, which features an ice-carving competition, make-your-own s’mores, free hot chocolate and more. Another favorite is the Pumpkin Festival, where kids can carve and decorate pumpkins, play games, get their faces painted and decorate cookies.
“Everyone wants to do things for and with their children, so people in the community have created a bunch of kid-friendly events,” Granat says.
When community events aren’t taking place, Granat suggests taking children to The Adventurarium and the Campbell County Rockpile Museum, and she says her kids love going to Teacher’s Corner/Kid’s Mart in downtown Gillette.
“Teacher’s Corner/Kid’s Mart has lots of toys out for children to play with,” Granat says. “My kids could spend hours in there; they want to look at everything.”