Why oh why visit Wyoming? Because it’s a beautiful state that many Americans have never seen, with natural attractions that are among the most inspiring in the nation. Plus there are numerous manmade sites worth seeing, too. So here are some vacation suggestions for your stay in The Cowboy State:
1. Watch Water Boil
Hike, camp, boat, fish or sightsee at Yellowstone National Park, where the most popular attraction is Old Faithful. The boiling water geyser erupts every 35 to 120 minutes for two to five minutes, and paved roads provide close proximity to the natural occurrence. Other park-viewing highlights include three deep canyons, rivers, mountain ranges, waterfalls and Yellowstone Lake.
2. Observe Big Monsters
Bring the kids to Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis to view more than 30 mounted dinosaurs, including a 106-foot-long Supersaurus skeleton. Other highlights are a 35-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex and a triceratops, and the Walk Thru Time exhibit allows visitors to follow the rise of dinosaur species.
3. Experience the Old West
Spend a few hours at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a complex of five museums in Cody. The center opened in 1917 to preserve the legacy of legendary hunter and showman Col. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and the most popular attraction is a Cody Firearms Museum that houses the largest collection of American-made guns in the world.
4. Watch Wild Horses
Get in your vehicle and drive between Green River and Rock Springs to experience the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour, where untamed horses gallop free across the open prairie. Maps of the 24-mile loop are available in both cities, and also often seen are deer, pronghorn antelope, coyotes and sage grouse.
5. Appreciate Amazing Art
Take in the National Museum of Wildlife Art, located on a bluff in the center of an actual wildlife habitat in Jackson Hole. The quartzite façade building has 14 galleries, a sculpture trail, museum shop, Rising Sage Café and Children’s Discovery Gallery, and artists represented include Picasso, Rembrandt, Audubon, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol.
6. Visit the Tetons
Travel 10 miles south of Yellowstone to see Grand Teton National Park, which features a 40-mile Teton Mountain Range highlighted by its tallest Grand Teton Mountain. The park is ideal for hiking, fishing, camping and mountaineering, and a 42-mile scenic loop drive is perfect for witnessing some amazing natural sights.
7. Bring Your Credit Card
Wear comfortable shoes for a shopping spree to Frontier Mall, located in Cheyenne and one of only three malls in all of Wyoming. The enclosed complex features 80 stores including five anchors, and there are several restaurants on the property. There are almost never any empty store fronts, and the mall is never ultra-crowded.
8. Behold the Elks
Plan a winter trip to the National Elk Refuge where thousands of elk migrate to Jackson Hole during the cold weather months. Well-maintained roads accommodate about one million visitors annually, and other animals to see include bighorn sheep, bison, coyotes, deer and moose as well as cranes, eagles, hawks and trumpeter swans.