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A Weekend in Cheyenne, Wyoming

Once home to Wyatt Earp and Calamity Jane, this town still exudes an Old West feel. This year, Magic City of the Plains celebrates its 150th anniversary.

By
Ted Alan Stedman
wrangler boot barn exterior under deep blue sky in cheyenne, wyoming, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Oscar C. Williams/Shutterstock
Photo caption
The Wrangler Boot Barn is part of Cheyenne's magic.

The Wyoming State Museum's exhibits cover everything from the area's tumultuous geological beginnings to a chronology of human civilization in the region. One crowd-pleaser is the Hands-on History Room, where visitors don cowpoke or soldier outfits and learn to operate a chuck wagon and other period artifacts.

You won't find a more authentic place to turn back the clock than Messenger's Old West Museum. This private collection is a rustic time capsule with detailed displays of saddles, blacksmiths' tools, guns, and horse-drawn carriages—including one owned by "Buffalo Bill" Cody. (Read more on Cody, Wyoming.)

Want Western wear? The iconic red Wrangler Boot Barn has been outfitting ranchers since the late 1800s. At 13,000 square feet, the shop offers a broad range of attire, from the fancy—think diamond-studded cowboy hats and rattlesnake-skin boots—to the practical.

The dining room at the Luxury Diner, housed in an early 1920s trolley car, is a little piece of Americana straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The menu leans heavily on comfort-food classics, including a gravy-rich chicken-fried steak and a two-pound cinnamon roll.

Last year, Danielmark's Brewery & Tap Room bumped up the local craft brew IQ when it began serving six styles of suds, among them the refreshing Angle Iron dry Irish stout and the spicy, citrusy Bluesitra Belgian-style IPA.

Terry Bison Ranch, a working 28,000-acre ranch with 3,000 head, offers horseback riding, cattle drives, and classic cowboy cuisine. Don't miss the hour-long train ride that stops to allow passengers to hand-feed bison right from the doorways.

A natural preserve of rolling hills and granite outcroppings west of Cheyenne, Curt Gowdy State Park is known for a one-of-a-kind trail system—40 miles of paths designed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Well-marked trails mean pedalers of all abilities can ride comfortably.

This article was first published in Spring 2017. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.