Stage Stop in downtown Jackson, Wyoming. Image credit randy andy via Shutterstock

8 of the Most Charming Small Towns to Visit in Wyoming

Wyoming is situated in the Western portion of the United States and enjoys rugged landscapes where dinosaurs once roamed within sweeping landscapes that seem impossibly vast and untouched. National Parks are found within proximity to Wild West frontier towns which have evolved over the years into thriving communities with their finger firmly on the pulse of their cultural heritage. Nature is held in high regard here as well, as highlighted by artists who focus on the natural world as well as local outdoorsmen who offer their expertise during guided mountain climbing and fishing excursions.

If you are looking for an opportunity to enjoy an authentic Wild West experience, Wyoming is the real deal, and the following eight small towns reflect the Cowboy State's charm in abundance.


Downtown street in Jackson, Wyoming.
Downtown Jackson, Wyoming.

The Jacksons Hole Rodeo puts Jackson, Wyoming at the top of the list of the most charming towns in the state because this family-run enterprise is one that celebrates over 100 years of Wild West heritage, featuring events in bareback riding, bull riding and mini bull riding as well as many others. While in Jackson, a visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art provides the opportunity to view over 5,000 original works of art focusing on wildlife from around the world from prehistoric times on up to modern times. With paintings by such renowned artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, John James Audubon and Andy Warhol, this is a museum that is sure to please any patron.

The nearby Grand Teton National Park presents visitors with 485 square miles of wilderness to enjoy including recreation areas as well as lakes for fishing, trails for hiking, and opportunities to encounter bison, bear, bald eagles, and elk.


Sunset on Louis Lake near Lander, Wyoming.
Sunset on Louis Lake near Lander, Wyoming.

Lander, Wyoming is the place to be for anyone who wants to try their hand at mountain climbing. The Wind River Climbing Guides in Lander provide customizable mountain climbing adventures which can be designed to suit your personal preferences as a climber. Whether a novice, or seasoned veteran of the sport, this experience is as educational as it is adventurous. For a wild time in the backcountry, Moto Wyoming has motorcycle rentals for guests who prefer to explore the paths less taken by motorbike. Guided Tours are offered along the Sinks Canyon Road and the Discovery Route, which is located at the Southern portion of the famous Wind River Mountains.

Trails also meander through the region’s Red Desert where customized tours include opportunities to enjoy fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking. The Fremont County Pioneer Museum tells a vibrant tale about the town’s heritage with a vast collection of artifacts on public display, but that's not all. They also have adventure treks and discovery speakers on such topics as sheep shearing and gardening for children.


Wyoming's legendary meeting place, the Mint Bar, in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Wyoming's legendary meeting place, the Mint Bar, in Sheridan, Wyoming. Image credit Sandra Foyt via

The Wild West tradition is alive and well in the town of Sheridan, Wyoming, which is why this charming small town receives big accolades. The Don King Museum is the first stop to make while in the area as it showcases some of the best Western memorabilia around, exhibiting authentic weaponry, saddles, horse-drawn vehicles (such as a hearse, for example) as well as a large variety of authentic ropes for sale, designed to make the perfect lasso. The nearby Bighorn Mountains are easily accessible from Sheridan and visitors can expect to revel in plenty of the most breathtaking scenery whiling hiking, taking the opportunity to snap stunning wildlife photography, or exploring ancient geological sites. In season, ice-climbing in Bighorn is also a real treat.

Make your stay in Sheridan complete with a night or two at the Historic Sheridan Inn. Your stay at this famous destination will put you in the same place where Buffalo Bill and The Wild West Show once frequented. Originally constructed in the late 1800s, the Inn’s design was inspired by buildings in Scotland with such features as a wraparound porch and dormered windows. Its legacy lives on as the Inn has been renovated and restored for modern day use with a bar and grill.

Green River

The scenic Green River area in Green River, Wyoming.
The scenic Green River area in Green River, Wyoming. Image credit Victoria Ditkovsky via

The first place to visit while in charming Green River, Wyoming, is the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. Here you will enjoy a chance to see thousands of artifacts and research materials, which focus on the heritage of the Southwestern portion of the State. Tales from the lives of early homesteaders, Native Americans, fur trappers, and authentic cowboys are brought to life by the museum’s collection, while the dinosaur exhibit also reminds patrons that Green River used to be the old stomping grounds of dinosaurs. Expedition Island is Green River’s own little paradise and offers prime fishing spots and launching sites for canoes and kayaks as well as walking trails and a playground where the little ones can romp and have fun.

The annual River Festival provides homemade food, authentic Cajun cuisine and a variety of vendor booths while the Tomahawk Tavern is the place to taste some of the finest Wyoming spirits in the area. Wines and craft beers are also on the menu, beckoning you to quench your thirst while also enjoying the chance to paint your own wine glass at one of their popular sip and paint events.


Laramie, Wyoming Ranch Sunset
Charming Laramie, Wyoming ranch at sunset.

The American Heritage Center, in Laramie, Wyoming, represents one of the many attractions within this popular university town that make it one of the most charming communities in the State. The Heritage Center is of an irregular design, formed to resemble the region’s natural landscape, and it offers archival research facilities as well as virtual exhibits for all to enjoy. Laramie’s Geological Museum carries on the same educational spirit through scientific research facilities as well as educational exhibits, including displays that highlight the region’s dinosaur population and a plethora of dinosaur model exhibits. Admission is free.

Outside of town, The Medicine Bow Mountains are a mere 27 miles from Laramie and are an expansive swath of canyons and valleys as well as five major mountain ranges with 12,000 foot peaks and 6,000 foot valleys, while also boasting a variety of lakes and tributaries. Visitors are welcomed to enjoy hiking, snow shoeing, and ice-climbing, in season.

Rock Springs

Overlooking Rock Springs, Wyoming.
Overlooking Rock Springs, Wyoming.

In Rock Springs, Wyoming, The Sweetwater Speedway kicks things up a notch or two with car racing, dwarf racing, and even a kid’s derby while the White Mountain Golf Course has a 27-hole championship golf course. Speed demons and golf lovers will be pleased to spend a little time at these locations while art lovers will be right in their element at the Community Fine Arts Center, considered to be one of Rock Spring's cultural hotspots. Permanent and changing exhibits showcase the world of local and regional talent and the Center’s performing arts sector provides programs for those who would like to get involved. The center began as a passion project by a local teacher and blossomed into the art hub of the town with hundreds of paintings in its collection.

You don’t have to be naughty to enjoy a nice brew at the Bad Joker Brewing Company, a drinking establishment that takes great pride in their homemade wine, which receives rave reviews on a consistent basis. They also serve spectacular concoctions such as the Butterscotch Toffee Coffee Porter or the Filthy Sanchez wheat beer.


The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, Wyoming.
The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, Wyoming. Image credit Cheri Alguire via

Buffalo, Wyoming, is a bright spot on the map when it comes to charm with it’s famous Historic Occidental Hotel, which truly sets Buffalo apart considering the 140 years of notable western hospitality it has provided, becoming one of the most authentic and historically significant destinations in the area. Decked out in Western themed interiors, the Hotel has been fully renovated and offers modern amenities. The hotel’s saloon, originally opened in 1908, serves up fine dining as well as live music and it even has its very own café. Famous guests include Theodore Roosevelt among many others.

The Jim Gatchell Museum reflects Buffalo’s rich Native American heritage in its exhibit that feature a huge variety of over 40,000 artifacts from Gatchell’s positive relationship with the local Indigenous Peoples, as made evident in the collection of clothing, firearms, and other items they gifted to Gatchell. For something a little more contemporary, visit Margo’s Pottery, a local gallery with functional pottery that also conveys a touch of whimsy. Handmade jewelry, fabric arts, paintings and handmade utensils are also on exhibit.


Scene from downtown Cody, Wyoming.
Downtown Cody, Wyoming.

Total authenticity is what it’s all about in the charming town of Cody, Wyoming, where the Old Trail Town boasts a truly award-winning experience within a real frontier town in the Rockies. Everything is authentic here, including the artifacts, buildings, grave sites, and cabins where real outlaws slept. The Cody Night Rodeo also keeps the theme of authentic cowboy culture alive and well with its professional rodeos that are the longest running in the nation.

Nightly performances draw crowds from all over to observe award-winning shows by the best riders in town showcasing their talents on raging bulls and bucking broncos. Plenty of seating is available so there’s no need to worry about making a reservation. Thirty minutes outside of town, the stunning Shoshone National Park presents 2.4 million acres of wilderness, including alpine lakes and rugged forestlands. Enjoy camping, hiking and cycling during your visit.

Wyoming provides a Western experience unlike anywhere else in the country thanks to venues like The Cody Nighttime Rodeo, which keeps the cowboys jumping every night, while the famous Occidental Hotel showcases Old West-era charm and hospitality the cowboys of old grew to know and love. Mountains ranges as diverse as any on earth can be found in Wyoming as well, like the ones in the Medicine Bow Range, where dramatic peaks and valleys are separated by thousands and thousands of feet. Along with all the natural splendor, Wyoming’s charming small towns also go to great lengths to preserve their history through their collections of artifacts, buildings, and public spaces that reflect its genuine, homegrown Wild West roots.

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