Lewis Lake in the Snowy Mountian Range of the Medicine Bow National Forest near Laramie, Wyoming.

8 Picturesque Small Towns in Wyoming for a Weekend Retreat

Wyoming is not nicknamed the “Equality State” for no reason. This state played a major role in the political history of the nation. Despite its history, this state remains the least populous after Alaska. Located in the Mountain West subregion, Wyoming is a popular destination for people looking for outdoor adventures mixed with a perfect blend of the Midwestern lifestyle. Whether you are looking for a place to unwind or rediscover yourself, this western state should be on your bucket list. From Green River to Laramie, there is a long list of small towns that are perfect for little retreats. Get some travel essentials ready for a getaway full of relaxation, tranquility, and leisure.

Green River

Statue of two miners and Visitor Center sign, Green River, Wyoming.
Statue of two miners and Visitor Center sign, Green River, Wyoming. Image credit Victoria Ditkovsky via Shutterstock.

Welcome to Green River, the seventh-most populous city in the southwestern part of the state. This city is the county seat of Sweetwater County. Surrounded by many rock formations, this place is perfect for relaxing and unwinding.

You can start at the Green River Chamber of Commerce and learn about the hidden gems in this small town that add to an authentic vacation. Move from there to the Wilkins Peak Trail System and get the chance to hike up the numerous trails, from the Chanel surfing trail to the Brent and Mikes Trail. 

The next stop is a self-guided audio tour, Trona Trail. Green River is popularly known as the “Trona Capital of the World,” Trona being the key ingredient in making many household items like toothpaste. Explore the Seedskadee National Wildlife, a 27,230-acre riparian wetland. This refuge is an important migratory route for waterfowl species. Wondering where to stay during all these activities? From Little Bear Motel to Hampton Inn & Suites Green River, you can pick a place that fits your style and pocket.


The beautiful Saratoga Lake in Wyoming.
The beautiful Saratoga Lake in Wyoming. Image credit: Peter Flass via Wikimedia Commons.

With a population of less than 2,000, Saratoga might be overlooked as another ghost town in Wyoming. However, there is far more to this town than meets the eye, from its hot springs to delicious local cuisine. 

Usually, if one is considering going on a retreat, it is to escape from the reality of life, and this area is perfect. Start your vacation by lodging at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. The resort offers access to its mineral hot springs, which are believed to have healing properties! Once settled in, you can begin exploring the town. Start from the Hobo Hot Springs and move down to the Brush Creek Distillery for locally brewed whiskey. If you’re a fan of history, then you’re in for an amazing time at Saratoga Museum. End the weekend with a visit to Saratoga National Fish Hatchery and a meal at Bella’s Bistro. 


Aerial view of Jackson, Wyoming.
Aerial view of Jackson, Wyoming.

If you love to ski, then you should visit Jackson Town. This town is often mistakenly called “Jackson Hole,” the name of the valley where it is located. It is famous for its three ski resorts, Jackson Hole Mountain, Snow King Mountain, and Grand Targhee Resort (approximately 45 miles from Jackson).

In the heart of Jackson is the beautiful Town Square, formerly called the George Washington Memorial Park. It is in the middle of several restaurants and shops. With four distinctive Elk Antler Arches, every entry and exit is unique. 

Observe the perfect combination of wildlife and history at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. When you’re done exploring within the town’s limit, venture out a little to visit the Grand Teton National Park. Your stay will not be complete without a comfortable place to stay. Explore your options, starting from the Antler Inn to the Town Square Inns of Jackson Hole.


The countryside around Laramie.
The countryside around Laramie.

Are you a fan of college football? Laramie should be at the top of your bucket list for places to go for a weekend retreat. This town is home to the University of Wyoming and the Wyotech, but it is more than your regular college town. 

Start your vacation by being a part of the school spirit. Explore the University of Wyoming and see what college students are up to this time of the year. While here, visit the University of Wyoming Art Museum to watch a popular rotating exhibit and the Geological Museum to get a picture of the Big AL and  Allosaurus fossils. Still within the University’s wall is the Williams Conservatory, which observes over 600 plant species blossom all year round due to the special indoor environment. 

History buffs will have fun uncovering the town’s past with a visit to the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site or the Wyoming Women’s History House. Discover hidden gems in Laramie through directions from local Innkeepers at any of the available accommodations, such as the Hampton Inn. 


Downtown Cody, Wyoming. Image credit Steve Cukrov via Shutterstock.com
Downtown Cody, Wyoming. Image credit Steve Cukrov via Shutterstock.

This town was named after William Frederick Cody for his integral part in founding Cody. It is the seat of government for Park County in Wyoming. Here is a rundown of what a weekend here would be like. 

Visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a complex of five museums. The five museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Draper Natural History Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Plains Indians Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Each of these museums tells a unique story, and they are worth visiting.

Visit the Kirwin Ghost Town. An area that was once inhabited by miners in search of gold but was impacted by natural disasters. This town is located close to Cody, and with the help of a tour guide, you can explore the nooks and crannies of Kirwin. Searching for where to stay while you are here? Check out Elephant Head Lodge or Robin’s Nest Bed & Breakfast.


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

Coming number one in True West Magazine’s “Top Western Towns in 2006,” Sheridan is a municipality in Wyoming worth spending the weekend. From biking to swimming, there is an endless list of things to do here. 

Ever wondered what life looked like in the 18th century? The Historic Sheridan Inn allows you to take a step back in time in its vintage-styled rooms. Each of these rooms is named after somebody important to Buffalo Bill Cody, another name for William Frederick Cody, founder of Cody Town. Go shopping at the Crazy Woman Trading Company, and grab a plate of Wyoming cuisine while at it. 


Downtown Lander, Wyoming.
Downtown Lander, Wyoming. Image credit PDTillman via Wikimedia Commons.

Lander is a small town in the central part of Wyoming with a population of less than ten thousand. Visit this area for a relaxing weekend and watch the days go by so fast. Start off at the historic Main Street. The street is flooded with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. 

Sinks Canyon State Park Visitor Center is a tourist hotspot in Lander. The center has displays on birds of prey, wildlife habitats, and geology. From there, just South of the town is the Sinks Canyon State Park, and you can have fun fishing and swimming—lodge at Holiday Inn Express & Suites to rest after a long day outdoors. 


Famous elk antler arch in the downtown area of Afton, Wyoming. Image credit melissamn via Shutterstock
Famous elk antler arch in the downtown area of Afton, Wyoming. Image credit melissamn via Shutterstock.

A small town in Lincoln County that offers the therapeutic relief you deserve is none other than Afton. As you take a walk along the downtown area, pay attention so as not to miss the “World’s Largest Elk Antler Arch,” and take pictures as a souvenir for your family and friends back home. Watch the locals produce handmade olive oil and goat milk soaps from scratch at Salt River Soap Works; Wyoming's rustic Western lifestyle inspires each soap scent. Approximately 41 miles from Afton is the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Spend the entire day exploring the great outdoors before finally retiring to your bed at Colters Lodge. 

Wyoming might not look like it because of its population size, but there are many treasures to unearth when you visit these towns. Get to discover hidden gems in the most unusual places, enjoy taste buds shaking western cuisines, and don’t forget to grab a glass of beer from the local beer pub. Pack your bags and get on the next flight to Wyoming this weekend!

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