Laramie may conjure up visions of the Wild West, but this historic college town is more than just fantasy. It’s home to the University of Wyoming, myriad outdoor recreation opportunities, and some unexpected arts and culture. Give this humble town a visit and enjoy the beauty of the west.
Where to stay:
For a traditional hotel stay, the Hilton Garden Inn in the University area is convenient and close to attractions like the University of Wyoming Art Museum. The Mad Carpenter Inn is a popular bed and breakfast with charming guesthouses and a warm breakfast. For a more authentic western experience, the VeeBar Guest Ranch has cabins and other lodging experiences with activities like horseback riding and cattle herding.
Where to eat:
Family-owned diner J’s Prairie Rose serves breakfast all day and is beloved by locals. Coal Creek Coffee Company brews coffee from their own roastery and acts as a community hub for the small town of Laramie. They have two coffee locations, uptown or downtown, as well as a tap house that serves craft beer. Dinner at the Altitude Chophouse and Brewery includes brisket, salmon, burgers, and pizza. They have vegan and vegetarian options, too.
What to see:
Laramie is beautiful any time of year, but it’s wise to know that wind, cold, and snow can start up in early fall and last through late spring. Seasonal shifts happen quickly in this neck of the woods, so take that into account when planning outdoor activities.
- Situated in the Medicine Bow National Forest and just 10 minutes east of Laramie are ancient rock formations called Vedauwoo. The name comes from the Arapaho word “bito’o’wu” meaning “earth born.” While in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area, explore the Turtle Rock Trail, a 2.8-mile loop that winds through the rock formations.
- The University of Wyoming Art Museum is part of the eye-catching architecture of the Centennial Complex, designed by architect Antoine Predock. The art museum is free to visitors of all ages. While in the complex, stop by the American Heritage Center, a repository of rare books, manuscripts, and university archives.
- Downtown Laramie offers a self-guided walking tour beginning at the Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Check out The Laramie Mural Project, a display of large-scale murals by local artists that energize the downtown area.
- A visit to the Wyoming Territorial Prison Historic Site might sound weird, but its 30-year history of housing violent and desperate outlaws is intriguing— to say the least.
For more travel ideas: Laramie Area Visitor Center