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It recently came to my attention that Cheyenne was recently ranked among the “worst cities for a staycation.”
Now, my complete bias towards Cheyenne aside, the dataset from WalletHub’s study that pitted us against (winners) Honolulu, Orlando, and San Francisco seemed slightly unfair. In a pool of 182 cities (our condolences to Fremont, California, ranked last), Cheyenne ranked 135th based on a weighted scale that factored in recreation (such as tennis courts, basketball hoops, and bike rental facilities per capita); food and entertainment (the cost of movie tickets, museums per capita, and presence on TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Amusement Parks); and rest and relaxation (cost of house cleaning services, public beaches per capita, and assorted Covid statistics). Clearly, Cheyenne won’t compete in all of those areas because we are a city of 65,000 people and aren’t at the point where developers want to build rollercoasters, beer gardens are still just a festival feature, and the Do Not Swim signs at Sloan Lake pretty much eliminate us from many spectacular beach ratings (sorry, Garth).
I would like to point out that literally hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world choose to vacation in Cheyenne every year – and they love it. Why? Because Cheyenne is a city rich in history, unique activities, and places to explore. So I challenge you, Laramie County residents, to take the concept of staycation to heart and give the place you call home a chance. Want some help? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Step 1 – Make a plan with vacation in mind.
A staycation isn’t just life as usual – it is choosing to do activities and spend money on things you wouldn’t typically. Still on a budget? I recommend downloading one of the digital savings passes that Visit Cheyenne has available, as they will stretch your dollar farther!
Step 2 – Pick your dates and use them to your advantage.
What’s going on in the area? (Pro tip: Check our Events Calendar!) With as huge as our entertainment and live music scene has been getting, chances are you could get to a show or two, if that’s your jam. Festivals and farmers markets fill up summer weekends on top of the daily tourist options!
Step 3 – Be willing to look through a tourist’s eyes.
Set aside the local politics or any biases you may have and choose to just have fun! The amenities that are developed traditionally for “tourists” are always at your disposal too. Go see what they have in store for you and your family.
“I’ve already done everything.” Have you? Have you really?? Recently? To get your brain flowing, here’s some starters:
- Go on a trail ride or feed the bison at Terry Bison Ranch
- Explore the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center
- Rent a stand-up paddleboard or kayak (available at both Sloan Lake and Curt Gowdy State Park)
- Guzzle your way through the FREE Daddy of the Malt Craft Beverage Trail
- Boo the Villain and Cheer the Hero at the Melodrama
- Descend 50 feet underground to the missile launch capsule at Quebec 01 Missile Alert Facility Historic Site
- Let the kids play at the FREE Downtown Splash Pad
- Find all the Big Boots and learn about the artists on the FREE audio tour
- Discover a life gone by at the FREE Texas Trail Museum
- Wade out to the Hidden Falls at Curt Gowdy State Park
- See Buffalo Bill Cody's carriage at the FREE Messenger Museum
- Do the FREE history scavenger hunt downtown
- Devour a quarter-pound cookie from Mary’s Mountain Cookies
- Chat with the volunteers at the FREE Cowgirls of the West Museum and Emporium
- Drive a model train at the Depot Museum
- Rent a Re-Ride bike and explore the Greenway
- Get up close and personal with ranch life at the Homestead Experience at Pine Ranch
- Dress up for pictures at Emma’s Old Time Photos in the Hynds Building
- Sip Bubble Tea under the giant Blue Bison mural at the Paramount Café
- Book a scrap party at Alexis Drake
- Sample craft beers at Blue Raven Brewery on the shady patio
- Dance the night away at the Bunkhouse
- Handfeed bison from the train at Terry Bison Ranch
- Eat and play like a cowboy at the homegrown Hell on Wheels Chuck Wagon Dinner & Rodeo
- Try on boots and hats at the Wrangler
- Find a new favorite boutique downtown
- Blend the perfect tea at the downtown apothecary, Hawthorn Tree
- See the Grain to Glass process in a tour of Pine Bluffs Distilling
- Learn about the periscope from Navy veterans at the Botanic Gardens
- Take a yoga class in the Old Grain Elevator at Blossom Yoga
- Catch a FREE concert at Fridays on the Plaza
- Get a taste of the old days on a Wild West Trolley Tours
- Challenge yourself at Leaning Rock Disc Golf Course
- Discover a new-to-you treasure at Phoenix Books & Music
This really is just the start – the list could go on and on (even before adding in day trips within driving range!)
I challenge you to make your own list of fun in Cheyenne, a GREAT place to staycation!