The Getaway
Escape to the Wild West: Wyoming's Best Small Towns

Known as the last bastion of the West, Wyoming is famous for its mountain ranges, landscapes, and river scenery. It's a place where you'll find bears, wolves, moose, world-class skiing, and cowboy rodeos. There are many places to include on a visit to Wyoming, from the beauty of the Shoshone National Forest to the Grand Teton Mountain Ranges. And interspersed with natural beauty are the state's lovely small towns, each with its distinctive features welcoming visitors.

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01 Get back to nature in Green River

Green River was made for outdoor activities. You'll find kayaking and river tubing here, making the most of the waterway that gives the town its name. It's a short drive from the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, where you'll find good walking trails. In town, the Sweetwater County Museum tells the story of the local heritage. Between Green River and Rock Springs, you'll find wild horses roaming the land.

02 Ride the aerial tram in Teton Village

Teton Village is all about making the most of the mountain ranges. In summer, there's rock climbing and hiking, while winter brings skiers from around the world to enjoy the powder. There's the fearsome challenge of Corbet's Couloir or an easy run down to Teton Village from the slopes. The Jackson Hole Aerial Tram has incredible views of the Tetons. Back in Teton Village, relax at the Mangy Moose Steakhouse and Saloon.

03 Soak in the springs at Thermopolis

Thermopolis is centered around its geothermal hot springs, so it's the perfect place to chill out in the steamy water at Hot Water Springs State Park. Cross the Bighorn River on the Swinging Bridge, where you may be lucky enough to see herds of bison. In Thermopolis, there are some good places to eat, including the Black Bear Cafe and One Eyed Buffalo Brewing. You can also go rafting and fishing and enjoy the outdoors in Thermopolis.

04 Experience the old west in Dubois

Dubois feels like the American Old West and is one of the more remote towns in Wyoming. It's an hour from Yellowstone National Park and is located in the peaceful Wind River Valley. In summer, you can go horseback riding on trails with spectacular views. During winter, dog sledding is popular. In spring, there are carpets of wildflowers here, including Indian paintbrush, lupines, and cacti.

05 Explore scenic byways in Cody

Cody was formed by the legendary Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, who saw the potential of the town. Today people come for the scenic byways seen from Cody to Yellowstone. There's also an amazing ziplining experience at Sleeping Giant, with views of the Absaroka Mountains. In Cody, the Old Trail around town has authentic 1890's frontier-style buildings. Check out the shopping in town, including the local saddle and leather artisans.

06 Try outdoor sports in Jackson

Jackson is full of outdoor sports and activities. You can go whitewater rafting on the Snake River, fishing and rock climbing in the Tetons, and of course, there's skiing and snowmobiling in winter. Jackson is an excellent place for wildlife watching, including eagles and other birds of prey. You can also watch wolves and moose here in Jackson. Back in town, there are many wonderful galleries and places to eat. Try the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar or the White Buffalo Club.

07 View periodic springs in Afton

Wyoming is full of intriguing geological features, and Afton is one of three places in the world where there are periodic springs. Here the water flows for 18 minutes and then stops for 18 minutes — a truly unique phenomenon. There's camping and hiking in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and fishing in Swift Creek. Back in Afton, there are some lovely indie shops and restaurants. If you're a chocoholic, check out Star Valley Chocolate Cafe.

08 Taste the ice cream in Farson

Farson is a small Wyoming town famous for its huge ice cream cones. Head along to Farson Mercantile to try their signature Big Cone, and you'll experience the awesome flavors for yourself. Or, pack a picnic to enjoy at Big Sandy Reservoir. Nearby, you'll also find fossils, petroglyphs, and remains of the original Oregon Trail, demonstrating the rich history of the area.

09 Go backpacking at Centennial

Centennial is one of the best bases in Wyoming for backpackers, hikers, and those who love mountain sports. It's also popular in winter with skiers. At one time, Centennial supported the railroad and timber industries, but today it's the gateway to the Snowy Range Mountains. The Nici Museum tells the history of this historic town. If you are looking for somewhere good to eat, try the Bear Bottom Bar and Grill or The Trading Post.

10 Step back in time in Guernsey

Guernsey is a popular place to go kayaking, but it was also one of the stops for pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Just outside town, you can still see the deep wagon trails formed in the nineteenth century. Walk along the rutted track to Register Cliff, where the names of early settlers are still poignantly carved in the rock. The Fort Laramie National Historic Site is a 20-minute drive from Guernsey and has lots of information on the history of the area.

11 Catch a trout in Saratoga

Saratoga lies in the midst of the  Snowy Range Mountains, the Elk Mountain, and the Sierra Madre Range, so the scenery is incredible. It's also famous for its hot springs, so you can relax in the spa after a day of activities. Fishing is a big attraction in Saratoga, and the action is in the Platte Valley, where the rivers are full of rainbow trout. Back in Saratoga, the bars and restaurants are where you'll find fantastic food and dining.

12 Listen to the music in Gillette

Gillette has a vibrant music scene, with concerts and festivals during the year. The CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities venue has a range of events, from live country music to a Broadway show. At the Frontier Relics and Auto Museum, you can discover an incredible collection of classic cars and vehicles, including a drive-in theater. Gillette is also famous for its wildlife, and a visit to the Durham Bison Ranch is not to be missed.

13 Visit the dinosaurs in Laramie

When you think of Laramie, Butch Cassidy usually comes to mind as one of the famous residents. However, Laramie is also home to the University of Wyoming's Geological Museum, where you will find over 50,000 fossils. Laramie has 12 museums, including a planetarium and an anthropology collection. The town is close to the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Snowy Mountains, so it's easy to get outdoors from here.

14 Learn about the wild west in Rawlins

Rawlins grew up around the old Union Pacific Railroad line, and today it is famous for its wild west heritage. Today, one of the biggest attractions in town is the Wyoming Frontier Prison, where visitors can hear about Butch Cassidy and other outlaws. There are excellent places to eat in Rawlins, including La Abuelita Mexican Restaurant and Rochelle Ranch Bar and Grill.

15 Float through the town of Evanston

The Bear River flows right through the town of Evanston, so naturally, there are lots of watersports for visitors to enjoy. There's kayaking, fishing, and even the opportunity to float down the river here. The surrounding hills make it popular with mountain bikers, too. Evanston is close to Bear River State Park, where you can take a wildlife tour to see elk and bison.

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