Every kid wants to know what the Wild West was really like. You can let yours experience it for themselves on your next family vacation. Cheyenne is filled with opportunities to transport your crew back in time to the days when cowboys and girls frolicked on the wide-open frontier. From feeding bison, to horseback adventures and gunslinger shows, a trip to Cheyenne is guaranteed to ignite your young buckaroos’ imaginations and have them shouting, “Yee Haw!”, all the way home. Read on for our guide to Wyoming’s capital city Y’all.

STAY

Finding the perfect outpost for your Cheyenne adventures is key to and epic western experience. There is no better place for your posse than Little America. This resort features a golf course, pool and cozy suites that make you feel at home.

Set down your lasso and pick up your putter for a round of nine holes on Little America’s executive golf course. Surrounded by 80-acres of landscaped terrain, you get your game on while taking in the local wildlife. When you are done, head to the clubhouse and take a break.

While you’ll surely want to explore Cheyenne’s food scene, Little America has several restaurant options on site. Hathaway’s Restaurant is considered one of Cheyenne’s premier restaurants and serves up a popular lunch buffet, dinner and Sunday Brunch with an elegant approach to classic western comfort foods. Parents can relax in Hathaway’s lounge and enjoy an evening cocktail. For a quick bite and coffee, Carol’s Cafe serves up pastries and 75 cent ice cream cones.

When you aren’t golfing, swimming or dining, you can relax in your beautifully appointed suite. The rooms at Little America are known for being extremely spacious and extra comfortable. There’s more than enough room for the whole family to get comfortable. Located on a campus-like setting, your family isn’t likely to experience cabin fever, even during an extended stay.

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Cowboy & Cowgirl Up!
The first thing you need to do when you hit Cheyenne is head to the iconic The Wrangler store. It’s been around since 1982 selling ranch and western wear. Here you’ll not only find clothing you’ll love, but you can pick your own cowboy or cowgirl hat from their skylit hat room with its nearly 500 hats! Once you know which one you want, you can have it shaped and fit to your head. Now you are truly ready for adventure.

Go to the Ranch
There are so many adventures to be had in Cheyenne, it’s challenging to know where to start. We suggest kicking off your frontier adventure with a trip to Terry Bison Ranch. The Ranch offers families a variety of unforgettable adventures. We suggest hopping on their train for a Bison Train Tour that takes you around the ranch. Your trip includes a chance to see ostriches, camels, and horses. The highlight is a chance to hand-feed bison! It’s likely the closest you’ll ever get to these amazing beasts.

When you are done with the tour, go for a a horseback or pony ride. Or, hop on an ATV for a motorized adventure. The ranch also has a fishing post and a shop with memorabilia that you can purchase. Then grab a bite at the Tombstone cafe.

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Outdoor Adventures.
There are so many places to explore in Cheyenne. Scenic hikes are abundantNearby, Gowdy State Park has miles and miles of beautiful trail and three reservoirs that are perfect for fishing and boating. The Vedauwoo Recreation Area  is home to trails that wander through towering rock formations that draw climbers and campers from around the nation. So strap on your hiking boots or grab your mountain bikes and get ready for incredible outdoor adventures.

While you are exploring the outdoors, don’t forget to checkout some of the area’s coolest sites, like the Lincoln Highway Monument (a giant head of Lincoln) which marks what was once the highest point of the Lincoln Highway. And did you know that there is a pyramid in Wyoming? Only a short distance away, you can see the Ames Brothers Pyramid which stands on a treeless plateau as a reminder of the Ames Brothers’ sordid tale as both a Union Pacific’s president and a corrupt congressman. It’s an exciting story and awesome site.

Catch a Show
From gunslingers to melodramas, there’s no shortage of family-friendly entertainment. But we suggest getting your first dose of fun on the local Trolley Tour where you can learn all about the history of Cheyenne. The wild west tours are sure to hold even your youngest family members’ attention. With guides who know how to tell a tale they way they did sitting around a campfire after a long day on the frontier.

It wouldn’t be the Wild West without a gunslinger shoot out! And you can see one every day in downtown Cheyenne. Your hole family will be on the edge of their seats as they watch the small battles go down, but the best part of the whole event is the very serious lesson on gun safety they outlaws and lawmen give prior to each show. They speak specifically to the kiddos in the audience.

For a whole lot of family fun, head to the Historic Atlas Theater where you can catch a variety of shows year-round. From melodramas to classics like Beauty & the Beast. There’s something to see year-round.

EAT
Get ready to fill your bellies with some serious western fare while you’re in Cheyenne because the eatin’s good! Ok, so not all of the food is western focused, but all of the eateries are amazing. We suggest starting your day at the beloved Tortilla Factory with a filling breakfast burrito made with hand-made tortillas. When lunch rolls around, you want to head over to the Bunkhouse where you can feast on swinging sirloins (RMO), sandwiches, 1855 burgers! The menu items are traditional and taste like home-cookin.

For an upscale meal, you’ll want to heat to the Metropolitan where you can order from menu items like Ahi Sashimi, the Met Filet, and a stuffed portabella mushroom burger. Another incredible dinner options is the Rib & Chop House where you can dine on fried green tomatoes, grilled oysters, and your kids will love the chicken and pasta dishes. If you find you need a little break from traditional menu items, head to Napoli’s Italian restaurant where you will find lots of pasta dishes and home-made bread! You will not be disappointed!

The wild west was a time of great adventure on the wide-open frontier. There’s no better way to teach your young’uns about the history of America, and what it was really like as our great country was coming to be what it is today, than by taking them to where the old lifestyle and it’s traditions are being preserved and remembered daily. A vacation to Cheyenne is sure to leave its impression on your whole family, while giving you a family adventure of a lifetime.

—Annette Benedetti

Special thanks to Visit Cheyenne for assistance with accommodations and entertainment. All opinions here expressed are the writer’s own. 

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