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7 Most Inviting Towns in Wyoming

Also known as the Cowboy State, Wyoming is bursting with natural sights and a storied past, home to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as Devils Tower and Bighorn Canyon. The state has a Native American history dating back 13,000 years, plays a role in the Oregon Trail and was once home to cattle ranches and cowboys. As the nickname and symbol of Wyoming (the bucking bronco) imply, cowboy culture is alive and well and visitors will find a warm welcome and handshakes everywhere.

Buffalo

The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, Wyoming, USA

The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, Wyoming, USA Editorial credit: Cheri Alguire / Shutterstock.com


The city of Buffalo is located in the foothills of the Bighorn Mountains and is located on Wyoming State Highway 16, which leads to both Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Parks. It’s the ideal stop on a road trip between some of Wyoming’s greatest attractions and offers some of its own unique delights. Travelers can step into the past at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, housed in a 1909 Carnegie Library building, where thousands of artifacts from the Old West are on display. Nearby, hike among the towering trees of the Bighorn National Forest, fish and paddle along the mountain lakes, or camp at South Fork Campground. While in town, a stay at the historic Occidental Hotel is essential, home to the 1908 Historic Saloon and once embracing icons of the past such as Teddy Roosevelt and Calamity Jane.

Cody

The Occidental Hotel Lodging and Dining in Buffalo, Wyoming, USA

Accommodation and dinner at the OccidentalEyy Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming, USA. Editorial credit: melissamn / Shutterstock.com


Cody calls itself the “Rodeo Capital of the World,” packed with Old West history and pioneer traditions, as well as the Cody Stampede Rodeo every summer. Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel & Restaurant has been in business for over 100 years and consistently embraces Western architecture and décor. Every summer there is even a gunfight reenactment outside the hotel at the Wild Bunch. Hop aboard the Cody Trolley Tour to learn all about the city’s history and stop at Buffalo Bill’s Reservoir and the historic district. Thrill seekers should head to Sleeping Giant and zipline through the Absaroka Mountains, or enjoy a run through the ski hills in winter. In summer, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, fly fishing and horse riding are popular activities in the area.

Dubois

Black Bear Inn sign and office, a small motel in downtown Dubois, Wyoming, USA.

Black Bear Inn sign and office, a small motel in downtown Dubois, Wyoming, USA.


Dubois is located in a quiet corner of Wyoming, just an hour from Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The nearby Wind River, Absaroka and Owl Creek mountain ranges offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure, whether hiking, river rafting or overnight camping. It is also near Shoshone National Forest, one of the oldest national forests in the US. The city is big on local entertainment: there’s a rodeo every Friday from June through August, street dancing every Tuesday, a Wild West Brewfest in late July, and weekly farmers markets all summer long. For those who want to enjoy the natural scenery and history of the Old West, places like Rams Horn Guest Ranch, Crooked Creek Guest Ranch, Triangle C Ranch and Bitterroot Ranch offer a warm welcome in addition to fly fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.

Jackson

Welcome sign at the Jackson Hole lookout overlooking the valley with the Tetons mountains in Wyoming.

Welcome sign at the Jackson Hole lookout overlooking the valley with the Tetons mountains in Wyoming.


The town of Jackson is about an hour’s drive from Dubois. It is home to part of Jackson Hole, a valley and wilderness recreation and the ideal destination for fishing, rafting, hiking and more. The destination’s slogan is “stay wild,” which reminds visitors and locals alike to enjoy the excitement that awaits in nature, whether it’s a ski trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or guided climbing with Exum Mountain Guides. The area’s ecosystem provides ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, home to species such as wolves, black bears, grizzly bears, and bison. To get a taste of the area’s culture, there are annual local events such as the Jackson Hole Rodeo, the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Old West Days Festival.

Ten sleep

Ten Sleep Saloon Steakhouse in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, USA

Ten Sleep Saloon Steakhouse in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, USA Editorial credit: magraphy / Shutterstock.com


Ten Sleep is the base camp for accessing the western side of the Bighorn Mountains, with the Bighorn National Forest accessible via the Cloud Peak Scenic Byway. In the warmer months, visitors can camp, hike, boat, and more along the mountain landscape, while winter calls for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing at Meadowlark Ski Lodge. Ten Sleep takes visitors back in time to the authentic American West, home to the famous Ten Sleep 4th of July Parade and Rodeo, and just minutes from Ten Sleep Canyon, great for hiking and rock climbing. The city also has a rich pioneer history, which you can discover with a visit to the Ten Sleep Pioneer Museum. For a drink after a long day of exploring, stop by Ten Sleep Brewing Co.

Pinedale

Aerial view of Fremont Lake near Pinedale, Wyoming.

Aerial view of Fremont Lake near Pinedale, Wyoming.


Pinedale is located at the base of the Wind River Mountain Range, which includes Gannett Peak, one of the highest mountains in Wyoming. It’s also home to 1,300 lakes, like sparkling Fremont Lake (the second largest natural lake in Wyoming) and numerous trails for backpacking, fishing, and camping. A blissful tube ride along Pine Lake is a great way to spend a few hours, as is snorkeling beneath the Fontenelle Dam. Anglers are sure to be delighted when visiting Pinedale, with opportunities for fly fishing on the Green and New Fork rivers and ice fishing on Half Moon Lake. While in town, visitors should delve into the stories of the past at the Museum of the Mountain Man or the nearby Sommers Homestead Living History Museum.

Thermopolis

Panorama of Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Panorama of Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis, Wyoming.


Thermopolis is best known as the home of Hot Springs State Park, a place to relax and enjoy all the warmth and beauty that natural pools have to offer. Entrance to the hot springs is completely free and open all year round, providing a therapeutic experience for all who visit. Just south of town are Wind River Canyon and Boysen State Park, popular destinations for hiking, fishing, and hunting. For history buffs, the Legend Rock Petroglyph Site is just a half-hour drive from the city, with carvings and drawings dating back 10,000 years. The town is also home to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center, ideal for a trip with children where the focus is on learning all about prehistoric life, with dig sites open in the warmer months. For the adults, stop at Wyoming’s first legal whiskey distillery, nearby Wyoming Whiskey.

Wyoming invites you to explore!

Wyoming’s small towns are among the most welcoming in the country, attracting visitors for their proximity to some of the state’s greatest delights while also offering their own unique sights and destinations. Local events draw travelers from near and far, including Cody’s weekly rodeos and Dubois’ Wild West Brewfest. The local culture of each destination makes for an unforgettable trip, whether it’s visiting the historic Occidental Hotel in Buffalo or answering the call of the wild in Jackson.