Wyoming Hereford Ranch is a beautiful oasis a few miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was there for a photo shoot with the family. The red painted buildings and trees were great. If you have the time, stop on in, just a couple of miles off I-80.
THIS ELEGANT HOME was the first Governor's Mansion to be built in Wyoming. There is no admission charge, and you can take a nice self-guided tour that includes interactive video kiosks on each floor. My wife and I do recommend this stop in Cheyenne!
The mansion was built in 1904. It was opened to the public in 1977. In 2004 it closed its doors as an extensive renovation project was launched, and it reopened in 1905.
Interesting fact: The mansion was never enclosed by a fence and never had on-site security. In one of the kiosk videos you can hear a governor's daughter talk about how, when the doorbell rang, whoever was nearest would open the door to any visitor!
Hours: June 1 to August 31: Mon -Sat 9 to 5, Sunday 1-5
Sept. 1 to May 31: Tues-Say 9 to 5, Closed on Sunday, Monday and holidays.
THERE ARE FIVE PHOTOS FOR YOU TO SEE: PLEASE CLICK THIS PHOTO TO SEE THE REST.
On your way on I-25 visit Visitor Center. It has great information on all state and Cheyenne as well. Pick up a map of Cheyenne, that will be useful for you in your visit, also some brochures about some sightseeing.
The Wyoming State Capitol Building is a National Historic Landmark and is a striking landmark at the north end of Capitol Street. We didn’t go in but did stop to check out some of the various sculptures in the grounds. These include a replica of the Liberty Bell (corner of 24th Street and Carey Avenue); a statue of Esther Morris (in front of the building); and the inevitable bison (on the east lawn).
Esther Hobart Morris was a significant figure in the women’s suffrage movement in Wyoming and played a role in ensuring that the state was the first to grant women the vote which it did in 1869. Laws were also passed giving married women control of their own property and providing equal pay for women teachers, so in this area Wyoming was certainly ahead of its time.
I confess we went to this museum mainly to get out of the cold wind, but I'm really glad we did as it was a gem! It's just a nice size to keep you occupied for a couple of hours without feeling guilty that you haven't got more time to devote to it, and its focus on all things Wyoming meant that it offered a number of fresh perspectives on the various things we'd seen on our trip.
There are several sections:
The Wild Bunch - focuses on Wyoming's wildlife, with a well-presented diorama of stuffed prairie animals - not to everyone's taste but eye-catching nevertheless (especially for Chris, who found to his horror that the snake he'd "stroked" the previous day at Fort Laramie was probably a rattlesnake!).
Hands-on History Room – a special area where kids (and their parents!) can get their hands on reproduction artefacts, play in a tipi and examine all sorts of curious objects.
R. I. P. (Rex in Pieces) – looks at Wyoming as dinosaurs’ graveyard, including a focal exhibit of a full-sized Camptosaurus skeleton cast, one of the first dinosaurs found in the state.
Drawn to This Land – one of my favourite sections, this looks at the many reasons people have come to settle in Wyoming.
Barber Gallery – another favourite section, featuring artistic items such as Native American beadwork and baskets, a marble sculpture of the state's animals and plants, and a 1950s diorama of Wyoming cowboys at work.
Living in Wyoming – my favourite section of all, this focuses on the social history of the state: life in the home, education, recreation etc. I particularly loved the “den” where you can settle down on the sofa and watch genuine old home movies.
Swamped With Coal – focuses on the state’s coal-mining industry and its origins (this was not my favourite part of the museum).
Admission to the museum is free, though donations are welcome.
Opening hours are Mon - Sat 9.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m (May to Oct).
Mon - Fri 9.00 a.m. – 4.30 p.m., Sat 10.00 a.m. – 2.00 p.m. (Nov to April).
The Union Pacific Depot dominates downtown Cheyenne. The building houses a number of different attractions. The main one is of course the museum, which tells the story of the building of the Union Pacific Railway and how it succeeded in connecting the two coasts of the country; the founding of the city of Cheyenne and the role the railroad played in this; the lives of the people who worked on the railroad; and the history of the Depot building itself.
But the building is also home to a visitor information centre which covers all the attractions and facilities in the city and a little souvenir shop where we found some good-quality gifts for family back home. It’s worth coming into the building just to see the amazing and beautifully restored lobby.
The building also houses a great bar and restaurant, the Snake River Bar & Grill – see my separate Restaurant tip on this.
HERE ARE FIVE PHOTOS we took in various areas of Cheyenne.
There is also an Air Force base in Cheyenne. The funny thing is that the Air Force base has no airplanes, but the Air National Guard unit shown here does.
Ok the Air Force base does have helicopters and missiles.
Just like in many other cities, artists have taken identical statues and customized them into their own artworks. In Cheyenne we have, of course, boots. I think Buffalo could have been an option too though.....
As most of you know, I 'collect' state capitol buildings, as well as National Capitol/Parliment buildings.
Cheyenne's capitol is a refreshing change. I consider it a real 'working' capitol. The main staff actually still work inside the small building, and the governor himself is very accessable.
Just outside of town, you can explore the historic Air Force Base, actually the remnants of an old US Army Garrison; Fort D.A. Russell.
There are several interesting old buildings here. I stayed overnight in one of them
Come out to the entrance to the Air Force Base in town, and witness the giant ballistic missles that once stood ready to aim their payload to the 2nd world......
Thankfully, they are now decommisioned.
The one tourist draw to Cheyenne, WY is the week long rodeo and wild-west festival - Cheyenne Frontier Days. For the locals, this is a time to stay away. For tourists, it's great fun. At Frontier Days you can experience a small town county-fair type carnival, take in a nightly concert by one of your favorite country music or washed up old rock band, view a 3-hour long parade filled with bands, horses, and all the old vehicles you can imagine, eat a free pancake breakfast while sitting on a hay bale, or tour a museum or exhibition hall to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the old west. Oh yeah - and of course, there's also the rodeo!
If you've never experienced the "wild west", check out Cheyenne during Frontier Days. It's fun.
This is a recently restored Union Pacific Railroad Depot that has stood for decades. In the early days of Cheyenne's history, this depot welcomed many people travelling from the east in search of a better life in the wide open spaces of the american west. Inside the depot is a railroad museum (admission required), an information booth, and a coffee shop. The coffee shop and information booth both have the original ticket counters from back in the day. The foreground where I stood to take the picture holds an annual Farmers Market in the Fall, as well as concerts during the summer. This is one place you will want to visit.
I'm sure you know the artistic fad that is sweeping the country; different towns make a number of fiberglass figures, all the same, of some object that represents their town. Then local artists each paint the object as they see fit, and the sculptures are placed all around the town. Lincoln, Nebraska did bicycles, Kearney, Nebraska did Sandhill Cranes, and didn't Chicago do cows?
Anyway, Cheyenne did boots. Cowboy boots. A perfect symbol for this "wild west" city. The boots look to be about seven feet tall, and it is fun to see them and to see how each artist painted them.
This is the state museum, diagonal from the capitol building on Central Street. It houses many artifacts from both Indians and from days gone by. The second floor includes paintings and artwork from local artists. Unfortunately, photography is prohibited. Admission is free.