Wyoming has a rich and intriguing history, and there are many museums throughout the state that are equally as fascinating as the past they preserve. Here are just 11 of the state’s many amazing museums.
1. The National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson
The remarkable stone building of this Wyoming museum looks like a fortress nestled into the hillside, but inside you’ll find 14 separate galleries that showcase an extensive permanent collection as well as touring exhibits. Observe wildlife art while overlooking the 25,000-square-foot National Elk Refuge near Jackson Hole.
2. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center, Thermopolis
Stop in to say hello to Jimbo the Supersuarus, the most infamous dino who makes his home at this museum near Thermopolis. There are more than 30 mounted skeletons and you can tour the dig site. If you really want to see the fossils up close, join the Dig for a Day program. While in town, stop by the Hot Springs County Museum, which boasts approximately 16,000 square feet of exhibits that interpret many aspects of area pioneer and Native American life.
3. Community Fine Arts Center, Rock Springs
Norman Rockwell, Edward Chavez and hundreds of other artists are on display at this unique cultural center in Rock Springs. Stemming from hard work of a local high school science teacher 1966, the museum has grown to include nearly 500 American paintings as well as hosting an impressive schedule of events.
4. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody
The man, the legend and the legacy he left behind all come together to create this grand testament to the Wild West lifestyle made famous by Buffalo Bill Cody himself. You can also explore the history of the Native Plainsmen of northern Wyoming, Western art and much more at this Cody attraction.
5. Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum, Cheyenne
The world’s largest outdoor rodeo and western celebration lives on year-round through historical exhibits, fun activities and special events. See the massive collection of horse-drawn carriages and wagons, tour numerous galleries of Western art at this museum and relive more than 110 years of this renowned rodeo.
6. The Nicolaysen Museum and Discovery Center, Casper
Known locally as the NIC, this museum is the premier destination for contemporary art in central Wyoming. With new exhibits every 90 days, there is always something new to browse. The Discovery Center is a hand-on activity area for children and offers educational classes and special programs.
7. Sheridan County Museum, Sheridan
History in Sheridan County is a tapestry woven of American Indians, military, ranching, railroad, timbering, mining, artists, photographers and important events. Much of the rich cultural past of the area is preserved at this museum to educate visitors and future generations about how each individual force shaped modern northeast Wyoming.
8. Sweetwater County Historical Museum, Green River
Green River and Rock springs are not only the two most vital towns in Sweetwater County, but they are key to the history of the entire state. Since several major trails to the west bisected here, the towns grew, growing even more when the transcontinental railroad and telegraph lines were established. Discover all the details at this museum.
9. The Brinton Museum, Big Horn
The Brinton Museum presents captivating historic and newly acquires Western and American Indian Art in an exquisite setting at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains. This museum hosts a wide array of historic documents, books and furnishings that make up the Bradford Brinton Memorial Collection, complemented by 19th, 20th, and 21st century exhibits. Experience all this gem has to offer through home and museum tours, hands-on educational programming and special events.
10. National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, Casper
This museum in Casper should top any cultural itinerary in central Wyoming. Exhibits in the 27,000-square-foot museum realistically document the lives of both emigrants and Native Americans in the pioneer era and invite visitors to “experience history, don’t just read about it.”
11. Museum of the Mountain Man, Pinedale
This museum takes you on an educational journey to Wyoming’s wild settlement history through tales of early explorers and trailblazers of the American West during the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade era. View authentic archaeological evidence from the area’s earliest inhabitants and learn the stories of legendary trappers and mountain men.