There is nothing like a tailored mini-vacation itinerary matched to your specific interests.

No matter what kind of traveler you are, Wyoming’s expansive plains, mountain ranges and distinctive towns have something for you. Are you an adventurous outdoor athlete? Looking to embrace the American West’s cultural history? Are you heading to Wyoming to land a lunker? These five different locations and round-ups of activities highlight the best places to plan a Wyoming weekend getaway, whether you’re bringing the mountain bike, the binoculars or the fly rod. Customize your trip, and you’ll find Wyoming has everything you need for a perfect 3-day mini-vacation.

Getaway 1: Lander, Adrenaline Junkie

Horse running at the horse sanctuary in lander, a popular weekend getaway.

The adventure sports in Wyoming stretch as far as the sky, and Lander has some of the best weekend getaway opportunities for thrill seekers. Whether you’re a rock climber, mountain biker, hiker or camper, you’ll find incredible places in which to enjoy your favorite sport.

What to Do

Visit the Sinks at Sinks Canyon State Park to see a unique geological formation that causes the Popo Agie River to seemingly disappear.

Spend the day climbing at Wild Iris, which has nearly 300 routes of world-class sport climbs ranging from 5.8 to 5.12 and up. Give your upper body a break with a day of mountain biking at Johnny Behind the Rocks. If you’re not too worn out, take a leisurely day on the Sinks Canyon State Park hiking trails. You’ve worked hard on your bike and on the wall, so take it easy with the four-mile Canyon Loop, stopping for a picnic lunch by the river.

Where to Eat

Snag a hefty breakfast burrito and a scone for the road at Lander Bake Shop. Enjoy a burger and beer at the Lander Bar, where you’ll get a real taste of the Wild West and the chance to rub elbows with other climbers. Dinner can be found at Cowfish, with an assortment of Western classics to refuel after a long day of activities.

Where to Sleep

Campground options include the Wild Iris Campground in the heart of Lander or the Popo Agie Campground in Sinks Canyon. The Inn at Lander is a welcome indulgence for those needing a bed and shower.

Getaway 2: Sheridan, Arts and Culture

A girl looking at an exhibit in Sheridan, WY, during a weekend getaway.

You could spend an entire season exploring the arts-and-culture scene around Wyoming, but the classic western hub of Sheridan is a great place for a mini-vacation jumpstart. This itinerary takes you sightseeing, into museums and ensures you take full advantage of the epic Bighorn Mountain surroundings.

What to Do

Start with the Brinton Museum, located on 600-plus acres at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. Here you can explore centuries of the American West through art and historical artifacts from the Plains Nations and early settlers. Next up, head to Sheridan College Campus, where the Whitney Center for the Arts hosts concerts, gallery exhibits and special showings throughout the year. Check their calendar for upcoming events and shows.

Want a taste of the rodeo world? Swing by the King’s Saddlery and Museum. King’s Saddlery is an iconic saddle shop and rope maker, and the museum features the King family’s collection of western tack and memorabilia. Finally, don’t miss the epic Wyoming landscape around Sheridan. Fort Phil Kearny hosts historical reenactments (plus tours of the fort) and is a prime spot for wildlife viewing. The Bighorn Mountains provide the backdrop to this region: Take the Bighorn Scenic Byway to be sure you get a good look at the unforgettable landscape.

Where to Eat

Your weekend will be filled with diners and Western cuisine. Grab a ribeye for dinner at Wyoming Cattle and Creek Company and classic diner fare for breakfast at Silver Spur Cafe. Looking for a fruit smoothie, gluten-free bread, or vegetarian options? Stop by Midtown Cafe for a fresh and healthy fix.

Where to Sleep

You have your pick of hotels in Sheridan. The Sheridan Inn was one of the first hotels in town (established in 1893), and it’s decorated with the theme of Buffalo Bill (who was part owner of the hotel) and related historical figures in mind. The Nelson Inn offers a more modern feel with a Western twist in downtown Sheridan. If you’re looking for something more conventional, Sheridan has everything from a Holiday Inn and Best Western to Hampton Inn.

Getaway 3: Rock Springs, Fishing and Wildlife Watching

Head to Rock Springs for one of the best weekend getaways you can spend fishing and wildlife watching. Rock Springs is a historic gold mine for railroad fanatics, and it boasts seemingly boundless opportunities for wildlife spotting, days on the water and scenic tours around the region.

What to Do

World-class fishing can be found on the Green River, where tailwaters and reservoirs provide year-round opportunities to hook bass, salmon and trout. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is also a prime destination in all four seasons, whether you’re fishing deep water through the ice or casting flies along the shoreline. When your casting arm gets tired, hop in the car for a scenic drive to see the wild horses of Pilot Butte. About one-third of Wyoming’s wild horses are managed in this region, so keep your eyes peeled for these icons of the American West. 

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge will garner your fix for wildlife viewing, whether you spy hawks circling above the Green River corridor, moose foraging or pronghorn stepping nimbly through the sagebrush. However, that’s not all: Seedskadee is also an excellent fly-fishing spot. Still craving the great outdoors? Don’t miss the opportunity to scale a dormant volcano at Boar’s Tusk or observe beautiful rock art at the White Mountain Petroglyphs.

Where to Eat

Grub’s Drive-In has been a fixture since the 1940s, with burgers, shakes and giant pie slices. Tempt your tastebuds with local favorite Santa Fe Southwest Grill and their famous spicy BBQ baby back ribs. You can’t visit Rock Springs without grabbing a donut or two from Cowboy Donuts. Bitter Creek Brewing features microbrews, sandwiches and a surprising array of adventurous cuisine.

Where to Sleep

The Cody Hotel offers reasonable rates and a convenient location. Just down the road in Green River, the Little Bear Motel is just 20 minutes from Flaming Gorge. As always, national chains are also available.

Getaway 4: Jackson, The Luxe Adventurer

Sometimes a love of the great outdoors is only matched by that of a little much-needed pampering. If you’re the kind of traveler that prioritizes self-care, you can find it all in the city of Jackson, delivered Western style. Explore the wild wonders of nearby national parks, then park yourself in a resort hot tub or a local fine art gallery. The best of both worlds makes Jackson a perfect Wyoming weekend getaway.

What to Do

Visitors zipline down Snow King as part of an adventure getaway.

There’s no shortage of year-round outdoor adventure in Jackson, with Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone just a short drive away. To customize your visit and ensure you hit all the must-sees on your list, consider a luxury guided tour service, which provides half and whole-day excursions based solely on what you want to see and do. If you’ve got the whole family with you, check out the amusement park-style rides and slides at Snow King Mountain Resort, or ride the tram and see a whole new side of the Teton range at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

To understand all that Jackson has to offer, immerse yourself in its cultural offerings. Spend a day at the National Museum of Wildlife Art to explore the muses all around you, then head downtown to Gallery Wild for a more contemporary showing. Check out the rotating roster of performances at the JH Center for the Arts, which is led by and for the community.

A mini-vacation is the perfect time to treat yourself, and Jackson has plenty of opportunities to devote a whole day to me-time. With some of the best spas in the state, you are sure to find the right service when you need it. Try Chill Spa in the Hotel Terra, Body Sage at the Rusty Parrot Lodge, or the Amangani Hotel’s own spa for massages, facials, outdoor yoga and more.

Where to Eat

If a little American fare with a vintage flair appeals to you, pop into Jackson Drug for a homemade malt and a mouthwatering burger in an old-timey drugstore atmosphere. Don’t let the log cabin fool you — King Sushi is one of the best restaurants in Jackson, and you’ll want to come back to their creative and flavorful house rolls time and again. Glorietta, a high-end dining experience with a modern take on Italian cuisine, boasts an inspired menu packed with delicious hand-made dishes.

Where to Sleep

Tie in your best-of-both-worlds trip with accommodations that are as luxe as they are rustic. Flat Creek Ranch fits the bill with sophisticated amenities in a truly historic setting. Snake River Lodge & Spa puts all the comforts of home within walking distance of a gorgeous mountainside. Designed with the brash thrill-seeker in mind, The Lodge at Jackson Hole combines outdoor activity with a world-class hotel stay.

Getaway 5: Cheyenne, The Historical Cowpoke

A cowboy rides a bucking bronco at Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Whether you’re a U.S. History buff or a lover of all Wild West lore, Cheyenne can offer you a Wyoming weekend getaway that acts as a portal to the past. From museums and historical sites to cowboy bars and meals fit for a ranch hand, you’ll find just the right place to have some fun and hang your hat.

What to Do

Start your trip to days gone by with a visit to the Wyoming State Museum, where you can see everything from Native American artifacts to locally-found fossils and learn what makes the area’s heritage so unique. Take in the beautiful architecture of the Cheyenne Depot Museum, and leave with a better understanding of the transcontinental railroad and how it changed frontier life forever. For a clearer picture of Wyoming’s history on the world’s stage, stroll through the Historic Governors’ Mansion, filled with household items and furnishings from various occupants and periods.

When you feel the cowboy spirit hit you, put your boots on and mosey over to The Nelson Museum of the West, where you will find exhibits dedicated to outlaws, cattle barons and more. Give a nod to the Wild West’s famous women at the Cowgirls of the West Museum & Emporium, then swing by the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum and find the history of one of the Cowboy State’s biggest celebrations. If you feel like living what you’ve learned, stop by the Terry Bison Ranch to hop on horseback or even feed the mighty bison.

Where to Eat

If your mini-vacation has you craving meat and potatoes, look no further than T Joe’s Steakhouse & Saloon, where you can get steak and burgers cooked your way and polish it off with a cold beer. For a classic country breakfast or a light lunch, saddle up to the R&B Breakfast Club for 50’s style diner fare with a side of Elvis memorabilia. If you crave a little spice on your Wyoming weekend getaway, check out Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant for authentic flavors and an incredible selection of margaritas.

Where to Sleep

History isn’t something you have to go out to find — it can also be where you lay your head at night, and in Cheyenne, that is easy to find. Not only can you have an outdoor adventure at Terry Bison Ranch, but you are invited to take advantage of their rustic accommodations also. Hang your hat in an old-timey cabin that’s been updated to include some essential modern conveniences, and get yourself one with a kitchen if you want to do a little cooking while you’re away. When the weather is nice, try your hand at roughin’ it at their tent sites or in their RV park. If you prefer a more traditional stay, there are plenty of national chain hotels in the area as well.

Written by RootsRated Media for Wyoming Office of Tourism.

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