Quiet, unpretentious, and expansive, Buffalo, Wyoming, provides a small-town Western feel on land tucked between a towering mountain range and vast flat land. True to their spirit, visitors will find countless ways to get off the beaten path and just as many ways to connect with one another.
The Best 12 Things to Do in Buffalo
Welcome to Buffalo, Wyoming — a quiet and expansive small town with a genuine Western feel. Nestled between towering mountains and vast flatlands, Buffalo offers countless opportunities to escape the ordinary and connect with others. Explore the top attractions, from the Mountain Meadow Wool Mill and the Historic Occidental Hotel to the breathtaking Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway and the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum.
1. Mountain Meadow Wool Mill
In a world where everything is expected to be readily available and delivered on demand, it’s not uncommon to sacrifice quality for convenience. At Mountain Meadow Wool Mill in Buffalo, that’s not at all necessary. Under the careful attention of mother-son ownership, this wool-spinning mill curates high-quality yarn and home decor, clothing, and accessories made from it.
However, quality is only part of the Mountain Meadow mission: the company prides itself on close relationships with trusted local ranchers, ensuring reasonable prices for them, first-rate wool for you, and preserving part of the Western way of life.
2. Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon
When was the last time you found yourself in an authentic saloon? When you visit Buffalo, you can check that off your must-do list at the Historic Occidental Hotel & Saloon. Decked out in all the vintage flair of its 1880s heyday, the “Ox” remains a bookable hotel with beautifully restored rooms, each with its own theme and matching decor. Additionally, the Ox has three eateries on site — The Virginian Restaurant, The Saloon, and the Busy Bee Cafe — all maintaining the original look that made the hotel popular among famous (and infamous) cowboys.
3. Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway (US Highway 16)
It’s time to see everything that the Big Horn Mountains have to offer, and the best way to do that is via the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway (or US Highway 16), which begins in Buffalo from the east. This route allows visitors to see many pieces of Wyoming’s history along the way, including Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site, TA Ranch, and many more.
In addition to offering you a path through the past, the scenery alone is worth making the 47-mile drive down the byway. Along the way, you can take in breathtaking views of Cloud Peak (the pinnacle of the Big Horns), Ten Sleep Canyon, and Bighorn National Forest.
4. Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum
Always a unique experience for the whole family, Buffalo’s own Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum paints a vibrant picture of both one man’s life and the lives of Buffalo residents in the height of the Old West. Once belonging to the city’s first pharmacist, the museum is full of his possessions, most gifted by the characters he came across in his professional life.
In addition to artifacts like clothes, medicine bags, and old-timey weaponry, you can check out historical structures like the Jenkins Family Homestead, the Carriage House, and more.
5. Potters’ Depot
Sometimes the best things in life are made by hand, and that is a mantra that owner Bonnie Schlesselman and fellow artists at Potters’ Depot live by. Situated in the former Buffalo Train Depot, the beauty of the location only adds to the carefully curated works you find inside. From dinnerware to berry bowls and pie plates to honey pots, the Depot is your one-stop shop for handcrafted home goods.
If ending the day with a delicious glass of wine is your way to unwind, Buffalo has the place for you. Heralded by many as a cozy, fully stocked, and fully Western wine bar, Un’WINE’d is the perfect place to take a load off after a long day of adventuring.
Seat yourself in comfortable armchairs against the rustic-style wood paneling, or sidle up to the stately, modern bar for your favorite vintage. The prices are fair, the atmosphere is on point, and if you’re hungry, there’s even a tapas menu waiting for you. Come say howdy.
7. Wyoming In Color Art Gallery
It’s no surprise that Wyoming’s incredible scenery is a source of inspiration for local artists, and similarly, visitors would want to take these stunning pieces home. At Wyoming in Color Art Gallery, you can take your pick from photography, glassworks and other home furnishings, and even chapbooks from local poets.
Stop in and check out their selection while you’re in town, and keep in mind that many of these artists are open for commissioned work in case the natural beauty inspires you as well.
8. Lake DeSmet
To relax, unplug, and truly get away from it all, one of the best things you can do is spend a day on the water. Located a short drive from Buffalo, Lake DeSmet is a favorite spot for camping, swimming, and boating among residents and visitors alike. Their favorite element?
It might just be the peaceful atmosphere — framed only by some rolling hills in the distance, this striking pool of blue is not typically overcrowded, allowing for a tranquil getaway where you can focus on the wonders of nature.
9. Ultimate Outdoors
When Buffalo, Wyoming, wants to get outside and explore, they know to go directly to Ultimate Outdoors. This outdoor sports giant is more than just a retailer; they provide rental ATVs, snowmobiles, campers, and more, so you can experience the thrill of the terrain on your next vacation.
Additionally, their experienced staff provides guided services as well, affording you the opportunity to explore alongside one who knows the equipment, the land, and the wildlife you may encounter.
10. Dry Creek Petrified Tree Environmental Education Area
If you drive a little east of Buffalo, you will find yourself cruising back in time by way of the Dry Creek Petrified Tree Environmental Education Area. Surrounded mostly by flatlands, this prehistoric forest was once the home of many ecosystems, massive trees, and an array of natural wildlife.
Over the course of time, however, the process of petrification set in, caused by the shaping of coal and the influence of the Big Horn Mountains. Now eternally preserved, you can hike a short loop among trees that are millions of years old.
11. Bighorn National Forest
Get your outdoor fix any way you want it at the Bighorn National Forest just outside the city limits of Buffalo. Expansive and breathtakingly beautiful, this forest sets itself apart from other Wyoming destinations by the sheer variety of terrain, making it an ideal destination for every member of the family. Apart from excellent camping accommodations, there is lush greenery to wander, rocky peaks to hike, scenic byways to drive, and much more.
12. Bucking Buffalo Supply Co.
When you’re hanging out in the Wild West, it helps to look the part, and that’s where Bucking Buffalo Supply Co. comes in. Filled to the brim with Western treasures, you can find hats, tops, jeans, boots, and anything else you need to outfit yourself like a genuine cowpoke. Additionally, if you’re a fan of the book series (or cult hit TV show) Longmire, you’ve come to the right place. This shop acts as retail HQ for the beloved fictional sheriff and has all the branded merch you could ever want.
FAQ: Things to Do in Buffalo
Plan Your Visit to Buffalo
In authentic Wyoming fashion, Buffalo gives you the freedom to find and be who you truly are and the space to live it fully. Why not get a little of that on your next vacation?