Major changes in the travel landscape catapulted the State of Wyoming into a hot spot for people seeking space and adventure. Being sparsely populated, with plenty of room to freely roam and full of breathtaking scenery, people have been flocking to the state in droves. Jackson Hole has always served as a hot spot, especially due to its proximity to nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. But, there is far much more to this state than just the famous Northwest corner. Some of the best things to do are in charming Buffalo, Wyoming!
This is the perfect small town to add to your list. And, you will be surprised of all there is to do in this charming town.
The I-25 corridor cuts north to south through the State of Wyoming, making it the perfect route for a Rocky Mountain road trip. Along the way, visitors will find cities like Cheyenne and Casper. Traveling north from Colorado towards Montana will transport you to a beautiful, mountainous area. Here, the small town of Buffalo, Wyoming is nestled quietly at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. And, if you happen to be crossing the country on your way to Yellowstone, this is one of the most scenic routes to get you across the state. So, why not plan a few extra days in this area? If lots of driving isn’t your thing, try catching a flight into nearby Sheridan or Casper. You will still need to do a bit of driving, but the trip from either of these two cities is quick.
Where To Stay
On our most recent visit, we stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites just off I-25 and near I-90. This hotel was pleasantly surprising. The location and amenities are great! And, if you’re looking for large rooms, you really can’t go wrong booking here. If a hotel isn’t your thing, there are a selection of small hotels and ranches in the area, as well as a few guest houses in the Bighorns themselves. Each of these offer very different experiences that can lend themselves to your overall experience.
What To Do
Many may not think a small mountain town in the middle of Wyoming would have a lot to offer. If you feel this way, Buffalo, Wyoming will prove you wrong! While small, this town is mighty!
Stroll Into The Past In Historic Downtown Buffalo
The main downtown area is historic. By making your way to Main Street, you will be able to step back in time, while also enjoying modern shops and restaurants. Most notable is the Occidental Hotel. Famous past guests here include Butch Cassidy, Teddy Roosevelt, and more! Décor, dating back to the late 1800’s, still beckons some of Wyoming’s earliest times. What is even better is seeing actual, original bullet holes in the saloon. Rooms here are small and historic, the food is tasty, and they often have live entertainment. Visitors are even welcome to sit in one of the rocking chairs out front and rest awhile. This truly is a great place where you can appreciate Western history from times gone-by. So, why not get on off yer horse and head on in to the saloon, pardner?
Check Out The Arts Scene
In the downtown area, you will also notice an abundance of art galleries, sculptures and murals. It really is surprising to see how vibrant the art scene is in this community! With such beautiful natural surroundings, I can see where the inspiration comes from though. Galleries showcase everything including paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, crafts, and more! Murals tell the story not only of Western history, but of the wildlife that populates this area. I was fortunate to meet one of the muralists when I was greeted by her horse on the street. This is the same horse that she featured in her mural! It truly is that kind of a small town.
Visit the Gatchell Museum
If you are in to art, artifacts and Western history, then a stop at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum is a must! Also located on Main Street, this is the spot to see the large, personal collection of Jim Gatchell, a 1900’s Pharmacist who became a trusted friend to both the local residents and Native Americans. This museum holds an extensive collection of pieces ranging from precious artifacts and dioramas, to a more recent display of popular Walt Longmire items. In case you were wondering, yes, the popular series “Longmire” drew inspiration from the town of Buffalo. In fact, ever summer, the people host the festive “Longmire Days”!
There are also many great places to eat in Buffalo, particularly in downtown. If you are looking for a few yummy spots, we recommend pizza at Pie Zanos or fresh salads and sandwiches from Sagewood Cafe. Near Main Street you will also find The Breadboard, which has delicious sandwiches, and The Bozeman Trail Steakhouse, which we like for it’s patio seating. There are coffee shops and a variety of other cute little spots scattered throughout town too!
Hit The Links
If you like golfing, I’m going to let you in on a little secret! The Buffalo Public Golf Course is one of my favorite golf courses in the State of Wyoming! Tucked back in a quiet, residential neighborhood, this course is a great chance to get outside! The holes are short, the views are beautiful, and the price is surprisingly affordable! We have golfed all over and this really is such a great course.
Go For A Walk
Hiking is a major thing in this area, especially in the nearby Bighorns. But, more on that in a second! If you’re looking for something that isn’t so serious/intense, Buffalo has the answer to that too! The Clear Creek Trail is a lovely, flat, winding trail that works its way through town alongside, you guessed it, Clear Creek. The trail is made of gravel so it easy for strolling. The trail head is clearly marked and is about .75 miles to downtown. Once there, it continues and connects with a variety of other trails, some of which are more challenging. Whether you choose to stay on the Clear Creek Trail or up the ante on some harder spots, this is another great way to get outside in the area!
Visit The Wool Mill
I was interested to learn about Mountain Meadow Wool, a local wool mill. How perfect is this though, really? A community surrounded by sheep and filled with local artists, this business is the perfect fit and fills a unique niche too. Located in an unassuming sheet metal (not sheep meadow) building on the west end of town, this great way to spend an hour or so learning about their processes and products. Tours are free and self-guided. I really was surprised to see the facility, its operations, and learn about everything that goes into making yarn. They sell the most beautiful, high quality products too. From sweaters to wall hangings, it’s hard not to want to take it all home!
The Mountains Are Calling
In Buffalo, you just cannot help but notice the beautiful Bighorn Mountains. They call visitors to take in the beauty and adventure. The call is hard to resist. A trip to Buffalo is not complete without a visit to the Bighorns. The mountainous area outside of town is huge and, depending on what you plan to do there, substantial planning may be required. You will notice swarms of visitors throughout countless camping spot and hiking trails. This is a major outdoor enthusiast hub in the state. However, even if you don’t intend to go on a major outdoor adventure, it is still worth driving (very cautiously) to take in the scenery. Along the way you will see mountain peaks, valleys, wildflower fields, and wildlife. This is the scenic route to Yellowstone National Park, and the winding roads can be quite busy. Again, ensure you visit this area with caution and care. And, make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave Buffalo.
Want to go hiking in the area? Read about our favorite hike in this post!
We know there are still many other things to do in charming Buffalo, Wyoming but these are some of the best things we have experienced for ourselves. Whether you are planning a trip to the area or just passing through, Buffalo is one stop not to miss!