Best Things to Do in Laramie, Wyoming

June 10, 2020

View of Snowy Range in Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming

Laramie offers visitors a unique experience. Surrounded by stunning scenery, it maintains a strong sense of its past while providing modern conveniences. Home to the University of Wyoming, Laramie feels like a small town but it offers visitors so much to see and do. I’ve visited twice and feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what this unique town has to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Laramie.

Orange and yellow streaked sunset in Laramie, Wyoming.

Downtown Laramie

Laramie’s downtown is charming. You’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops and things to do. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places Laramie was once known as a “hell-on-wheels” town. Take a moment to appreciate the murals around downtown Laramie that are part of the Laramie Mural Project which uses local artists to create large scale murals that represent the culture and history of the community.

Mural featuring hollyhock flowers in various shades of pinks and purples and bees buzzing about. Mural is located in Laramie, Wyoming and is part of the Laramie Mural Project.
Photo via Laramie Mural Project – Hollyhock Heaven by Travis Ivey

Restaurants in downtown Laramie run the gamut from Sweet Melissa which features a vegetarian menu to Cavalryman Steakhouse for those craving a big hunk of meat. You’ll also find several bar and grills and breweries downtown. Craving something sweet, grab a scoop of ice cream at Big Dipper Ice Cream.

Some of my favorite shopping in downtown Laramie includes Chalk N’Cheese where you can find a variety of artisan cheeses and other specialty foods. I also love Poppy’s where you can get a fresh bouquet of flowers and a brand new outfit. If you like antiquing, make sure and visit the antique shops downtown and find a treasure to take back home.

Visit Laramie offers a brochure you can download to use on a walking tour of downtown Laramie.

Fun Things to Do in Laramie

This is big sky country and you will find yourself in awe of the scenery in and around Laramie. Make sure to take time to take at least one drive, and hopefully more, to see the gorgeous vistas that are at every turn.

Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary

two wild horses feeding on grass at Deerwood Horse Sanctuary near Laramie, Wyoming.

One of the best activities to do in Laramie is to visit the Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary. It is a private wild horse ranch in Wyoming that has been approved by the federal government to care for wild horses. Wild horses in Wyoming present a problem because there are more horses for there is land available for grazing. This program was created as a way to ensure wild horses are taken care of in a responsible manner.

Barn and fencing at the Deerwood Ranch Wild Horse EcoSanctuary in Wyoming.

You can stay in a cabin on the ranch or book a tour. Several tour options are available including a photographic tour which I was lucky enough to take. We were able to get close to the horses and take some incredible photos. The horses are naturally curious, so don’t be surprised if they walk up to the vehicle. Seeing the wild horses in their natural habitat and so lovingly cared for is a special experience. I encourage anyone visiting Laramie to make plans to visit the ranch.

Wild horses in Wyoming running past mountains.

Snowy Range Scenic Byway

The Snowy Range Scenic Byway runs along Wyoming State Highway 130 between Laramie and Saratoga. Snow in the upper elevations means that the byway is generally open from Memorial Day through October. I loved seeing colorful wildflowers and gorgeous lakes throughout our drives in the area. Hungry? Stop in the cowboy town of Centennial and enjoy a bite to eat.

view of a lake alongside snow-capped mountains in Medicine Bow National Forest near Laramie, Wyoming

Vedauwoo

Vedauwoo is a campground and recreational area located between Laramie and Cheyenne. It features some really cool rocky outcrops and taking a quick hike around the area will make you feel like you have landed on another planet. The area is popular with climbers and you’ll see brave souls climbing and rappelling the larger rocks. Without a doubt one of my favorite things to do in Laramie (and it’s free).

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Monument

As you drive along Interstate 80 just east of Laramie, you’ll see a huge monument of Abraham Lincoln. I live in the birthplace of Lincoln and am used to seeing monuments to America’s favorite president everywhere. But I didn’t quite understand why there is a monument to him in Wyoming. it was sculpted by Robert Russin in 1959 to commemorate the highest point on the Lincoln Highway. Built in 1913, the Lincoln Highway was America’s first coast-to-coast highway.

Wyoming Territorial Prison

Wyoming is in the heart of the wild west and has a history of lawlessness and outlaws. Built in 1872, the Wyoming Territorial Prison was home to famous outlaws including Butch Cassidy. Today, the prison is open to visitors where you can tour the historic buildings, see exhibits, walk a nature trail, and visit the gift shop. It was one of my husband’s favorite things to do in Wyoming.

Other activities in Laramie include visits to the Laramie Plains Museum and the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming.

Grassy plain in Laramie Wyoming with mountain range in the background and blue skies overhead.

Is Laramie a Good Place for Kids?

Absolutely! Between the outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and fishing, a trip to Laramie is a perfect family-friendly vacation. Kids will be entertained on drives looking for wildlife including deer, antelope, and elk. And if they’re lucky, they may even spot a moose. Many of the activities available in Laramie are not only kid-friendly, but they are free making a trip here an affordable one for families.

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

More about Candy Wafford

Candy Wafford is a US-based travel blogger and while she travels frequently for her job, she is happiest when traveling for pleasure. Preferably strolling along a cobblestoned street with an ice cream cone in her hand.

6 Comments
    1. Wow looks like the dream country escape! Will definitely need to add Wyoming to our USA road trip!

    1. This reminded so much of my roadtrip from back in 2010 when we visited Beaver in Utah, the birthplace of Butch Cassidy – loved this extra bit of historical info about him! I found these older small towns a bit surreal, maybe a little rundown but with so much character with my imagination conjuring up images of the old wild west days 🙂

    1. Technically, the Deerwood Wild Horse Sanctuary is 33 miles west of Laramie within Albany County, thus it is not within the City of Laramie. In addition, Vedauwoo and the I-80 Lincoln Monument are also not in Laramie, but rather 9 and 16 miles east of Laramie, again in Albany County. Also, the Cavalryman Steakhouse is 3 miles south of Laramie along HWY 287 and not in downtown Laramie as you’ve listed.
      You mentioned a few things a person could do in Laramie, WY but for the most part you described activities all over Albany County.

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