THE AMERICAN WEST – THINGS TO DO IN SHERIDAN, WYOMING

Sheridan, Wyoming, is one of the best examples of the American West. Surrounded by the Bighorn Mountains, it delivers a unique cowboy vibe with a view! Conveniently located halfway between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, the town is a great vacation destination on its own. It offers artsy historic Main Street, a magnificent backdrop of the mountains, and modern hospitality with the Old West charm. Its 46 traditional buildings are included in the National Registry of Historic Places and host dozens of unique shops, restaurants, galleries, cafes, and some of the Mountain West’s most legendary watering holes. Here are all things to do in Sheridan.

Locals on Main Street in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Sheridan, Wyoming, is a perfect town to explore the cowboy culture.

Explore the perfect example of the American West – Sheridan, Wyoming

Like most travelers, I discovered Sheridan, Wyoming, on my way to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. I am glad I took a short detour to do it. The town took me by surprise, not only with its fabulous location but also with incredible art lining up its streets. 

Getting there was half the fun. The area is absolutely beautiful and practically deserted. To top it all, the roads leading to the town were dressed with miles of wild lupin! If you look for off the beaten path destinations, you will love Sheridan and the Bighorn Mountains. 

A lupin meadow in Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan, Wyoming.
The moment I saw lupins, I was sold on the area. 

History of Sheridan, Wyoming 

Sheridan was founded in 1882 and named for General Philip H. Sheridan, Union cavalry leader during the American Civil War. The arrival of the railroad in 1892 and the discovery of coal stimulated the region’s growth.

As a railroad distribution point, Sheridan has acquired diversified manufacturing. Today, ranching, truck farming, flour milling, sawmilling, and oil production are local occupations.

Sheridan, Wyoming - cowboy sculpture.
Main Street of Sheridan is lined with art.

The city is the Bighorn National Forest headquarters, and tourism (dude ranches, big game hunting, and fishing) is an important economic asset. Learn more about the history of Sheridan here

Sheridan, Wyoming on the Map 

Sheridan is located at an elevation of 3,743 feet in Goose Creek Valley in the state’s north-central part. The city lies in the Tongue River watershed, ten miles north and east of the Big Horn Mountains.

Sheridan can be found halfway between Yellowstone Park and Mount Rushmore by U.S. Route 14 and 16. 

 

Best time to visit Sheridan, Wyoming 

June, August, and September are the most pleasant months in Sheridan. December and January are the least comfortable. The summers are short, hot, and mostly clear. The winters are freezing, windy, and partly cloudy.

A road to Sheridan, Wyoming - grass meadow.
You will get to experience many wide-open spaces around Sheridan, Wyoming.

Why is Sheridan Special? 

With a population of 18,000, Sheridan stays true to its root and delivers the undeniable charm of the Old West. You will feel it and see it everywhere you go. It remains as American as it could be.

The Sheridan’s focus on art makes the town stand out from other cowboy towns. Its mostly bronze sculptures signify the Wild West’s important aspects, from eagles and moose to fishermen and Native Americans. 

What adds to Sheridan’s overall cowboy appeal is the views and the impact of the Bighorn Mountains. Within a few miles of the city, you can find a vast wilderness and an abundance of wildlife. 

If the Old West charm is on your radar, you cannot miss Sheridan, Wyoming. This cowboy town has all the ingredients of the American West. #cowboytowns #wildest #wyoming #sheridanwyoming

What to do in Sheridan, Wyoming 

Historic Downtown is Sheridan’s grand centerpiece. Visitors come here for a stroll in its streets and to enjoy public art displays, historic buildings, dine or enjoy local beer. 

Sheridan, Wyoming - lady on a bench.

Discover Street Art 

The arts play an important role in creating a special sense of place within the Historic Downtown Sheridan. The city has over 100 permanent pieces of art. It also displays pieces that are on loan and available to purchase. You will find many bronze sculptures on Grinnell Plaza and throughout downtown. 

Indian bronze sculpture in Sheridan, Wyoming.The street sculptures in Sheridan give the town a unique vibe.

Visit King’s Saddlery Museum 

The Don King Museum houses over three decades of the King family’s dedication to collecting Western and cowboy memorabilia. It offers a glimpse at life in the Old West through the years. It displays everything from horse-drawn hearses, taxidermy bears, moose, and elk, and rifles and handguns from some of America’s most famous duels.

Sheridan, Wyoming - Saddle.

Attend a show at  WYO Theater

Built as a venue for stage acts during the 1920s, the WYO Theater offers a variety of entertainment throughout the year. Family theater, musical performances, film screenings, and even traditional vaudeville variety shows are all on the schedule. This Art Deco masterpiece serves as the city’s public art project devoted to celebrating the local culture.

WYO theater is a place for stage performances in Sheridan, Wyoming.
WYO Theater is a place for stage performances in Sheridan.

Explore Trail End State Historic Site

The Trail End State Historic Site is a property of the State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails Division of the Wyoming Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources. From its authentically furnished rooms to its finely manicured lawns, it displays an elegantly different aspect of Wyoming’s rich and colorful history. 

Built in the Flemish Revival style, the 13,748 square foot mansion provides a glimpse into life during the period 1913 to 1933, as seen through the John B. Kendrick family’s eyes.

Sheridan, Wyoming -street sculpture.
Sheridan street art remains true to its history.

Visit the Historic Sheridan Inn

The Sheridan Inn’s significance in the US history lies primarily in its direct connection with William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who developed and sold the concept of the Inn to the railroad. As part owner, he directed hotel management and even auditioned new members for his touring company, the “Wild West” show from the front porch.

Historic Sheridan Inn in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Historic Sheridan Inn certainly looks very inviting.

Restaurants in Sheridan, Wyoming

Sheridan offers a wide variety of places to eat. You will find there historic bars, American bistros, ethnic restaurants, and many national brand fast-food chains. 

Sheridan, Wyoming - lady on the street.
Bar hopping is a popular activity in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Do some shopping 

The town’s shopping scene is centered on its historic Main Street, where many small businesses operate under vintage western storefronts. The street boasts locally owned shops selling everything from women’s apparel and accessories to cowboy boots and outdoor gear.

Sheridan also offers ranchers’ supply stores and cowboy outfitters you can only find in the West. But it’s not all belt buckles and cowboy boots. You can find contemporary apparel there as well.

Sheridan-Wyoming-Cowboy-boots
If you are into cowboy boots, you will find plenty of choices in Sheridan.

Visit Koltiska Distillery 

To my surprise, I discovered a Polish connection in the American West. In the late 1800s, the Koltiska family settled in the town. It quickly became known for two things – a lust for life and a fine liqueur, handcrafted to be shared with locals in the celebration of life. 

Today, the fifth generation of the settlers operates a distillery. Its entire line is a perfect blend of strong yet smooth liqueur reflecting Western traditions with a Polish twist. 

Sheridan, Wyoming - distillery.
Supporting the local economy in Sheridan, Wyoming.

Have a beer at Luminous Brewer House 

The Luminous taproom offers fine beers created on-site by head brewer and Sheridan native Seth Orr. The place is often rocking with live music and is frequently charged by special event energy. Learn more here. 

For more on the culture of craft beer and spirits in Sheridan, visit Where Craft is King.

Main Street - Sheridan, Wyoming.
Main Street in Sheridan displays the traditional architecture of the American West. 

Hotels in Sheridan, Wyoming 

Sheridan hosts hotels, motels, and guest cottages. Accommodations can be found in town or in the Bighorn Mountains. Many hotels and motels are established in convenient locations for enjoying what the region has to offer, both locally and on the way to Yellowstone or the Black Hills.

For the taste of historic the Wild West, I suggest staying at Historic Sheridan Inn. 

If you are more into nature and a true cowboy experience, check out Bighorn Mountains Ranches

Bighorn Mountains just outside of Sheridan, Wyoming.
Wyoming is a perfect place to escape it all.

Attractions just outside of Sheridan, Wyoming 

The Brinton Museum 

LOCATION

239 Brinton Rd, Big Horn, WY
open in google maps >

(307) 672-3173

The Brinton Museum in the Bighorn Mountains is a historic working ranch that celebrates the spirit of the American West. Its rare collection of Western, American, and American Indian art tells a distinctive story of America. It offers an intimate glimpse into the life and lifestyle of Bradford Brinton, a well-educated Western gentleman rancher, businessman, and avid collector.

Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming.
You will find many open spaces just outside of Sheridan.

The Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming

Located in north-central Wyoming, the Bighorn Mountains are a sister range of the Rocky Mountains. Conveniently located halfway between Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, the Bighorns are a great vacation destination in themselves.

No region in Wyoming is provided with a more diverse landscape – from grasslands to alpine meadows, clear lakes to glacially-carved valleys and rolling hills to sheer mountain cliffs. This region has it all! 

Bighorn Mountains just outside of Sheridan, Wyoming.
The Bighorn Mountains offer outstanding vistas.

Visit the Bighorn National Forest to enjoy the multiple reservoirs, 30 campgrounds, four group campgrounds, three scenic byways, 10 picnic areas, eight lodges, many miles of streams, 189,000 acres of wilderness, 1,200 miles of trails, and much more. Activities include hiking, biking, camping, boating, fly fishing, wildlife photography, and hunting.  

Bighorn-Mountains-bear
In the Bighorn Mountains, you can view the wildlife even from the road.

You may also like: 

Escape the cold – 9 National Parks to Visit in Winter 

National parks to visit in winter. Zion National Park invites with its colorful rocks at any time of the year.

All You Need to Know about visiting Acadia National Park, Maine 

A fog in Acadia can block the views, but it could paint a beautiful scene.

Escape to Nature – 8 Best State Parks in New York 

fall-foliage-Minnewaska-State-Park-lake

16 Reasons to take a Road Trip to Nova Scotia, Canada 

The Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia at sunset.

Mount Tammany – the best Hiking in New Jersey 

Hiking Mount Tammany is not easy but the views are worth it.

 

Comments