Why feel like a visitor in Laramie, Wyoming, when you can live like a local? Southeast Wyoming is full of incredible ways to get outdoors in all seasons, exciting events and festivals and spectacular arts, culture and history. Here’s how you can have an authentic experience in this corner of cowboy country when you visit with respect and appreciation. Here in Laramie, you’ll arrive as a visitor and leave as family.
This story was created in partnership with Visit Laramie.
Step 1: Follow the Cowboy Character Code
In these parts, people take outdoor recreation seriously, and you should too. We don’t mean you have to choose the most extreme adventure possible. (But you totally can, if you want. Cue the climbing options at Vedauwoo Recreation Area.) What we mean is that people in Laramie, Wyoming, respect Mother Nature and the great outdoors. To live like a local, follow the Cowboy Character guidelines by taking care of yourself, your surroundings, and others around you, including wildlife. Take only pictures and Leave No Trace or cowboy behind.
Step 2: Recreate Responsibly, Even In Winter
Laramie area locals don’t let the weather scare them off. In fact, winter in Laramie as well the shoulder seasons are some of the best times to enjoy the regon’s endless outdoor activities. To start, many of the area’s hiking trails are open year-round. Skiing and snowboarding are popular in winter. So like any good Laramie neighbor, you’ll likely have to share the slopes at the Snowy Range Ski Area. If you’re not one for the downhill slide, you can also opt for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing or fat tire biking.
The real magic of winter in Wyoming is in the stars. Literally, winter skies are the best for stargazing, and Laramie, Wyoming’s low light pollution makes it a Milky Way dream. In October, the Wyoming Infrared Observatory even offers free public nighttime viewing tours.
Step 3: Reimagine Transportation
The journey from point A to point B can be an adventure in itself in Laramie, Wyoming. When you’re not road tripping through the area on a scenic ride, try a less-common way to traverse the stunning landscape. For the quintessential cowboy country experience, hop on horseback with one of the area’s trail riding excursions. If you prefer a saddle with two wheels, join one of the popular packs of road cyclists. In winter, fire up a snowmobile and in summer, paddle your way down the Laramie River.
Step 4: What’s On at the University of Wyoming?
The University of Wyoming has a major presence in the local community in Laramie. From programs to events, there’s always something on and plenty of ways to get involved. The American Heritage Center houses thousands of educational manuscripts and archives while the Geological and Anthropology Museums display fascinating scientific exhibits often created by students. To escape the sometimes parched Wyoming climate, head for the Williams Conservatory greenhouse which houses hundreds of tropical plants. Even better, many University programs and museums are free!
Step 5: Attend a Festival
If there’s one thing Laramie locals can’t live without, it’s a good festival. Time your July visit around Jubilee Days, a 10-day extravaganza which also includes the annual Brewfest. Immerse yourself in cowboy country culture at the Tom Horn Days Cowboy Rendezvous or embrace rural life in the Rockies at the Higher Ground Fair. From Pride celebrations to farmers’ markets to traditional Scottish Highland Games, Laramie clearly loves a good theme party.
Step 6: Embrace Local Arts & Culture
Take a break from all that outdoor recreation and festival frivolity with some local arts and culture. Downtown Laramie offers fantastic mural and architectural tours and is home to some of Wyoming’s most beloved art galleries. The Wyoming Women’s History House is a great place to learn more about Wyoming’s famous suffrage movement. Grab tickets to see the UW Symphony Orchestra or visit the university box office site to see upcoming music, theater and dance performances.
Laramie, Wyoming, is where you can easily live like a local by following a few simple steps, including recreating responsibly and making the most of the great outdoors all year long.