Here’s why Wyoming may be the most underrated vacation destination in the U.S.
If you think that there are better places to visit, reconsider
Wyoming towns can offer luxury and relaxation or a glimpse of histories past
Visitors can experience some of America’s finest National Parks
History buffs can get up close to legends of the American West
Wyoming is one of America’s great Western states. It is the land of cowboys, wide-open spaces where the antelope–specifically pronghorn antelope–roam, and plentiful national parks.
Unfortunately, Wyoming maintains a reputation as one of the country’s more ordinary vacation destinations. A lot of people consider it a flyover state, only worthy of traveling past to get to somewhere else. They don’t realize that it can provide one of the most unique, exciting vacations in the country.
Wyoming has luxurious and historic mountain towns
Vacationers in search of a relaxing mountain vacation or world-class skiing will find what they’re looking for in Wyoming. The state is home to Jackson Hole, one of the top ski resort towns in the continental United States.
In addition to Jackson Hole, there are quieter resort towns in other areas. These include Thermopolis, a town that offers numerous natural hot springs, shops and restaurants. Wyoming visitors are also drawn to the town of Buffalo, which features access to skiing and recreational activities. Buffalo features a historic downtown that includes the 131-year-old Occidental Hotel, a Victorian-era gem that hosted both Butch Cassidy and Theodore Roosevelt.
Most of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming
Many people are surprised to find out that Wyoming contains 96 percent of the acreage of one of the country’s great national parks, Yellowstone. Visitors can enter the park from two places, either from an entrance north of Jackson Hole or from an entrance near Cody. From there, it is easy to access everything that the park as to offer.
You can also visit Grand Teton and Devil’s Tower
Wyoming’s share of National Parks doesn’t end at Yellowstone. Visitors can spend time in the rugged natural landscape of Grand Teton National Park, known for its beautiful and jagged mountain range, incredible hiking and camping, and unmatched wildflower show in the spring.
If you’re headed towards the northeastern part of the state, you can also see the unusual formation known as Devil’s Tower. This geological feature is a laccolitic butte that rises almost 900 feet above the Wyoming prairie. A lot of old-school film buffs or Stephen Spielberg fans will recognize it instantly from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Wyoming lets you get up close to the true history of the American West
When visitors come to Wyoming, they can experience an up-close view of America’s western history. Cody, Wyoming not only stands as a gateway to Yellowstone, but it was also founded by Buffalo Bill Cody. The Western legend passed through the area and liked it so much he returned to found a town there.
When visitors come to Wyoming, they can experience an up-close view of America’s western history.
A large part of the history of Indigenous Americans is equally present in Wyoming. Sacajawea, the Shoshone guide who helped lead Lewis and Clark on their Western expedition, is buried in south-central Wyoming. Her resting place can be found in an active Native American cemetery on the Shoshone reservation in Fort Washakie, WY.
Wyoming’s prairies also served as the site of the major migration paths of Americans who made the slow journey from the eastern half of the country to California, Oregon, Utah, and other western states. Large portions of the Oregon Trail and the Mormon trail can be found there and are clearly detailed through interpretive signs along the routes.
A deeper dive — More from the 101:
–Create the best road trip ever with a scientific algorithm | Vacations 101
Can a computer do a better job planning a road trip than you can? Find out.
–Your wallet will thank you for choosing these cheaper destinations | Vacations 101
Go easy on your wallet and still have a great time with one of these vacation destinations.