You came to Sheridan, Wyoming, expecting to watch cowboys drive horses through the streets of downtown; pronghorn butting heads on windswept bluffs; clouds encircling the towering granite pinnacles of the indomitable Bighorn Mountains; and endless expanses of wild, open country. These are some of the fibers that have been stitched together over time to create the patchwork quilt of Sheridan’s identity, each part and parcel to the Wyoming experience. But what you may not have been expecting when you came way out West was a thriving, historic downtown district, with western allure, hospitality and good graces to spare; a vibrant art scene; a robust festival and events calendar; and living history on every corner. Welcome to Sheridan, Wyoming, your home for the next three days.
Rise and shine with a hearty, home-style breakfast at the historic PO News and Flagstaff Cafe, operating on Main St. for more than 100 years, or grab a quick bite at Bagels & Beyond on Coffeen Ave. Fueled for the day, get a feeling for the community by taking Sheridan’s self-guided Historic Walking Tour (maps are available at Sheridan Travel & Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Sheridan Association, or online here), the perfect way to glimpse 100-plus years of downtown history and development.
The star of the tour is Sheridan’s public art; more than 50 master-crafted sculptures can be found throughout the community.
Stop for a healthy lunch at the new Studio Cafe on Main St. and Grinnell Plaza, or drop by the El Rodeo Mexican Foodtruck on Coffeen Ave. Check the community calendar to see what events and activities may be taking over Sheridan during your stay. Next, it’s time to shop local – Sheridan is known for its quirky, curious and unique shops, pop-ups, galleries, tack stores, and more.
The Union at Montgomery is brand-new for 2017, and features bespoke and carefully curated local art, clothing, and housewares, as well as globally-sourced jewelry, handicrafts and more. SAGE Community Arts showcases Sheridan County’s local visual-arts talent; Bighorn Design Studio is home to Surf Wyoming; Over the Moon is an outstanding counterpoint to the turbo-charged bliss of Java Moon (located right next door); Sheridan Stationary is a wonderful place to find Bighorn Mountain maps, books by local authors, and antique tomes. Crazy Woman Trading Co. is known throughout the Mountain West for specialty gifts, logo clothing, home decor, jewelry, and more. Twisted Hearts carries boutique women’s clothing and accessories in a beautiful open space, while the High Mountain Mercantile is home to rhinestone/concho/turquoise belts, purses, jewelry, western clothes, toys/games, and apparel. King’s Ropes and Saddlery is a treasure trove of new tack, apparel and world-famous ropes. Tom Balding Bits & Spurs is renowned for quality designed and hand-crafted bits, spurs, belt buckles, jewelry and gifts. There’s almost no end to the shopping you can do in Sheridan – for a full list, visit our shopping guide.
Wander through Sheridan’s historic residential districts (stately Victorian and craftsman homes, towering cottonwood trees) on your way to Kendrick Park, a beautiful green space at the heart of the city. There’s more public art on display here, as well as a bison and elk paddock, an ice cream shop, plenty of playground equipment to keep the kids occupied, horseshoe pits, and covered picnic areas.
Dine at any one of Sheridan’s fine restaurants – downtown options include Frackelton’s Fine Food & Spirits, the Open Range, Sanford’s Grub & Pub, the Wyoming Rib & Chop House, the Pony Bar & Grill, Wyoming Cattle & Creek, the Cowboy Café, the Elephant King Grill, and more. Scattered throughout town you’ll find Sapporo Japanese Steakhouse, Los Agaves, Golden China, and more. For a full listing of our restaurants, please visit our dining guide.
Grab a night-cap at the legendary Mint Bar (don’t forget your photos of the neon sign), Wyoming’s largest craft brewery (Black Tooth Brewing Co.), Luminous Brewhouse, the Koltiska Distillery, or the Weston Wineries Tasting Room. Sheridan is home to numerous watering holes of unique historical distinction, and our Downtown Craft Walking Tour map is available throughout town.
Sheridan’s historic heart beats with the stories of cowboys, Indians, historic battle sites, ranching legends, and western outlaws. Less than an hour away from downtown, just across the border in Montana, is the Little Bighorn National Monument. To be truly immersed in the story of one of the country’s formative battles, consider booking a custom tour with a local outfitter (call Sheridan Travel & Tourism at (307)673-7120 for recommendations). Tours often include regional highlights like Fort Phil Kearney, the Wagon Box Fight, the Connor Battlefield, and more.
The Brinton Museum, located on the 620-acre historic Quarter Circle A Ranch in Big Horn, just a short drive from Sheridan, offers an authentic view into the life and lifestyle of a Western gentleman and art collector who was a patron and friend of many of the most celebrated 19th and 20th- century Western artists.
The Brinton Ranch house, originally built in 1892, was expanded in 1927-28 to accommodate the Brinton’s extensive collections of Indian artifacts, art, historic documents, books and over 600 oils, watercolors and sketches by American artists including: Audobon, Borein, Gollings, Kleiber, Remington and Russell, to name a few.
The Trail End State Historic Site is a historic Flemish-revival style home built and inhabited by Wyoming governor and U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick. Kendrick was a successful cattleman when he commissioned the house, and he was only beginning his political career; once he became governor in 1914 and a senator three years later, Trail End became his summer home. The house is typical of homes built by prosperous Wyoming cattlemen in the early 20th century. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 26, 1970.
The Sheridan Inn was constructed in 1892, and was one of the first hotels built in the city. Conceptualized and developed by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Cody directed hotel management, and even auditioned new members for his touring company show from the front porch. Each of the twenty-two rooms have been revitalized to reflect on “Buffalo Bill” and twenty-one other key characters in his life.
In 2013, Bob and Dana Townsend became the newest owners of the Inn, bringing 21st-century luxury to the 19th-century building. The Inn is now open as a hotel for overnight stays, banquet events, weddings, and tours.
Sheridan’s Veterans Hospital is located on the site of historic Fort Mackenzie. In 1899, Congress appropriated funds for a permanent garrison on this site, and by June 18 of that year a detachment of the First Cavalry had arrived.
In November of 1901, the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 18th Infantry were garrisoned here. By August of 1902, companies G and H of the Tenth Cavalry, known as the Buffalo Soldiers, arrived. These soldiers, returning from fighting in Cuba and the Philippines, were reassigned here for recuperation and retraining. Construction of the current red brick buildings began in 1902.
The campus is open for tours during daylight hours. Please respect the privacy of patients, residents, and staff. All buildings are closed to the public except for official business.
The Bighorn Mountains have been at the center of the essential Sheridan experience for generations. The mountains boast secluded canyons, miles of hiking, biking and riding trails, secret fishing holes, epic climbing lines, and so much more.
Consider renting a bike, stocking up on backpacking or climbing gear, tying a few flies, or purchasing any other outdoor essential from one of our outstanding outfitters. These include Back Country Bikes & Mountain Works, Sheridan Bicycle Company, The Sport Stop, Rocky Mountain Discount Sports, the Fly Shop of the Bighorns, and more.
Jumpstart your day of outdoor adventure with a breakfast at the Shabby Shack (the peaches and cream French toast are a local favorite), or Andi’s Coffee, then drive out to Highway 14 toward Dayton; the beautiful town of Dayton is the gateway to the Tongue River Canyon. The canyon features a long in-and-out multi-purpose adventure trail, swimming and fishing holes, and some of the finest views in all of Wyoming.
Further along Highway 14, up and into the mountains, you’ll come to Steamboat Point, one of Sheridan County’s most recognizable outdoor symbols. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Sheridan late in the spring, the wildflowers at Steamboat are stunning. The strenuous hike to the top of Steamboat is short – less than a mile – but climbs nearly 600 feet, offering sweeping panoramic views of the valley below.
If you’re in the mood for more outdoor recreation, continue along Highway 14 to Burgess Junction, and take Highway 14A to the trailhead for Porcupine Falls; one of the Bighorn’s most beautiful secrets, the falls pour out of a granite wall and tumble hundreds of feet to a pool below.
Finally, end your day of exploration at over 10,000 feet with a visit to the historic Medicine Wheel – this ancient ceremonial Indian site is still used today for cultural and ritualistic events.
When you finally return to Sheridan, bursting at the seams with a hundred years’ worth of frontier history, outdoor grit and local insight, you’ll be in a fine position to share Wyoming’s tall tales, historic gossip and spectacular stories with your friends and family.