An important part of experiencing Sheridan is exploring the history & culture of the American West. This 4-Day Itinerary will lead you in the footsteps of Buffalo Bill, General Custer and the fascinating locals, miners, cowboys and legends who came before us.
Rise and shine in either the “Sitting Bull Room” or “Wild Bill Hickok” suite at the Historic Sheridan Inn, Buffalo Bill Cody’s former stomping grounds. Each room in the Inn is uniquely decorated and named for important figures in Buffalo Bill’s life.
After breakfast, take a drive to the site of one of the most famous battles in American history, the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Located 69 miles north of Sheridan, the Little Bighorn National Monument is the location of the crucial 1876 battle between George Armstrong Custer and the Sioux. Explore the museum exhibits and take a self-guided walking tour of the site but for a full appreciation, join a guided bus tour with Apsaalooke Tours. Presented in conjunction with the Crow Tribe and Native American tour guides, the tour follows the course of events leading up to that fateful day.
Return to town just in time for happy hour at the Mint Bar: Wyoming’s legendary meeting place, serving frosty brews since 1907 with only a short hiatus* during prohibition (*The Mint still ran a speakeasy in the back).
Rise to beat the crowds of other history buffs and tour Indian battle sites and former military posts, including the Rosebud and Connor Battlefields, the site of the Wagon Box Fight and Ft Phil Kearny, located on the Bozeman Trail. Enjoy these sites on your own or try a private, customized tour with Thunder Mountain Tours.
Enjoy lunch at the historic Big Horn Smokehouse and Saloon. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Smokehouse was originally built as a livery stable and soon converted to a saloon to serve the wagon trains along the Bozeman Trail.
After lunch, tour the Brinton Museum and Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building in Big Horn, offering an authentic view into the life and lifestyle of a 1920’s western gentleman and art collector and housing one of the most robust collections of Indian and western artifacts in the West.
Enjoy dinner at Frackelton’s, located at 55 N Main Street in a building that began as D&D Hardware in 1919. The Diefenderfer and Dinwiddie Hardware building also housed the upstairs offices and practice of “The Sagebrush Dentist” and namesake for the restaurant, Dr. William Frackelton.
Spend the day roaming the streets of Historic Downtown Sheridan. Grab a Historic Downtown Sheridan Walking Tour brochure and discover the interesting history of some of Sheridan’s most historically significant business and structures. (The Downtown Sheridan Association’s Walking Tour brochure can be picked up at the Visitor’s Center or online). On your tour of downtown, don’t miss the old west marvels at the Don King Museum, across the alley from King’s Saddlery. Housing everything from horse-drawn hearses, an incredible old west photo archive, a remarkable collection of saddles, and Indian artifacts, the Don King Museum offers a glimpse at life in the Old West through the years.
When the walking tour has left you feeling peckish, cozy up with the locals for lunch at PO News & Flagstaff Café, a staple on Sheridan’s Main Street since 1907.
Afterwards, take a tour of the Trail End State Historic Site. Built in Flemish Revival style, the 13,748 square foot mansion provides an intriguing glimpse into life during the period of 1913-1933, primarily as seen through the eyes of the John B. Kendrick family.
Spend the morning traveling on the Black Diamond Trail of Sheridan County. A drive of the trail will take you through the physical remnants of the once vibrant mining communities of Dietz, Acme, Carneyville, Monarch and Kooi. (A brochure with map is available at the Visitor Center or online here). Enjoy a picnic at the Kleenburn Recreation Area, reclaimed land from the coal town and mines of Carneyville.
Next on your itinerary, explore the history of the American West from a local perspective at the Sheridan County Museum. Exhibits focus on local history, industry and ties to the larger narrative of American history.
For dinner, feast on such specialties as Bison Ribeye or Chicken Fried Steak at the Open Range Restaurant, located in the Historic Sheridan Inn. Afterwards, kick up your boots on the porch of the Historic Sheridan Inn the way Buffalo Bill once did, and watch the sun set on your time in Sheridan.