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From its never-ending natural beauty to the folksy and welcoming charm of its inhabitants, Northeast Wyoming is a wild and wonderful destination worth exploring. Here are 10 reasons to add it to your summer itinerary right now.

RELATED: 7 dude ranch vacations to take this summer

Explore small towns with big footprints

King's Saddlery, Wyoming

King’s Saddlery, Wyoming

Northeast Wyoming is filled with charming and historically fascinating towns. Larger cities such as Gillette (which is where many people fly into the region) and Sheridan offer a Main Street, USA feel while serving as Wyoming’s centers for commerce, art and culture. Sundance, Buffalo, Alva and many other towns in the region have a distinctive hometown feel where everyone knows everyone and living on a ranch is still common.

Indulge in tasty cuisine



There are many things that Northeastern Wyoming does quite well and one of those things—surprisingly—is pizza. Both the family-owned Pizza Carello in Gillette and Pie Zanos in Buffalo are well-known for their classic and signature wood-fired pizzas. Fuel up at breakfast in grand style at PO News & Cafe in Sheridan. Meanwhile, enjoy contemporary American cuisine at Frackelton’s, also in Sheridan. This restaurant specializes in high protein dishes and delicious sides. If you find yourself visiting Sheridan on a Sunday, check out Frackelton’s Sunday brunch wher benedicts, breakfast burgers and breakfast salads can be enjoyed along with select items from their lunch menu.

Pick from a variety of great places to stay

Historic Sheridan Inn

In Gillette, both the Holiday Inn Express Suites Gillette and La Quinta Inn & Suites are replete with spacious accommodations. Staying here is a great value, especially since breakfast is included. Meanwhile,  the Historic Sheridan Inn in Sheridan is not only a terrific hotel, but also a national historic landmark. This property was once managed by Buffalo Bill Cody who would hold auditions on the hotel’s front porch. Today, each comfortable and inviting guest room at the Sheridan is themed to famous Western personalities. Be sure to sign up for Orbitz Rewards before you book—it’s free to join and you’ll earn instant rewards good toward more travel.

Imbibe in spirited libations

Mint Bar

At Gillette’s Big Lost Meadery & Brewery, a lively watering hole that’s equally popular with locals, you’ll find a great selection of house craft beers, as well as meads, which are alcoholic beverages created by fermenting honey and water, with similar flavor notes as wine. Definitely try a few of them at Big Lost. Over in Sheridan, head to the lively The Mint Bar. It’s been the place to see and be seen in town for more than 110 years—it’s the oldest bar in Sheridan. Meanwhile, The Occidental Saloon in Buffalo is the embodiment of bars portrayed in Western films. If the walls could talk, they would tell stories of yesteryear gun fights, raucous poker games and pretty much everything that Hollywood has portrayed in celluloid. Nowadays, the Occidental Saloon maintains a presence of calm—that is, until the hotel’s resident ghost gets agitated (read on to learn more).

Marvel at the devil in the heavens

Devils Tower, Wyoming

Devils Tower, Wyoming

About an hour from Gillette is the monolithic Devils Tower, the first U.S. national monument. Standing 867 feet, Devils Tower is an iconic rock formation which, on a very clear day, can be viewed from many miles away. The surroundings of the Devils Tower are scenic and peaceful and feature a structured walking path, so you can experience some of the most scenic views in Wyoming.

ALSO: Upgrade your Wyoming adventure with Orbitz Rewards—it’s free to join!

Bison crossing road

Feel at home where the buffalo roam

If you have never experienced bison up close, you should. It’s a fascinating experience that will leave an indelible impression on you. This experience is best found at the massive 55,000 acre Durham Bison Ranch in Gillette. Home to nearly 3,000 bison, a tour of the ranch will help educate you on how important the animals are to the ecosystem, herding and so much more.

Black Elk Peak (Hinhan Kaga) Explored

Black Hills

Walk in the footsteps of “Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid”

When most people think of the name “Sundance,” they usually think of the resort in Utah that plays partial host to the film festival. Alas, there’s another Sundance and it’s in the Black Hills of Wyoming. Sundance is a one of those places that will feel familiar to visitors, since Hollywood has mimicked it in some form for film. It’s true, this place is as folksy as you might imagine: Everyone knows everyone and they are as friendly and welcoming as you might imagine! (Think Mayberry meets the Old Wes.) Sundance has a unique history in the American frontier era, but what most people don’t know its that Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch (more commonly known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) became famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) here in this city.

Spot a spirit from the other side

To learn all about Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch and the rich history of Sundance, visit the Crook County Museum & Art, which contains more than 7,000 authentic artifacts and antiquities. The 140-year-old Occidental Hotel in Buffalo has hosted famous Americans such as President Theodore Roosevelt, Calamity Jane and even Ernest Hemingway. But there’s one additional guest who continues to occupy space at the Occidental and she happens to be a ghost. When she’s unhappy, all sorts of strange and unexplainable things occur. This property remains one of the most haunted places in Wyoming, and a cursory Google search will yield videos from television programs that have performed paranormal investigations at the Occidental. The stories are riveting—and a visit there will certainly send chills up your spine!

Live the ranch life

Diamond Bar and Ranch

Diamond Bar and Ranch

Ever dream of working on a ranch? A visit to Diamond 7 Bar Ranch in Alva can make it happen. The Owen family, who run the 10,000-acre property, have deep familial roots at the ranch and they take pride highlighting the vast expanse of the property to visiting guests. Here, you’ll get to experience ranch life by moving cattle on horseback, gathering eggs from the hen house, learning how to saddle a horse—all while keeping a close eye on a very sneaky goose who roams the property. The TA Ranch in Buffalo has plenty of stories to tell, as well, as it was the location of a three-day shoot-out that’s more commonly known as the Johnson County War. This escalating conflict only ended once President Benjamin Harrison ordered the U.S. Calvary to end the siege. Today, the owners of TA Ranch work hard to preserve the historic property, which also serves as a guest ranch where you can spend the night and also hike, fish and ride horseback.

Tongue River Canyon

Tongue River Canyon

Get outdoors

The Tongue River Canyon Trail in Sheridan is a nature lover’s paradise. The limestone cliffs and surrounding flora and fauna is only matched by the beauty and power of the thundering Tongue River. In addition to enjoying its majestic scenery, you may want to consider fishing or test your courage by rock climbing with Bighorn Mountain Guides.

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Tagged: Wyoming

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Jason Gordon

Jason Gordon

Jason is executive producer of the multiple award-winning luxury travel series andiamo! UPTOWN (@andiamotv), which airs throughout the U.S. every week on Magic Johnson's Aspire channel.

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