The Unexpected Places To Go in Wyoming

If you are a so-called “newbie” to Wyoming, you’ve probably done your research and have a few places in mind that you’ll visit when you get here. We’ll call them the expected. But even though they are expected, there are some delightfully unexpected things you can add to the list while you are here. I’m here to guide you through two famous spots and give you some ideas of things you’ve maybe never heard of or maybe you have but you weren’t sold. Jackson is the biggest "expected" in our big, beautiful state. With it’s close proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, it’s not a big surprise to any of us. But there is more to this little valley than what meets the eye.

City of Jackson HoleThe city of Jackson sits in the lush valley of Northwest Wyoming, nestled right below Grand Teton National Park. 

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Especially if you are about to burn a boat load of calories. If you are staying in town, one of my favorites is to grab a coffee and a chocolate croissant from Persephone. If you have some time to sit down, opt for the chicken and waffles at Cafe Genevieve. Once the food settles, head out for an endless run on the elk refuge road. It offers insanely gorgeous views of the mountains and buttes and there is a chance you’ll see some wildlife. If hiking is a little more your speed and you want something on the casual side, opt for the Taggart Lake trailhead in Grand Teton National Park. It’s a little less than four miles round trip and offers some pretty epic views of mountains, lakes and streams.

Taggart Lake, Grand Teton National Park, WyomingHikers congregate to take in the pristine views along the Taggart Lake trailhead-- A gorgeous scenic trail amid the Grand Tetons. 

Once you finish being active, it’s time to take some calories back in. Take a scenic drive through Grand Teton National Park on the inner road and head to Signal Mountain Lodge for the most epic nachos you’ve ever had. A half size is typically plenty for me and a friend but if you’re feeling up for the challenge, by all means go nuts and order the full size. Finish your day in Jackson with a drink at Snake River Brewing or Lift, located at the base of Snow King. The hardest decision you’ll make today is deciding where to have dinner. With a plethora of options, you can’t go wrong. I like The Kitchen, Thai Me Up or Local. But like I said, you can’t wrong in this little town that can.

Snake River BrewingA typical spread you might find on your table at Snake River Brewing: delicious food and plenty of locally brewed pints. 

If we are talking about infamous people and places, there may be no one more infamous in Wyoming than Buffalo Bill Cody. And there is no better place to relive that history than Cody. Many know Cody for it’s grand entrance from the east into Yellowstone and for being beautifully located in the Northeast corner of Wyoming. But there is so much more to this little town. Start your day with breakfast at Rocky Mountain Mojoe. They have the best biscuits in town and a breakfast burrito that will put all others to shame. Grab a coffee, get your fix, hit the road.

cody-streetlightsDowntown Cody lights up at night with several dining, bar, and entertainment options.

First up is a hike up Cedar Mountain. There are a couple of different options for hiking the place where Buffalo Bill wished to be buried. You can opt for the quick hike of 3 miles or do the whole thing for a nice even 6 miler. I say, dream big and do the 6. This will give you some wiggle room later when your pondering a bag of candy at Cowtown Candy. Legend has it that Buffalo Bill is actually buried here after friends stole his body from the morgue in Denver. ...Report back if you his ghost wandering around. After you are done sweating it out, pile into the car and drive into town to enjoy a pint at Pat O’Hara’s. When your stomach starts to grumble, move on over to the Irma for a classic Wyoming style dinner. Prime Rib is the obvious choice but if you aren’t a meat lover, they’ve got other things on the menu for you to enjoy.

Irma HotelThe Irma Hotel is not only a historic hotel, but also a local dining favorite. Be sure to try their famed prime rib next time you're in town. 

After you’ve silenced the beast, I suggest topping your night off at the Chamberlain Inn to enjoy a cocktail on the lawn. My personal favorite is the "Death in the Afternoon", a cocktail that pays tribute to Ernest Hemingway who stayed at the adorable spot. This is where I leave you. You can stay out for more cocktails but if I were you, I’d hit the hay early because there are more adventures to be had and I hate missing out on any of them. Need more ideas? Where should we go next?! The Wanderlust Foodie cowboy kandiKandi is a runner, adventurer and avid chocolate eater. Originally hailing from the east coast, she packed up her life, hitched her wagon west and hasn’t looked back once. The mountains called and she answered! Follow her adventures on Twitter @Kandi_rae