Best of Wyoming

Explore innovation throughout the state of Wyoming!

WPM’s ‘Best of Wyoming’ offers snapshots of creative and inspirational ventures in communities across the state. If you have recommendations for this page, please e-mail Best of Wyoming’s curator (ddenison@uwyo.edu) or post upcoming events in the Wyoming Public Media calendar.

Each month a different community is featured. The pages below feature Artists, Performers, Wyoming Heritage and the Great Outdoors in each community. For other nonprofits in the state, visit the Wyoming Nonprofit & Charitable Organizations page. Listen to local history on the WPM Wyoming Stories page, and view the Best of Wyoming Listener Favorites & Photo Contests Pages.

There are so many picturesque routes that lead to Cheyenne!

Historic Governors’ Mansion - Cheyenne

Dec 20, 2012
Historic Governors’ Mansion

The People’s House

In 1904, 14 years after achieving statehood, Wyoming built its first governor’s mansion, a modest house compared to the large dwellings built in other parts of downtown Cheyenne. The Historic Governors’ Mansion is located at 300 E. 21st Street, just five blocks from the State Capitol in what was, at the time, a middle class neighborhood.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Dec 7, 2012
Cheyenne Botanic Gardens

Discover all 27 specialty landscapes – there truly is something for everyone. There is always something in bloom either inside the solar greenhouse or on the Grounds.

Sustainability at the Gardens

Cheyenne Depot Museum

Dec 5, 2012
Cheyenne Depot Museum

In 1993 the Union Pacific donated the depot building to the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County, and stabilization of the building was begun a year later.  Since then, the building has undergone various stages of an extensive rehabilitation project.  The first floor now houses the Cheyenne Depot Museum and a brewpub/restaurant.  The upper levels house offices for various city and private concerns related to tourism, economic development and the museum.

Virginia Dale Stage Station – 30 Miles South of Laramie

Dec 3, 2012
Virginia Dale Community Club

Listen to a bit of Virginia Dale history on the Wyoming Public Media Wyoming Stories link.

The Virginia Dale stage station, made of hand-hewn logs, is among the most important structures in Larimer County dating back to 1862 when the Overland Stage Company relocated its line from central Wyoming to Colorado. It served as “home” station where passengers could stop, rest and get a meal. It is the only one left in the United States in its original condition on its original site.

UW Dance Program - Laramie

Nov 30, 2012
UW Theatre & Dance

Since 1998, "Vertical Dance at Vedauwoo" has been an end-of-summer favorite with local audiences, with the natural rock formations at Vedauwoo offering a spectacular setting for the dance, which covers the entire performance area and connects the land to the sky. Created by UW faculty members Margaret Wilson and Neil Humphrey, the site-specific vertical dance choreography features UW students dancing on rocks both near to and far away from the audience.

Upcoming Events:

From the Ashes: A Cinderella Ballet (DANCE)  

Best of Wyoming

We continue our virtual tour of Wyoming in Laramie, home of the University of Wyoming, the Cowboys, the Snowy Range, and of course, the location of Wyoming Public Media.

Gryphon Theatre – Laramie

Nov 29, 2012
Gryphon Theatre

The Laramie Plains Civic Center is proud to host The Gryphon Theatre. The venue plays host to numerous events, ranging from local community productions and events to unmatched national and international touring productions and concerts.

The Theatre's unique history and charm add to its iconic status as one of Wyoming's premier performance venues.

For information on The Gryphon, please click HERE.

Laramie Mural Project

Nov 28, 2012
Laramie Mural Project

The Laramie Mural Project was formed as a collaboration between local artists, the University of Wyoming Art Museum and the Laramie Main Street Alliance in order to enhance public art in historic downtown Laramie. For the past two years, with financial and in kind support from the Guthrie Family Foundation, Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, Laramie Beautification Committee and City of Laramie, local artists have created large scale murals on blank walls downtown.

Mark Jenkins

Laramie resident Mark Jenkins returned to Wyoming after climbing Mount Everest in May 2012.

Read More & Listen to Story

Rebecca Martinez

The University of Wyoming dedicated its new Visual Arts building January 20, 2012.

Read more

UW American Heritage Center – Laramie

Nov 20, 2012
American Heritage Center

The American Heritage Center is the University of Wyoming’s manuscript repository, rare books library, and official archives.  The AHC is one of the nation’s biggest, busiest, and best non-governmental archival institutions in the nation:  1) AHC holdings total 75,000 cubic feet (or 18 miles) of manuscripts and archives and 60,000 rare book volumes; 2) AHC assists 5-6,000 researchers every year, from K-12 and undergraduates to senior scholars to documentary filmmakers, and users come from across the globe; 3) in 2010 the AHC received the highest honor possible in the archival profession, th

Laramie Historic Railroad Depot

Nov 9, 2012
Laramie Historic Railroad Depot

The Laramie Railroad Depot was built in 1924 to replace the town's original Union Pacific Depot/Hotel that was destroyed by fire in 1917.  It served as Laramie's Union Pacific passenger depot until 1971 and as an Amtrak depot until 1983.

Laramie Plains Museum

Nov 2, 2012
Laramie Plains Museum

VICTORIAN GRANDEUR SHOWCASES THE WEST

Wyoming House For Historic Women - Laramie

Nov 1, 2012
Wyoming House for Historic Women

The Louisa Swain Foundation was established in 2001 (under the former name of The Laramie Foundation). 

Since its inception the Foundation has funded construction of a large plaza and the Wyoming House for Historic Women in historic downtown Laramie, WY.  The centerpiece of the plaza is a life-sized bronze sculpture of Louisa Swain, who on September 6, 1870, became the first woman to cast a ballot under laws giving women full equality to men.  Her ballot was cast just one block from the plaza.

Wyoming Public Media

Rawlins – Just the name invokes images of cowboys, cattle drives, and rustic western ways!  But the real Rawlins has so much more, like the Jubilanté Ensembles, Main Street Murals, and the Carbon County Museum.

Wyoming Frontier Prison - Rawlins

Oct 31, 2012
Wyoming Frontier Prison

“The eighty year history of Wyoming’s first state penitentiary, now known as the Wyoming Frontier Prison, is as colorful and elaborate as the plot of a classic western movie. The cornerstone of the prison was laid in 1888, but due to funding issues and Wyoming’s notorious weather, the doors wouldn’t open for thirteen years. In December of 1901, the prison opened and consisted of only 104 cells (Cell Block A), no electricity or running water, and very inadequate heating.”

Rawlins DDA/Main Street

Oct 23, 2012
Rawlins DDA/Main Street

Take a walk though time and space with Rawlins’ downtown mural tour. This educational walking tour, funded by Rawlins DDA/Main Street, Carbon County School District #1 Recreation Board and the Wyoming Arts Council, celebrates the history of Carbon County through murals created by local artists in 2005-2007. The 12 murals highlight the history and natural beauty of south central Wyoming. From the innovate work of Thomas Edison and James Candlish to the splendor of the native pronghorn and aspen, the mural tour shows the diverse and rich history of the region.

Rawlins Music Academy

Oct 15, 2012
Rawlins Music Academy

The Rawlins Music Academy features a beginning hand chime choir that practices every Monday from 5:30 until 6:45pm.  They also have a hand bell choir that practices every Thursday from 5 until 6:30pm.   The first fall concert will be November 10th in Encampment or Saratoga.  The second concert will be November 11th at the Rawlins Middle School.  The final Christmas concert will be held on December 16th at Rawlins High School.

For more information, please visit http://www.jubilante.org/rawlinsmusicacademy.html .

Jubilanté Ensembles of Carbon County - Rawlins

Oct 5, 2012
Jubilante Ensembles

Encouraging and Facilitating Musical Growth

Jubilanté Ensembles of Carbon County exist to create community instrumental groups, which will provide musical playing and performance opportunities, as well as encourage and facilitate musical growth for the players and the community through varying musical genres.

Jubilanté, a large mixed ensemble, rehearses on Sunday afternoons from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.  Della Smith is the primary conductor.  Rehearsals will be at the Rawlins Music Academy beginning June 3.

Carbon County Museum - Rawlins

Oct 1, 2012
Carbon County Museum

Carbon County Museum opened in 1940 in one room of the county courthouse. Since then the museum and its collection have grown to include over 30,000 artifacts housed in a former Church. Rotating exhibits highlight regional and local history, including personalities, western industries, and sensational events unique to the county. Displays feature “Big Nose” George Parrott (a bandit who became a pair of shoes), an original Wyoming State flag, restored vehicles, ranching, the railroad, geology and natural history collections.

Weidner Wildlife Museum – Rock Springs

Sep 18, 2012
Weidner Wildlife Museum

The Weidner Wildlife Museum opened in September 2002 and houses nearly 125 species of wildlife collected worldwide.  This fascinating display of mounted wildlife entertains and educates visitors, excites hunters and often motivates interest in the conservation of outdoor resources. The wildlife in the museum was donated to Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs by residents, Roger A. and Jeanne A Weidner.  Education is the most important reason that the museum displays mounted wildlife.  The Wildlife Museum is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Wyoming Public Media

I first visited Rock Springs last summer and got a wonderful history of the city from out hosts, Mike and Lynne Chadey.  They touted the history of Rock Springs, and pointed out some of the landmarks that helped shape the area’s culture.  I was struck by the diversity found in Rock Springs, and enjoyed hearing about the abundance of ethnic influences.  My stay in Rock Springs included a visit to Western Wyoming Community College and a tour of the majestic facilities built for the enhancement of education for students in the area.    Granted, this was a short stay in Rock Springs, but it lef

Ashley National Forest

The Flaming Gorge NRA is located in the northeast corner of Utah and the southwest corner of Wyoming. It is South of I-80, between Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming and extends into the Uintah Mountains towards Vernal, Utah. The area is a mixture of climate, topography, and recreation opportunities well suited to a variety of summer and winter interests.

Rock Springs Historical Museum

Sep 13, 2012
Rock Springs Historical Museum

The Rock Springs Historical Museum is housed in the original Rock Springs City Hall. The building was built in 1894 at an original cost of $28,200.  The funds for the construction did not come from the ever present Union Pacific Coal Company and Railroad, but from revenues collected in the issuing of liquor licenses.  The building is built from native sandstone and boasts an impressive 14-foot foundation that was made necessary by the presence of "quicksand" at the site.

Community Fine Arts Center – Rock Springs

Sep 10, 2012
Community Fine Arts Center

The Community Fine Arts Center houses a collection of over 600 original American paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures owned by Sweetwater County School District # 1. Artists represented in the collection include Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Forrest Moses, Loren McGiver, Elliott Orr, Edward Chavez, Paul Horiuchi, Ilya Bolotowsky, Raphael Soyer, and Rufino Tamayo. Paintings by well known Wyoming, Western, and local artists are also on display. The collection continues to grow through purchases and donations.

WWCC Art Gallery - Rock Springs

Sep 4, 2012
WWCC Art Gallery

The Western Wyoming College Art Gallery is located at 2500 College Drive in Rock Springs, as you enter the main entrance to the building.   It is an adjunct to the Art Program at the college and serves to introduce students and the greater community to new concepts in materials’ use or ideas of contemporary visual investigation.  

Fort Bridger State Park

By 1840, the Fur Trade Era, with its keen competition for beaver pelts, its raucous reputation for rendezvous, and its solid association with all that was wild and untamed in the Rocky Mountain West, was drawing its last breath. Mountain men who had survived the rigors of the wilderness were forced to seek new methods of employment. Two of those men, Jim Bridger and Louis Vasquez, teamed up to operate a trading post in order to provide much needed services for the rapidly increasing number of settlers passing through on the way to their promised lands.

Young Musicians – Evanston

Aug 27, 2012
Young Musicians

Young Musicians Inc. is the premier non-profit arts-presenting organization in Southwest Wyoming.  Its mission is to present year-long arts and cultural programming in Evanston and Uinta County, provide outstanding and unique educational and performance opportunities to music students of all ages and ability levels, and to make music and the arts a higher priority in public school systems.

Bear River State Park - Evanston

Aug 21, 2012
Bear River State Park

Bear River is a year-round park that offers nearly 300 acres that are ideal for picnicking, hiking, wildlife viewing, group activities, bicycling, skiing, rollerblading, remote control cars and many other activities. The park is home to a small head of captive bison and elk kept for public viewing. Three miles of foot trails are within park limits. They include 1.2 miles of paved trail and an arched footbridge that crosses the Bear River. Another 1.7 miles of packed gravel trails are on the of the west side of the river.

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