You can stay at a chain hotel anywhere, but when you visit Wyoming, nothing will enhance your travels like booking a room at a historic inn. Lucky you, we have many hotels across the state that are not only national historic landmarks but are also comfortable places to spend the night. The bonus is that you get to experience Wyoming history in the bargain, stepping back in time as you step through the front door. Don’t know where to find these amazing lodgings? To get you started, here are 10 historical Wyoming inns that will transport you to another time.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park
The Old Faithful Inn looks like a cross between a massive log cabin and a grand castle. It was built in sections starting in 1903 with the "newest" part being built on in 1920. The interior is just as imaginative and awe-inspiring as the exterior, with rock fireplaces and beautiful log beams. This hotel was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
2. Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins, Yellowstone National Park
The hotel and cabins at Lake Yellowstone are another lodging option when you visit the country's oldest national park. Painted a cheery sunshine yellow and sporting a portico with stately pillars out front, this hotel, built in 1891, emulates magnificent hotels from much more exclusive places - think Oregon's Timberline Lodge. The cozy little cabins are painted to match the main hotel, and are simple but accommodating - just as you'd expect lodging from another time to be.
3. Occidental Hotel, 10 North Main Street, Buffalo
Often referred to as the
Historic Occidental Hotel, this inn was founded in 1880. For almost 140 years, it's hosted normal folk alongside the famous and infamous including Tom Horn, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Teddy Roosevelt, Calamity Jane, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Management has gone to lengths to keep the lobby, rooms, and even the restaurant looking the same as it did over a century ago. The hotel itself is like a museum with antiques everywhere you look, but there's an actual museum in the building where you can see even more Wyoming history from Buffalo and the Occidental.
4. Historic Plains Hotel, 1600 Central Avenue, Cheyenne
Built in 1911, the exterior of the Historic Plains Hotel looks much like it did back then, but it's really the inside that will make you swear you'd passed through a time portal. Wood and decorative metal railings adorn the balconies that tower four stories above the elegant lobby, embellished with crown molding and a stained glass skylight. If you've ever wondered what it's like to visit the early 1900s, you'll know after a stay at the Plains Hotel.
5. Mountain View Hotel, 2747 WY-130, Centennial
Listed on the National Historic Register, this cozy hotel was built in 1907 to offer a comfortable rest stop to those traveling across the southern part of the state. Looking more like a cozy home than an inn, the wrap-around covered porch and peaceful surroundings will take you back in time even before you enter the building. The countless pictures and artifacts inside from the hotel's history add to the effect.
6. The Wort Hotel, 50 North Glenwood Street, Jackson
Walking into the lobby of the Wort and up the grand stair case will make you feel as if you'd stepped out of the 21st Century and right into a 19th Century ranch. Elegant woodwork, thick carpets, and western décor adorn the interior, just as it has since this fine hotel opened in 1941. A bar was built onto the structure in 1950, and the hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
7. The Historic Elk Mountain Hotel, 102 East Main Street, Elk Mountain
The hotel in Elk Mountain was built in 1905 and served not only as a place for lodging but also as a social center for the community. Locals and visitors both enjoyed the crave-worthy menu in the dining room - and they still do! Plus, when a pavilion was built on the property in 1880, it was the only place within 50 miles that offered a spot for live bands to play and people to dance. Today, the rooms are still comfortable and inviting, the restaurant still serves amazing food, and relaxing on the covered balcony overlooking the grounds and the spectacular Wyoming wilderness beyond will take you to a simpler time.
8. Chamberlin Inn, 1032 12th Street, Cody
The history of the Chamberlin Inn dates back to 1903. Although the business has operated under several other names over the years, it was changed back to the Chamberlin Inn to honor the woman who originally opened it as a boarding house over a century ago, Agnes Chamberlin. Considered a boutique hotel, there are only 21 rooms, but the décor is darling with brass and wrought iron beds, period desks and chairs, and even the landline telephones look like old-school rotary phones (though they are push-button).
9. Mill Inn, 2161 Coffeen Avenue, Sheridan
It's the exterior of this inn that transports you to another era. Built on the property of the Sheridan Flouring Mills, the structure dates back to 1919, when it was an actual flour mill shipping out products across the world. The lobby is loaded with historical pictures and other fascinating items you'll want to spend hours examining.
10. Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel, 1192 Sheridan Avenue, Cody
It's been said that walking into the Irma Hotel is like stepping back into the Old West. Though it's been restored and well maintained over the years, the hotel is, for the most part, just as it was when it was built in 1902. The lobby, hallways, and rooms are decorated with antiques and old photos, and the saloon houses the original cherrywood bar, a present to Bill from Queen Victoria who was a fan and good friend of the Wild West showman.