Known for its beautiful natural scenery, fantastic skiing opportunities, and abundant wildlife, Wyoming is the perfect place to spend a long Thanksgiving weekend. Book a vacation rental in Wyoming, and enjoy great views of snowy peaks, as well as outdoor recreation and family-friendly holiday activities in a festive atmosphere. Check out local restaurants offering delicious Thanksgiving spreads, and browse local businesses for special holiday gifts you won’t find anywhere else.

1. Jackson Hole

Source: Pixabay/12019

For a festive atmosphere, head to Jackson Hole for your Thanksgiving break. Sign up for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K Race to work up an appetite for a down-home Thanksgiving dinner at the Silver Dollar Bar or Teton Pines. On Friday, head to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a tram ride to view the spectacular mountain scenery. In the evening, head downtown for the Town Square Lighting, when Jackson Hole becomes a shimmering wonderland and Santa comes to visit in a sleigh pulled by a team of local sled dogs. Finish up your weekend with shopping or skiing at one of the many area resorts. Take a guided wildlife tour to learn more about the moose, elk, and wolves that call the Wyoming wilderness home.

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2. Cheyenne

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If food is at the center of your Thanksgiving traditions, consider Cheyenne as your vacation destination. Little America serves up a delicious Thanksgiving brunch with style in its Grand Ballroom. Opt for a cozier setting with a formal Thanksgiving dinner at Hathaway’s Restaurant, with slow-roasted turkey and honey-glazed ham along with mouthwatering homemade desserts, such as bread pudding and cobbler. After you’ve rested up from your big meal, take a visit to the Hemi Lighted Forest of Hope to view over 600 lighted Christmas trees in support of curing childhood seizures. Head downtown on Saturday to watch the illuminated holiday floats at the Cheyenne Christmas Parade. Sample a Victorian holiday tea at the Nagle Warren Mansion while being serenaded with holiday music.

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3. Cody

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Experience Thanksgiving in cowboy country. Cody’s scenic vistas and a rich sense of history make it easy to give thanks. Eateries like the Irma Hotel offer a bountiful Thanksgiving buffet, so you don’t need to spend hours cooking in your vacation rental kitchen. Spend Friday immersing yourself in cowboy culture with a visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum of the West. Hike along the Old Town Trail, where Wild West history comes to life. Start your holiday season with the Cody Christmas Stroll and Lighted Parade on Saturday. Your kids are sure to love roasting marshmallows over barrels located along the street while you warm up between visiting the ice sculpture display and shopping your way around town.

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4. Sheridan

trail fence
Source: Flickr/Joanna Poe

Celebrate Thanksgiving surrounded by ranch country at a vacation home in Sheridan. Check out the holiday performances at Sheridan’s historic theaters. The Sheridan Civic Theatre Guild hosts performances in a converted 1910 carriage house. The WYO Theater, originally a 1923 vaudeville theater, offers a variety of regional performances through Sheridan Stage. Head into downtown on Saturday for the annual Christmas stroll, complete with live entertainment, a visit from Santa, and food and product samples from area businesses. The night ends with a glorious fireworks display.

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5. Lusk

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
Source: Flickr/USFWS Mountain-Prairie

If you dream of a small-town Thanksgiving, check out Lusk. The little town with big possibilities welcomes visitors with quiet streets and old-fashioned activities, priding itself on its beautiful scenery and fresh air. Pick up everything you need to prepare your Thanksgiving meal in your vacation rental at Decker’s Market, or sample the local cuisine at the Silver Dollar Saloon and Steakhouse. Early fall snowfalls heighten the visibility of local wildlife, so step outside at dusk to try to catch a glimpse of majestic pronghorn antelope, elk, deer, and wild turkey. On Friday, head into town to start your holiday shopping. Crafty types are sure to love browsing the quaint shops lining the main street, including Lickety-Stitch Quilts, Hometown Country, and Bloomers.

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6. Casper

Ayer's National Bridge
Source: Flickr/Jim Bowen

With easy access to outdoor activities as well as a thriving town center, Casper is the perfect vacation spot when you’re having trouble choosing between rural and urban destinations. Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to hit the cross-country ski trails, take in a Casper Coyotes hockey match, or learn about history at the Fort Casper Museum. The whole family is welcome to participate in the Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run-Walk. The Casper Events Center hosts a variety of seasonal entertainment, including concerts and Broadway shows. Check for tickets early, because events during the holiday weekend sell out quickly.

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7. Rock Springs

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Western history buffs are sure to love Thanksgiving vacation in Rock Springs. This old railway and mining town offers many opportunities to immerse yourself in history, including the Rock Springs Historical Museum and the Natural History Museum of Western Wyoming College. Check out the Outlaw Inn for a fantastic Thanksgiving feast served in surroundings reminiscent of the Old West. Thanksgiving weekend in Rock Springs just isn’t complete without a jaunt through downtown to look at holiday decor and go shopping. Stop by the Gail Hill Memorial Craft Fair for handmade goodies, and take a peek at the YWCA Festival of Trees.

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8. Buffalo

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Nestled in the Bighorn Mountains, Buffalo provides dramatic views in every direction and a friendly population ready to help make your Thanksgiving vacation memorable. Sign up for the Button Strut at any local business to get a decorative Christmas button and a map of shops participating in the program. The button gets you discounts and freebies at many of these locations. Take in the outdoor splendor with a drive along the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway. This drive takes about an hour and offers spectacular views of Cloud Peak Mountain. Check the weather before you start out; wintry storms pop up fast in the mountains.

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9. Sundance

Devil's Tower
Source: Flickr/Lietmotiv

Thanksgiving in Sundance gives you a true small-town holiday experience. Book a vacation rental with a fireplace to curl up on chilly evenings, and then spend your days exploring this historical town. Start your day at the Crook County Museum, and go on a self-guided tour to learn more about the town where the Sundance Kid got his name. Stop by the Devils Tower Visitor Center to learn more about this geological formation. Local businesses are ready to help you find souvenirs and holiday presents while you enjoy seeing the town all lit up for the holidays.

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