SI Swimsuit 2020 Destinations: Laramie, Wyoming

For an adventure and history-packed vacation, head to Laramie, Wyoming.

We know what you're thinking—a Swimsuit shoot in Wyoming? Trust us when we say it was one of the most magical locations we've ever had the pleasure of working in.

When we traveled west with models Vita Sidorkina, Myla Dalbesio, Marquita Pring, Danielle Herrington, Kim Riekenberg and Emily DiDonato, we knew we were in for an adventure. Laramie is bursting with incredible history, gorgeous landscapes and insane cuisine. What's not to love?

Whether you're looking for an opportunity to hike some serious trails or catch a fish worth bragging about back home, Laramie has it all. Not an outdoorsy person? No problem! The Laramie Mural Project and Laramie Brew Fest may be more your speed.

Learn more about this gorgeous area below and report back when you've visited and fallen in love with it like we did.


Where is Laramie, Wyoming, located?
Nestled between two mountain ranges, Laramie is in the southeast region of Wyoming and just one hour west of Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne, or two hours from Denver.

How do I get to Laramie, Wyoming?
To get to Laramie, visitors can fly into the Laramie’s regional airport, Cheyenne’s regional airport or Denver International Airport, which is about a 2.5-hour drive. But one of the best ways to get to Laramie is by car to allow for exploration and scenic views along the drive, including the Snow Range Mountains and Vedauwoo Recreation Area.

Give us a quick snapshot history of Laramie, Wyoming. What is the area known for and why?
Laramie is well-known for its role in women’s suffrage 150 years ago. On September 6, 1870, Louisa “Eliza” Swain became the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under full civic equality to men. In 1870, Laramie also became the home of the first women to serve on a jury and the first female court bailiff.

Laramie is also home to the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wyoming Territorial Prison is an imposing stone structure built in 1872 (restored in 1990). For thirty years it held the West’s most violent outlaws including the notorious Butch Cassidy, during the dramatic time of Wyoming’s territorial days and early Statehood.

Laramie’s Western heritage carried onto television and from 1959-’63, NBC aired Laramie, an American Western television series.

Today, Laramie is a vibrant college town—home to Wyoming’s only four-year university, the University of Wyoming. Combined with the excitement of the university life, Laramie is home to Western history and lore and epic outdoor adventures.

What is the weather like year-round in Laramie, Wyoming?
Overall, weather in Laramie is seasonal but mild and because Wyoming is high plains, visitors can expect warmer days and cool nights. Generally, summers are warm, with mild to cool in the spring and fall, and snowy winters.

Best time of year to travel to Laramie, Wyoming?
Laramie is a popular destination around the year for outdoor enthusiasts offering a variety of activities. In the winter, hit the trails for snowmobiling or the slopes for ski runs. In the fall, explore the beautiful foliage (spring/summer for wildflowers) of the Snow Range Mountains or Vedauwoo on a hike. Or if you prefer a spectator sport, catch a football game at the University of Wyoming or one of many rodeos during Laramie’s Jubilee Days. Multiple seasons are also good for fishing, camping and biking.

What is the topography like in Laramie, Wyoming?
Laramie, Wyoming is in a valley between two mountain ranges and forests including in the Medicine Bow National Forest, the Pole Mountain area (where Vedauwoo is located) and the Snowy Range Mountains.

Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming

Sweet Melissa's 1_credit Wyoming Office of Tourism

Laramie, Wyoming

Basecamp_IMG_9117_credit Belgarde Photography

Laramie, Wyoming

Rebecca Walsh Hike Like a Woman founder in Vedauwoo Rec Area_credit_BHP Images

Laramie, Wyoming

Vedauwoo-Camping---Albany-County---2016---6_credit Wyoming Office of Tourism

Laramie, Wyoming

7-18_MedicineBowHikingFishing_KL_0397_4799_credit Wyoming Office of Tourism

What is so unique about this particular region of the United States?
While the nation is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, Laramie played a key role in many firsts for women 150 years ago this year. After Wyoming passed the Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Act, guaranteeing women the unconditional and on December 10, 1869. In Laramie the following year, Louisa “Eliza” Swain became the first woman in the world to cast a ballot under full civic equality to men. In 1870, Laramie also became the home of the first women to serve on a jury and the first female court bailiff.

Tell us about the culture and people in Laramie, Wyoming.
Laramie is a lively college-town with great museums, shopping and an abundant food and brewery scene. While many of its residents are attending the University of Wyoming, the city is rooted in Western heritage and Wyoming history from its pioneer women to its outlaws.

What are some must-have items to pack for a trip to Laramie, Wyoming?
Layers! Laramie is located in the high plains ,and weather can change frequently. Since you will be spending a lot of your time outside, make sure to bring layers to allow for easy wardrobe changes throughout all your experiences. Bring comfortable shoes for walking and hiking.

What is the one thing someone must bring home from Laramie, Wyoming?
Buy a pair of cowboy boots from Martindale’s Western Store, which is Laramie’s only locally owned Western store, specializing in American-made products. Or find the perfect outdoor gear from Basecamp, female-owned and operated by Rebecca Walsh.

What are some go to restaurants in Laramie, Wyoming?
Laramie is home to more than 34 restaurants from comforting pub food, accompanying your favorite beer, to delicious steak dinner options:

· Sweet Melissa’s is popular for serving classic dishes, but all vegetarian or vegan including plant-based burgers, Bahn Mi, cashew queso, soups and more.

· The Crowbar & Grill is a relaxed atmosphere with a full bar, burgers, house-made pizza and more. It is a local’s favorite and serves the best pad thai fries.

· Jeffrey’s Bistro: Jeffrey’s Bistro is a combination restaurant and bakery offering healthy, flavorful foods and a list of creative brews to complement your meal.

What are the best bars in Laramie, Wyoming?
· Altitude Chophouse and Brewery offers hand-crafted, award-winning beers on tap and locally-sourced American favorites on the menu including steak, ribs and hickory-smoked chicken.

· Bonds Brewing Company is a newer brewery that opened in 2019, and here they design easy-drinking beers with a straightforward approach.

· The Library Sports Grille & Brewery is one of the oldest brewpubs in Wyoming, The Library prides itself on brewing unfiltered beer free from industrial brewing ingredients like corn sugar, fruit syrup extracts or rice sugar. Nearly 10 brews on tap and pub-style food.

· Coal Creek Tap started as a basement brewery and grew into Coal Creek TAP, a Laramie microbrewery with more than 20 beers on tap. Coal Creek Tap also offers salads, sandwiches, hand-tied pretzels and pizzas, all created fresh at the neighboring Coal Creek Coffee Co.

· Accomplice Beer, which is a Cheyenne favorite, opened its new Myrco-Pub location in a Laramie location in January 2020 with delicious food and beer.

What are the top five must-see places in Laramie?
· Vedauwoo Recreation Area – Twenty miles east of Laramie, Vedauwoo (pronounced VEE-da-voo) is home to towering rock formations and scenic hiking trails. Named after the Arapaho word meaning “earth-born,” it was once believed that these rock formations in the Pole Mountain area of Medicine Bow National Forest were created by playful spirits.

· Laramie’s Mural Project – Take a walking tour of Laramie’s street murals while you are exploring downtown. The project features multiple artists and topics, and, in some cases, make for a great photo backdrop. It’s fun and free!

· Laramie Plains Museum at the Historic Ivinson Mansion – Built in 1892, the mansion featured modern amenities including central heating, electric lights and running water. Today, the historic mansion holds artifacts that allow visitors to travel back in time during guided and informative tours.

· Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site – Which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Wyoming Territorial Prison is an imposing stone structure built in 1872 (restored in 1990). For 30 years it held the West’s most violent outlaws including the notorious Butch Cassidy, during the dramatic time of Wyoming’s territorial days and early statehood.

· University of Wyoming – On campus, there several museums that could be of interest for visitors, including the American Heritage Center, art museum, planetarium and the geological museum, which showcases 50,000 cataloged fossil, rocks and specimens from around the world.

What are the top five must-have experiences in Laramie?
· Explore downtown Laramie – While you’re checking out the murals downtown, make sure to spend time exploring the shops including female-owned and operated Basecamp (owned by Rebecca Walsh); the Bent & Rusty, America’s largest craftsman’s co-op; or Martindale’s Western Store, which is Laramie’s only locally owned Western store, specializing in American-made products.

· Explore Laramie’s history – Visit the historic sites that celebrate Wyoming’s role in women’s suffrage at the Laramie Plains Museum and the Wyoming House for Historic Women. Make time to also visit the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site and see where the notorious Butch Cassidy was once imprisoned for his crimes.

· Take a hike – Explore the outdoors by traveling just outside the city and finding a hiking trail in the Vedauwoo Recreation Area or the Snowy Mountains. If you’re a solo or group of women traveling, check out Hike Like a Woman for more information or possibly a hiking group to join.

· Take a moment to stop in for a beer or a bite to eat – Laramie features delicious food around the city, many of which are breweries or pubs where you can also sample a variety of local brews. If you’re traveling in July, downtown Laramie also hosts the annual Laramie Brew Fest, where you can try several in one place!

· Visit a museum on the University of Wyoming campus – the Geological Museum is a favorite for those who want to learn more about Wyoming’s prehistoric past. Wyoming even has a state dinosaur—a triceratops!

Laramie, Wyoming


Laramie, Wyoming

Sweet Melissa's 2_credit Wyoming Office of Tourism

Laramie, Wyoming

Basecamp_IMG_9109_credit Belgarde Photography

Laramie, Wyoming

Basecamp_IMG_9123_credit Belgarde Photography

What are the best hiking trails in Laramie?
Vedauwoo provides a haven for hikers at all levels. Some of the most popular hikes in the region include the three-mile Turtle Rock Loop and the Box Canyon Trail to the summit of Glen Dome, where you can typically see wildlife. Watch for beavers, pronghorn antelope, raptors, elk and moose as you hike.

Heading west toward Saratoga, in the Medicine Bow National Forest, there are several popular trails for hikers. For a moderate hike, take the Gap Lakes Trail No. 108, Libby Creek Trail or for a more challenging route, the loop to Medicine Bow Peak, which is the highest point in southern Wyoming.

Wyoming is also home to 550 miles of the famous Continental Divide Trail, which runs from Mexico to Canada. Those 550 miles of the CDT travel from the Snowy Range in Medicine Bow National Forest up to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

What are the best tour companies in the area? And what kinds of tours do they offer?
Rebecca Walsh, owner of Basecamp and founder of Hike Like a Woman, provides hiking and backpacking opportunities in the summer and fall months. For information on guided tours, walking guides and more in Laramie, visit:

Who is Rebecca Walsh and what is the significance of her organization Hike Like a Woman?
· Rebecca Walsh is the owner of Laramie’s outdoor and sporting goods company, Basecamp, and serves on the board for Visit Laramie. Rebecca is also the founder of Laramie-based Hike Like a Woman. She is former military and a mother of two young kids.

· Hike Like a Woman (HLAW) is a Laramie, Wyoming–based organization that advocates for women in the outdoors and is dedicated to removing the roadblocks to outdoor adventure for women.

Guided by Rebecca and a small leadership team, Hike Like a Woman has been able to connect and build real relationships with outdoor women through its membership group, weekly live video show, public content its website, social media channels, group hikes and guided trips.

HLAW also has ambassadors around the country who support the community. An ambassador is a woman who volunteers her time to promote hiking and outdoor recreation in her community—often leading guided hikes—and advises on the leadership team of HLAW.

Rebecca’s goal is to build and sustain an online and real-world community positive, kind and welcoming to women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, sexual orientations and outdoor experience levels.

For an adventure backpacker outdoorsy type of traveler, what can someone experience in Laramie? Laramie is another outdoor gem of Wyoming, with some of the best hiking trails including Snowy Range and Vedauwoo. In addition to hiking, visitors can go camping, rock climbing, biking and horseback riding in certain areas. There are also fishing guides, who will take you to great places to catch fish.

Budget traveler advice and tips for traveling to and around Laramie?
As a college town, there are plenty of economical choices for a budget-minded traveler to explore in the Laramie area. Firstly, take advantage of the free walking tours available in downtown Laramie. Outside of town, you can explore hiking trails and campgrounds for alternative accommodation options. Regardless of your budget, make sure to carve out time to enjoy the food and breweries throughout Laramie – maybe even grabbing a growler (or crowler) of your favorite before heading out on your next adventure.

Why is Laramie so special? In 2020, Wyoming is celebrating several 150th anniversaries for women’s suffrage and Laramie was home to many firsts—first vote, first female jurors and bailiff. As the rest of the nation marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, it is important to commemorate the women who pioneered suffrage in the nation 50 years before—especially during an election year.

In addition to Laramie’s rich history of women’s suffrage, the city is an energetic collection of outdoor opportunities, good food and beer, shopping and museums—all with the heart of western heritage at the core. Visitors will enjoy exploring time and time again.

Head to to plan your trip full of history and adventure. 

Kelsey Hendrix