Cowboy Boots and Christmas Lights: Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Cheyenne, Wyoming is known for its western past, but it also has its own blend of holiday charm. Photo by Janna Graber
Cheyenne, Wyoming is known for its western past, but it also has its own blend of holiday charm. Photo by Janna Graber

For many of us, the holidays mean time with family and building treasured family memories. That was certainly the case with my family. With eight kids in our household, the Christmas holidays were busy, fun-filled events.

Now that I’m older, I look for new ways to enjoy the holidays with my family. This year, it meant a road trip with my mom and one of my sisters. We wanted to experience the magic of the holidays in a small town, where unhurried streets filled with twinkling lights were the norm.

We chose Cheyenne, Wyoming as our destination this year. Wyoming’s capital city is home to some 60,000, and the town’s laid back character still has traces of its Wild West beginnings. By the 1880s, the cattle industry had put Cheyenne on the map, and it was home to some of the country’s richest cattle barons. Their grand homes still line the city streets.

The Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast was built in 1888. Photo by Janna Graber
The Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast was built in 1888. Photo by Janna Graber

One of those grand Victorian homes is now the Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast, and we decided to make it our home for the weekend. Many travelers reach Cheyenne via Denver International Airport, just 1.5 hours to the south. Happily, we live in Denver, so it was just a short drive for us.

Built in 1888 by Erasmus Nagle, the Nagle Warren Mansion and Carriage House has been lovingly restored in intricate detail. Features include an original Moroccan chandelier in the entry hall, carved leather ceilings, original stained glass and crystal windows, cherry paneling in the foyer, parquet floors throughout the first floor, and two cast brass fireplaces with mirrors to the ceilings.

One of the comfortable guest rooms at the Nagle Warren Mansions Bed & Breakfast. Photo by Janna Graber
One of the comfortable guest rooms at the Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast. Photo by Janna Graber

The mansion has 12 guest rooms. Each room is unique and individually decorated with period antiques. The rooms include many modern appointments, yet retain their old-world charm. Our rooms had luxury bedding, gas fireplaces, plush robes, wireless internet and more.

But perhaps the best part of any visit to Nagle Warren Mansion is the innkeeper himself. Jim Osterfoss purchased the home in 1997. He had run hotels in Colorado and Utah before retiring, but quickly found that retirement didn’t suit him. So he turned his sights on creating a unique B&B where he could be more “hands on.” The result is an establishment that is part of the very core of Cheyenne.

His hotel management skills mean that the Nagle Warren is run like a top hotel,but with a very personal touch. Jim can often be seen talking with guests, many of whom come back year after year.

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