Rawlins, the county seat of Carbon County, is a city in southern Wyoming. Located along i80, Rawlins is a popular stop along the windy drive across the state. There is something unique to be said for Rawlins, and that includes all of the history! It was founded in 1882 by General John A. Rawlins, a Civil War veteran. He chose the location because the water in the area was the best he had ever tasted. From that point forward, the area was named Rawlins Springs and the tiny town quickly began to grow. It now is home to the hustle and bustle of locals and tourists. The main industry in Rawlins is oil with "The West's Most Modern Refinery", the Sinclair Refinery, located just six miles to the East of Rawlins.
Saratoga, just a 41 minute drive from Rawlins, is a popular spot for many. It might be the Steinly Cup microbrew competition held in August or the public pool and hot springs, but either way locals and tourists love to spend time in Saratoga! The population of Saratoga is just under 2,000 residents and is located in Carbon County. As is the case with many western towns, Saratoga came about after the Union Pacific Railroad brought settlers into the region. Soldiers and officers at Fort Steele enjoyed hunting in the region and soaking in the springs. In fact, Saratoga is said to be named after Saratoga Springs, New York. The name comes from the Iroquois word "sarachtoue" which means "place of miraculous water in the rock."
The Wyoming Frontier Prison is as historic as a Wyoming prison can get. It first opened in 1901 with 104 cells, no electricity or water and very inadequate heating. Throughout its operation, approximately 13,500 people were incarcerated with overcrowding being a constant concern. Later on, other cell blocks were added which helped relieve the overcrowding pressure. In order to keep the inmates busy, the prison had a factory that produced brooms, shirts, wool blankets for World War II and license plates. After 80 years of serving the state, the penitentiary closed in 1981. The Wyoming Frontier Prison is now a museum and has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Definitely check it out the next time you're in Rawlins!
The world famous hot springs and thermal waters are the best place to wind down after a busy week. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Hobo Hot Springs are a popular destination in Saratoga! This attraction features a bath house and hot springs. The Saratoga Hot Pool features temperatures ranging from 101 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and is perfect for anyone looking to relax. The Lobster Pot is warmer at 120 degrees. There have been recent improvements to the area, making the springs family friendly! Take a load-off at Hobo Hot Springs next time you're traveling Wyoming!
Coming soon is the grand opening of the Rawlins Community Ice Rink! Located in Depot Park, the ice rink is set to open on November 30th at 12:00 pm. This is inline with Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and is destined to be a successful opening! The event is coined "Winter Skate at the Park" and will follow a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The rink will be open from the November 30th through February 15th from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Skaters can rent skates for only $2 per pair. Skate your winter worries away at the Rawlins Community Ice Rink!
The Steinley Cup Microbrew Festival and Competition is an annual event in Saratoga. Microbreweries from all around Wyoming gather to compete for the ultimate prize: the Steinley Cup. This is the original and only official microbrew competition in the state of Wyoming, making it a popular event to many. Also at the event is live music, activities for kids, horse shoe pits and local and regional craft shops. In conjunction with the festival is a chili competition and a "Trout Run 5K" fun run. With so much to do at this annual event, you surely don't want to miss it!
Located at 210 5th Street in Rawlins, Anong's Thai Cuisine is a popular restaurant for locals and tourists alike. They pride themselves on offering only the best Asian cuisine with a unique American twist. Their menu options range from Thai BBQ Chicken and Shrimp Masaman to Thai Salad and Panang Curry. Don't forget to save room for dessert; they have fried ice cream! Also a fun fact: they have locations in Laramie and Cheyenne too. We can confirm that their food is delicious!
If you're craving authentic Italian cuisine, Bella's Bistro is your go-to destination! All of the Italian dishes are traditional and handcrafted daily by Tommy and Cassie Orduno, the restaurant's owners. They have dishes including: hand-tossed pasta, Sterling Silver steak and seafood! They even have great craft cocktails and an award winning wine list. If you're looking for something different, try the Pasta di Luca; the fresh lemon and white wine sauce is delicious!