Just 45 miles north of Cheyenne, Wyoming, is the small town of Chugwater. It would be hard to guess that this town of roughly 200 was the headquarters of the Swan Land and Cattle Company, once one of the largest cattle and sheep ranching operations in the United States. In recent years, its notoriety comes from the Chugwater Chili Cookoff, an annual, competitive cookoff held every June.
Perhaps the best-kept secret is that the town is also home to the oldest operating soda fountain in Wyoming. The soda fountain’s building can be traced back to 1914 and, in the time since, it’s housed a doctor’s office, pharmacy, diner, grocery store, veterinarian supply store, and liquor store. While you can still purchase food staples and souvenirs, the eatery is mostly a place to chug a soda or choose from their extensive milkshake selection. While you’re there, pony up to the bar and order some beef chili nachos seasoned with “Chugwater chili” while marveling at the eclectic decor.