Locals like to brag Cody, Wyo., and the surrounding area is the wildest way to and from Yellowstone.
When Buffalo Bill Cody helped found the town that bears his name, the year was 1895. Cody felt the beauty of the area and its proximity to Yellowstone National Park made it a perfect spot for a town. One hundred and 22 years later, Cody and its neighboring towns offer travelers to and from Yellowstone the best of the Old and New West. Here are some must-sees.
1. The Irma Hotel
Built in 1902 and named after Buffalo Bill Cody’s youngest daughter, this historic hotel is open for tours, overnight stays and dining. Head to the Silver Saddle Saloon to order a cold Buffalo Bill Beer and admire the original cherry wood bar Queen Victoria of England gave to Buffalo Bill Cody.
2. Meeteetse Chocolatier
Thirty miles southeast of Cody on Hwy. 120, you’ll discover the quaint ranching town of Meeteetse where wooden boardwalks roll past downtown. Stop by the Meeteetse Chocolatier where cowboy Tim Kellogg has developed an international following for his fine chocolates.
3. Cody Nite Rodeo
What began in 1938 has become the world’s longest running rodeo that runs every night in the summer. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 8 p.m. Buy your tickets in advance online or at one of the 50 retailers in Cody that sell them.
4. Sleeping Giant Zipline
Just three miles from Yellowstone National Park, you can sail through the air on a zipline and get a whole new perspective on the landscape unfolding below you. Feel your adrenaline rush as you catch views of the Absaroka Mountains.
5. Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue
Located in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s new dining and entertainment pavilion, the show features cowboy music and entertainment. More than 110,000 people have seen this show, representing more than 65 countries. Your ticket includes dinner, which is served at 5:30 p.m., followed by the show that runs from 6:30-7:30 p.m. It is timed, so you can still make the Cody Nite Rodeo after the show.
6. Buffalo Bill Dam
Six miles west of Cody is the Buffalo Bill Dam. Completed in 1910, it was the world’s highest dam at the time, stretching 325 feet into the sky. It was also one of the nation's first concrete arch dams. Stop by the visitor center to see a movie, stroll the dam and peruse the gift shop.
7. Buffalo Bill Center of the West
This five-in-one museum complex at Buffalo Bill Center of the West (formerly Buffalo Bill Historical Center) enables you to explore exhibits on firearms, Native Americans, natural history, art and Buffalo Bill himself. The best part is your admission is good for two days, so you can come and go as you like.
8. The Cody Cattle Company
Located downtown, enjoy this ultra-casual live country western music show and dinner buffet where adults and kids sit at picnic tables and take in the music scene.
9. Buy Boots at Wayne's
Look like a real cowboy after you buy boots at Cody’s longtime local favorite, Wayne’s Boot Shop. Wayne Lundvall bought the business in 1959 when he was in his early 20s. It’s been a family affair ever since as the Lundvalls gradually expanded from boots to hats and other western accessories. The biggest change Kevin and Kim Lundvall have seen in Cody since they’ve taken over Wayne’s Boots from Kevin Lundvall’s father in 1996 is other family businesses disappearing. “I think we’re the oldest family business now,” Kim Lundvall says. “Webster’s Chevrolet was founded before us, but they sold out a few years ago.” Stop by at 1250 Sheridan Ave., or go to www.waynesbootshop.com
For more information:
Buffalo Bill's Cody / Yellowstone Country
Park County Visitor Center
836 Sheridan Ave, Cody, WY 82414