Gateway Towns

Find the Wild West in Cody

Locals like to brag Cody, Wyo., and the surrounding area is where your great American adventure begins.

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 25 years later, Cody offers travelers to and from Yellowstone the best of the Old and New West. Plan your multi-day adventure with these must-sees.

1. The Irma Hotel

The Irma's Original Cherrywood Bar from 1902. Photo by Rob Wood
The Irma’s original cherrywood bar and antique cash registerRob Wood Photography

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. Cody Nite Rodeo 

Cody Rodeo Bronco Riding
Cody Rodeo Bronco RidingPhoto courtesy of Park County

Celebrate more than 80 years of the world’s longest running rodeo that happens every night June 1 through August 31, 2021. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 8 p.m. Buy your tickets in advance online or at one of 30 retailers in Cody that sell them. 

3. Meeteetse Chocolatier

Meeteetse Chocolatier building in Wyoming
By permission of Jeremy Thies,

Thirty miles southeast of Cody on Hwy. 120, you’ll discover the quaint ranching town of Meeteetse where wooden boardwalks roll through downtown. Stop by the Meeteetse Chocolatier where cowboy Tim Kellogg has developed an international following for his fine chocolates.

4. Sleeping Giant Zipline

Ziplining minutes from Yellowstone's East Gate. Photo courtesy of the Sleeping Giant Zipline
Ziplining minutes from Yellowstone’s East Gate. Photo courtesy of the 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 Buffalo Bill’s Music Hall, the show features cowboy music and entertainment. More than 160,000 people have seen this show, representing more than 68 countries. 

6. Buffalo Bill Dam

View of the Shoshone River from the Buffalo Bill Dam
View of the Shoshone River from the Buffalo Bill DamU.S. Department of the Interior/Flickr

Six miles west of Cody is the Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center. Completed in 1910, it was the world’s highest concrete 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 top of the dam and peruse the gift shop.

7. Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Chuckwagon dinner at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Chuckwagon dinner at the Buffalo Bill Center of the WestBuffalo Bill Center of the West

This five-in-one museum complex at Buffalo Bill Center of the West 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 near Stampede Rodeo Park, enjoy this ultra-casual live country western music show and dinner buffet. The show is over in time for people to attend the 8 p.m. rodeo since dinner is at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. 

9. Buy Boots at Wayne’s

Wayne's Boots in Cody
Wayne’s Boots in Cody. Grant Ordelheide

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. Stop by at 1250 Sheridan Ave., or go to

10. By Western Hands

Woodworking at By Western Hands in Cody, Wyoming
Knotty woodwork clockCourtesy Park County Travel Council

Stop at By Western Hands, a non-profit artisan guild that specializes in western design and functional art. The legacy artisans guild exhibits work in the gallery space and teaches classes in the workshop. The museum highlights western furniture design past and present to show how Cody became the birthplace of western design.

11. Old Trail Town

This family-friendly stop features authentic frontier buildings from the 1890s that sit where Buffalo Bill Cody laid out the town for what would become Cody, Wyo. It’s easy to social distance as you tour the grounds. The buildings were brought here from various locations in Wyoming and Montana and include some unique structures like the original cabins used by Old West outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and a saloon frequented by Cassidy’s “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang” in Wyoming. Inside the Museum of the Old West, you’ll find historic artifacts, including a horse-drawn hearse. 

For more information:
Cody Yellowstone Country
Cody County Visitor Center
836 Sheridan Ave, Cody, WY 82414

Where to Stay near Yellowstone’s East Entrance