I rolled into Cody Wyoming on Saturday as the last gasp of dusk lit up the sky before night fell over the canyons. I enjoyed a delicious meal at Bubba’s BBQ before checking into The Holiday Inn. Cody has a ton of great hotels – from national chains to local historic hotels like Buffalo Bills ‘The Irma.’
Due to an issue with my rental car (it was low on oil), I had to stop by Wal Mart to get my oil replaced, which cut into my morning – but luckily I got back on the road quickly.
Regrettably I was in Cody less than 24 hours this trip, but plan to return next year.
Cody is one of the most charming and quirky western towns you’ll encounter. It is the perfect blend of boots and ten-gallon hats mixed with arts and culture, fine dining and a rodeo blend of cattle country meets outdoor recreation. I like to think that’s culture founder and town namesake, Buffalo Bill Cody imagined when he first settled here.
Cody offers something for everyone – whether you want a true western experience, recreation or you are interested in high art – Cody has it all.
I describe Cody as in the middle of nowhere and in the center of everything. When I first drove to Cody from Sheridan WY in 2003 (barely nineteen at the time), I remembered the unique feeling driving for hours without another car in site and suddenly this rustic upscale town appeared as a metro oasis of sorts. A last refuge from the hubbub of the crazy world – and yet sophisticated and cowboy prime country.
Cody isn’t heaven, but it’s pretty close. Surrounded by arguably the most stunning scenery in the world. The Bighorns to the east, The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and Yellowstone to the west…Cody and the land cast a spell you won’t soon forget.
While I didn’t have a ton of time to spend in Cody this trip, I wanted to take some time to highlight some of Cody’s treasures.
Cody was founded in 1896 by famed Wild West Showman, Colonel William F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody. He fell in love with the wilderness of northern Wyoming in the 1870s after passing through the area. He returned with investors in hopes of building a community for agriculture, ranching and tourism. He envisioned Cody being a ‘gateway’ to Yellowstone. His vision continues to live today in Cody – a town that is fueled by agriculture, ranching, cowboys and tourism. To learn more about the history of Cody and its founder click here. You can also discover the history of Cody and it’s colorful wild west founder at…
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West:
I love museums…I’ve visited top museums from the Guggenheim and National Gallery and Smithsonian – and I cannot emphasize enough how amazing the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is. Hands down, one of the best museums I’ve visited.
The museum is really five museums in one:
Buffalo Bill Museum – learn about the life of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, which traveled the world and is etched in popular culture and lore
Plains Indian Museum: This Native American museum explores the lives of Plains Indian peoples, cultures and traditions over hundreds of years.
Draper Natural History Museum – brings the science of Yellowstone and northern Wyoming to life in interactive exhibits – a favorite for families
Cody Firearms Museum – armory of over 10,000 historical firearms
Whitney Art Gallery of the West: The art museum features one of the finest collections of Western Art in the world – from Remington, Bierstadt to Moran and beyond. (my fave museum )
After a day at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West…it’s time for the…
The Cody Nite Rodeo – Cody is Rodeo
If you want authentic western rodeo fun – Cody has you covered. Since 1919, Cody has hosted a Fourth of July Stampede, and the nightly rodeo started over 84 years ago. The two events establish Cody as one of the longest running successful rodeos and the only place in the US that has a rodeo every night of the summer. It is a must see attraction. Cody is the RODEO capital of the world. To learn more click here.
Gorgeous views and top quality recreation – you’ll pass the park en route to Yellowstone, but you could spend the entire day relaxing by the ‘lake’
We’ll we’ve got to lasso our way down the road – next entry I’ll detail the Road to Yellowstone’s East Entrance
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