Cody, Wyoming: Car-Free In The Wild West

 

With wide streets designed for horse-drawn carriages, Nite Rodeo, and authentic touches of the Old West everywhere you turn, Cody is more than a gateway town to Yellowstone. This Wyoming frontier town, founded by the legendary William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, offers visitors a surprisingly walkable, authentic western experience. Learn about the area’s wild history at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, view the extensive firearms collection of at the Cody Firearms Museum, and peek inside the cabins of famous outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, all without renting a car.

GO WESTERN

Old Trail Town

Set against the endless Wyoming sky are a series of 120-year-old buildings reassembled piece by piece at Old Trail Town (open Mid-May to September). In 1967, Wyoming native Bob Edgar preserved the Frontier West by collecting authentic structures found within 500 miles of Cody. Walk through history as you glimpse inside 27 structures decorated with real artifacts, including a carpenter shop, school, post office, and livery barn. The boardwalk ends with the hideouts of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the saloon where the gang plotted bank robberies. Don’t miss the cabin dedicated to the women who made their mark in the Wild West, including the sharpshooter Annie Oakley.

 

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

The Smithsonian affiliated Buffalo Bill Center of the West lies at the center of Cody, featuring five museums for the price of one. Discover the story of Buffalo Bill and the west he loved at the Buffalo Bill Museum. Marvel at masterpieces from Remington to Russell at the Whitney Western Art Museum. Admire the extensive firearms collection of at the Cody Firearms Museum. Explore the culture of Native Americans in the Plains Indians museum. Walk through several zones found in the Yellowstone region at the Draper Natural History Museum, featuring specimens of grizzlies, wolves, rams, and elk, in settings that allow you to hear the sounds and even smell the scents of these biozones.

EATS + DRINKS

Irma Hotel Restaurant & Bar

At the iconic Irma Hotel built by Buffalo Bill in 1902, enjoy a drink at the cherrywood bar that was once a gathering spot for cowboys. The bar was gifted to Buffalo Bill by Queen Victoria in appreciation for his command performance when his show visited the UK in 1887. Daily buffet lunch and dinner are also offered. Don’t miss the enthusiastic Wild Bunch reenact the story of infamous bandits in full Old Western gear in front of the hotel (Monday to Saturday at 5:30PM).

The Local

At the trendy new vegetarian/vegan friendly The Local, enjoy delicacies made from locally sourced ingredients. Menu items include dishes prepared with sustainably raised fish, seasonal greens and fruit, and fresh herbs.

Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant

Located centrally in Downtown Cody, Zapata’s is famous for its delicious, homemade salsa, green chile sauce, and authentic Mexican fare. The restaurant has a patio and a lively indoor space.

STAY

The Cody Hotel

Located across from the rodeo and Old Trail Town, The Cody Hotel offers modern accommodations in a tranquil setting overlooking the mountains of Wyoming. Warm yourself next to the outdoor fireplace on a cold Wyoming night or jump into the indoor pool for a daily swim. Amenities include Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, and an airport shuttle .

INSIDER TIPS

Dan Miller’s Music Revue

You can easily lose track of time exploring the Buffalo Center of the West, so the museum conveniently offers a dinner and a show package at the Kuyper Dining Pavilion. The space also serves as home to Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. Sit back, relax and sing along to Country and favorite American songs (Monday to Saturday).

 

GETTING AROUND

It’s easy to traverse this compact city by foot, and the hotels offer shuttles to the airport, which is ten minutes away.

GET HERE

Flights to Cody’s Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) are available from Skywest Airlines (Delta Connection from Salt Lake City) and United Airlines (United Express from Denver or seasonally from Chicago).

For more information, visit Cody‘s website.

 

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