Experience the history of Cody—named after William Frederick Cody, or Buffalo Bill—firsthand at the Old Trail Town (307-587-5302, oldtrailtown.org), composed of 26 historic buildings and artifacts just off Yellowstone Highway and visit Jeremiah Johnson’s grave, Butch Cassidy’s Hole-in-the-Wall cabin, as well as an Old West blacksmith shop and livery stable. Snag lunch at Tara Torreys Grab & Go Grill (307-578-8132) before heading to Bill Cody Ranch (307-587-2097, billcodyranch.com) for a guided trail ride through the Shoshone National Forest (307-527-6241, fs.usda.gov/Shoshone). Restore your saddle-sore hide at the Cody Cattle Company (307-272-5770, thecodycattlecompany.com), where all-you-can-eat chuckwagon dinners are accompanied by a world-class Western music show, all just a stone’s throw from TheCody Rodeo grounds (307-587-5155, codystampederodeo.com), where events are held regularly through the summer.
1. Start your trip with an omelet at Our Place (307-527-4420), the locals’ dine-in, cash-only breakfast joint. Then, saddle up with Pahaska Tepee Horseback Trail Rides (307-527-7701, pahaska.com) to cross miles of forested trails and lush mountain meadows. Saunter back to town for gourmet sandwiches and strong cowboy coffee at Rocky Mountain Mojoe (307-578-8295, rockymountainmojoe.com). Take a break from the heat in Cody’s namesake’s museum: The Buffalo Bill Historic Center (307-587-4771, centerofthewest.org), where Western artifacts and Native culture have been preserved since 1917. Stop in at the famous Cody Firearms Museum and Whitney Gallery of Western Art (307-587-4771, centerofthewest.org), both located just across the street. Then, walk up an appetite exploring nearby shops like Wayne’s Boot Shop (307-587-5234, waynesbootshop.com), a family-owned boot boutique, and the Custom Cowboy Shop (1-800-487-2692, customcowboyshop.com), where you’ll find everything from holsters, headstalls, hobbles, and quirts, all cut from the highest quality leather, before heading to dinner at Wyoming’s Rib and Chop House (307-527-7731, ribandchophouse.com).
2. Pick up breakfast at Peters Café and Bakery (307-527-5040), and ask for their picnic lunch to take with you on your trek to Yellowstone National Park(307-344-7381, nps.gov), America’s first national park. As you enter through the East Gate, be on the lookout for elk and bison as you circle Yellowstone Lake heading south toward the Upper Geyser Basin. There, Old Faithful erupts about every 63 minutes, so hike the two-mile Upper Geyser Basin Trail while you wait. Head back for an early dinner at the Pat O’Hara Brewing Company (307-586-5410, patoharabrewingcompany.com) before wrapping up your trip on a high note at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue (307-272-7855, cowboymusicrevue.com).
Plan to be in town on Independence Day for the Cody Stampede Rodeo (307-587-5155, codystampederodeo.com), where America’s best cowboys have been competing since 1919. Hang your hat at the Cody Cowboy Village (307-587-7555, thecodycowboyvillage.com) and watch the sunset from the porch of your own log cabin. Book a tour with Cody Wyoming Adventures (307-587-6988, codywyomingadventures.com), which offers activities like a seven-mile raft trip down the Shoshone River, a wild mustang tour, or a guided wildlife-viewing safari that takes you on an insider’s path through Yellowstone.