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Classic Cody/Yellowstone Country Vacation Ideas!

April 12th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments (2)

Just Don’t Call ME a Classic

I love classic vacations.

For my whole life I have watched families come for a classic Cody vacation, arriving in their overstuffed vehicles with mom and dad in the front and the kids jockeying for position in the back.

Early on these family vacations were taken in station wagons (think the Griswold Family Truckster) followed by minivans. Today’s version tends to be a sport utility vehicle, but the concept is still the same.

When these vehicles first arrive, the doors open and the family members all depart from different angles, stretch and look around, ready for their first taste of Western fun. I can tell they are ready to spend some time anywhere other than in the car.

The good news is that they have come to the right place with plenty of activities within walking distance and a well-planned street system that makes it very difficult to get lost.

There really isn’t any bad news.

Often one or both of the parents will look around before turning to each other and say “Yep, this is how I remember Cody when I came here with my parents when I was a kid. I sat on the porch of the Irma Hotel and sipped on a Coke while the locals in their jeans and cowboy boots walked by.”

Relax on the porch of the historic Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill.

Relax on the porch of the historic Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill.

More often than not, the family will do just that. I can literally see any residual “road stress” disappear as they find a table in the shade and begin to discuss what they want to do next.

Most of these second-generation visitors opt for the Cody Nite Rodeo. After more than 75 years this classic Cody experience is still going strong, and many a mom and dad have been filling their kids’ heads with descriptions of the various events. One time a brother and sister asked me if rodeo clowns were real or if their parents were just messing with them.

Bull riding champion, Kanin Asay at a Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event.

Bull riding champion, Kanin Asay at a Cody/Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls event.

I assured them the clowns were real, that they played a critical role in the safety of the rodeo participants and that many of their jokes were almost as old as the rodeo itself.

Bull fighters often use plastic barrels to protect themselves from raging bulls in the rodeo arena.

Bull fighters often use plastic barrels to protect themselves from raging bulls in the rodeo arena.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) is another attraction the parents remember well. The real treat for them is that it has expanded so much over the years. The BBCW started out as a way of honoring Buffalo Bill Cody, but it has added museums devoted to western art, firearms, Plains Indians and the natural history of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Parents are usually in awe of the new-to-them exhibits while seeking out and finding some of the same items they saw as kids.

Visit the five museums housed in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Visit the five museums housed in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

If the families have budgeted enough time to stay for a few days they won’t be disappointed. They can enjoy chuckwagon cookouts or stop in at any number of local restaurants. They can listen to cowboy music or watch the gunfighters. They can see what life was like for Japanese Americans during World War II, learn that Jeremiah Johnston was a real person or stand in the cabin that Butch Cassidy once used.

A chuck wagon cooking demonstration at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.

A chuck wagon cooking demonstration at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody.

For information on a classic Cody vacation, go to www.yellowstonecountry.org for information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Be sure to check out the Buffalo Bill’s Travel Saver page for the latest travel packages and discounts. Or you can call Cody/Yellowstone Country at 1-800-393-2639.

Until next week, I am lovin’ life in Cody, Wyo.


Comments:

Trish Macomber (March 7, 2016)

I was in Cody on vacation in 1970. Our car broke down and we had to wait a few days for the part to arrive. I got out of the car, put my bag in the motel room, and that’s the last time I saw my parents until we left. A girl came by with two horses and I asked if I could ride. She gave me the horse to use while I was there. There was a huge covered eating area…sort of a pole barn. While we were eating a couple of cowboys showed up, rather tipsy. They rode their horses through the pavilion, shooting at the roof and jumping tables and it was the best time I ever had in my young life. I know things have change in the last 46 years, for safety sake and to be politically correct. I probably couldn’t wander into a nearby Native American settlement and learn their dances or sleep in a teepee. There’s probably nobody shooting up the whiskey bottles on the fence who would just hand me a gun and let me try. And I couldn’t spend the better part of a week riding a stranger’s horse. But Cody is the best place on Earth and I long to take my daughter there.

> Reply
theadmin (March 8, 2016)

Wow, that is one crazy, good time! Things have changed in the last 46 years, but here you’ll still find western charm, adventure and buckaroo spirit!


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