Cody is definitely the place to find your inner cowboy. In fact, Cody is featured in the February issue of Western Horseman magazine as one of the Top Ten Cowboy Towns! I think we all have a little cowboy/cowgirl in us. If you are over 40, you probably spent some time during your childhood playing “Cowboys and Indians.” Some of us even remember watching old westerns on TV. I grew up with a father that was a huge John Wayne fan and a mother that loved Roy Rogers! Needless to say, I watched a lot of westerns. Remember how romantic ranch life seemed in those movies? I long for the days when men worked from the back of a horse and women tended to the home and children. I often say that I was born 100 years too late. Luckily for me there are still western towns where the cowboy is still cherished and loved. Cody and the surrounding towns of Powell and Meeteetse embrace the cowboy and western way of life.
You may not know that there are still wild horses roaming the free range in Wyoming and Cody is lucky enough to have one of the largest herds just outside of town. Take a guided tour of the McCullough Peaks herd or venture out on your own. This colorful herd spreads out over vast open range but tends to hang out in small groups. If you take a guided tour, your chances of spotting the horses are high. It is not unusual to also see pronghorn antelope, rabbit, sage grouse and other species of birds in the area. You also get a great 360 view of the basin from the rangeland.
When exploring the western lifestyle, you have to sample the food. With many cattle ranches surrounding the Cody area, you are sure to get great beef. A local favorite is prime rib and you can find it on the menu at most of the western restaurants in town. Don’t miss the Irma Hotel’s prime rib buffet. This is Buffalo Bill’s famous hotel. The dining room exudes western charm with a spectacular bar that was given to Buffalo Bill by Queen Elizabeth. Cassie’s Supper Club is a great steakhouse known for its Porterhouse steak and dancing. Opened in 1922 by Cassie Waters, a local madam, this historic restaurant was Voted “One of the Top 20 Steakhouses in the West” by Cowboys and Indians magazine. You are sure to have a memorable meal!
Cowboys and music have always gone together. Many wonderful songs of the cowboy life were written by campfires out on the trail. Today, those songs can still be enjoyed when you spend an evening at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue. This Branson-style, family show offers Americana, bluegrass, songs of the American West and cowboy poetry in the comfort of the historic Cody Theatre. The theatre is located in the heart of downtown Cody across from the Irma Hotel. Special dinner at the Irma/theatre packages are available all summer long. Both get rave reviews from folks of all ages.
When you think “Cowboy,” you think rodeo. Cody is the Rodeo Capital of the World. It is the only place with a rodeo every night all summer long. I have heard it said that most rodeo champions have spent time in Cody perfecting their skills. Spend two exciting hours watching cowboys and cowgirls display their amazing skills. All ages are sure to love the thrills and spills of the rodeo. Don’t be surprised to meet some of the contestants downtown during the day signing autographs or hanging out with visitors.
If the rodeo inspires you to rope and ride, you might want to explore some of the local ranches. There are dude ranches where you stay for a week and really find your inner cowboy. You can work on your riding and roping skills. Some ranches even let you help with the chores! If you just want a taste of the cowboy experience, you can visit one of Cody/Yellowstone Country’s guest ranches. These ranches offer day packages. You may just want to take a drive to the cattle ranches in the Meeteetse area and fantasize about being a cowboy.
Make Cody/Yellowstone Country part of your Yellowstone vacation or just do Cody. Either way, you’ll have a wonderful western vacation!
Until next time, I’ll be lovin’ life in Buffalo Bill’s country!
Corrie N. Cody