Cody Nite Rodeo allows guests to experience Western traditions. // © 2013 Cody Nite Rodeo
No state retains the character of the American West more than Wyoming, and Cody is among its historical and cultural capitals. Founded in 1896 by Colonel William F. Cody — better known as “Buffalo Bill” — the town has since established itself as a custodian of Western heritage and invites its visitors to share in this part of the country’s legacy.
Fifty miles east of Yellowstone National Park, Cody serves as a stopover destination for visitors en route to the park. A favorite place for travelers to stay is the historic Irma Hotel, Restaurant & Saloon, built by Buffalo Bill in 1902 and now included on the National Register of Historic Places. The Irma claims among its previous guests Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane and Frederic Remington, and every night at 6 p.m. from June until September the famous Cody Gunfighters still give free performances in front of the building.
Yellowstone is of course one of Wyoming’s most sought-after scenic destinations, but visitors to Cody can venture into the rugged country around the town on horseback with Cedar Mountain Trail Rides or by car along the 27-mile Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, which winds through Shoshone National Forest.
Cody, however, is not merely a Western museum piece. The Cody Nite Rodeo, running every night from June 1 to Aug. 31 for more than 75 years, keeps this Western tradition very much alive, featuring bronco and bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and a kids’ calf scramble.