17 Best Things to Do in Cody, WY

Cody, WY

Welcome to Cody, Wyoming: my home, haven, and an adventurer's paradise.

In the Wild West's heart, Cody offers a charming mix of cowboy culture, natural beauty, and outdoor experiences.

I know every corner of this town, every scent in the air, and every face passing by on the street.

Let me guide you through my town as we explore the true spirit and allure of Cody.

So grab your cowboy hats and lasso your sense of adventure; you're in for a rollicking ride at the best things to do in Cody, Wyoming.

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Immerse in History at Cody Firearms Museum

Bullets displayed at Cody Firearms Museum
Gina Stef / Shutterstock.com

My daily drive to work often takes me past the Cody Firearms Museum, a haven for gun enthusiasts, history buffs, and curious visitors.

The unique architecture of the museum, coupled with the vast history hidden within its walls, never fails to intrigue me.  

One could spend days exploring the museum, soaking in the knowledge it has to offer.

The first time I visited the Cody Firearms Museum, I wanted to kill some time on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

But as I started browsing through the exhibits, I found myself enthralled.

The museum houses an impressively comprehensive collection of over 4,500 firearms, spanning from age-old muskets to the latest weaponry.

It was like stepping into a time machine, tracing the evolution of firearms throughout centuries.

What struck me most was the enormity of the museum.

Guns displayed at Cody Firearms Museum
Lucy / Shutterstock.com

In fact, after a few hours, I realized I had only covered a fraction of what was on display.

At that moment, I knew a single visit was not enough.

I left that day promising myself to come back and continue my exploration.

While the museum is a paradise for gun nerds, it's not just about guns.

The museum complex also hosts three other excellent museums, each offering a unique perspective on history and culture.

It is the perfect place to lose yourself for a couple of days.

My subsequent visits to the museum never disappointed me.

Each time, I unearthed something new, something fascinating.

Over time, the museum has become more than just a landmark on my way to work; it has become a treasure trove of knowledge, a place where the past comes alive.

So, if you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, set aside a few days for the Cody Firearms Museum.

Bring your curiosity, pack a lunch, and be ready to be awestruck.

Just remember to take your time and soak it all in.

Fall in Love with the Wild West Spectacular

What's summer in Cody without a visit to our beloved Wild West Spectacular?

I can't think of a better way to soak up the local history and experience quality theatre at the same time.

Trust me, I'm generally not one for the theatre, but there's something truly magical about this show.

It's more than just a performance - it's a journey back in time to the days of the old West.

And it's not just the show that's special.

All the seats have a good view, so you don't have to worry about missing any action.

Plus, the intermissions are a hoot too.

Where else can you buy a sarsaparilla from a character on stage?

Or enjoy pre-ordered food and concession snacks while rubbing shoulders with the cast?

And did I mention the photo ops with the cast post-show?

The show also has an enjoyable family-friendly atmosphere, but bear in mind it does run for about two hours - something to consider if you're bringing the little ones.

However, the engaging performances, wonderful set designs, and genuine love for local history that shine through every scene make every minute worthwhile.

The Wild West Spectacular is a tradition.

So when summer rolls around and the evening air grows warm, you'll know where to find me.

Check Out Historical Firearms at Cody Firearms Experience

Let me tell you about one of the best afternoons I've spent recently at the Cody Firearms Experience.

Not every day do you get to shoot some real historical firearms, especially ones that are typically unavailable to the public.

I'm no newbie to shooting ranges, but the professionalism and expertise of the RSOs here stand out.

Matthew was particularly impressive, ensuring everything went smoothly and safely.

You can check them out for yourself at Cody Firearms Experience, and I promise you, you won't be disappointed.

The customer service here is top-notch, and they are just as eager to help newcomers discover the joy of shooting as they are to assist experienced sharpshooters.

I spent a lot of time chatting with Bruce, another RSO, about the history of some firearms.

He made the experience both educational and fun.

If you're like me, you keep an eye on value for your bucks.

And believe me when I say Cody Firearms Experience offers a great deal.

Considering the cost of everything these days, getting to shoot some high-end firearms without owning them is a steal.

So spend an afternoon experiencing some incredible pieces of history.

Discover Local History at Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Exterior view of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

There's something about living in a town steeped in a rich history that often goes overlooked until you're smacked with a wave of curiosity.

For me, that curiosity led to the doorstep of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

From an outsider's perspective, it may seem like just another museum.

However, once you step in, you're transported into a world of Western history, natural wonders, and artistic brilliance.

My frequent visits to the Center quenched my thirst for Western history.

I've always been fascinated by Buffalo Bill, a character that seemed larger than life.

My fascination grew after spending countless hours exploring the various exhibits dedicated to his life and his era.

Tee Pee at Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Gregory Simpson / Shutterstock.com

The museum’s ability to present information engagingly impressed me; I shared facts about Buffalo Bill with friends over dinner, feeling like a mini-historian.

However, the museum also presents a world of diverse exhibits, ranging from art and firearms to natural history and Native American culture.

I am particularly fond of the firearm exhibits.

They are extensive and informative, with videos and side exhibits explaining the mechanics of firearms.

I learned more about guns here than ever in my school days.

Yet, the museum is not solely for adults.

The hands-on exhibits developed for kids are an absolute delight.

While I think they could use a few more, it's always heartening to see the young ones curiously exploring the interactive elements.

The food court is another gem of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

With various healthy options like sandwiches, salads, and soups, it’s a great place to grab a bite after a few hours of exploration.

Its dining area is spacious and well-maintained, adding to the overall pleasant experience of the museum visit.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has always been more than just a museum to me.

It’s a treasure trove of local history, a tribute to the American West, and an integral part of our community.

Every visit gives me a new perspective and a deeper understanding of the land I call home.

Wooden cabins and cart at Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Steffen Seemann / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Night at The Cody Cattle Company

If one thing can pull me away from a quiet evening at home, it's a night out at The Cody Cattle Company.

It's an experience to savor.

Trust me, the vibrant atmosphere and homestyle American buffet can make any night memorable.

Before I dive into the food, let me tell you about the ambiance.

The live country-western music show is such a hoot.

You can't help but tap your foot into the lively tunes; the band members are incredibly talented and engaging.

It's a little slice of the wild west right in our town.

Now, onto the feast.

I'm always torn between the succulent brisket and the other mouth-watering options on the buffet.

Let me warn you. The brisket is so good that there's a high chance you'll end up eating more than you planned.

And don't get me started on the service; it's always top-notch.

During the summer, it's become a tradition for locals to head to The Cody Cattle Company for their nightly dinner and show.

But the fun doesn't stop there.

Once the winter rolls in, the place gets rented out for various events, and I must say, at very fair prices.

One event that has become a yearly tradition is the Young Life fundraising banquet and dessert auction.

I love how they constantly improve, whether the enhanced sound system or a fresh coat of paint.

It's always a delight to see what's new each year.

Oh, and did I mention the location?

Just a short walk down a cement path from the rodeo grounds.

So, after a hearty meal and some music, you can stroll over to the Cody Rodeo for more excitement.

It's nights like these that make me love living in this town.

Discover the Rich Past at Cody Heritage Museum

Just another sunny day in Cody, I found myself at the doorstep of an enchanting time capsule, the Cody Heritage Museum.

Stepping inside, I was greeted by a trove of treasures chronicling the historical journey of our town, which brought back memories from my childhood days spent hearing stories about our town's founding, ranching, and farming.

The cowboy history section sure did strike a chord with me.

I was instantly transported to the old days where I used to cheer on the riders at the Cowboy Stampede Rodeo.

And it's all there, preserved and showcased for people to relive and understand our vibrant past.

It was like walking through the pages of a living history book, every object narrating a unique story.

I firmly believe every Cody resident and visitor should stop at this museum.

Unraveling the local history of our city, and understanding the spirit of the old wild west, was indeed an enlightening experience.

Enjoy the Day at the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum

Signage of Cody Dug Up Gun Museum
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

It's always a thrill to walk through the doors of the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum in our very own town.

This isn't just another firearm exhibit, folks.

It is steeped in history; you can feel it when you step inside.

The museum houses an impressive collection of antique and vintage weapons dug up from various historical periods.

It's quite a sight to see artifacts from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and more all under one roof.

The best part? You don't have to be a gun enthusiast to appreciate the museum.

And let me tell you, every single item in this museum has a story to tell.

The tales these artifacts spin make history come alive like no textbook can.

My favorite is this 1911 pistol damaged by a German bullet during World War II.

It was dug up from a beach in Normandy and still bears the scars from the war.

Seeing it, you can almost feel the terror and chaos of the D-Day invasion.

It's a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who fought in the war.

Whether you're looking for an artifact from your state or just want to learn more about a particular period, they've got you covered.

The treasure trove doesn't close until 9 pm, and it's open to everyone for free!

Though, if you can, do leave a donation to support the museum.

Through these generous contributions, everyone gets to experience this fabulous slice of history.

Enjoy an Evening at Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue

Nestled in the heart of Cody, Dan Miller's Cowboy Music Revue is a place to relive the past, enjoy the present and look forward to the future.

Sometimes, an evening out here feels like a journey through time to a world filled with classic Western music and good old-fashioned humor.

The atmosphere is electric from the moment the musicians take to the stage.

They play a blend of popular Western classics, which resonates with everyone in the audience, regardless of age or musical taste.

The interaction between the performers and the audience is just the cherry on top, making the entire experience even more enjoyable.

What makes the show truly stand out, though, is the quality of the music.

The performers are accomplished artists who pour their heart and soul into every song, creating an unforgettable auditory experience.

And then, there are the voices.

Harmonious, powerful, and full of emotion, they fill the room and leave everyone in awe.

But the show isn't just about music and singing.

There's a fair share of storytelling, too, filled with warmth, humor, and nostalgia.

It's a joy to listen to stories from a bygone era and even more delightful to laugh with fellow music lovers.

So, if you're ever in Cody, don't miss the opportunity to witness this incredible show.

Experience the Buffalo Bill Dam

View of the Buffalo Bill Dam
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Growing up in the shadow of the Buffalo Bill Dam in Cody, Wyoming, its magnificence has always been a part of my daily life.

But it wasn't until I took the time to explore it up close that I genuinely appreciated its grandeur and significance.

I rode the short, convenient shuttle from the parking lot and arrived at the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center.

Stepping inside was like stepping into a different era marked by engineering marvels that shaped the landscape.

The exhibits within the visitor center were fascinating, painting a vivid picture of the dam's construction and operation.

Top view of the Buffalo Bill Dam
Tom Robertson / Shutterstock.com

I was particularly drawn to the interactive displays, which allowed me to understand the intricate hydraulic mechanisms in a hands-on way.

What stood out to me the most was the rich history of the dam.

Hearing about the challenges faced by the workers during construction, their determination, and the lasting impact of the dam on our community brought a new level of respect for this impressive structure.

It was a reminder of the hard work and innovation of our forebears.

Stepping outside, the views from the dam left me speechless.

The vast reservoir, a product of the dam's construction, stretches out in an awe-inspiring panorama.

Exploring the Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center gave me a deeper appreciation of my hometown's history and the technical wonders surrounding us.

It's more than just a marvel of engineering - it's a symbol of human determination and the transformative power of ingenuity.

View of the Buffalo Bill Dam
rozdemir / Shutterstock.com

Take A Peek Inside the Spirit Mountain Cave

I've lost count of the times I've hiked up to Spirit Mountain Cave. It's an adventure.

The road up the trailhead is steep and can instantly pump your heart.

But that's just the beginning.

The short hike to the cave entrance is what I look forward to the most.

Surrounded by the raw beauty of nature, the path has been my companion in solitude many a time.

The real wonder, however, lies inside. The cave, with its incredible formations, is a sight to behold.

It's like stepping into a different world sculpted by nature over centuries.

The stalactites, stalagmites, and other fascinating structures leave one marveling at Mother Nature's aesthetic beauty.

And the best part? It's not crowded like most tourist spots.

It's my little secret sanctuary.

But remember, you're going to need a permit and a key to get in.

It may seem like a hassle, but trust me. It's worth it.

It's like holding the key to a treasure trove of natural wonders.

Every visit to this fantastic stop leaves me with an overwhelming sense of awe and appreciation for the wonders of our planet.

And who knows, you might run into me on one of your visits up the trail!

Embark on an Adventure with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters

Living in this area, I've had the privilege of experiencing multiple hunting trips with Shoshone Lodge Outfitters.

My first encounter with Shoshone was a wilderness elk hunt in 2017.

The camp setup was impeccable, providing a home-like comfort amid the wilderness.

They also cooked hearty meals that kept us going through the demanding days.

Moreover, their riding and packing stock are of the highest quality, ensuring safety and comfort are never compromised during the trip.

Their knowledge of the terrain and passion for hunting is infectious and elevates the whole hunting experience.

Shoshone Lodge Outfitters are undoubtedly the hardest working and highest quality guides you can find.

Their consistent success over the years speaks volumes of their professionalism and expertise.

I highly recommend these guys to anyone who wishes to hunt western big game.

Enjoy a Night Under the Stars at Cody Night Rodeo

Audience enjoying the Cody Night Rodeo
Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I've been to many rodeos all across the country, but none quite compare to the thrill and excitement of the Cody Night Rodeo.

The night air is filled with anticipation as crowds gather, young and old, locals and tourists alike, eagerly awaiting the high-energy spectacle that unfolds under the Wyoming stars.

The rodeo is an experience.

Every evening, the grandstands come alive with the roars and cheers of the audience.

The announcer, a charismatic man mounted on his horse, is a showman in his own right.

His confident voice rings across the arena, adding charm and wit to each event.

The rodeo events are a remarkable display of skill and courage.

Meanwhile, the bull riding is heart-stoppingly thrilling, as brave cowboys go head to head with bucking broncos.

The barrel racing displays precision and speed that keeps me on the edge of my seat.

And the roping, it's as impressive as it is traditional, a nod to the cowboy heritage we hold dear here in Cody.

One of my favorite parts, though, is the kid-friendly events.

Seeing the young ones participate in the calf scramble, their faces lit up with excitement and determination is a joy that never gets old.

The Cody Night Rodeo is a community gathering, a tradition, and a showcase of Wyoming's cowboy culture.

And while the snack stand might be a bit pricey, the memories made here are priceless.

Live the Dude Ranch Life at the Dude Ranchers' Association

Let me tell you. There's nothing quite like waking up to the smell of fresh hay and the sound of horses whinnying in their stables.

Here, at the Dude Ranchers' Association, you get a taste of authentic ranch life.

I start my day with a cup of strong coffee, gazing at the magnificent landscapes surrounding us.

And the days here aren't just about basking in scenic vistas.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as spending the day with the horses, caring for them, and then taking them out for a ride across the sprawling ranch property.

It's simple, salt-of-the-earth work, and it's incredibly fulfilling.

Evenings are often spent in communal gatherings, sharing stories around a roaring bonfire under the starlit sky.

It's a kind of camaraderie you won't find just anywhere.

Living here is a unique experience, a taste of the ranch life, which is integral to understanding America's heart.

The Dude Ranchers' Association doesn't just offer you a glimpse into this way of life - it immerses you in it, and for that, it's an experience I cherish every day.

Step Back in Time at Old Trail Town

View of the Old Trail Town
silky / Shutterstock.com

Every day, I find myself drawn to the rustic charm of Old Trail Town, a humble tribute to Buffalo Bill's original Cody Town.

I am fortunate to live near this collection of ghost-town relics that recreates the frontier west.

It's like a time capsule that takes you back to a different age.

The well-preserved cabins, weapons, and artifacts that it houses give me a renewed appreciation for the history of the land I call home.

Every walk through Old Trail Town feels like I've traveled back in time.

The interior museums are filled to the brim with fascinating relics from the past.

It's intriguing to learn about the history of the people who lived here and are now buried in the town.

Each visit to this place, without fail, uncovers something new and exciting.

Desks inside a classroom at Old Trail Town
JWCohen / Shutterstock.com

One of the highlights of Old Trail Town is its reconstructed town.

Strolling along the streets is fun, imagining life in the historic wild west.

The town is brimming with artifacts collected over the years, each telling a unique past story.

If you're interested in history and yearn for an excellent wild west experience, visiting Old Trail Town is a must.

It's quite a drive, but the journey is worth every mile.

Every trip deepens my connection with history and makes me appreciate the rugged beauty of the old west even more.

While I wish they had period-dressed interpreters to liven up the experience, the place is still a fun stop to get that old-west feel.

It's a neat place that offers a glimpse into our past.

The presence of Old Trail Town has enriched my experience as a resident here.

It's a tourist spot and a significant piece of our local heritage.

Wagon at Old Trail Town
JWCohen / Shutterstock.com

Embrace the Arts at Cody Country Art League

I can't count the afternoons I've lost wandering through the diverse and inspiring Cody Country Art League collection.

From the moment I walk in, I'm greeted with a sense of warmth and community, a testament to the wonderful people who run this place.

Each visit is a new adventure, with an ever-evolving selection of art that never fails to pique my interest.

The Art League holds a special place in my heart as an artist.

I've been fortunate enough to have some of my pieces displayed there, allowing me to share my passion with other art enthusiasts.

It's a joy to see visitors exploring my paintings and even more thrilling when someone decides to take one home.

But it isn't just paintings that you'll find at the Cody Country Art League.

The range of art forms is astounding - from intricate jewelry, handcrafted pottery to innovative mixed-media pieces, there's something for every taste.

I often find myself drawn to handmade jewelry, each piece unique and reflecting the creativity of the local artists.

It isn't just a place for art lovers to browse and buy. It's a hub for the local art community.

Here, we come together to encourage, support, and inspire one another.

Being part of such a vibrant and passionate community is a truly enriching experience I wouldn't trade for anything else.

So, if you find yourself in Cody, stop by the Art League.

Whether you're an art lover, a curious tourist, or a local looking for inspiration, the Cody Country Art League has something to offer you.

Take a Journey through Time at the Historic Cody Mural and Museum

Entrance to the Historic Cody Mural and Museum
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

My town has quite the gem tucked away, the Historic Cody Mural and Museum.

It's where history lives, breathes, tells stories, and even fires a few rounds.

The museum is a sanctuary for the history buff and the gun enthusiast.

You could lose track of time exploring its numerous historical displays and learning about the pioneers that shaped our town.

One of the standout features of the museum is the story of how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints undertook the monumental task of settling Cody.

Initially proposed by William Cody (our town's namesake), the Sidon Canal was instrumental in taming the wild land, making it possible for people to make their homes here.

It's a story that strays from the stereotypical Wild West narrative and instead focuses on building and nurturing a community.

The museum also houses an impressive collection of firearms – a real treat if you've got a penchant for guns.

But worry not. Even if you're not keen on firearms, there's still plenty to explore.

The Historic Cody Mural and Museum truly is a treasure trove of history and a testament to the pioneering spirit that still lives in our town today.

Other Places Nearby

Explore the Majestic Grand Teton National Park

Mesmerizing views of the Grand Teton National Park
Earth Trotter Photography / Shutterstock.com

Growing up in the shadow of the Grand Teton National Park, I have always enjoyed the towering peaks and verdant valleys as my playground, escape, and sanctuary.

A different kind of energy radiates from the mountains, an almost spiritual power that resonates with my soul.

Throughout my life, I've been lucky enough to witness the grandeur of this national treasure daily.

The park is home to a wealth of wildlife, and I've enjoyed watching them up close.

Watch the proud elk grazing in the open fields, the elusive fox darting through the undergrowth, and the mighty bald eagles soaring above the mountains.

One of my favorite pastimes is hiking through the park, particularly around the lakes. The experience is unreal.

Visitors hiking at Grand Teton National Park
Charles Lemar Brown / Shutterstock.com

The mesmerizing blend of tranquil waters against majestic mountains is a sight.

Similarly, camping under the starry night sky, with the silhouette of the Tetons in the background, always leaves me in awe.

The air is fresh, the silence is soothing, and the beauty is overwhelming.

What sets Grand Teton National Park apart is each season's raw beauty.

In spring, the park is filled with vibrant wildflowers. In summer, the lakes are perfect for a refreshing swim.

Meanwhile, during the fall, the foliage turns into a riot of colors. And in winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland.

Life here is about being part of something more vast and beautiful than one can imagine.

So whether you're a nature enthusiast, an outdoor adventurer, or someone seeking serenity, I believe the park has something for everyone.

Bison at Grand Teton National Park
Tom Tietz / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Cody, Wyoming, truly is a gem in the heart of the Wild West.

Immerse yourself in this Wild West town's history, beauty, and adventure, and I guarantee that you'll leave with memories to last a lifetime.

Experience the wonders of Cody today!

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