Many visitors to Cody are there for the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park, which should be a definite inclusion on the list of what to see and do with your group. But the town itself is also worth visiting, whether interests lie in outdoor recreation (both light and strenuous), dining, history, or regional culture. Founded in 1896 by “Buffalo Bill” (William F. Cody), Cody is home to about 10,000 people.
Get an overview of Cody’s offerings on a 22-mile, one-hour narrated trolley tour with Cody Trolley Tours. Tours leave from the porch of the Irma Hotel at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, with two additional tours during high season. The town has long attracted Hollywood filmmakers, drawn to the vast, open land. “Any Which Way You Can,” the 1980 film starring Clint Eastwood, is one example. Available to private groups, Powell’s agriculture tours show off the region, too, with a focus on agriculture and agritourism, and can be customized to suit your group’s interest.
Buffalo Bill Center of the West consists of five museums in a downtown Cody complex, including Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and Whitney Western Art Museum. (You’ll want to devote at least a half day to see it all!) To make the concepts feel less overwhelming, book an expert-led, exclusive private tour of any of the museums just for your group. If scheduling is tight, there’s an after-hours interactive event with drinks and charcuterie, also designed for groups; and—on the shorter side—an hour-long tour of the sculpture garden on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Step into what life was like during the 1800s at Old Trail Town, a reimagined, frontier-style town. It’s no coincidence this is where “Buffalo Bill” chose to establish the town’s first site. Meanwhile, to get your feet wet and your heart racing, Wyoming River Trips hosts guided kayaking and whitewater rafting trips of Red Rock Canyon and the North Fork of the Shoshane River. Rodeos are a popular pastime in northwestern Wyoming, too—after all, this is the “Rodeo Capital of the World.” Between June and August, groups can enjoy the nightly Cody Stampede Rodeo. Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Review combines Americana music and cowboy poetry each summer evening—except for Sundays. Looking for a place to spread out and wander? In downtown Cody, you’ll find restaurants, art galleries, and shops.
Make a Stop: Yellowstone National Park
The east entrance to this 2.2-million-acre national park (which was established in 1872; is the country’s oldest; and spans Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) is 52 miles from Cody. To ensure everyone is safe and receives the highest quality experience, consider booking a guide specializing in private, large groups. Cody Shuttle’s private tours operate out of Cody and last between 10 and 12 hours. Tours can accommodate up to 12 people in each group. Transportation is via an air-conditioned van, with opportunities to stop and view wildlife or take photos along the way. The company can also create a tour just for your group.
By Kristine Hansen
Main Image: Old Trail Town, Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism