Cody is entertainer William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody's hometown, and was founded by him in 1887. During summer it rivals Jackson as Wyoming's number one tourist town, yet still retaining more of the bona fide appeal of a pastoral Western community than the resort sophistication of its contender.
Every summer the town turns up its Western charm for the thousands of visitors en route to the east gate of Yellowstone National Park with rodeos, the annual Cody Stampede, Buffalo Bill attractions and paraphernalia, and a Cowtown circus. Cody's main attraction is the world-class Buffalo Bill Historical Center, encompassing five different museums detailing the history of the West.
The dusty main road is lined with souvenir and ranch-wear shops, and its reassembled Old Trail Town is a collection of ghost town shop fronts and cabins gathered from the surrounding region, housing artefacts and archaeological finds. From Cody, the 52 miles (84km) to Yellowstone National Park takes travellers through the superbly scenic landscape of the Wapiti Valley.
Because of its altitude, Cody, like much of the state of Wyoming, has an essentially cold and dry climate, with plenty of winter snowfall. The weather is highly seasonal, summer days can be pleasantly warm. Despite the average of low temperatures there is no shortage of sunshine, with an estimated 300 sunny days a year. However, Cody's weather is known to be highly unpredictable.
Cody is named after the famous cowboy and entertainer William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, so it's no surprise that the most popular attraction in town is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The Center offers plenty of interesting information on Cody's life, but also includes museums devoted to local art, history, and culture.
With Western cowboy culture at the core of Cody, the Cody Night Rodeo is always a favourite and takes place every evening in summer, along with bull riding, steer wrestling, and other events. The highlight of the year is the Cody Stampede Rodeo, held from June to August, which sees cowboys from all over the world compete in events like bareback riding, steer wrestling, barrel riding, and calf roping. Travellers who want a hands-on experience of cowboy life can visit one of several dude ranches in the area, which offer horseback riding and ranching experiences. Many of these ranches are located near Yellowstone National Park, which makes a great combination for any Wyoming holiday.
There are also wonderful museums and galleries in Cody where those less keen on rodeos and ranches will find themselves something to do and enjoy. The Cody Country Art League is a worthwhile stop for those interested in the local art scene and the Historic Cody Mural and Museum is a good way to learn some Cody history. Big Horn Cinemas is also enjoyed by movie lovers, and there are concerts in the downtown City Park each summer featuring a variety of musical talent. There are also some great restaurants to try and some fun shopping to do when in Cody.
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