Memorial Day weekend signals the kick off to summer in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country! The area comes alive with the opening of roads, area attractions and summer time events. It is a great time to visit because the temperatures are very comfortable and it is not too busy yet. Here are my recommendations for the long weekend trip to Cody/Yellowstone Country.
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West should always be on the list of “must dos” when visiting Cody. This world class facility has five western museums under one roof! The various museums feature Yellowstone’s natural history, Buffalo Bill, Plains Indian arts and culture, western art and a renown firearms museum. The Buffalo Bill museum had been recently redesigned and is reopening on May 19th. The Center has its own eatery and coffee bar so you can spend all day exploring!
There is a little extra going on Memorial Weekend this year. The Cody Wild West Show Concert series presents Grammy-award winning singer, Kathy Mattea, on Saturday, May 26th. Kathy will be performing hits like “18 Wheels and A Dozen Roses,” “Where Have You Been” in addition to new songs from her upcoming album. Kathy, along with her band, will perform concerts at 5:00 and 8:00 p.m in the Wynona Thompson Auditorium. Contact the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce at 800-393-2639 for ticket and lodging package information.
Plan another evening of music with Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue in downtown Cody. This award- winning variety show features Americana, bluegrass, songs of the American West and cowboy poetry. Located in the historic Cody Theatre, this Branson-style show is great for the entire family. The theatre is across the street from Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel and offers a Dinner and Show package. The Irma is famous for their prime rib buffet that you won’t want to miss either!
Old Trail Town and Museum of the Old West are located on the original town site of Cody City. The town is a collection of 26 area frontier buildings. Thousands of artifacts are displayed throughout the buildings. A small cemetery contains the gravesite of Jeremiah Johnson and other notorious characters of the area. My favorite building is the saloon. It is a quaint building with red wallpaper and bullet holes in the walls. Hollywood depicts western saloons as large halls full of people when in reality most saloons were quite small.
You might not realize there is a wild horse herd that roams on BLM land just outside of Cody. Take a 2 ½ hour tour with Red Canyon Wild Mustang Tours and get up close to the horses. Your guide will share the history and information about the behavior of wild horses. You may also see pronghorn antelope, golden eagles, coyotes and black-tailed prairie dogs.
Located between the towns of Cody and Powell, Heart Mountain Interpretive Center is the historical site where 14,000 Japanese Americans were confined during World War II. The relocation center was open from August 1942 to November 10, 1945 and at one point was the third largest city in Wyoming. The Center shares the experiences of the internees through a museum, exhibits and a walking trail. The Center preserves a very important part of American history.
Complete your weekend with a trip into Yellowstone! All roads within the Park will be open by Memorial Day weekend and it should not be too busy. Wildlife viewing is good as many animals are still hanging out in the lower areas because of snow and temperatures in the high country. It is also a great time to get a glimpse of bear cubs, bison calves, and many other animal babies. I like visiting early in the season because everything is so green and the wildflowers are popping up all over.
There are lots of things to do in Cody/Yellowstone Country over Memorial Day weekend. Take in all of my recommendations or just a few on this visit. Whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed!