While Memorial Day means burgers, beer and a day off work in many places, here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, it also means that summer has arrived. By Memorial Day, nearly all of Cody’s famous summer attractions have opened, and visitors from around the world have begun to arrive.
Here’s what those visitors can experience after Memorial Day weekend:
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Heart Mountain World War II Interpretive Center, and the galleries and shops on Sheridan Avenue begin summer-season hours. The world-renowned Center of the West is celebrating its 100th anniversary with special exhibitions this summer like “Cody to the World!,” opening June 2 in the museum’s Special Exhibitions Gallery.
The Cody Trolley offers as many as four daily tours. I always suggest that new visitors to Cody launch their vacations with this interpretive tour that introduces the history of Buffalo Bill Cody and the town he built.
The Cody Nite Rodeo begins its nightly performances. The first rodeo is Thursday, June 1, and visitors can experience the longest running nightly summer rodeo in the world until it closes the last day of August.
Old Trail Town. This collection of authentic frontier buildings is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The Old West structures are furnished with artifacts and antiques from the 1800’s. Visitors can also check out mountain man Jeremiah Johnston’s gravesite.
Pahaska Tepee opens for self-guided tours. Built in 1904 near the Yellowstone National Park border, Buffalo Bill’s original hunting lodge is open throughout the summer.
The Sleeping Giant Zipline opens in mid-June. Introduced last year, this zipline adventure is loads of fun and a feast for the eyes as “zippers” travel above the forest tree line and experience expansive views of the Absaroka Mountains.
Most guest ranches and dude ranches are open. These special destinations have been offering travelers an authentic Western experience for more than a century. Ranches feature adventures like horseback trail rides and pack trips, fishing in private waters, and night time campfires.
Cody Gunfighters begin their nightly performances. This entertaining group of actors and actresses perform free skits depicting exaggerated Old West adventures while delivering a gun-safety message.
Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue begins its nightly dinner show at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Dan and his band began performing in their new venue last year. The popular show entertains thousands of visitors who are treated to an hour of traditional and new Western songs and the smooth vocals of Dan and band members Wendy and Hannah.
Yellowstone National Park tours begin. Cody is home to several tour companies that offer a variety of daily tours into the park. Many can be customized for travelers with special interests like photography and wildlife viewing.
Rafting, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding are in full swing on the Shoshone River. Cody’s river outfitters offer a variety of experiences for those seeking fun on the water.
I’ll be celebrating Memorial Day with a long hike and a picnic in the woods. Where will you be during summer’s unofficial kick-off?
Until next time, I’m loving life – and burgers and beer – here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.