10 Free Experiences in Cody, Wyoming
There’s an old saying that says the most lasting memories are made, not bought. In Cody, we happen to agree with that. There are numerous cost-free activities available here — experiences that will help visitors better understand the home of the Great American Adventure. And we want to share a few of them with you.
Here are 10 ways to have fun in Cody without spending a dime:
Take a Walking Tour
Discover the remarkable history of Cody during a narrated, downloadable walking tour of the town’s historic streets. The free app was created by Travel Storys in partnership with Cody Yellowstone and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Take the Story on the Road
While you’re at it, download the Travel Storys audio tour about the Road to Yellowstone – the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, from downtown Cody to the East entrance of Yellowstone National Park. This audio tour will accompany road-trippers on one of the most scenic drives in the West – the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway – offering history and interesting information about the region.
Do Something That Rocks
Find “Snoopy the Dog” or “Laughing Pig Rock.” The 52-mile road between Cody and the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park has plenty of rock formations and lava flows named by imaginative locals. The route travels along the north fork of the Shoshone River and traverses the Wapiti Valley through the Shoshone Forest.
Learn About the Legacy of Western Design
By Western Hands is an innovative museum and gallery that showcases the region’s extraordinary functional art and furniture. This style was popularized by Thomas Molesworth, who became the furniture-making darling of Easterners charmed by the unique style of furniture found in the region’s dude and guest ranches. A non-profit artisan guild, By Western Hands, exhibits showcase how the area became the birthplace of Western design and how its artists honor that heritage through their creations.
See Buffalo Bill’s Hunting Lodge
Pahaska Tepee is where “The Colonel” relaxed with friends such as Teddy Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1904, this hunting lodge sits just outside the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. It was called Pahaska after the nickname given to him by the local Indians; it means “long hair.” The rustic log lodge displays many gifts given to Cody by guests. A restaurant and gift shop are housed in an adjacent building.
Enjoy a Dam Visit
Suppose there’s someone in the group who likes to see how things work. In that case, they will thoroughly enjoy visiting the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center. Water was as much a concern in the days of Buffalo Bill Cody as it is in the West today. Cody foresaw that and convinced the U.S. government to build a dam here to help conserve that precious resource. Today, agriculture thrives in this naturally arid area due to his foresight. See the dam and learn all about its construction and benefits. The dam is located six miles west of Cody.
Dig Up The Past
Stroll through history while viewing hundreds of relic guns and other weapons at the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum. This fun and funky museum displays weapons from many periods in American history. The one thing they have in common? They all have been found buried in the ground in former battlefields, as well as farms, backyards, and wilderness areas throughout the world.
Enjoy a Hike
Strap on your walking shoes and hike, stroll and explore downtown Cody and some of the hundreds of hiking trails surrounding the town. Cody features a variety of shops and artists’ galleries that welcome window shopping visitors.
Watch a Gunfight
The place to be at 6 p.m. on summer evenings is outside the Irma Hotel to watch the supremely entertaining Cody Wild Bunch engage in Western skits that always end up in a gunfight (often prompted by a damsel in distress). Kids learn about gun safety, and parents enjoy a classic Cody experience without opening their wallets. This fun-loving and slightly wacky group of locals performs most nights in the summer.
Enjoy Local Art
View fine Western art created by local artists at the Cody Country Art League, which shares a historic building – the original Buffalo Bill Museum – with the Cody Visitor Center. Artists with ties to the community display photography, oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures, and more.
You don’t need to be a big spender to enjoy everything Cody Yellowstone has to offer! Start planning your Great American Adventure today!