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Cody Yellowstone is a phenomenal year-round vacation destination, full of thrilling outdoor adventures, one-of-a-kind Wild West culture, and dynamic dining experiences. It’s always a great time to visit, but Cody Yellowstone really comes alive in the summer. The warmer days bring along magnificent musical shows, the legendary rodeo, and a downtown gun-slinging spectacle happening every evening. These are just a few of the attractions you can discover in this incredible summer vacation destination. Check out our events calendar to view all our exciting upcoming summer events.

Ready to cross some items off your summer vacation must-do list? Here are some of the best activities in Cody Yellowstone so you can start planning your awesome summer weekend.

Visit Five Museums in One at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Buffalo Bill Center of the West 1

History comes to life at The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a Smithsonian-affiliated institution that houses five fascinating and family-friendly museums. Art lovers, history buffs, culture vultures, and the relentlessly curious will all find something to love. Visit the Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and Whitney Western Art Museum—all under one roof! Explore the stories of the Wild West and learn about the legends who tamed the landscape and shaped our one-of-a-kind culture. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is also home to a jam-packed events calendar that includes the annual Plains Indian Powwow and authentic cowboy-style chuckwagon dinners. Be sure to take a look and plan your visit around fun summer happenings.

Take in the World-Famous Rodeo

A Summer Weekend in Cody Yellowstone

It just wouldn’t feel like summer in Cody Yellowstone without the world-famous rodeo. Families have enjoyed this one-of-a-kind spectacle of athletic feats and powerful animals for generations. In fact, the Cody Stampede Rodeo has been running for over 100 years, while the Cody Nite Rodeo has been a summer favorite since 1938. There are plenty of reasons for the longevity of these legendary attractions, but the main reason is pretty straightforward: the rodeo is fun!

Buffalo Bill Cody founded the town of Cody, and historians often cite him as having invented the modern rodeo with his Wild West show. The legend lives on here. It’s fun, family-friendly, and filled with great food — picture summertime favorites like hot dogs, nachos, and BBQ sandwiches. All in all, the rodeo is a can’t-miss part of a perfect summer weekend in Cody Yellowstone.

Enjoy a Rootin’ Tootin’ Musical Experience 

Wild West Spectacular The Musical

How would you like to meet local legends like Annie Oakley, “Wild Bill” Hickok, and town founder Buffalo Bill Cody? With Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Spectacular the Musical, you can get up close to the characters who created this one-of-a-kind Western town. This fun and family-friendly musical features energetic songs, dancing, and history. You’ll laugh, enjoy a spectacular performance, and learn a lot about the Old West. Want to combine dinner and a show? Clem’s, located in the lobby, serves up spectacular local fare to enjoy during the performance. Grab some grilled sandwiches, hot dogs, dipped ice cream bars, popcorn, and other treats before taking your seat. You’ll want to yell “Yeehaw!” after witnessing this perfect addition to your Cody Yellowstone vacation.

Take Time to Remember at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

Heart Mountain Interpretive Center

Add some important historical context to your trip with a visit to the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center. Located on the site of a former World War II Japanese American Relocation Camp, where around 14,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated. It’s an eye-opener that provides important lessons and explores the wrongs of the past. Every summer, Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center hosts the Heart Mountain Pilgrimage, bringing together former detainees and providing locals and visitors with opportunities to learn more about this tragic time in American history. Activities include film screenings, educational sessions, multi-generational discussions, speakers, performers, and tours.

Get Your Toes Tapping with Cody Cattle Company

The band performs at the Cody Cattle Company in Cody Yellowstone

If you can’t get enough of the cowboy lifestyle, you won’t want to miss the Cody Cattle Company’s all-you-can-eat chuckwagon dinner and live western music show. Ryan Martin & the Triple C Cowboys will get your toes tapping and your feet stomping with fun and family-friendly musical performances that pair perfectly with Western culinary classics like beef brisket, baked beans, cornbread, and more. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to save room for the Cody Cattle Company’s famous chocolate brownies, the perfect end to your experience and one of the tastiest desserts in Cody. The Cody Cattle Company even offers a Trifecta Ticket, which gets you access to the chuckwagon dinner, the spectacular show, and a ticket to the Cody Nite Rodeo – the perfect series of events to plan a summer weekend around!

Explore History at the Cody Firearms Experience

A man fires at a target at the Cody Firearms Experience

When you think of the founding of the Wild West, you might picture gunslinging outlaws and quickdraw gunfights. Want to get an even closer hands-on exploration of this fascinating legacy? The Cody Firearms Experience lets you learn more about the history of firearms with instructors who will ensure you have a safe visit. There’s an indoor range with over 50 firearms, as well as a kids arcade and wildlife exhibit for family-friendly fun. The Cody Firearms Experience is open daily during the summer, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Visit an Engineering Marvel at Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center

Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center 4

The Buffalo Bill Dam was the tallest dam in the world when completed in 1910. Today, it’s a National Civil Engineering Landmark that features breathtaking views. Walk across the top of the dam for a breathtaking view down 280 feet to the mighty Shoshone River. The Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center is free and open to visitors from May 1 to September 30. Want to make a day of it? The annual Great Dam Day is held every August and invites the public to enjoy a variety of fun and entertaining activities that are totally free. 

Take an Old-Fashioned Horseback Ride

Friends take a horseback ride in Cody Yellowstone

There are plenty of ways to live the cowboy lifestyle in Cody, and one of the most authentic is through an old-fashioned horseback ride. Relive the transportation method shared by the West’s early founders and ride atop the majestic creatures who helped make this land what it is today. Several local hunting outfitters offer horseback rides, and Cody Yellowstone’s guest ranches also provide guests with opportunities to hop in the saddle and explore trails. 

Dine at the Legendary Irma Hotel

Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel 2

It’s easy to spot Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel in beautiful downtown Cody. Follow the glow of the iconic neon sign to find delicious meals, a memorable setting, and an institution that has welcomed guests for over 120 years. What’s on the menu? Well, in the summer, the Irma dining room offers up bounteous buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—every day of the week! And the dining room is a scene in itself. The priceless cherry wood bar was a gift from Queen Victoria to Buffalo Bill back when our town’s founder was one of the most famous entertainers in the world. You’ll be dining in a room that has hosted politicians, royals, celebrities, and business leaders. Summer also offers the opportunity to kick back on our porch and watch the goings-on of this quaint western town. You might even catch a gunfight or two!

Take a Trip Along the Sippin’ Trail

Two men chat over a beer in Cody Yellowstone

Summer days sure can work up a thirst, and around here, we like to quench our cravings with some spectacular local suds, handcrafted cocktails, and other delightful libations. That’s where the Sippin’ Trail comes in. Take this opportunity to visit our fantastic food and beverage scene and get rewarded with free prizes along the way. Make sure to get your Sippin’ Trail Drink Pass to unlock a world of flavor and adventure. Once you sign up, you’ll be sent a digital passport via text or email. When visiting a participating Sippin’ Trail business, simply present your phone to the attendant or staff member to redeem available discounts! Visit the Sippin’ Trail page for step-by-step instructions and start enjoying the Sippin’ Trail. Have fun, and please remember to drink responsibly.

Plan Your Perfect Summer Weekend in Cody Yellowstone

There you have it, a long list of suggestions for building your perfect summer weekend in Cody Yellowstone. With so much to see and do, you might find yourself planning several getaways! Start planning your trip today. We’ll be waiting with a hearty Wild West welcome.