If you're approaching Yellowstone National Park from the east, you may pass through Cody. We suggest you pause for a while in this historic town named for the famous soldier, hunter and Wild West showman Col. William "Buffalo Bill" Cody. In addition to his many other exploits, Buffalo Bill helped found his namesake town in the 1890s and played a big role in establishing the tourism business in Wyoming.

Buffalo Bill built the Irma Hotel downtown in 1902 and named for it his daughter. (You may be told that the cherry bar at the hotel was given to Buffalo Bill by Queen Victoria. It wasn't, but it's a nice bar nonetheless.) If you want to take a tour of the town's historic sites, take the Cody Trolley, which departs three times a day from the hotel. You can also tour the town on your own by renting a bicycle, tandem bike or surrey at Wheel Fun Rentals, a couple of blocks east of the Irma.

Cody's downtown art galleries boast the works of well-known artists. Each September, the town hosts Rendezvous Royale, a three-day art extravaganza. Summer evenings offer the chance to see the Cody Nite Rodeo, which runs Memorial Day-Labor Day. The Cody Stampede celebration takes place as part of the town's Fourth of July celebrations, and the Yellowstone Jazz Festival is staged in mid-July. Cody's peak season is summer, but a few attractions, including the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, remain open year-round. The road to Yellowstone along the North Fork of the Shoshone River is open in winter as far as the park entrance. Visitors can enter the park there by snowmobile or on cross-country skis. In the fall, views of the area's bighorn sheep herds aren't unusual, and any time of year the funky rock formations called hoodoos are worth a photograph or two. 395 mi/635 km northwest of Cheyenne.

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