Family Travel: Consider Cody

by farrah on June 29, 2012 · 11 comments

My first introduction to Wyoming was a brief overnight stay in Cody. The ranch was going to send a wrangler to pick me up the following day, so I had to make some arrangements. No problem. I simply typed ‘Cody, WY motels’ into Google, read some reviews and scored on the first try.

Hence I found The Budget Host Inn. There are times in my life I feel like I make truly serendipitous choices- and this was one of those moments. I had a brief layover in Salt Lake City  and simply called my motel to say ‘Hey, I screwed up and didn’t think how to get there- is there a taxi I can call?’ Ok, so first this is a ridiculous statement because I don’t think they have a taxi within a few hundred miles of Cody. But what’s even better is that Brenda (who answered my call) simply said- ‘Oh no, Mark will be right there to pick you up. Just give a call back later when you land’. I didn’t know who ‘Mark’ was, but happy someone was going to come and get me.

When we landed, I called- and was told that actually, Mark was the co owner and would be by in his dusty Subaru in no time. He was- and when the dusty black Subaru showed up with a blanket in the back for his dogs (which I assumed were hard core west dogs) he explained that they were actually for his beloved Shitz-zus. Mark was an interesting character- and his lovely partner Brenda was just as charming.

Welcome to the west, mama.

And so began my trip. Simple, friendly and family treatment wherever I went. And what I learned is that Cody is a pretty swell town with some super nice folks and plenty for a family to do.

I also learned that many people stay there because it’s at the gateway to Yellowstone. It’s less expensive and there is more ‘elbow room’ so to speak in Cody. Personally, I am going to say that staying at the Budget Host Inn was a fantastic experience as it was immaculately clean, personable, friendly, and within walking distance to where you need to go in town.

What to do:

The ‘strip’ of Cody has all you need. You can walk along and find shops with whatever your western heart desires. I picked up my trinkets for the boys- a gift for my sister and some locally make elk salami (yum) for my husband. I was elated at how well my trip had begun.

There are restaurants to make a pit stop as well as a handful of bars. But the real action is at night. I moseyed about 6 blocks up the main street to watch the Buffalo Bill shootout (held nightly at 6pm). My first impression was not that awesome considering a scene from Stand By Me was played out before my very eyes. Yes, the worst one in the movie. Crowd of people, a stage. All of a sudden a pudgy kid was puking. It was gross, but thankfully hardly anyone noticed. Except me. Lucky me.

The performance is all done in the name of charities (alas I missed exactly which ones) but for $2 you could rent  a seat- a lawn chair seat, and for an additional $3 or $5 you could buy a poster or enter the raffle for some pretty cool stuff. All in all I think kids love it- but keep in mind that the guns they use (even though I’m assuming they’re blanks) are pretty loud for small ears and even the oldest and largest of us in the audience jumped a little each time there was a shot.

I did get this pic with Buffalo Bill Cody as well. He walked up to me, handed my camera to a girl standing there just as confused as I was- and posed. He looks quite well for someone born in 1846!

Cute, eh?

That night there was also the Cody Night Rodeo (from the link scroll down to the lower right corner, and click on Cody Night Rodeo). From what I understand, this is one of the biggest draws for miles around, and I am sorry that I missed it. I hope that if you stay in Yellowstone or Cody- you get a chance to check it out.

I walked down the charming street- ate a quick dinner at a (very good) Mexican restaurant and walked back to my motel to crash for the night. Sure it was 9pm. But I was beat and the wrangler was to arrive at noon.

The following morning I had a pretty intense breakfast at the Irma Hotel (famously known as Bill’s own hotel) where I was seated at the BEST table, and chowed down. Great service, wonderful ambiance, and a good memory to keep.


I walked back to my motel to collect my bags being held in the office and waited for my wrangler, Chris. Let’s just say a ‘tall drink of water’ might be how someone could describe him. I will say that he is as polite, kind and well mannered as he is good looking. (Thank you to Brenda for snapping this pic!)

 And so began my adventure to The Hideout at Flitner Ranch. Call me crazy, but I actually got a sense of what 300,000 acres looks like- and yes- I really did work some cattle on horseback, and at the top of a mountain (insert hat toss here).  Looking forward to reliving the ranch in a post or two next week.. Yehaw!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Greta June 29, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Yee haw! Sounds like a great place to spend a weekend.


2 farrah June 30, 2012 at 1:35 am

It is- and it’s perfect for families.


3 Jen June 30, 2012 at 2:13 am

I loved reading about the beginning of your adventure! How fun! And holy hottie cowboy!!! 🙂


4 farrah July 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I know. And he was as polite as he was good looking.


5 kerryb July 1, 2012 at 2:35 am

You’re so cute!!! What a great trip!


6 farrah July 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Thanks- he IS tall!


7 Brianne July 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Oh dear lord the cowboy man candy….where’s my personal shots at lady!? 😉


8 farrah July 2, 2012 at 12:21 pm

No kidding. And you’re going to hate me but I really don’t have any! My eyes were only for the hills!


9 Brianne July 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

oh and we are dying to go back to Yellowstone with Bugs, so thanks for all the good tips about Cody. I’m be making sure we stay there when we plan our trip!


10 farrah July 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Yes! Absolutely look into it. Your pass to Yellowstone is good for 2 days, and it makes perfect sense. From what I heard it’s really crowded in Yellowstone to stay, so Cody is a wonderful alternative. And in case you go to the Walgreens there- the end cap that greets you is for bear spray. See? All set!


11 Brianne July 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

hahah! Hubs will love the bear spray!! We only saw wolves and attack bison when we were there last time! And when we stayed in the park, it was too touristy for me. I think I’d rather stay outside the park next time in Cody! Can’t wait!


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