One perfect day in Cody, WY

Visit this Wild West town for everything from rodeos to whitewater rafting
Dina Mishev

Giddyup: See the plains the way the frontiersmen did, in a tall saddle. The quarter horses at Cedar Mountain Trail Rides head out every day, climbing 1,000 to 2,000 feet. Rabbits hop around the prickly pear cactus as the Bighorn Mountains tower in the distance. Rides from $35 for an hour; 12 Spirit Mountain Rd.; 307/527-4966.

Smithsonian of the West: Think of it as five museums in one at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's 7-acre campus. The huge collection of around 50,000 artifacts includes video footage from Buffalo Bill's show, gunslinger pistols, and the cast of an Ice Age saber-toothed cat. $18; 720 Sheridan Ave.; bbhc.org

Go wild--in the water: Not into bull riding? Wyoming River Trips tackles Class III/IV rapids on the scenic Shoshone with picnics before the ride back ($70; wyomingrivertrips.com). Or try River Runners of Wyoming Class II/III trips from just outside downtown ($30; riverrunnersofwyoming.com).

Make it an overnight: Ernest Hemingway finished Death in the Afternoon while stying downtown at the Chamberlin Inn. We'd rather relax in the garden, plunk out a tune on the sunroom's antique upright, or soak in a claw-foot bathtub. From $165; chamberlininn.com

Can't get enough cowboy? Even more Wild West spirit in town

Grub: Real cowboys rarely eat as well as the chow line at Cody Cattle Company would have you believe. But even better than the platters of beef brisket is the guitar and mandolin playing by Ryan Martin and the Everywhere West Band. $24; 1910 Demaris St.; 307/272-5770.

Gunplay: Buffalo Bill held auditions for his Wild West show at the Irma Hotel. Today, the Cody Gunfighters keep the tradition alive with free staged gunfights out front. Mon-Sat; 1192 Sheridan; codygunfighters.com

Goods: In the market for a fringed deerskin frontiersman coat or Sioux pottery? Tecumseh's Trading Post is your place. There's also an Old West Miniature Village and Museum inside. 142 W. Yellowstone Ave.; 307/587-5362.

 

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