One perfect day in Cody, WY

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

Why go in summer: Take a break from Yellowstone just when this Wild West town is at its wildest--in the height of rodeo season.

Back then: The town's 1896 founder and namesake, William Cody (aka Buffalo Bill), was a Pony Express rider made famous with his Wild West show.

Nowadays: Cody's hung on to its western roots, becoming the rodeo capital of the world.

Main drag: The six bustling blocks of Sheridan Avenue is Cody's downtown.

Where to get the look: Wayne's Boot Shop (closed Sun; 1250 Sheridan; 307/587-5234).

Dinner date: At Geysers on the Terrace, buffalo meat loaf comes with views of the Shoshone River Canyon. $$; closed Sun; 525 W. Yellowstone Ave.; 307/587-5868.

Best joe in town: Beta Coffeehouse owned by local rock-climbing experts, where you'll see more Patagonia than cowboy wear. $; 1132 12th St.; 307/587-7707.

Royal connection: Stop for a shot of whiskey at the Irma Hotel. The 1902 cherrywood bar was a gift from Queen Victoria. 1192 Sheridan; irmahotel.com

Cowboy Christmas: The cream of the cowboy crop competes in the Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede Rodeo (Jul 1-4; $18; codystampederodeo.com), one of nine stops on the Million Dollar Gold Tour Series. Or hang out with the locals every night through August to cheer on riders, ropers, and barrel racers at the Cody Nite Rodeo (gates open at 7, events at 8; $18; 519 Yellowstone Ave.; codynightrodeo.com).

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