Cody Yellowstone Offers Tips to Make a Vacation the Best “Time” Possible
I’m always busy planning our next family vacation. As the kids get older, I want to start sharing places that were memorable when I was a kid. One of those was a road trip through Yellowstone National Park with my best friend and her family.
For many people, winter is the time to plan their vacations. Making the most of their time off is best achieved with some advance planning, and that’s especially true for visitors to Cody Yellowstone in Northwest Wyoming.
“We have been hosting guests in and around the world’s first national park for more than a century, and we have seen enough to know what works,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of the region.
Wade offers these time-management tips for planning a Cody Yellowstone vacation in 2019:
Take the time off in the first place.
Workers in the United States leave way too much vacation time on the table, according to the U.S. Travel Association. While people may think they are indispensable or that their employers will think they are slackers if they are not at work all the time, studies show that time off helps people be more productive and is good for their health and minds.
Take into account distances.
“The atlas that devotes a page to each state can be pretty misleading,” said Wade. “The drive across Illinois on Interstate 80 is significantly shorter than Wyoming’s.”
Plan the most interesting route.
With two designated Scenic Byways (Buffalo Bill and Chief Joseph) between Cody and Yellowstone National Park, travelers can enjoy forests, valleys, mountain passes and historical stops that confirm that the journey is a major part of the vacation.
Budget enough time for town.
It’s not uncommon for return visitors to build in extra time because they simply did not realize the first time there was so much to see and do, said Wade. History buffs might come for the Buffalo Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and not realize that they should also check out the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Centerand the Old Trail Town & Museum of the Old West. Those who are adventure-oriented may want to enjoy hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and some of the world’s best trout fishing.
Budget enough time for the park.
At close to 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone is bigger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Many people drive through the park in a single day with a stop to watch Old Faithful erupt. Wade recommends that guests stay overnight in the park or make multiple day trips. Either way, there are too many hikes to take, visitor centers to visit, wildlife to watch and thermal features to learn about in a single day.
Choose your timing.
Travelers who wish to experience Cody’s acclaimed Cody Nite Rodeo should schedule their vacations between June 1 and August 31. Many attractions are open year-round. Park roads are all open to wheeled vehicles in summer while most of the park is open only to over-the-snow vehicles in winter. During early spring and late fall it’s best to check on road closures.
Figure out transportation.
For road-trippers, getting there is part of the fun. The American West is home to historical sites and markers, expansive landscapes and an array of wildlife, which can often be viewed from pull-outs or alongside roads. Vacationers who prefer to fly will find daily flights to the Yellowstone Regional Airport, located five minutes from town.
Leave some time to relax.
Many people think that they need to fill up every waking moment, but that approach results in stress, fatigue and various activities all running together. Wade recommends slowing down to eat an ice cream cone, watch bald eagles and listen to local music such as Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.