I had mentioned earlier the how cool Bozeman was, but I also wanted to mention the fun more vacation oriented towns just outside of Yellowstone. While Bozeman would be a cool place to live, Red Lodge, Livingston, Cooke City and Cody were a blast to visit. There are a lot of other cool small towns right outside the gates too, but we spent the most time in these. All the towns have interesting well marketed histories, fun lively downtowns, and lots of fun things to do. The also all had good or interesting food. For example, in Livingston we got burgers at the In and Out burger place that has been open sense the 50’s, in Red Lodge we tried amazing Corn Chowder, and Buffalo burgers, and in Cody we tried the famous Irma buffet.
We spent the most time in Red Lodge and Cody. They are an interesting look at the west from two different angles. Both are tourist orientated, but very different. Cody is more of a tourist trap I would say. It capitalizes on it’s founder Buffalo Bill Cody, and the wild west. We saw the daily wild west shoot out in front of the Hotel he built before the turn of the century, the Irma and stayed there too. We also checked out a small cool but quirky museum that boosted a few famous cabins(the cabin that Butch Casity and the Sun-dance kid stayed in) and wild west memorabilia. It has lots of wild west shops and attractions to check out.
Over all we enjoyed Red Lodge the most. In fact the historic, and maybe haunted hotel the Pollard, that we stayed in we liked the best of the entire trip. The hotel was also built before 1900, and like the town has a rich history. It had many famous guests, including Ernest Hemingway, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill, William Jennings Bryan, and was robbed by the Sundance kid even. It was and still is quite lavish and was remodeled in the same style, yet it was a cheap stay. We also ate in the beautiful dinning-room. The town gets most of its traffic in the winter when it becomes a ski destination, but we still found a lot to do in the “off” season. It has many much more interesting shops, and places to eat. Defiantly check out the candy store downtown, it has super cheap candy and is more of a museum then a store. We spent a lot of time there and very little money. Even with a large number of bikers in town the bars were still cool places to check out there too. Isabel and I both agree Red Lodge was the town we enjoyed the most. It is also the town right before the famous and beautiful Bear Tooth Pass. Last town we were in that did not require push staring too, lol.
What really makes all the entrance towns exciting is the backdrop. Behind the historic town main streets you will see majestic and awe inspiring mountains or other bits of natures beauty.