If you are looking for groceries there is only the Super Wal-Mart or Albertsons. People from a larger town will probably find these small, but hopefully they will fill your needs. Albertsons usually has the best fresh produce in town, including a selection of organic items. Surprisingly this produce is similar in price to, and sometimes even less expensive than Wal-Mart’s. Albertson's is the grocery store to purchase fresh or freshly thawed fish and seafood items. The store is located on the opposite side of town from the Historical Center and Wal-Mart.
I asked my husband to snap this photo of Albertson with his digital camera when we stopped by to purchase some Alaskan King Crab Legs that were on a two day sale.
Another sports equipment store that also carries quality clothing and equipment is Sunlight Sports. Although this store is usually more expensive than the Sierra Trading Post, it carries more equipment, so you may be able to find items here that are not carried by Sierra. This is especially true of non-clothing sports items.
What to buy: Casual and sports clothing, hiking shoes, sports equipment.
What to pay: Check the Sierra Trading Post first to be sure that the item can't be found there at a cheaper price.
Wayne’s Boot Shop is one of the oldest family owned businesses in downtown Cody. The shop opened as a boot repair shop in 1959, but since then has branched out into the sales of fine leather goods such as purses, wallets, boots, belts, lamb skin lined slippers, some dress and casual shoes, as well as Western hats by Stetson and other high quality hat brands. There are also some jewelry and silver belt buckles available, as well as high quality socks. Wayne’s carries some well known boot brands, such as Noconas, Tony Lama, Justin, Lucchese, Olathe, Ariat, Old Gringo, Redwing, Justin Whites, Lacrosse, Danner, Columbia, Haflinger, Durango, and a number of others. You will find work boots, sports boots, hunting boots, and cowboy boots. Wayne’s carries high quality leather belts in both casual and Western styles, including Ringler belts, made by a local leather craftsman.
What to buy: If you like quality leather items, or want something of a western style to wear, then you may find some things you will like in this store.
What to pay: I have purchased a casual Ringler leather belt for $50, and a pair of boots for $100. The price of the boots is at the low end for this shop. The belt, which is hand made, is of high quality, and will last for years and years, so although this is higher than I usually would pay for a belt, it is worth the expense. See Photo 2 for a view of these items.
The Reindeer Ranch is a shop that always has an area devoted to Christmas and Halloween, but also has a variety of other items that you may like for yourself, or as a gift for someone else. Covering three stories, with 12,000 square feet of space, you will find such items as bed and bath products, some furniture, rugs, locally made items, jewelry, mosaics, wood carvings, frames, pottery, paintings, and chocolates made in the nearby town of Meeteeste.
While in the store be sure to look at the building itself. Build in the 1920s, notice the tin ceilings, wood walls, and exposed brick and beams that show you a bit of history of the early days of Cody. Who knows, you may even see the ghost that is said to frequented the building. The ghost has been seen or heard by a number of people. He has been described as a young man or maybe a boy of about 10 or 12 years of age. One person who saw him said he was dressed in old fashioned knickers. The owner of the store says that she has never see this ghost, but believes that he exists. Three of the women who work there, and many customers claim to have seen or heard him. A regular customer from California has reported seeing him peeking over the balcony on the third floor. One of the employees said that she’s had two ghostly experiences in the basement. In 2006 she and another person were working after hours in the store. The store was locked. All of a sudden they heard somebody running down the stairs. They went to check, but there was no one. Another time she saw a shadow of a child moving across the back wall of the basement. Another employee, who had been skeptical, and never believed in ghost stories, was walking up the stairs and she heard someone walking behind her, but there wasn’t anyone there. Now she is a believer.
Love’s Gifts is a quality shop, which is not designed to mainly serve our tourists, rather it is a shop that has served locals since 1997. This shop has gourmet kitchen accessories, dishes, flatware, glassware, bath and body products, sheets, quilts, and gift items. A number of their bath products could be purchased as gifts for someone back home, or possibly hand made pottery, hand blown glass, gourmet food items and spices, specialty coffee, a kitchen gadget, or a card to mail home.
So you are coming through Cody on your way to Yellowstone National Park, and you realize you would like a book or magazine to relax with after each of your long days of exploring, or maybe you would enjoy a cigar while you sit outside and enjoy the western star filled skies. Cody does not have a large, big city bookstore, but we do have the Cody Newsstand. They have a nice inventory of magazines, and although their book section is quite small, they have a number of items to choose from. You will also find a glass case with a selection of cigars for you cigar smokers.
What to pay: cigars, books, magazines
Cody has a number of shops featuring Indian and western themes. Many of these have some high quality items, so if you enjoy that type of merchandise stroll along Sheridan Ave. and check out a few of these establishments. Be aware, however, that not all the Indian items you see in the shops are authentic, or from this part of the country. Some are from the southwestern part of the United States, such as Kachina dolls and some pottery. The Indian shops in Cody are a mixture of good quality Indian made items, and items that are of lower quality. Of the Indian shops I would say that the Indian Territory and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's shop have a higher percentage of authentic Indian items. These are, however, smaller than some of the other shops. One way to tell if an item is of good quality is to look at the material the item is made of. Is it made of natural products such as wood, leather, feathers, porcupine quills, and animal hair, or is it made of artificial materials? Look for items with natural materials. Also if it is important to you to purchase an authentic item that originated from the plains Indians of Wyoming or Montana ask the store clerk. In some of the shops the clerk may know the origin of the item. The address below is for the shop in the photo, the Indian Territory.
What to buy: As you brows take a look at the prices in various shops, so that if you see something you really like you will have somewhat of an idea if the item is a fair price. High quality Indian objects are considerably higher priced than the lesser quality item and you should therefore expect to pay a lot less if you are purchasing an item that has man-made materials in them. So if that sculpture of a mountain lion standing on a downed tree looks like wood, but really isn’t wood you should not be paying as high a price as a wooden or bronze statue. The same with jewelry---if there are real porcupine quills in it you will pay more than if there are long plastic tubular beads instead. Also be aware that as you walk through the door the shopkeeper may tell you that there is a 50% or 70% off sale. This may sound too good to believe, and you do need to beware and take a careful look at the prices. You may find that the prices in this store are considerably higher than other shops you have looked in. Sometimes stores inflate their prices, just so they can have a sale as a ploy to get you to buy. The sale may really be a sale, but not nearly as high as they are claiming due to the starting high price, or it may be no sale at all. Cody can be a fun place to purchase a gift for someone back home, an item to remind you of your trip, a nice western or Indian item, or a beautiful artwork. But shop wisely, and get a feel for prices before purchasing.
While visiting the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, be sure to stop in at the museum store. You will find a variety of items here from postcards, books, clothing such as t-shirts and hats, posters, prints, mugs, jewelry, Indian artifact reproductions, and many more items for sale. These items range in price from small inexpensive items, to high priced quality items. Some of these high priced items are one of a kind jewelry pieces crafted by American Indian artisans.
What to buy: You will find items for both adults and children. This is a good place to purchase western books dealing with topics you are interested in, post cards to send home, items for yourselves, or gifts for friends.
The other four photos are of items that I have purchased at the museum store.
If you suddenly decide you need an extra pair of shorts, a pair of slacks that converts to shorts, hiking boots, or sports equipment, check out the Sierra Trading Post.You will also find children’s wear, and casual dress clothing such as shoes, slacks, shirts, skirts, and dresses. This is an outlet store, so prices are always less then if you purchased items at the regular price. Some of the brands you will find are Lowe Alpine, Bogner, Acorn, Columbia, Oakley, Woolrich, Timberland, Blue Willi’s, and many others. You can shop here, even if you are not visiting Cody. You can even shop here if you do not live in the U.S., by paying their international rates for shipping. You can check these out by visiting their web page and scrolling down toward the bottom where you will see a symbol labeled International Shipping. Click this symbol to see a list of shipping rates. The rates may seem high, but the discounts are often high enough to still make it worth your purchase, and because they have so many brands to choose from, it is like shopping in an outlet mall at home. I have ordered from them when we are in Michigan for the summer, and not home in Cody, and I have had great customer service.
Besides the Cody store there are also Sierra Trading Post Outlet stores in Meridan, Idaho near Boise; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Reno, Nevada. You can find the addresses and maps on how to get to these stores on their web page.
What to buy: You can often get great buys on high quality clothing and shoes. Usually you can figure somewhere between 35% and 70% off the price. I love this store, and purchase most of my clothing here when I am home in Cody. This store also has a wide selection of camping and outdoor equipment. You can usually purchase bear spray here, which is important to carry, if you intend on hiking in the back country around Cody or in Yellowstone National Park.
What to pay: $8 - and up to a few hundred.
A large number of fine artists reside in Cody, and some of their work may be seen and purchased in our local art galleries. Big Horn Gallery is one of the oldest of these. You may purchase originals, signed prints, or simply browse around to enjoy the art. Big Horn Gallery is located at 1167 Sheridan Ave. Big Horn Gallery also has a second art gallery in Tubac, Arizona.
What to buy: Original art is very expensive, but it is fun to look at if you enjoy art. If you see a work that you like, but a price that is too high, you should ask if that artist has signed prints available. I especially like the work of James Bama, a local, who lives in Wapiti Valley (along the road to Yellowstone.) You may also wish to walk down to the Wyoming Print Gallery at 1371 Sheridan Avenue. This shop was once owned by Big Horn Galleries, but is now under another ownership. Wyoming Print Gallery deals exclusively with signed prints from nationally recognized artists as well as regional artists.
What to pay: Signed prints can still be pricey, especially if it is one of our well established, older artist such as a James Bama. I haven't purchased a print in quite a while, but I am estimating that you should expect to pay somewhere in the $150 - $800 range. Original art varies widely all the way into the thousands.
We spent a good portion of the morning wandering and window shopping along the Main Drag in Cody. There are quite a few Touristy shops, but in amongst them are a few cute boutiques. The main street is not that big so my advice would be just to walk up one side and down the other and pop in anywhere that strikes your fancy. We found some great little treasures!
What to buy: Perhaps some souveniers for the folks back home....
I picked up a Turquoise bracelet at The Yellowstone Gift Shop (which looks like a total tourist trap, but has a HUGE selection of jewelery) I also got a really lovely hand painted ornament at a place just a couple stores down. I don't remember the name of it, but I'll see what I can dig up on it.
Sierra Trading post is an outdoor gear store right at the edge of the main part of town. When we went in September, they were a having a huge "end of season" sale, so it was a great time to go. They have a big selection of clothes and camping gear.
They also have an online store ad send catalogs...lots of them. If you want to save some trees don't sign up for it!
What to buy: I picked up a couple of fleeces..
I had decided even before the start of our trip to Wyoming that I wanted to buy a nice piece of Native American jewellery to add to those bought on previous visits to the USA, and Cody seemed a likely place to look. Better value than the gift shops in the national parks, and with more choice in a compact area than other towns we visited.
The Yellowstone Gift Shop looked like a standard tourist trap emporium from outside but turned out to have a great selection. I liked the fact that you could buy your pendent or other ornament separately from your chain, so you could mix and match to suit your taste and budget.
What to buy: I was really happy with my final choice, a tie-shaped pendent in soft blues and pinks. It completely met what I was looking for in its mix of traditional and modern design. But if your taste is for something much more traditional you’ll find that here too, I’m sure. Plus the service was very friendly and the sales assistant was patient as I took my time deciding – though I then needed to be just as patient as she took her time polishing and wrapping my item!
What to pay: I paid around $90 for the pendent and chain combination but you could find things a bt cheaper than this – and a lot dearer too!
This place is very unique. They carry the hottest and, according to them, the tasties sauces in the west. I happen to think, also the funniest named sauces anywhere. Names like Whoop Ass Hotsauce, and Kick Ass Sauce, are common in the shop. Notice how the word "ass" keeps recurring in the titles. They also have some bottles of hot sauce rated by the percentage of pain you experience by tasting them. (100%pain,85% pain, etc.)I tasted samples and all I noticed is that they are very hot, extra spicy, in the sauce scale. At any rate the cans and bottles make a great funny gift for someone. It is also fun to hear the salespeople make their claims about the hottest sauce.
What to buy: Hot sauce and jerky. The jerky is made from beef as well as from wild game such as venison, buffalo, etc.
What to pay: Cheap.
Cowboy and leather goods
What to buy: One item caught my eye in one store. In the entrance to the store they had a bucket full of used cowboy ropes. These would make a great decorative item in the right setting.
What to pay: Cheap.