Go West

Even if you don't have a home where the buffalo roam, you can still visit this world of majestic mountains and wide-open country. The following is a list of places and summer events where the history and traditions of the frontier are celebrated.
Western Events and Festivals

Buffalo Bill Cody Rodeo
Cody, Wyoming

July 1 - 4

This year marks the 81st anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede in Cody, Wyoming. This Western event has its roots in ranch contests and games as well as spectacle and drama borrowed from the world famous shows produced by William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Top cowboys come to Cody for the stampede, drawn by big purses and some of the best riding stock in the country.

Music in the Mountains
Big Sky, Montana

July 4 - Sept. 16

Not far from Yellowstone National Park in Big Sky, Montana, Music in the Mountains 2000 is a summer-long music and arts festival.

Randy Travis
This year's schedule includes country singer Randy Travis, a bluegrass festival, and a chili cook-off featuring a fierce but fun competition between the best restaurants and chefs in Big Sky.

Bear Paw Festival
Eagle River, Alaska

July 6 - 9

Eagle River, Alaska plays host to the Bear Paw Festival, a light-hearted look at life on the last frontier. Featured events this year include the Miss Bear Paw pageant, a dog and owner look-a-like contest and an ugly truck contest.

Rib Cooking Contest
Reno, Nevada

August 31 - September 4

Hosted by John Ascuaga's Nugget Casino in Reno, 24 rib cookers are selected to compete i the Nugget Rib Cook-Off. Competing cookers sell ribs to the crowds over the four-day Labor Day weekend. Free nightly concerts are featured along with hundreds of craft booths and kids' activities.

Yellow Pine Harmonica Fest
Yellow Pine, Idaho

August 4 - 6

Located in Yellow Pine, Idaho, the 11th annual Harmonica Festival features concerts, jam sessions and street vendors. There are catered meals, quilt raffles and an amateur harmonica competition.

Western Heritage Sites

Cowboy Hall of Fame
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City's National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center was conceived as a tribute to the men and women who helped establish the West as an integral part of America's cultural heritage. The center features exhibitions of Native American culture and history as well as artifacts of the cowboys who roamed the West.

Dodge City, Kansas

Wyatt Earp
In its heyday in the late 1800s, Dodge City, Kansas bustled with cowboys, gamblers, buffalo hunters, and soldiers. The city became famous for its saloons and outlaws. Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp earned their fame as lawmen during this time.

Today, the town pays tribute to its storied past with attractions including a gun fighter's museum and an old-style trolley.

Tombstone, Arizona

Another infamous Old West town is Tombstone. Tourists find themselves stepping back into the past as they witness a re-enactment of the shootout at the O.K. Corral or stroll along the boardwalks on Allen Street. Unwind at Big Nose Kate's, one of Doc Holiday's favorite haunts.

Rodeo Hall of Fame
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The sport of rodeo evolved from working cowboys and cowgirls honing their skills before they hit the trail. The Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy in Colorado Springs honors the colorful past of this evolving sport.

Visitors are greeted by The Champ, a bronze statue of the legendary Casey Tibbs, a nine-time world champion.

The Hall is maintained by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. For a list of PRCA events, click here.

Yosemite National Park
If you are headed out West to see th beautiful landscapes, it doesn't get much better than Yellowstone National Park or Yosemite National Park. Of course, you may be elbow to elbow with the millions of others who flock to see the pristine beauty of these sites.

For a complete list of public wildlife areas, try the National Park Service.

For other summer events across the West and across the world, go to Festivals.com. There you can search by state or topic.