Located on the side of I-80, in North Platte, Nebraska, you can find the Fort Cody Trading Post. This iconic tourist trap is designed to replicate an old frontier fort on the plains. The name is obviously associated with “Buffalo Bill” Cody; the scout, buffalo hunter, and showman. During long drives along the wide prairie, we find ourselves desiring breaks. We have become familiar with the idea that many are designed to grab travelers attention with grandiose designs. It was quickly apparent that we would be amused with our stop at this unique attraction.
Make It Obvious
A larger than life placard stands in the parking lot, and helps guide potential visitors to the site. It is an appropriate memorial, as Buffalo Bill lived in North Platte for many years. This “tourist trap” location is loaded with potential photo opportunities, inside and out. After miles and miles of rolling grasslands, just about any structure grabs your attention. To the east, we had passed under the Archway Museum, that straddles I-80. Since spotting that attraction, we had sparsely seen any more. This tourist stop was just enough to get us to pull over.
From the parking lot, one can spot statues of buffalo and bear, as well as wagons, cannons, and other assorted items from bygone times. All of these displays are designed for one purpose, to get you into their store. After deciding to pull over, we weren’t about to pass up taking a peek inside. Besides, bathroom breaks are precious when making long-distance road trips. Upon entering the Fort Cody Trading Post shop, you will be awestruck by the large collection of oddities.
Over the Top
Here you will find many pieces associated with Buffalo Bill, and his days as host of his Wild West Show. There are a couple of glass cases that hold dioramas of the show. This 20,000 piece display is animated, with a show running every half hour. The Old West Museum also features; cowboy gear, Native American crafts, guns, and other assorted memorabilia. Once inside, we found a wide array of products for sale. Jewelry, apparel, books, knives, food stuffs, and a wide range of novelty items are just some of the things available. Since we like to collect memories from our travels, Fort Cody Trading Post ended up being a good stopping point. If you happen by this roadside attraction, you should stop in for a viewing of this unique, and quirky attraction. It also gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs, and will fuel you with plenty of conversational material for the road ahead.