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Summer road trip to Yellowstone with teen boys

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We are planning a late July road trip from Portland, OR to Yellowstone with two 15 year old boys. From Portland we will head to Joseph, OR for 2 days to visit family and then drive to Yellowstone. I have made reservations in Cody, WY for 4 nights. (We may not end up staying there for 4 nights but I wanted to make sure we had some accommodations). We will probably hit Jackson Hole on our way home and then make our way through Idaho. We will have a total of about 9 days including driving.

We are not really campers and prefer to stay in smaller hotels, B&B's, etc. that are locally owned and run so we get some of the local feel. We avoid chain motels and would like to keep the cost under $150.00/night, or closer to $100.00 if possible. Interested in local culture, foods, etc.

Specific questions:

1. Thoughts on staying in Cody? I realize it is a bit of a drive from Yellowstone but I am getting a late start in planning this trip and couldn't find anything reasonable in the park. Also with 2 teen boys, I thought they would enjoy being in town so they could have some freedom to explore by themselves. Reservations are at the Irma Hotel in Cody - any comments on this location? I am going to keep looking for a place closer to the park so we can stay on the west end for at least one night.

2. What are the "must sees" in this area (Yellowstone and Cody) and what can we miss?

3. Is this length of time enough / too much for this area with the two teen boys?

4. What are some other highlights that we could hit on our way home through Jackson Hole and Idaho? We welcome any suggestions, especially those that would be of interest to the boys since we will be spending quite a bit of time in the car. This could include water parks, ghost towns, rafting, monuments, etc. We will likely make one overnight stop on the way home somewhere in S or SW Idaho.

5. Any good restaurant recommendations anywhere on this route are appreciated. Good food, decent prices, something to experience the local flavor. We are not really interested in overpriced gimmicky locations.

Thanks!!

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