Sometimes you need to explore more than just the scenic things inside the park. The town of West Yellowstone, Montana is a fun little place that I recommend you spend a little time in. Yes, it's just another tourist trap with little shops selling everything from t-shirts and camping supplies to cowboy hats, belt buckles and burritos from a bus (true story.) I challenge you to find another town that you can buy rocks, geodes and vinyl records in the same store (also very true.) She's not a big town so go ahead and set aside a couple of hours to browse.
If you like history and museums then you're in luck here also. West Yellowstone has a self guided walking tour that takes you through town and tells the stories of some of the buildings and important sites in town. It was a little late in the day for us to do the entire loop during this trip but I'm definitely going to put that on my list of things to do. I just like that kind of stuff. Also there is the Yellowstone Historic Center that tells of the history of the area which involve trappers, stage coaches, and harsh winter living. You can check it out at http://www.yellowstonehistoriccenter.org/.
The falls are at the southern end of Island Park and up the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. It's only a few miles up the road which makes it worth cruising over to.
If you're a fly fisherman than you'll want to grab your rod and jump in at Henry's Fork and boaters will want to head over to Henry's Lake. If you want to see the creepy remnants of an earthquake from the fifties then you should look into Quake Lake. The lifeless trees stretching above the still waters really is eerie when you know the story of how a earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale shook the area with enough force to cause a massive landslide. The force caused by the slide created a wind strong enough to blow trees, rocks and unfortunately people a mile or more down the canyon. 28 people, campers on vacation, lost their lives that August day in 1959. Some bodies were never recovered and are presumed to still be buried in the rubble. There is a memorial and a visitor center at the slide site that tells the story of the people that lived through it. It's amazing to see how much the scars left behind from the earthquake are still visible to this day.
The Yellowstone area is one of my favorite places anywhere. I love to be there and I hate to leave it even when the crowds are too big for my taste. There is a lot to see in a large area, some of which I haven't shared with you yet. I guess you'll just have to go see it for yourself and maybe, if the stars align, we'll see each other. Have a great weekend guys.