As the pilot noted the first time I landed in Jackson, it really is heaven on earth. Jackson Hole (to which the entire area is also often referred) is the town’s world famous ski resort, as well as the most sought after attraction in the area. Yet, even if you don’t want to ski, there is plenty to enjoy in Jackson. This article will help you navigate Jackson’s world class destination, no matter the season in which you plan to vacation. Links to more information are included throughout the entirety of the article so that you can easily locate additional resources as necessary.
Restaurants & Bars
Consistently voted best Thai restaurant in Jackson Hole, Teton Thai’s been serving up delicious dishes for over a decade. During winter months, the location at the base of the resort makes for a perfect spot to grab dinner after a day on the slopes. It’s also close enough to Grand Teton National Park to make it a convenient stop after a day of hiking or sightseeing.
The menu offers a wide variety of noodle, rice & curry dishes which can be made with your choice of meat. Many of the dishes are also available in vegan or vegetarian form. (Shout out to fried tofu lovers!) I recommend the Panang Curry with chicken – but choose your level of spiciness wisely! They operate on a deceptively disarming 0-5 heat scale. After eating their curry at a level 5, I’d recommend that you knock it down to a 4 for comfort, even if you are a lover of hot & spicy foods. Visit their website for more information.
With a building designed by local architecture firm, E/YE Design, Persephone Bakery Boulangerie and Café is one of those places that feels exclusive, yet welcoming at the same time. Its bright, charming location is a short walk from the town square, which makes it easy to access while enjoying a day of shopping. Snag a seat out on their deck to bask in the freshness of the crisp air and impossibly wide blue sky while you enjoy a bite.
The menu includes simple, classic options such as artisanal breads, French-inspired pastries, sandwiches, soups and salad. It’s an ideal stop for breakfast, light lunch or a snack to go. Access the café, pastry and bread menu via their website. Bonus: they offer a high tea service on Tuesdays and Friday at 4 p.m., but be sure to call and secure a reservation.
More Great Options
Other worthwhile bar and restaurant destination in the area are as follows: Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Mangy Moose, Q Roadhouse & Brewing Co., Piste Mountain Bistro and Pizza Artisan – just to name a few. Here’s link to a recent Vogue article that offers additional suggestions.
Warm Weather Activities
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is one of those classic vacation stops that you will remember for a lifetime. The park’s south gate is just 60 miles (about 1 hr 15 minutes’ drive) from Jackson, making it a must see while you’re visiting. The main features of YNP are fly fishing, kayaking, hot springs (including Old Faithful), wildlife watching and hiking. Before you head out of town on your way to YNP, stop into Snake River Angler and pick up some fly fishing gear. If you’re unsure about venturing out on your own, SRA can book a guided trip for you in Yellowstone, or someplace closer to Jackson, like the Snake River. While driving to the park on route ID-33 W through Victor, Idaho, do a quick detour to the Victor Emporium for a huckleberry milkshake. Find their address and more info on their Facebook page here.
There are far too many options to list in entirety, but detailed information regarding all of these and other activities are available via the National Park website. Tip: While driving through the park, be sure to pull over and hop out of your vehicle to get a pic next to the iconic sign Yellowstone sign. It’ll be one of your all-time favorite snaps.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is closer to Jackson. In just a short, 5 mile drive and you’ll have access to adventurous outdoor activities such as camping & hiking the backcountry, climbing & mountaineering, biking, fishing, kayaking, boating, horseback riding and wildlife viewing. One of the best ways to get stunning views of some of the Grand Teton Cathedral Group peaks like Grand Teton, Mt. Owen, Teeniwot and Mt. Moran is to take the shuttle boat ride across Jenny Lake. Once you get to the other side, be sure to spend some time picking huckleberries along the nearby trails as you take in the gorgeous views of the mountains.
Cold Weather Activities
Snow sports are the number one priority of most people who visit Jackson in the winter months. World class terrain for alpine, cross country & telemark skiing and snowboarding is available at the Jackson Hole Resort and in vast, unregulated back country sections of the Teton range. Even more cross country, telemark, and show shoe trails exist in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. For those who want to alpine ski like a local, visit the smaller Snow King Mountain near town. If you’re up for a workout, but don’t want the risk of the back country, Snow King is the perfect place to test your stamina by hiking to the summit and skiing back down.
If you’ve had enough of winter sports in the Jackson area, an hour and ten minute drive over the Teton pass will bring you to Grand Targhee resort. It’s still in the Tetons, but is far less crowded than Jackson Hole. It’s definitely worth the trip! Visit their website by clicking here.
All Season Activities
No matter the season, there’s always something to discover at the shops in Jackson. Outfit yourself like a real cowgirl or cowboy at one of the many apparel retailers or pick up a gorgeous painting or sculpture in one of the unique art galleries. Outdoor sports gear is abundant here as well, so stock up on obscure cold weather sports gear or fly fishing necessities. People are serious about outdoor activity in Jackson, so you’ll be sure to find some equipment you didn’t even know you needed!
National Museum of Wildlife Art
A visit to the National Museum of Wildlife Art is an exercise in appreciation of the natural beauty found in the west without actually having to venture outside. This museum holds more than 5,000 exhibits, some featuring world famous artists like Georgia O’Keefe, Andy Warhol and more. You’ll find it near the 25,000 acre Elk Refuge, just 2.5 miles north of town. View their website here.
Four Seasons Resort Spa
With all the outdoor exercise you’ll undoubtedly enjoy in Jackson, you’ll probably also need some restorative treatments at the Four Seasons Resort Spa. They offer several therapies such as massage, acupuncture, facials and other relaxing treatments. See a complete list of their offering on their website.
I can’t wait to hear about your experience in Jackson! Contact me directly, leave a comment in the section below or find me on social @philippakarr.