With stunning mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, endless outdoor activities, top-notch restaurants, and proximity to Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole is a prime travel destination in Wyoming. Having lived there for a year and half, I was also able to see the other side of Jackson, and pick up some tips along the way. Whenever we visit Jackson, we put those tips to practice. Now, we are sharing them with you!
Jackson Hole is isolated. It’s located in the bottom of a valley between several mountains and canyons… That’s why it got the name “Hole”. No matter which way you drive in to town, you’re either traversing a mountain pass or winding through a canyon. both options can be treacherous due to weather conditions and wildlife on the roadway. There is an international airport, but flights can be expensive. Many people fly in to larger airports and rent cars.
Where To Stay
Although most places are expensive in peak season, there’s a few budget friendly hotels to consider like Super 8. A good mid-range hotel with a central location is The Lodge at Jackson Hole. They offer a great breakfast with your stay. For the high-end visits, Teton Village is a must, where you can find ski in/out rooms and options like Snake River Lodge and Spa and the Four Seasons Resort. There’s a variety of hotel and ranch accommodation choices.
When To Go
It’s a good idea to plan the timing of your visit to Jackson based on what you want to do. But, if you’re not really into winter or summer activities, try visiting in the off-season, or as the locals call it, the season for the “newly-weds and nearly-deads”. In between peak seasons, you won’t find the usual crowds, hotels will be cheaper, and many restaurants will offer discounts including buy one, get one free dinner deals. That means huge savings!
On our last visit, we ate every meal for 50% off and stayed at a hotel in town for a quarter of the peak-season price.
However, if you visit too early or too late in the year, many things will still be closed. This is especially true when venturing into Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. At times, gas, food, and even open roads can be scarce! Be sure to pack warm clothes too – it’s a mountain town and tends to be cold!
Where To Eat And Drink
Much like the residents of this transient town, the restaurants seem to come and go. For great steak, we recommend Local, where two people can easily split the ribeye and a few a la carte sides. Rendezvous Bistro and Trio, and also provide great high-level fare. The Bunnery is a true breakfast staple in town, but get there early to beat the crowd. To capture the true spirit of the town, a stop at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a must. Climb into a saddle bar stool and enjoy a drink at the bar while checking out the original western decor and woodwork. Snake River Brewery is one of the most hopping spots in town. The Silver Dollar Bar located in the Wort Hotel is also impressive with the entire bar top made of silver dollar coins. They often have live music at this spot. Speaking of live music, if you head to the ski resort area of Teton Village, you can hit the Mangy Moose for a great night of live shows or some apres-ski libations. There’s also a restaurant at the top of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, which you can access by tram. The view is amazing, but the menu and seating are both limited, so be sure to make reservations. There really is no shortage of great places to eat and drink in Jackson.
What To Do
There’s so much to do when you visit Jackson! Checking out the famous antler arches is always popular and the town square generally has a variety of things including street fairs and western shoot outs during the summer months. Wildlife watching is always a great option too! The National Elk Refuge is also popular and offers sleigh rides in the winter.
Top Winter Activities
- Downhill Skiing – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King, or nearby Grand Targhee.
- Cross Country Skiing
- Sledding and Ice Skating at the base of Snow King
- Sleigh rides
Top Summer Activities
- Whitewater Rafting
- Rock Climbing
- Alpine Slide
- Horseback riding
Jackson Hole appeals to many and offers something for everyone. This gateway to amazing national parks gets people outdoors too! Be sure not to miss the small town charm!