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 into 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 into 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 upscale 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. Trio and
Rendezvous Bistro 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. 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. It is also a great spot to do a little retail therapy.
Wildlife watching is always a great option too! Oftentimes wildlife makes its way in and around town, so make sure to interact with caution. If you’re looking for a more involved experience, check out 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
On top of these activities, there are still many other things to do in town in the winter. Afterall, this town was built as a winter haven. Be sure to spend some time in Teton Village. Even if you don’t ski, you can take the tram to the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to take in the views and enjoy the restaurant. The view is amazing, but the menu and seating are both limited, so be sure to make reservations. Afterwards, stop by the Mangy-Moose for apres-ski drink while listening to a band or two.
Top Summer Activities
- Whitewater Rafting
- Rock Climbing
- Alpine Slide
- Horseback riding
- Photography and nature viewing
Be sure to bring your wallet. Jackson Hole’s remote, mountainous locations and extreme popularity means prices are at a premium. You can expect to pay more for everything – hotels, food, parking, gas, and activities. An ample budget is a necessity!
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!
AMAZING photos! This makes me sad we didn’t visit in the winter time, we’ll have to go back again 🙂
Thank you so much! Jackson is a great place to visit for sure! Hopefully you’ll make it back some winter!
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Really great information! Mr. Nerd and I were thinking of flying into Jackson Hole to visit the Grand Tetons, but we might have to fly into a different airport for that and visit Jackson Hole as a trip on its own. If we do, we’ll definitely use these tips! 😀
Yes! Check flying into Salt Lake City and renting a car. Much cheaper!
Oh I cant wait to get bacl out there!
A sleigh ride would be awsome, thats kind of a childish dream of mine. I have actually been to the north of sweden quite a few times as a kid, but I have never gone on a sleigh ride. Putting it on the bucketlist 😀
So glad you got some bucket list inspiration!
I’ve always wanted to ski here. I love it when blogs give places to eat tips; such a timer saver and you get the insider tips. Thanks for the blog.
Thanks for commenting! Hope you make it to Jackson Hole one day for some world class skiing!
Really informative post – I laughed at the “newly weds and nearly deads”! I’ve never thought of the “off” season that way before, but will do now!
Glad the post made you laugh and gave you a new term for the off-season!
I would definitely want to go in the summer. Jackson Hole looks like my kind of place for hiking. And I would love to go horseback riding there, though I haven’t done that in a few years!
It is heaven for outdoor activities!
I love that the locals name their off season visitors something special. I’m closer to a nearly dead than a newly wed! But there’s still plenty of life left in me, and it looks like there’s plenty in Jackson Hole to keep me young and fit, entertained and fed.
Yes, Jackson is a great place for any type of visitor!
Yes, Jackson is a great place for any type of visitor!
Never been to Jackson Hole but it looks like a gorgeous place to add to my itinerary next time I visit the USA (& Yellowstone is on my list!). Thanks a lot for the insights & recommendations.
Oh yes, it is not at all far from Yellowstone. Hope you make it to both spots sometime!
I visited Jackson Hole for the first time a couple years ago. We only had a day there during our road trip from Chicago to Seattle, I wish we had more time to explore!
Luckily, the town itself is pretty small. I’m sure you captured a lot of the sites to see in town. Now, if you’re in to outdoor activities or food, you may want to plan a return trip!
Amazing, it seems there is a lot to do in Jackson Hole. Wyoming is a part of the US I haven’t visited – so I guess it’s time.
It’s such a beautiful area!
I was not knowing about Jackson Hole and good to know that it is a prime travel destination in Wyoming. It is good you tipped us to go in off-season as we will find less crowd here and hotels too in reasonable rates. Winters and summers both are great here and so many things to do.
Glad you learned a little about this spot!