JACKSON HOLE WYOMING TRAVEL GUIDE - THE ULTIMATE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE IN THE OLD WILD WEST

If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure in the Old Wild West this season, then you have to add Jackson Hole, Wyoming to your vacation wishlist. When visiting Jackson Hole, you’ll discover an expansive range of towering mountains and verdant valleys, ideal for exploring awe-inspiring wilderness, unleashing your adventurous spirit, and experiencing the wonderful world of the great outdoors – all set amongst a majestic backdrop of snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and blooming wildflowers.

While the area is a fantastic vacation spot year-round (thanks to a variety of exciting seasonal activities and enthralling things to see), in today’s in-depth travel guide, you’ll learn about outstanding places to visit and activities to do, especially during Spring, Summer, and Fall months.

How to Get to Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

Upon arrival at the charming Jackson Hole Airport, you’ll be greeted by the bold and beautiful Teton Mountain Range, as the airport is set within the impressive Grand Teton National Park, which boasts over 300,000 acres of pristine natural beauty, picturesque rivers and lakes, and amazing wildlife including bears, wolves, moose, and other animals.

The Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport within a national park in the USA, making it a unique and special place to fly into. But that’s not all – in alignment with the conservation values of this area, the airport is also “dedicated to being an industry leader in environmental stewardship, green building initiatives, and sustainability” (as their website states).

As you drive into town, you’ll experience the pure magic of this place, captivating your senses with stunning views and relaxing sounds (like melodic birds and chirping crickets) at every turn. It’s also easy to drive around (even if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain), as it essentially is a big loop – connecting Highways 191, 89, and 22.

So, renting a car at the airport is the best way to feel the freedom to explore the expansive region, while taking in the best sights. If you decide to rent a car at the airport, I recommend an adventure-ready, four-wheeling SUV, like a Jeep Grand Cherokee, as it’s ideal for navigating this terrain. And, you can also use Uber, which can be helpful, especially at night or after a visit to the must-see Million Dollar Cowboy Bar (we’ll get to that later…).

Where to Stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

While there are several great hotels around the area, if you want to experience the best hospitality, outstanding activities and adventures, and world-class dining and accommodations, I highly recommend staying at the top-rated, 5-star Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole.

Nestled at the base of Rendezvous Mountain, just a short drive away from the Grand Teton National Park, this luxurious ski-in/ski-out resort offers everything from upscale and relaxing accommodations, gourmet restaurants, and therapeutic spa services to epic mountain views, nearby attractions and activities, and an ideal location for exploring the area.

Based in the heart of Teton Village (which is an ideal location to visit, as it’s surrounded by gorgeous mountain ranges, blooming wildflowers, and lush forests), the hotel is a picturesque, upscale resort that’s family-friendly and a welcoming place to stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

This beautiful hotel pays homage to the rich history and local country-inspired aesthetic through its thoughtfully designed space. From contemporary Western paintings to rustic-elegant accents, the cozy and sophisticated atmosphere creates a tranquil and warm environment beckoning you to relax in style.

Plush bedding, spacious accommodations, elegantly updated bathrooms, and delightful balcony views (of the mountains or surrounding valley) create a relaxing cocoon of luxury that invites you to unwind. And, of course, the heartfelt hospitality that bespeaks the essence of the Four Seasons experience is evident upon arrival. From the moment you step onto the property, you’re welcomed by the gracious staff, who go out of their way to ensure you feel taken care of.

In addition to its convenient location in Teton Village (which makes it fantastic for outdoor activities and exploration), the property has multiple restaurants, bars, and lounges. It also has a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and hot tubs (designed to integrate organically with the natural surroundings), a state-of-the-art fitness center with personal trainers and guided yoga classes, and a wonderful full-service spa that offers luxurious treatments that will relax your mind, soothe your skin, and nourish your body.

As a Forbes Travel Guide four-star spa (which fuses Western elegance with international style), The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole offers mind-and-body-integrating therapeutic spa treatments, such as the “Sacred Earth Body Ritual”. This particular treatment is an immersive 110-minute massage and skincare service infused with rejuvenating natural ingredients, combining a mineral-rich full-body exfoliation that leaves your skin glowing and a deeply restorative massage treatment that’s so calming, you’ll probably doze off at some point (like I did).

What sets the hotel apart is the outstanding level of service that makes guests feel catered to and cared for. The staff exudes down-to-earth hospitality, a genuine enthusiasm for exceeding guests’ expectations, and a heartfelt passion for creating a memorable and meaningful experience for everyone who visits this majestic destination.

Where To Eat & Drink in Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

When it’s time for a bite or a relaxing libation, here are the best places around Jackson Hole, Wyoming to eat and drink. From a James Beard Semi-finalist bakery and coffee shop that’s straight out of Pinterest and gourmet eateries with epic views to the most outrageous cowboy bar you’ve ever been to, here are several notable restaurants and bars in Jackson Hole to visit.

Persephone: Persephone Bakery (located in the heart of Jackson, Wyoming) is a delightful haven for those seeking artisanal baked goods and a charming, shabby chic ambiance. Renowned for its freshly baked pastries, handcrafted bread, and exquisite coffee, this popular bakery offers a delectable array of treats made with the finest ingredients. Whether savoring a flaky croissant on the sunny patio or enjoying a cozy indoor brunch, you’ll surely be enchanted by the warm hospitality and mouthwatering flavors at Persephone Bakery. With their mission “to bring beauty to the everyday cafe experience”, it’s no wonder that Persephone has earned recognition as a James Beard Semi-finalist. On that note, since it’s such a hotspot, get there early in the morning as there’s usually a line out the door, especially on weekends!

Westbank Grill: Westbank Grill offers a sophisticated dining experience with a rustic, mountain-inspired ambiance. You can savor expertly crafted dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients, such as sweet or savory breakfast dishes, or for dinner, succulent steaks, and fresh seafood, all while enjoying panoramic views of the stunning Teton Range. With a warm, inviting atmosphere and exceptional service, this outstanding restaurant provides an unforgettable culinary journey that perfectly complements the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Handle Bar Restaurant & Pub: Handle Bar Restaurant & Pub is the perfect spot for a relaxed and fun dining experience in Jackson Hole. You can indulge in hearty, comfort food classics and a wide selection of craft beers while soaking in the vibrant, casual atmosphere. With its inviting outdoor patio, cozy interior, and spectacular mountain views, Handle Bar offers a delightful setting for enjoying delicious meals and good company.

Wild Pine at Gravity Haus Jackson Hole: Wild Pine restaurant offers a unique and vibrant dining experience that perfectly blends modern cuisine with a rustic mountain setting. You can enjoy an array of locally-inspired dishes crafted from fresh, seasonal ingredients that are sustainably sourced (such as Watermelon & Beet Salad and a uniquely-flavored Ahi Tuna dish), all served in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The chef brings a fresh spin to the menu by combining Pan Pacific with French technique, served Americana style. With its stylish contemporary decor, friendly service, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, Wild Pine is an ideal spot to relax and savor the flavors of Jackson Hole.

Ascent Lounge: Ascent Lounge at Jackson Hole offers an elegant and cozy retreat where you can unwind with expertly crafted cocktails and light bites. The lounge features a sophisticated yet inviting atmosphere, complete with plush seating and a warm fireplace, perfect for relaxing after a day of adventure. With stunning views of the Teton Range, Ascent Lounge provides a serene and luxurious setting to enjoy a drink and take in the natural beauty of Jackson Hole. A few share-worthy plates include the Crispy Brussels Sprouts (served with Shishito, Asian Pear, Bacon, Almond, and Nuoc Cham) and the Ahi Poke Nachos (which come with Yuzu Guacamole, Serrano Chili, Furikake, Scallion, Cilantro, Sesame, Sweet Soy, Sriracha Aioli, Mango Relish, and Crispy Wontons).

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: Last, but not least is the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. This popular late-night haunt is an iconic Jackson Hole landmark, renowned for its authentic Western charm and lively atmosphere. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by the sight of saddle bar stools, rich wooden decor, and an impressive collection of cowboy memorabilia. Offering live country music, dancing, billiards, a hearty menu of comfort food options (such as chicken tenders), and a vibrant setting, this historic bar provides a true taste of the Wild West, making it a must-visit destination for both locals and visitors seeking an unforgettable night out.

Activities To Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

To start with, make time to spend a few hours exploring the town square of Jackson, Wyoming.

Incorporated in 1914, the historic town of Jackson is a lively mix of bustling eateries, western-themed boutiques and shops, vibrant bars, and camp-looking businesses that are straight out of a Western film. As I was describing the town of Jackson to a friend, she said, “It sounds like it’s straight out of a Hallmark movie!”, and she’s exactly right. Everywhere you look there’s something utterly charming, colorful, and playful to behold. Let’s just say that you’ll probably be inspired to snap photos at every turn, just like I was. It’s truly adorable and enchanting all at the same time!

Another incredible activity to do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is to embark on a thrilling 4-hour wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris (in partnership with Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole) to witness majestic moose, wolves, bears, elk, bison, foxes, and pronghorns in their natural habitat.

This must-do activity is not only fun but also inspiring and educational. It also enables you to delve into the rich history of the park and its stunning natural setting, gaining in-depth knowledge about the diverse wildlife from their team of expert guides.

My guide (Seth Aimes) was a valuable source of information, as he not only shared insight about the national park and surrounding area but also taught me about the surreal landscapes and the fascinating behaviors of the animals, which made the adventure both enriching and unforgettable.

During our safari, he also introduced me to notable American photographer and conservationist, Thomas D. Mangelsen, a leading expert on Jackson Hole wildlife and a published author of multiple books about the “Queen of the Tetons”, Grizzly 399, who is the most famous bear in the Tetons, a female Grizzly Bear who roams all over Jackson Hole with her four cubs.

We caught up with Tom (the foremost expert on “399”) about his daring adventures while he was scouting for his favorite lady that afternoon. Seth spotted him sitting in his car waiting for her to arrive, as she was reportedly in the area that day, as we heard. But if that wasn’t interesting enough, Tom was only 1 of about 100 other wildlife photographers, eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of this local celeb. Let’s just say it looked like a sensational Hollywood scene, with a lineup of paparazzi stalking an A-list actress. The “399” frenzy was actually hilarious to see!

During the adventurous excursion (in a brand new Rivian electric luxury SUV), you’ll enjoy epic vistas at notable lookout spots (including Jenny Lake and Oxbow Bend). If you come back to the park on your own, you can also enjoy time picnicking (with a view) and hiking through forests to see waterfalls and lakes. So it’s worth learning all about the place first via a guided excursion, then returning to explore more later, as it’s so much more enriching.

Another wonderful way to experience Jackson Hole is to take an e-bike along the family-friendly, safe, and scenic recreational trail from Teton Village to Jackson Town Square and beyond. Another upside to staying at the Four Seasons is that they offer complimentary e-bikes for hotel guests during the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.

Aside from the idyllic alpine and meadow views, what’s great about this expansive recreational trail is that you’re completely separate from road traffic (while it parallels the highways and main roads), making it an enjoyable, convenient, and relaxing experience from beginning to end. The trail even goes underground (surrounding you with colorful, artistic murals in the under-road tunnels), making it a safe and fun way to zip around and explore the area, even with kids.

A fun way to spend the day is to ride the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, otherwise known as “Big Red”, which whisks you up to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (over 10,000 feet high), enabling you to explore the rugged, snow-capped terrain of Rendezvous Peak by foot.

The tram is considered a feat of modern engineering, as it was erected in 1966 (and completely replaced in the winter of 2008/09). The tram’s two 100-passenger cabins travel over parallel track ropes suspended above ground by five huge towers. With a top speed of 23 MPH, it’s an expeditious and exciting way to climb to the top of the mountain. While on top of the mountain, you can walk around or go hiking, in addition to enjoying a panoramic view while eating the renowned waffles at Corbet’s Cabin (a local tradition and popular destination spot for visitors).

Live entertainment and seasonal theater performances (such as Rodgers & Hammerstein’s exuberant classic musical called “Oklahoma”, filled with cowboys, farmers, romance, and fearless optimism) which is playing from May 31-August 31st at the Jackson Hole Playhouse.

In addition to this must-see spectacle, you can walk next door to enjoy a lively and entertaining dinner at The Saddle Rock Saloon and SpeakEasy. While there, enjoy an ice-cold Sarsparilla or hand-crafted libations as you enjoy the melodies of cowboy tunes from the gunslinging waitstaff. Dine on a variety of tasty dishes ranging from Steelhead Trout and Fried Chicken to Bison Meatloaf, Sage Rubbed Snake River Farms Pork Shank, and Double R Ranch Strip Loin.

If you love art or have an appreciation of wildlife, then you’ll enjoy visiting the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Nestled against the dramatic backdrop of the National Elk Refuge, the museum offers an unparalleled experience for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This stunning museum, designed to blend seamlessly with its rugged surroundings, houses an extensive collection of art that celebrates the beauty of wildlife. From exquisite paintings and sculptures to captivating photography, the exhibits showcase the beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom in breathtaking detail.

You can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of wildlife art while enjoying panoramic views of the pristine landscape. Engaging programs, interactive displays, and a serene sculpture trail further enhance the visit, making it a must-see destination that artfully bridges the gap between nature and culture.

While visiting Jackson Hole, a couple of other family-friendly forms of entertainment that are enjoyable for both adults and kids are horse-drawn stagecoach rides through downtown Jackson, as well as the live “Shoot-out” performance (which happens daily, Monday-Saturday at 6 pm) at Jackson Town Square.

In addition to these activities, you can also enjoy shopping at unique local boutiques and visiting art galleries in downtown Jackson at the following popular spots, to name a few.

  • KemoSabe
  • Belle Clos
  • Midnight Lunch
  • Overland
  • Jackson Hole Mercantile
  • Mountain Trails Galleries
  • West Lives on Gallery

Landmark Destinations & Iconic Places to Visit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming:

Last, but certainly not least is sightseeing. This place is surreal – it’s so gorgeous, that you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into an exquisite oil painting.

If you’re looking to find breathtaking vistas and notable landmark destinations to explore in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, there are several must-see spots to add to your list. To help you discover awesome places to visit while on your vacation, here are 7 popular places to see in Jackson Hole.

  • Oxbow Bend
  • Jenny Lake
  • Glacier View Turnout
  • Schwabacher’s Landing
  • Mormon Row
  • T.A. Moulton Barn
  • Snake River Overlook

As you can see, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is truly a diamond in a haystack.

This rare gem of a vacation spot is a must-visit place to add to your travel wishlist. Whether you go for outdoor activities (like world-class skiing, thrilling adventures, or an exploration of nature) or stay for the charm and magic of the area, it’s truly an awesome spot to put on your bucket list.

For more inspiring vacation ideas and travel tips, check out the Travel section on Inspirations & Celebrations. To discover other incredible travel destinations, hotels, restaurants & lounges, and activities to enjoy in each destination, join 65k email subscribers and sign up to receive exclusive travel e-newsletters from I&C.

[Disclosure: As a guest of the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole, complimentary accommodations, meals, and guided safari were provided. All opinions are my own.]

   

The post Jackson Hole Wyoming Travel Guide – The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure in the Old Wild West appeared first on Inspirations and Celebrations.

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