Why Jackson Hole Should Be on Your Vacation Radar
Unveiling the best places to eat, shop, and stay.
Published Aug 30, 2017 11:00 AM
Winter skiing and a bounty of summer outdoor activities have always put Jackson Hole, Wyoming—a valley between the picturesque Teton Mountain Range and the Gros Ventre Range—on the vacation map, but a new crop of stylish boutiques, an up-and-coming restaurant scene, and countless outdoor activities have made it a must-visit spot all year round.
Major sights for first timers should include a visit to Town Square for an obligatory antler arch selfie, a stroll through both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park to see where buffalo roam, and a drive over to Teton Village to take it all in—but there are many additional hidden gems to discover as well. A late summer or early fall visit also means less crowds and easier access to it all.
Consider this your source for all things fun and delicious when visiting this remarkable area.
Where to Stay
Mountain Modern Motel, 380 W Broadway
Located in the former Painted Buffalo Inn, the Mountain Modern Hotel brings a new industrial-meets-contemporary boutique to town. Standout features include a gear wall for hanging hiking and ski gear, inspiring Jackson Hole wall coverings, and chalkboard word searches that pair well with early morning coffee.
Fireside Resort, 2780 Moose Wilson Road
If you’re seeking a tiny house in a beautiful outdoorsy atmosphere, look no further than Fireside Resort. Conveniently located between Jackson and Teton Village, these chic campground-like digs—designed by WheelHaus—embody the best of all worlds.
Where to Eat
King Sushi, 75 S King Street
The thought of eating sushi in a cabin (in a mountain town, at that) might seem questionable, but trust us: This place is crafting some of the best sushi in the country. With exceptional purveyors bringing in fresh catch—think kanpachi and big eye tuna from Hawaii—on a daily basis, your meal will be incredibly memorable. But sure to get there early, as space is limited and locals love the spot.
Orsetto, 161 North Center Street
Orsetto is the latest venture from the duo behind the wildly popular Cafe Genevieve, and it brings authentic Italian eats to town. Warmer weather means dining al fresco in the midst of all the action, and taking advantage of their stellar happy hour every afternoon—think half price cocktails, beer, and wines by the glass. Try the fried olives and chicken liver bruschetta to start, but save room for rigatoni alla vodka and a flight of three amari for dessert.
Bin 22, 200 W Broadway
After a day of roaming, a glass of wine comes well-earned—and Bin 22, a bottle shop meets small plates restaurant is a top pick. Grab a spot at the bar and work your way through their remarkable wines by the glass menu. Before you leave, it’s best to pick up a tub of Chad Horton’s irresistible mini ice cream sandwiches as well—he’s Fine Dining Restaurant Group’s executive pastry chef, and his creations are legendary.
Sweet Cheeks Meats, 185 Scott Lane
Nick and Nora Phillips head up Sweet Cheeks, a local butcher shop with a dreamy case full of local cuts of meat. The takeout section is not to be missed either, as the Royale with cheese—a mouthwatering breakfast burger—is a solid start to any day. Fridays and Saturdays also bring freshly baked croissants from Meeteetse Chocolatier—and yes, there’s a pain au chocolate that sells out within the hour.
The Handle Bar, 7680 Granite Road
Venture out to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for a hike up the gorgeous wildflower trail, followed by some perfect patio weather at The Handle Bar in the Four Seasons Jackson Hole. In addition to scenic mountain views, seasonal culinary happenings like BBQ, Bourbon and Bluegrass (through September 1) and a ramen popup bar when temperatures start to drop ensure delicious bites and drinks.
Persephone Bakery, 145 E Broadway
Kevin and Ali Cohane keep the town fueled with delightful pastries and caffeinated beverages all year round. Breakfast is best spent devouring a kouign-amann and washing it down with an espresso tonic (a sparkling coffee drink), while lunch calls for an innovative salad and glass of wine—Nathan Adams, the wine and beverage director, brings a wow factor list of natural wines and canned boozy beverages to the equation. Insider tip: The Persephone Bakery app allows you to order ahead and avoid the sometimes daunting queue.
Snake River Grill, 84 E Broadway
If there’s one time to splurge on a meal, it’s at Snake River Grill, the most iconic fine dining-meets-rustic mountain dining spot in the valley. While chef Jeff Drew focuses on seasonal fare, one thing remains constant: the coveted SRG tartare pizza, which has been a menu staple for over 15 years. Call day of to score a coveted deck table.
FIGS, 120 N Glenwood Street
Located inside Hotel Jackson (another fabulous boutique hotel option in the heart of town), FIGS is Jackson Hole’s only Lebanese restaurant. Start with Lebanese lemonade, and then browse the impressive hummus menu. (Ginger and pine nut are palatable choices.) Despite the several options, it’s wise to split the kafta kebabs and falafel sliders and continue from there.
, 165 N Center Street
Spice it up with small plates from around Asia. Fried dumplings, steamed bison dumplings, and Korean street ribs are a solid start. Wash it all down with a glorious, barrel-aged mandarin Manhattan or Thai iced tea. Note that things can get a little fiery, so pick your spice level accordingly—don’t say we didn’t warn you.
What to Do
National Museum of Wildlife Art, 2820 Rungius Road
Inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is an ideal place to brush up on the basics before you enter Grand Teton National Park, which is a mere two miles away. It’s situated on a butte with unmatched views of the 20,000-acre National Elk Refuge. Over 5,000 pieces of artwork are displayed by prominent artists, such as Andy Warhol, Robert Kuhn, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Carl Rungius.
Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures
You’re in Jackson Hole, so naturally, a trip to Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone is in order. Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures is arguably the best in the business, and offers safari wildlife excursions through both parks. A full day Grand Teton jaunt promises a magical sunrise over the Teton Mountain Range, all while enjoying freshly brewed French Press coffee. In true safari fashion, you get to pop up out of the roof hatch to observe moose, mule deer, bison, grizzly bears, antelope, elk, bald eagles, and more in their natural element. Guides are equipped to school you on everything from fresh animal tracks to secret park spots where you can be one with nature.
Slow Food in the Tetons’ People’s Market, Phil Baux Park, 10 E Snow King Avenue
Locals flock to People’s Market—which takes place every Wednesday from June 14 through September 20—to pick up regionally sourced food and produce from vendors such as Cosmic Apple Farm, Winter Winds Farm, Lockhart Cattle Co., and more. Plus, a farmer’s market with a burgeoning happy hour means you can sip refreshing Snake River Brewing beers while you peruse the selection. BYOC (bring your own cup) or rent one for use during the market to help Slow Food’s initiative of reducing waste.
It wouldn’t be a proper visit to Jackson Hole without visiting one of Grand Teton National Park’s picturesque lakes. Grab a float or stand-up paddle board, stop by Creekside Market for the best sandwich and sloshies (slushies with booze) in town, and make your way early to score a prime real estate beach spot.
Altamira Fine Art, 172 Center Street
After browsing around Town Square’s Instagrammable shops, grab an iced huckleberry mudpot (a popular white chocolate mocha with huckleberry syrup) from Cowboy Coffee Co., and pop by Altamira to browse the immaculate selection of Western contemporary art. Modern pieces from prized artists such as R. Tom Gilleon, Stan Natchez, Travis Walker, and more pay homage to the region in a modern way.
Where to Shop
MADE, 125 North Cache Gaslight Alley
One of the most beautifully curated shops ever, MADE is the place to go for unique gifts handmade by local artisans from around the country. The cutest onesies, Sydney Hale candles, antler trinkets, bronco printed coffee mugs, and an impressive selection of handmade cards and stationery are just a few of the unique items offered.
Penny Lane Cooperative, 185 Scott Lane
If you’re looking to keep it local, check out all that Penny Lane Cooperative has to offer—the concept store features local artists and designers in a single space. Browse local artist Jenny Dowd’s pottery and drawings, pick up an antler bowtie from Western Range Clothing Co., or shop Andi Keenan’s curated selection of affordable, on-trend clothing and accessories.
MTN Man Toy Shop, 98 N Center Street, Unit C
Made for the modern-day outdoor enthusiast, MTN Man Toy Shop offers a selection of handmade gifts that will delight both ladies and gents. If you’re only going home with one souvenir, make it a treasure from New West Knifeworks, a local company known for crafting some of the finest artisanal kitchen cutlery in the industry.