After Thanksgiving Barton and I whisked away to Wyoming to saddle up to everything Jackson Hole has to offer.
There are a couple of ways to get from Salt Lake City to Jackson, WY, and after talking to some friends we decided on driving the 4.5 hours straight down the middle winding between Idaho and Wyoming. The drive was incredibly scenic including sightings of mountain goats, and bald eagles. And trust me nothing breaks up a road trip like a mountain goat crossing.
We checked in at the Rustic Inn, which is a resort made up of little cabins right on the edge of downtown Jackson. We were pretty pleased with our hotel choice, considering we had an entire cabin to ourselves and access to a full spa. Another cabin like option for staying in Jackson is the Fireside Resort (above). These modern cabins include everything from your own fire pit to a full kitchen. While being outside of downtown they are close to Jackson Ski Resort making getting up onto the slopes a 10 minute affair.
Speaking of Skiing, the Jackson resort is the best in the country and while I don’t consider myself a good enough skier to write a review of the skiing itself, I do consider myself a waffle connoisseur. And it happens that the Jackson Resort also has amazing waffles at Corbet’s Cabin that you can enjoy from 10,450 ft at the top of the tram ride.
If you are not interested in skiing, the resort also has a collection of great shopping and dining. The menswear shop Wool and Whiskey provides a variety of great brands along with a full whiskey bar. Across the way from that is Rodeo, a women’s shop that features the warmest sweaters to keep you cozy in the 13 degree weather. Jackson has a lot of other activities besides skiing to do in the winter some of which include, snow shoeing, winter tours of the national parks and snowmobiling. A lot of these are snow and timing dependent so make sure you do your research before hand.
Downtown Jackson is a wintery wonderland. We had gotten there in perfect time to witness the annual lighting of the town square in which Santa makes an appearance and they light the iconic antler arches. Downtown Jackson also has plenty of shopping and dining to offer. If there is any theme to string this blog along it might be the amount of awesome menswear shops we managed to find. Normally I would blame this on Barton but I actually found a gem of a store located right off town square in Gaslight Ally. Mountain Dandy, carries “handmade items for the home, but with a collegiate and men’s club atmosphere,” and is the brother store to the fun and eclectic shop MADE. Both of which offer unique gifts that blow the average souvenir out of the water. A couple of other of notable mentions are the Pendleton Store where you can pick up a wool Pendleton Blanket, and Fjall Raven a Swedish company that makes outdoor clothing.
Downtown also has its fair share of amazing restaurants. The first night we ate at Blue Lion, a quaint house turned into an upscale restaurant. I would highly recommend it for a romantic evening and feasting on dishes like a Roasted Rack of Lamb and Elk Tenderloin. The second night Barton and I ate at a more modern restaurant called The Kitchen in which we shared a bunch of amazing small plates some of our favorites including Yunnan-style Striped Bass and Vietnamese Venison Pho.
Later in the evening we bundled up and ventured out to the infamous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where you literally saddle up to the bar to order a drink. This bar is a can’t miss if you are visiting Jackson. Live music, pool, and the friendliest people you will ever meet make it a fun stop on your tour. If you have never tried country dancing just hope that the local 83 year old man named Clare is there to spin you around the dance floor.
We did escape town and the temptation to buy and eat everything by adventuring out to the National Elk reserve. This is where the sleigh rides take place, if you visit Jackson in December, you can see 20 to 30ft of Elk that migrate to Jackson each year. We were not there at the right time to see the thousand of elk but we did get to see a couple of groups as we drove through the park. We then drove on to Grand Teton National Park to see if we could get a good sunset view of the Tetons. One of the most scenic spots to photograph the Tetons is from the Snake River outlook. Our plans got a little foiled by the cloud coverage but we were able to get a pretty good view of the mountain range. With consideration of my feet staying alive in the 19 degree cold we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon lounging in our resorts hot tub.
Lastly, before leaving town we had the most amazing brunch at Persephone Bakery, which is just a block from town square. I don’t think I could say enough good things about this place. The bakery is open for breakfast and lunch, and serves Intelligentsia coffee all day. We ordered the Scone Skillet, the Goat Cheese Omelette, and a side of Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout Hash and it was all fantastic.
Needless to say we went back to Salt Lake with very full bellies and with a great idea of all the things Jackson has to offer. It is easy to see how this town changes completely in the winter, and if you are a fan of any winter sports or activities, Jackson may be the place for you. I look forward to going back in the summer to see how the the town changes again!
At Jackson Hole Resort