The Insider's Guide to Visiting Jackson Hole


Ever wish you could text the most stylish people in the world to ask them for their lists of things to do in the places they know best? Here are insider travel tips for those who would never be caught dead in a tourist trap. Bon voyage!

Who

Four outdoors-loving insiders shared their favorite spots in the Jackson Hole valley, known for its challenging ski terrain, the buzzy town of Jackson, and Grand Teton National Park: Corinne Prevot, founder of the outdoor accessories brand Skida; Maya Frodeman, the managing partner and executive director of Maya Frodeman Gallery and No. 62 Jewelry; Katie Franklin Cohn, director of Maya Frodeman Gallery and No. 62 Jewelry; and Abigail Greene, owner of the Jackson boutique Midnight Lunch.

What

What to Bring

“Your shoes will make or break your trip,” says Greene. She suggests a pair of cowboy boots for kicking around town, and, depending on the season, a pair of trail running sneakers for exploring or a rugged pair of snow boots for pre- and post-ski.

When it comes to boots, Prevot likes the ones from Fubuki, Diemme, or Suicoke. Layers are a must, no matter the season.

Think merino wool, fleece, and down to protect yourself against the mountain chill. In terms of outerwear, Prevot suggests “a big ol’ puffy coat”—she lives in her retro-inspired puffer from Mountain Hardware.

A camera is also a must: “A quick drive to Grand Teton National Park will have you stunned,” she says.

What to Leave Behind

“Heels!” says Cohn. “And a pro tip: boots with a smooth sole are flat-out dangerous in winter.” Greene notes that “you’ll see a lot of ‘quiet luxury’ here, flashy designer pieces are not typical.”

What to Keep in Mind

“Jackson is an incredibly special place, and like all incredibly special places, we can be overrun with too many people trying to have the same experience at the same time,” says Cohn. Long story short: Traffic can get gnarly. (“The better the skiing, the worse the traffic,” she quips.) Plus, there’s a lot of wildlife to watch out for on the roads. In summer, try biking or e-biking to avoid getting stuck. In the winter, the most efficient way to get to the slopes—and the best way to avoid parking lot hell—is by riding the Start Bus, which runs frequently between Jackson and Teton Village.

Most importantly, lean into the local pace of life. “Jackson is laid-back,” Greene says. “Most activities here are meant to take time, don’t try to pack too much into your itinerary ahead of time, otherwise you might miss out on some spur-of-the-moment adventures.”

Where

Where to Stay

If you’re there primarily to ski, staying in one of the hotels in Teton Village (the enclave at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort) is your best bet. Prevot and Greene both like Gravity Haus for its “fun, young vibe,” co-working space, gym, and pool—think of it as a sort of Alpine Soho House. Also great in Teton Village is Hotel Terra, which has a rooftop hot tub, an excellent spa, and a cozy Italian restaurant called Il Villaggio Osteria. Some rooms are also kitted out with full kitchens, a nice touch if you’re traveling with kids.

For a more local experience, the Bentwood Inn in Wilson serves hearty home-cooked breakfasts in log-cabin-style digs, plus drinks by a roaring fire in the evenings.

In a similar vein, Cohn recommends The Alpine House and Inn on the Creek in Jackson. For a secluded splurge with stunning views of the Tetons, there’s the five-star Amangani, tucked away on a hilltop about 15 minutes from town.

Where to Start the Day

Everyone agrees that the espresso and pastries at Persephone Bakery are sublime. “For a down-home, diner-style breakfast, ‘the Virg’ or the Virginian Restaurant is my go-to,” says Cohn. “Order the cinnamon bun. It’s enormous.” Frodeman also loves Pearl Street Bagels in Wilson: “It opens up to Fish Creek in the back and it is a great place for a coffee and serene morning.”

And if you need something quick that will stick to your ribs, Prevot suggests Cowboy Coffee. “It has great breakfast burritos and the south of town location boasts the convenience of a drive through.”

Where to Eat

There’s an abundance of beloved sushi restaurants in the valley: “Kampai is my favorite restaurant right now,” says Greene, noting the impeccable service, delicious food and all-season rooftop with views of the town square and Snow King ski hill.

Frodeman suggests Sudachi. “The pot de creme is the best dessert in town,” she says. Prevot’s favorite is King Sushi, whose chef was just honored with a James Beard award.

For delicious cuts of meat in a novelty Wild West setting, Prevot also loves The Gun Barrel Steak & Game House. For cozy Italian, Glorietta’s, and for pizza at the edge of Grand Teton National Park, Dornan’s. Snake River Grill is another favorite of Greene’s. “You will for sure need to make a reservation in advance here,” she adds. “Get the steak tartare pizza and thank me later!”

Where to Shop

You’ll be floored by the sheer number of souvenir T-shirt shops around the square—but there’s plenty of genuine style to be found here as well. Greene’s boutique, Midnight Lunch, stocks colorful sherpa vests and bandanna-print fleeces, customizable trucker hats, and cute hoodies.

Courtesy of Midnight Lunch

For more stylish women’s clothing, Frodeman and Cohn love Terra and Habits. “It’s one of the best stores in the country for beautiful, unique things,” says Frodeman of the latter.

To stock up on outdoor gear—from colorful Patagonia fleeces to the latest Black Crows skis—hit REI or Teton Mountaineering. The streetwear-y T-shirts and sweatshirts from Teton Gravity Research are fun, too. If you’re looking to add some old-school swagger to your ski kit, Prevot points you in the direction of Headwall Sports. “It’s an awesome secondhand outdoor gear shop where you can find some fun vintage ski apparel in bright colors,” she says.

For “all things delicious and niche wines” Cohn loves Sweet Cheeks Meats. Pearl Street Market also has great snacks, high-end pantry items, and a few natural-leaning beauty brands if you forgot your favorite lip balm at home.

Where to Look at Art

Maya Frodeman Gallery is a sleek contemporary art space in the center of town, featuring work by local and international artists alike. (Within the space is also No. 62 Jewelry, which stocks a curated selection of fine jewelry by the likes of Gabriella Kiss and Fernando Jorge.) Frodeman and Cohn are both admirers of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. “Their collections are much broader than one would think, and very well done,” says Frodeman.

National Museum of Wildlife Art

Courtesy of National Museum of Wildlife Art

Prevot recommends checking out the programming at the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum—they host interesting talks year-round. Greene says that Art Shop, located at the entrance of Grand Teton National Park in a town called Moose, is a must for locally made work.

Where to Unwind

Frodeman and Prevot both love Inversion Yoga for their amazing teachers. In addition to regular and hot yoga, they also do pilates classes. For a spa moment, Greene recommends Teton Beauty Lounge. “Book a hydra facial early in your trip to prep your skin for our super-dry climate,” she suggests.

Greene says Astoria Hot Springs is a great spot to visit in the winter if you’re taking a day off from skiing—or, if you’re up for a short hike, there are some natural thermal pools on the banks of the Snake River.

Where to Get Some Fresh Air

In short, everywhere. Jackson Hole is the great outdoors at its greatest, and it’s not all downhill skiing and uphill hiking (although there’s an abundance of that). In addition to the famously challenging Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, there’s also Snow King Mountain (better for beginners) and plenty of backcountry terrain for those who know what they’re doing.

For cross-country skiing, you can rent a kit at Skinny Skis and hit Trail Creek or Teton National Park. In the winter, the Teton Pines golf course also turns into an easy cross-country track, with a full rental shop as well.

In the summer, try biking or horseback riding: “The cross-country mountain bike trails on Teton Pass are so much fun,” Cohn says. “The pass is renowned for downhill biking but pedaling is fun, too.” Greene recommends a guided trail ride on horseback. “In most cases, no previous experience with horses is necessary,” she adds. Frodeman’s summertime go-to is Phelps Lake. “The trail runs right around the lake and it is lovely looking up into Death Canyon to the west,” she says.

Where to Have a Cocktail

Prevot says the “crown jewel” of Jackson is the fabulously kitschy Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, where you’ll find saddles in place of barstools and live country and bluegrass music.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Courtesy Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce

For something a bit more high-brow, Frodeman suggests Calico or the Snake River Grill, “a longstanding staple for Jackson with a perfect vesper martini.” Greene prefers the pomegranate martinis at the Cloudveil Hotel’s lobby bar, where you can cozy up on a couch by the fire. For more live music, hit Silver Dollar Bar or the Stagecoach.

When

The peak of summer gets crowded—between National Park traffic and the many wedding parties, it can turn into a bit of a zoo. But per Frodeman, August is perfect: “The weather is warm and the sun is out ‘til 10 PM, which allows for a lot of activities.”

Flat Creek near downtown Jackson

Getty

Prevot loves September for its beautiful foliage and crisp morning temperatures, and February for the most reliable snow cover. “April is also really fun—you get longer days and typically the snow softens for fun skiing under the sunshine,” she adds.

Why

It’s all about the landscape. “I could count on both hands the number of times that a stranger has told me they cried when they saw the Tetons for the first time,” says Greene. “There are few places like Jackson,” says Cohn. “There is an undeniable element of grit and authenticity in the people who have made a life here. It’s almost as though the extreme weather weeds out the weak-of-character. Everyone has a story.”

Grand Teton and the Teton Range with low clouds at sunrise in Grand Teton National Park

Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/Universal Images Group





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