This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (2024)

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (1)

Home to Grand Teton National Park, world-class ski slopes, and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a destination unlike any other. While it has a strong association with Westernwear, antler decor, and the occasional piece of taxidermy, it also comes with an unrivaled level of authenticity that appeals to outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. Victoria Gonzalez, lead Pathfinder at The Cloudveil, describes the region as "the intersection of wilderness and the resilient American spirit," somewhere travelers can go to experience a "flourishing cultural arts center with celebrated restaurants, a playground for year-round recreational opportunities … and natural wonder."

Jackson Hole refers to a valley made up of smaller towns — the largest one being Jackson — encircled by the Gros Ventre and Teton mountain ranges. Given the area's natural resources and location amid the untouched wilderness, travelers should shoulder a certain level of responsibility when visiting. Taylor Phillips, founder of Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures, recommends following a few key guidelines: "Don't disturb wildlife, [and] keep at a minimum of 25 yards from all wildlife and 100 yards from bears and wolves. Most importantly, don't cause the wildlife to change their behavior."

Whether you're interested in wildlife safaris, hiking trails, or ski resorts — or you simply want to breathe in its fresh air and enjoy the mountain views — here's our guide to all things Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Best Hotels and Resorts

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (2)

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole: Tucked away at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole welcomes guests to a peaceful mountain lodge equipped with every amenity and convenience, including ski-in, ski-out accommodations. Outside of ski season, the team behind the 155-room resort ensures travelers take advantage of both Teton Village as well as greater Jackson Hole. Ask the concierge to arrange a personalized itinerary that incorporates all of your interests —from fly fishing on the Snake River to moose spotting in Grand Teton National Park — all while making sure you can enjoy some downtime on the property. The resort’s spa and heated pools are a welcome treat when shaking off any remaining jetlag or sensitivity to the altitude.

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Caldera House: If you want a feeling of having your own space but still want the conveniences of a luxury hotel, book one of the two or four-bedroom suites at Caldera House. The Teton Village hotel is situated next to the Jackson Hole Mountain Tram — a skier’s dream — but it’s designed to provide guests with privacy and a stress-free vacation. Valet parking, Peloton bikes, a cedar dry sauna, a heated outdoor infinity plunge, and the Mudroom (where you can rent or buy outdoor gear) can be used at leisure, and the knowledgeable concierge team is at the ready-to-book trail rides, wildlife safaris, private helicopter tours, guided hikes, and more.

The Cloudveil, Autograph Collection: Located right on Town Square, The Cloudveil is conducive to exploring all of the restaurants, shops, and activities in downtown Jackson while simultaneously serving as the ultimate jumping-off point to the rest of the valley. Opened in May 2021, the 200-room property has a feeling of novelty paired with an unequivocal sense of place. The custom wood and leather furnishings, outdoor pool and hot tub, Peloton bikes, and chic rooftop terrace provide an elevated level of comfort, and the hotel’s dedicated Pathfinders advise on all things Jackson Hole —including cross-country ski fittings with Black Tie Ski Rentals and the best hiking trails for beginners. As far as dining options, the on-site restaurant The Bistro has European-inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings, alongside an in-room dining menu.

The Wort Hotel: History is at the heart of The Wort Hotel, which first opened its doors in 1941. A staple in downtown Jackson, the 55-room property encompasses the idea of timeless hospitality. Upon entering the lobby, you’re greeted by a grand staircase, roaring fireplaces, and an assortment of Western art and photographs. The rooms are spacious and appropriately outfitted with Keurig coffee makers, cozy robes, and Western charm. Along with giving guests the ultimate welcome to Jackson Hole, The Wort Hotel is also home to the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill, where live music and swing dancing are weekly occurrences.

Hotel Terra: Claiming the title of “Wyoming’s first LEED Silver Certified hotel,” Hotel Terra leads the environment-first charge with its variety of sustainability initiatives. Behind the scenes, the property uses wind, solar, and hydro energy sources to help power the hotel. Guests will notice the refillable aluminum water bottles and organic toiletries provided in the rooms and suites, as well as the energy-efficient heating and cooling systems. The Teton Village location grants overnight guests easy access to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the hotel also has a rooftop spa and infinity pool — perfect for relaxing after a day of hiking or e-biking. If you’re in the mood for Italian, make a reservation at the on-property restaurant Il Villaggio Osteria, known for its house-made pizza and pastas.

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Best Things to Do in Jackson Hole

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (3)


Grand Teton National Park: "Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole are home to the full spectrum of wildlife that existed pre-settlement. This region is the best place in the lower 48 to observe wild wolves, bears, and moose, to name a few of the iconic species that call this area home," says Phillips. Pro tip: You're more likely to see wildlife or experience lesser-known spots if you go with a guide. Both Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures and Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris offer tours year-round. If you plan on driving yourself, though, add Schwabacher Landing, Snake River overlook, Mormon Row, and Jenny Lake to your itinerary, the latter of which Gonzalez calls the "centerpiece of the park." "There are many options for guests to explore Jenny Lake, as several popular trails leave from the lake. Hikers can loop the lake, visit Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, or … relax and take a boat ride, hang by the shore, or stop by the Visitor Center," she adds.

Taylor Phillips, Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures

This region is the best place in the lower 48 to observe wild wolves, bears, and moose.

— Taylor Phillips, Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: Think of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as your base camp for all things adventure, whether you're skiing during the winter, hiking in the summer, or challenging yourself on the ropes course. A highlight of the resort, although only open from June to early October, is the Via Ferrata, which translates to translate to "iron way." A series of routes made up of cables secured to the rock, the Via Ferrata is an intense workout complete with remarkable views of the valley below. For something a little less strenuous, consider the resort's famous cherry red Aerial Tram. "Head to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in Teton Village via the Aerial Tram. Taking a hike at 10K feet to look for fossils in Cody Bowl with breathtaking views is an experience you won't forget," says Phillips.

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Jackson Hole Rodeo: "No trip is complete without experiencing the Jackson Hole Rodeo," says Gonzalez. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the rodeo "welcomes ropers, barrel racers, and bronco riders [to] showcase their Western skills," she explains. You can purchase tickets online (highly recommended, as some dates tend to sell out), and be sure to read up on what you can and can't bring with you to the historic downtown Jackson event.

Astoria Hot Springs: The beauty of Jackson Hole lies in the great outdoors and its variety of heart-pumping activities, but relaxation is equally important. Astoria Hot Springs, located 20 minutes south of downtown Jackson, is where you can slow down and allow your body to recover. Made up of five soaking pools filled with natural thermal waters —all controlled to different temperatures — the hot springs are open all year round. Make sure to bring sandals, a towel (although there are towels available to rent), and a bathing suit, and book your tickets ahead of time.

National Museum of Wildlife Art: Across the road from the National Elk Refuge sits the National Museum of Wildlife Art, a museum dedicated to showcasing the beauty of the outdoors. Over 550 artists, including Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and John James Audubon, are represented in the collection that boasts more than 5,000 items. The NMWA is open year-round, although there are often rotating exhibitions alongside the permanent collection.

The 21 Best Things to Do in Jackson Hole

Top 5 Can’t Miss

  • Grand Teton National Park: Stunning peaks, thrilling wildlife, and lakeside fun
  • Jackson Hole Rodeo: A local tradition and taste of true cowboy culture
  • Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: Skiing in winter, hiking in summer
  • Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: A staple with live music and swing dancing
  • Beaver Creek Hats & Leather: Family-owned shop with a huge hat selection

Best Shopping

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (4)

Womenfolk: Tucked away in an alley off East Broadway in downtown Jackson, Womenfolk is a true treasure chest of Western-inspired vintage and designer finds. Owner Greer Freed’s selection of cowboy boots, denim, outerwear, rare books, jewelry, and more is highly curated and thoughtful; it’s incredibly difficult to walk out of the two-room boutique without a new Jackson Hole memento in hand.

Lela Rose Ranch: To shop Lela Rose Ranch, the Western line from the notable fashion designer (and Jackson Hole resident), you’ll need to venture to nearby Wilson. Along with embroidered chambray shirts and poplin button-downs, the standalone boutique features a dreamy lineup of books, linen napkins, and vintage accessories to complement your Wyoming attire. Be sure to follow the brand on Instagram to learn about the latest in-store activations and new drops.

Beaver Creek Hats & Leather: You could spend an entire day browsing the art galleries, outdoor gear stores, and souvenir shops in Town Square, but there’s a good chance you’re looking to buy (or at least try on) a cowboy hat. Beaver Creek Hats & Leather is a family-owned and operated store with a seemingly endless number of hats, made in every style and variety of price points.

Lee’s Tees: Don’t leave Jackson Hole without one or two pieces of location-specific merch —whether it’s a t-shirt, bumper sticker, or baseball hat. It’s hard to miss Lee’s Tees, a 5,000-square-foot store in Town Square that sells all things Jackson Hole-related. If you forgot to pack an extra layer (even summer mornings and evenings are chilly), you can snag a sweatshirt or fleece at this Jackson icon, which was founded in 1978.

Mountain Dandy: You’ll find furniture, art, barware, and other home goods for sale at Mountain Dandy, a quaint boutique on West Pearl Ave. Its collection of handmade and vintage items is self-described as having a “masculine aesthetic,” and you’re almost guaranteed to spot something special to take home (whether it’s for yourself or for a loved one).

Best Restaurants

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (5)

Bin22: “It wouldn't be a proper trip to Jackson Hole without picking up a Cream + Sugar ice cream sandwich and a bottle of bubbly to-go from Bin22 — also a great spot for Spanish tapas and exciting wines by the glass,” says Gonzalez. Cozy up at the bar for housemade mozzarella, meatballs, and a bottle of medium-bodied Italian red wine.

The Kitchen: The contemporary, flavorful offerings at The Kitchen —think seafood crudo, an Asian cabbage salad, and mushroom ramen — are a much-needed break from the heavier, red-meat dishes you’ll find throughout Jackson and Teton Village. When weather permits, you can enjoy your meal on the expansive outdoor deck, co*cktail in hand.

Corsa: “Bold Italian fare in a beautiful new chalet-inspired setting” is how Corsa sets itself apart from the rest of Teton Village’s culinary concepts. While it’s the signature restaurant of Caldera House, lunch and dinner reservations are open to non-guests from Wednesday through Sunday. Start with one of the inventive, yet equally comforting, appetizers before moving on to funghi pizza or squid ink linguini.

Corbet’s Cabin: Corbet’s Cabin may fall under the “best restaurants” category, but it’s in a league all its own. Known for its “top of the world waffles,” Corbet’s sits atop Rendezvous Peak, 10,450 feet above sea level. Take the Aerial Tram up to the outpost, open from May to October and again during ski season, for a peanut butter and bacon waffle, or any of the other sweet and savory combinations.

Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse: Come hungry to the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse, where choice cuts of meat, hearty entrees, and a delightful assortment of appetizers and sides populate the dinner menu. The culinary feats are just part of the overall experience, though. The restaurant’s walls provide a visual narrative of the history of the upstairs’s Million Dollar Cowboy Bar — and dining at the steakhouse also ensures free entry (just make sure you ask for a stamp).

Nightlife

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (6)


Million Dollar Cowboy Bar: The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is a Jackson staple, with its roots dating back to 1937. Depending on the night, there’s usually live music and swing dancing — free lessons are offered every Thursday during the summer and winter — on the docket. Pool tables, saddle seats at the bar, and a variety of only-in-Jackson decor make it the place to be on a night out in Jackson. Be sure to follow the bar on Instagram for the most up-to-date news on shows, hours, and other exciting announcements.

Best Time to Visit Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole has two peak tourist seasons: winter and summer. From late November through early April, both downtown Jackson and Teton Village are hubs for skiers, snowboarders, and anyone looking to take advantage of the area’s annual snowfall. Summer, on the other hand, sees more visitors than the colder months — as it’s a popular time to visit both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone.

If you’re not interested in winter sports (and you want to avoid crowds) try the shoulder seasons. “The best time to visit Jackson Hole is mid-May to mid-June or mid-September to mid-October,” says Phillips. Jackson Hole is less crowded in the spring, and “wildlife viewing is at its best with newborn calves and fawns at their mother's side, and the Teton Mountains are still blanketed with snow,” he says. Early autumn, before snow poses a threat, is also perfect for travelers interested in seeing wildlife: “Crowds are thin, elk viewing with the rut in full swing is not to miss, bears are gorging on berries, and fall foliage is at its peak for the photographer,” he says.

How to Get There

Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is the only commercial airport in the United States located within a national park, but it’s still just a quick 15-minute drive from downtown Jackson. The airport — which is served year-round by Delta, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines — underwent an extensive renovation in 2022. While it may be on the smaller side (only 11 gates), it’s still one of the most picturesque airports to fly in and out of; don’t miss its own set of decidedly Jackson antler arches, incredible views of the Teton Range, and mimosas upon arrival.

Flight Tip

Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is the only commercial airport in the United States located within a national park, but it’s still just a quick 15-minute drive from downtown Jackson.

How to Get Around

If you want to explore Grand Teton National Park and greater Jackson Hole, you’ll need to rent a car. Uber and Lyft are available, although sparingly, and there’s also the option to schedule a ride with a private cab company, like VIP Car Service. Public transportation options include START Bus, which is an affordable way to get from Jackson to Teton Village and vice versa. In the warmer months, you can use the START Bike rideshare to traverse Jackson and Teton County’s bike and pedestrian pathway network.

This Small Wyoming Town Is Known for Its National Parks, Luxury Hotels, and Famous Cowboy Bar (2024)
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