Jackson, Wyoming might be my favorite place in the world. Each time I visit, I find myself wanting to stay longer and contemplate never returning home. There is something sacred about visiting the home of the Tetons and hearing the soundtrack that nature plays. It sounds like birds and bugs and rivers on the move. In the summertime the days are long, sunsets start after 9pm and leave behind these orange sherbet skies that fade in to blue and purple nights. Jackson is alive and I can’t help but feel connected to something bigger when I am there.
And then there are the locals. Wyoming folks are a distinguishable bunch, expect friendly waves on long dusty roads in the middle of nowhere. They often have tan lines that end just under the tip of their cowboy hat. They give directions for a drive measured in hours vs. miles. Directions will also probably include the words barn, dirt lane, bridge, pavement end, and cottonwood tree. These folks are straight shooters, the no sugar coatin’ type - and I like that.
After my last trip to big sky country, a pal asked me to send over my “list” for him to use when he travels that way with his family later this summer. He’d only been in the winter and Jackson in the winter is completely different then Jackson in the summer – two different worlds. That said, both seasons are equally as breathtaking and there are a million different things to see and do when you visit. This list does not have all of them, but it's a good place to start.
You can smell the waffle cones being made from across the street. Just look for the shop with the line wrapped around the corner in Jackson Square. These folks sling scoops of all natural and organic ice cream and sorbets. There will be a list of the flavors up on the wall in the back – get the Wild Huckleberry if they have it!
Full flavor list here.
Go for breakfast. They serve it 6:30am-11:30am (weekdays) and till 1:30pm (weekends). I have two words for you, Biscuits & Gravy. Also, the banana bread pancakes should not be missed…and the Trout n’ Eggs. Oh and the Chili Omelet. Bottom-line, make sure you show up hungry. Check out the full menu here.
Home of the famous antler arches! Did you know that the world's only public auction of elk antlers takes place in the Jackson Town Square on the third Saturday in May each year? The antlers are shed by the elk each winter on the National Refuge and are collected by local Boy Scouts. The majority of the auction proceeds go back to the refuge for the next year's elk feeding program. Pretty cool. Make sure to take a photo underneath before you leave town.
During the summer there are also stagecoach rides available by the park and you can see local law enforcement ride around on horseback. You also don’t want to miss the JH Shoot-out, an outlaw reenactment, that takes place daily. The scene, which brings traffic to a halt, starts at 6:15 and has been a tradition since 1957. Free to the public. No reservations necessary. The Shootout is the longest, continuously running gunfight in the United States and it is estimated that more than 4 million people have witnessed the Shootout through the years.
This place is the most darling little bakery in town. They have indoor and outdoor seating and are located right off the main square in town. Persephone offers the highest quality artisan breads, pastries, & coffee. Check out their Instagram for more images: @persephonebakery
The bar stools are western horse saddles. There is live music six nights a week. The beer is ice cold. And there are animals mounted every direction you turn. Need I say more? Trust me, this gem is worth a pit stop. More info here.
11am - 11pm // Happy hour 4pm - 6pm, food till 11p, open till 1am. This is a brewery + restaurant – family friendly – lots of locally sourced menu items like grass raised Bison from Durham Family Ranch and all natural Mead Ranch Beef. Check out there daily specials for additions to the menu. The burgers and pizzas are my favorite. Awesome house beer sampler too! A little background…
“Albert and Joni Upsher opened Snake River Brewing in 1994. As a former Anheuser Busch distributor in McMinville, Oregon Albert knew the beer business. He took notice of the expanding microbrewery scene in Oregon and decided to open a brewery in his favorite ski town, Jackson Wyoming! Snake River Brewing started as a family owned business, and in 2008 a local family took over the ownership of the brewpub.” read more
Rodeo has been a part of Jackson Hole’s cowboy culture since the first settlers arrived over 100 years ago. If you visit during the summer, be sure to check it out. The rodeos are Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Select Fridays, 1st, 8th, and 15th of July and every Friday in August ending with the Finals September 1st and 2nd. Jackson Hole Rodeo starts at 8 pm sharp. It is fun for the whole family! Show up around 7:30 to avoid lines. Grab a cold beer & a frito pie before enjoying the show. Tickets start at $20 per person. Rodeo lasts about 2 hours - rain or shine.
Pearl Street Bagels
Open 6:30am-6pm. They have two locations – one in Jackson and one in Wilson, and the bagels are baked in-house each morning. This hole in the wall is great for bacon and egg sandwiches in the morning or roasted turkey bagels at lunch.
This is what flying feels like. In 15 minutes, the Aerial Tram glides 4,139 vertical feet from the base of Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The summit offers a staggering 360-degree view of the Snake River Valley, Grand Teton National Park and the Gros Ventre Range in the distance. Learn more and buy tickets here.
There are peanut shells dusting the floor and live music on most nights. They have American comfort food and cold bee, plus they are led by chef Matty Melehes, a Food Network’s Chopped Grill Masters competitor. Open for dinner nightly at 5:00pm.
Other Awesome Places to eat/drink:
Snake River Grill (more upscale for a night on the town)
Bin 22 (tapas and wine)
Café Genevieve (great for lunch in town)
JH Coffee Roasters
Cowboy Coffee Co.
Jackson Whole Grocer (like a Whole Foods, but better)
words by: Rebecca Simms, Creative Director