Jackson Hole is one of the, if not the, best ski destinations in the United States — one of those unforgettable travel experiences that brings its A-for-adventure-game all winter long. But regardless of the season or how you define “adventure” (because heli-skiing is not for everyone) this charming mountain town offers fun for all — be it of the sport, culinary, or shopping variety.
FIRST, AN OVER-VIEW
Jackson Hole’s natural beauty is a year-round spectacle, and its fall foliage is no exception. Early to mid-October is peak season, when the aspens shimmer in shades of gold and maples turn a vibrant red. A hike at Snow King is the perfect way to get your bearings, along with a breathtaking view (while also getting your heart-pumping). It’s a surprisingly under-the-radar tourist activity, considering its ultra-convenient location. If you’re feeling a little more languorous, gondolas are at the ready.
TURN THE TABLES
Jackson Hole’s thriving food scene boasts a mix of classics and newbies to keep your palate engaged and your appetite sated. Some favorites include steak tartare pizza at Snake River Grill, Japanese at King Sushi or the newly opened Kampai, and Italian at the best-loved Glorietta. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, there’s always Piste Mountain Bistro, a cozy restaurant with epic views at the top of Bridger Gondola (a cool 3,000 feet up). It’s a must for luxury winter getaways and just as beautiful for spring dinners or sunset drinks.
FILL YOUR CUP
Did someone say drinks? Check out Jackson’s only rooftop bar at Cloudveil, a new, centrally-located, woman-owned boutique hotel. Or keep it casual at Snake River Brewing, which boasts the title of America’s most awarded small brewery. And let’s not forget Jackson’s unique passion for sloshies — creative, slightly more elevated incarnations of daiquiris — especially during warmer months. Grab one from Rations, Creekside, Jackson Hole Still Works and see how your day unfolds (speaking of adventures). Craving something a little more…grown up? Backwards Distilling just introduced Live Jazz Night on the third Wednesday of every month.
TAKE A TREK
Getting off the beaten path is what adventure travel for families is all about. There’s always Yellowstone, but Grand Teton National Park is just five miles from Jackson Hole (instead of 54). Make a day of it: grab breakfast at the beloved Persephone, and swing by the aptly named Picnic for to-go nibbles and drinks. Then, head out for a scenic drive along the 42-mile park road for unobstructed views of the Tetons and equally impressive views of wildlife. Hop out for a hike — there are options for every level, but an easy 1.5-miles gets you to Hidden Falls and Taggart Lake Trail’s moderate three-mile hike is great for families. Later, catch an Instagram-worthy sunset at Mormon Row.
The Jackson Hole Rodeo’s motto? “Where the west is still wild.” And trust us, that pioneer spirit rings true. These rowdy, quintessentially American events take place every Wednesday and Saturday from Memorial Day through Labor Day and offer fun for the whole family. Book a VIP peek behind the chutes, or just buy a regular ol’ ticket and take the ride. Or, leave it to us: with our adventure concierge travel services, we can customize your rodeo evening to include more than a few high-end touches.
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Jackson Hole Eco Tour Adventures offer expertly guided wildlife tours that’ll make you think you’re on safari. Choose between Grand Teton or Yellowstone, and see the wildlife you and your family came for (think bear, bison, and moose sightings). And no weather-permitting trip to Jackson Hole is complete without a float down Snake River — whether you do it via relaxing wooden boat or white-water raft is up to you. A soak at Astoria Hot Springs is a good way to wind down the day, and the Alpine Slide at Snow King is a great place for little ones to blow off some extra steam. If they can keep their eyes open, book a private stargazing tour at your residence with Wyoming Stargazing. It’ll take their dreams to infinity (and beyond) while giving you an education all your own.
When it comes to fun, Jackson Hole truly offers something for everyone here — from fishing (the Jackson Hole One Fly fly-fishing competition is every September), to golf at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club, to luxury wellness vacations, to perusing paintings at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. (Since 2007, the Jackson Hole Art Auction has been recognized as one of the premier art events in the country.) Or spend the day shopping — check out Womanfolk for a super curated collection of vintage and consignment designer women’s clothing, or pick up a custom hat at Sing.