From the moment you touch down in Jackson Hole, it’s easy to be awestruck by the sheer natural beauty of the surroundings. That might be because Jackson Hole Airport is situated in Grand Teton National Park— it’s actually the only commercial airport set inside a national park. The majestic snow-capped Teton mountain range and verdant green tree-dotted hills look like something out of a Bob Ross painting, making for a picturesque start to your time in this idyllic locale.
While most people visit this mountain town during ski season, the summer and fall are both equally mesmerizing times of year to travel to Jackson Hole—especially for those that aren’t particularly enthusiastic skiers. Scenic mountain range backdrops bursting with the colors of nature and endless outdoor activities make Jackson Hole one big outdoor playground for adventure seekers, with plenty of luxurious hotels and food and drink options in town, too. Plus, visiting in the (relative) off season means that you’ll be able to avoid the oppressive tourist crowds, too.
Here’s how to make the most of your weekend in the mountains.
Where to Stay
Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole is nestled at the base of the mountain in Teton Village, providing easy ski-in, ski-out access in the winter and spring season. For those not spending time on the slopes, a year-round heated pool and spectacular mountain views make this a popular summer jaunt, too. The interior decor at the hotel boasts over 50 pieces of wildlife and western artwork on display. Guests can enjoy a wide selection of domestic and international beers while taking in sweeping views of the Tetons at The Handlebar, the hotel’s casual pub with an outdoor patio, or Westbank Grill, the open-kitchen steakhouse. The spa is perfect for a deep deep tissue massage, especially after spending all day outside.
The 55-room Hotel Jackson is a cozy, family-owned boutique property that’s situated right in town. It’s the first LEED-certified hotel in Jackson, and the interiors are inspired by the natural surroundings. The rustic-chic rooms are outfitted with Western decor featuring reclaimed wood and leather accents, as well as gas fireplaces. Stop by the Sacajawea Library to peruse the extensive collection of curated books and artifacts, and don’t forget to make a reservation at Figs, the hotel’s casual Lebanese restaurant, with a menu full of Mediterranean-focused dishes. Order the baba ganoush with puffy hot pita bread, succulent chicken kebabs and baklava.
This hotel is named after the Cloudveil Dome within the Teton Range, and the design is influenced by the surrounding landscape: think tree trunk coffee tables and birch tree walls. It’s conveniently located right on the Town Square, and is composed of 100 guest rooms and suites, which are furnished in a relaxed yet upscale aesthetic, with local artwork and leather accents. There’s an on-site French-inspired restaurant, The Bistro, and a rooftop offering views of Snow King Mountain and Town Square.
Where to Eat
At Glorietta, pastas are handmade, ingredients are locally sourced and the wood-fire grill is always burning. Dishes rotate seasonally, but highlights include burrata with spring pea puree, yellowtail crudo with drops of Calabrian chili and spaghetti with mushrooms, topped with a gooey poached egg. Look out for occasional live music on the garden patio.
The original Billy’s Burgers was an iconic joint inside Cadillac Grille, a Jackson restaurant that has since shuttered. The beloved venue is now back, with a new space inside The Virginian Lodge. The counter service-only spot retains the 1950s diner feel of the original, with a neon sign and red-and-white checkerboard flooring. The menu features a selection of chicken, bison and falafel burgers, but the namesake Billy’s Burger remains the most popular—it’s a juicy, half-pound beef patty with the traditional fixings, and homemade sauce. Not super hungry? Order the Betty Burger, which is half the size. Diners also choose from three styles of waffle fries: classic, poutine or rodeo, which are topped with house-made chili, pickled jalapeños and cheese.
This Parisian-inspired bistro is tucked inside The Cloudveil, and serves classic brasserie fare including steak frites, crispy duck confit and moules frites. Make sure to check the Plats du Jour, with special dishes like poached dover sole or bison filet mignon, and don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of French wine. Save room for dessert, as the bread pudding, made using day-old croissants, is delicious.
Snake River Grill is a log cabin-style restaurant that’s probably the closest you’ll get to fine dining in Jackson. The menu at this local-adored spot is filled with wood-fired dishes, but the steak tartare pizza is a specialty. Reservations are hard to come by, so you might have better luck snagging a seat at the bar.
Persephone Bakery is a local hot spot that draws crowds for breakfast and lunch, but the pastries are the real showstoppers. Chocolate bundt cake, frangipane tart and passionfruit quick bread are just a few of the sweet treats available, and the coffee is also top notch. Fuel up on sandwiches and salads such as the seeded avocado bowl, beet and ricotta salad and truffled prosciutto. You’ll want to order everything on the menu, and you’ll likely visit this café more than once during your trip.
Jackson Hole has a surprisingly large number of Thai restaurants for such a small town, but this small, no-frills spot in Teton Village is sought after by locals and visitors alike. Run by husband and wife duo Suchada and Sam Johnson, Suchada recreates family recipes including BBQ pork ribs, steamed (or fried) dumplings, panang curry and pad gar pow duck. After a long day outside, the beef or duck noodle soup is a fitting comfort food.
Where to Drink
This cozy tapas restaurant is adjacent to a connected wine shop, and is the perfect place for an aperitivo or snack. Sit at one of the communal tables and nosh on charcuterie, cheese and other shareable plates including patatas bravas, paella and homemade meatballs. Enjoy no corkage fees when you purchase a bottle of wine from the shop, and satisfy your post-meal sweet tooth with the huckleberry cheesecake.
With its hard-to-miss bright neon lights, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is the crown jewel of Town Square. This iconic Western-themed honky tonk bar features nightly music and entertainment, plenty of pool tables and saddle bar seating. Legend has it that the bear taxidermy in the glass case was killed by a man who bit into its jugular vein. Dust off your cowboy boots and get ready to do the two-step because the dance floor gets pretty packed.
This centrally-located watering hole specializes in Belgian and IPA-style beers. The B Corp brewery also offers a food menu with bar snacks like buffalo wings, burgers and flatbreads, with an expansive beer list to wash it all down.
What to Do
Hiking is probably one of the most-loved off-season activities in Jackson Hole, and there are plenty of different trails to choose from. Head to Grand Teton National Park to the Jenny Lake Loop Trail, a 7.1-mile loop hike that provides breathtaking views of Cascade Canyon and Cathedral Group (the group of tallest peaks in the Teton Range). The Jenny Lake Loop Trail is a relatively easy hike, but can get crowded in the summer, so arrive early in the day if you want to trek in peace.Take the ferry across the lake and hike to Inspiration Point for views of Jackson Valley and a 100-foot cascading waterfall.
Jackson Hole is renowned for its dry trout fishing in the late summer months. Choose between a half-day or full-day trip, with a plethora of river options including Snake River, the Gros Ventre River or Greys River (depending on skill level). Whether or not you catch any fish, you’ll still be rewarded with picturesque views.
A scenic float on the Snake River, set against the idyllic Teton Mountains, is the perfect lazy day summer activity. As you sit back and enjoy the views from the tranquil body of
The annual Fall Arts Festival celebrates Western art and wildlife, with over 50 events taking place over 12 days. Local galleries such as Gallery Wild, Mountain Trails Gallery and Horizon Fine Art host ticketed events, some of which include wine pairings or gallery walks.
Buy a fitting hat accessory
Getting a custom hat in Jackson Hole is practically a rite of passage. Blend in with the locals and get your own beaver felt hat from Christy Sing’s Sing Hat Co., a female-owned and operated small business, open by appointment only.