Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and the nearby slope-side village of Teton Village are tightly guarded. Not only is 97 percent of Teton County's nearly 4 million acres federally owned or controlled but among the fortunate locals who live on the paltry 3 percent of privately held land, there's a focus on conservation and adoration for the way things were.
As a result, Jackson Hole has kept a genuine charm and feeling of place that is all too frequently lost as ski towns grow in popularity.
Suppose you look out from the top of Rendezvous Mountain on a clear day. In that case, you will be struck first by the descending mountains around you and then by the commemorative stamp of the town at the foot of the steep slope.
This humble environmental impact seems too quaint for the hill it abuts. That is where its allure rests.
While the area has seen its fair share of sleek hotels and fine-dining restaurants, the old-world charm of Jackson Hole's wood-plank sidewalks, cheap-slung Wild West-looking buildings encircling the center of town, and the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar remains undiminished.
So, if you're searching for a ski getaway without the facade or a chance to ride a snowmobile to see where the buffalo graze, head to Jackson Hole. Here's a rundown of the highlights.
Where to Stay
Where is the best place to stay while on vacation in Jackson Hole? The short answer is: Anywhere, because you're in Jackson Hole.
But the real answer is below, you're left with a number of choices that are all great. There are a number of Jackson Hole vacation rentals to stay in and around the town and Grand Teton National Park, no matter what time of year it is.
The Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole
The Four Seasons is the best place to camp in the winter, especially if you want to be the first to get up the trolley in the morning. For starters, it's the only place in Teton Village where you can ski in and out.
If you're going with kids, this makes it easy to get to the ski school, and it's also a straight shot to the Bridger Gondola and Sweetwater Lift. If you stay here, you can roll out of bed and go up the mountain.
And the hotel has all the luxuries you'd expect, like a ski butler who will store all your equipment while warming your boots, an on-site rental shop, three bars and restaurants, a heated pool open all year, and amazing views of Rendezvous Mountain.
This eight-acre site has 25 small, modern houses, each with a small kitchenette, free Wi-Fi, an enclosed patio with a grill (handy in the warmer months), and an outdoor fire pit.
Go to the Wheelhaus Wedge house, which is a little bit bigger and has a king-size bed and a sofa that folds out into a bed. It takes about five minutes to get there by car from Teton Village.
There aren't many cheap hotels in town, but the best one is the Anvil, a building that used to be a blacksmith shop 100 years ago.
If the two-tone wainscoted walls, handmade Woolrich blankets, and inflicted-iron bed frames look familiar, they were made by the Brooklyn-based Studio Tack. For this 49-room project, they brought their hipster style to the mountain town.
Where to Eat
Gavin Fine, the chef, and owner of Rendezvous Bistro, came to Jackson in 1996 because, like so many others before him, he wanted to ski. He quickly started a movement for good food in mountain towns when he opened Rendezvous Cafe in 2001.
It was a French cafe with a raw bar where you could order oysters and a bottle of New Zealand Pinot. In Jackson, Fine has been called "the Danny Meyer of Jackson Hole" for the seven restaurants he has opened in the last 20 years.
Roadhouse Bar and Restaurant
One of the newest places in Fine is Roadhouse Bar & Eatery, a low-key place on the town square where you can get any of the thirty beers on tap and bar food with a twist, like a family home-made beer pretzel or a launch-faced pastrami sandwich.
Picnic is a little less busy and has a slower pace, but they still serve their famous kouign-amanns and breakfast tacos to go. It's an excellent place to go, especially in the warmer months, if you want to take something substantial. They also have wine in cans if you wish to have a lively lunch.
What to See
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is one of the most breathtaking mountain wilderness places in the world.
When people visit Jackson Hole for the first time, they are often amazed by the rocky peaks of the park's tall Teton Mountain Range. The tallest peak, Grand Teton, is over 13,770 feet high.
One of the best ways to see Grand Teton National Park is on a hike.
In the wilderness, more than 200 miles of trails lead to beautiful sights like thick pine forests, fields of wildflowers, and the winding Snake River. You can hike to Signal Mountain and Leigh Lake on the best paths.
Jackson Town Square and the Elk Antler Arch
The Town Square is an ideal spot to start a tour of Jackson's best-known sights. Tourists love to take pictures of themselves posing under the famous arches made of elk antlers or skating around the small ice rink.
From the square, you can take a horse-drawn carriage trip around town in the style of the Old West, or you can walk along the boardwalks lined with shops and art galleries.
Take advantage of the photographs in the Pictures of Nature by Thomas Mangelsen gallery if you like to take pictures of nature and landscapes. It's an excellent destination to get some new ideas.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone, one of the most beautiful wild places in the world, is a frequently booked day trip from Jackson Hole. It's about 57 miles from the capital, Jackson. Along the way, you'll see some beautiful sights.
The park is famous for its volcanic features. It has the most active geysers in the world, with Old Faithful being the most well-known. In contrast to these hissing moonscapes, there are substantial green slopes, towering streams, red-walled canyons, streams, and huge lakes.
The weekend getaway that Jackson Hole provides is unparalleled in terms of its luxury and natural beauty. There is something for everyone here, from the breathtaking natural scenery to the first-rate food and lodgings offered throughout the resort.
This all-inclusive book has given you all the information you require to plan the vacation of your dreams, regardless of whether you want to spend your time relaxing, embarking on exciting outdoor activities, or a combination of the two.
It would be best if you got ready to unpack all your belongings because Jackson Hole provides luxury and indulgence.