Slope Style in Jackson Hole
Upscale resorts and restaurants meet laid-back Western cool in this charming Wyoming ski town
Photography by Grand Teton National Park
This season in: Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Fall
FoodSHIFT Sustainable Food Festival
If you’re a skier, it’s best to stay at the base of the mountain in Teton Village, where accommodations run the gamut from the posh Four Seasons Resort to the eco-chic, newly remodeled Hotel Terra. The latter is a LEED silver-certified property committed to sustainable practices, with contemporary rooms that have large spa tubs (perfect for soothing tired muscles after a day on the slopes). Hotel Terra also offers great in-house restaurants and an outdoor heated pool with mountain views. The neighboring Teton Mountain Lodge provides a more traditional rustic experience with grand stone fireplaces and exposed wooden beams. Condé Nast Traveler voted the lodge’s Solitude Spa the best spa in Wyoming. All the hotels in this area are a short walking distance to the chair lifts and ski shops. But if you’re not a skier, or lean more toward the après-ski-minus-the-ski, we recommend booking a room in the Town of Jackson, where you’ll be close to the hub of bars, shops, and restaurants. The Rusty Parrot Lodge is one of the best, with a four-diamond AAA rating and charming Western décor.
As Jackson’s reputation as one of the most upscale ski resorts in the country has grown, on par with likes of Aspen and Park City, so has the dining scene. In Teton Village, the hotel restaurants are anything but tourist traps. Before you hit the slopes, fuel up at Terra Café inside Hotel Terra, with healthy smoothies, steel-cut oatmeal, and veggie scrambles. For lunch, make a reservation at Couloir, located on the top of the mountain. (Non-skiers can take the gondola up to this supercool spot, which is also open a few nights per week for dinner.) Spur at Teton Mountain Lodge is known for its bustling après-ski scene. We recommend the spicy Spur nachos for a pre-dinner snack. For dinner, head to Il Villaggio Osteria, which serves up house-made pastas, woodfired pizzas, and a stellar Italian wine list. Be sure to save room for dessert—the pint-sized ice cream sandwiches are to die for! For a locals-only vibe, try Teton Thai, great for takeout and a cozy night in your room. If you’re looking for an evening out on the town, begin with a meal at The Kitchen in Jackson. The menu includes a gourmet crudo bar and daily fresh fish options. San Diegans will appreciate that Wyoming has caught on to the craft beer craze. Snake River Brewing is producing some great beers. Guests can also take a tour of the brewery. Finally, no trip to Jackson Hole is complete without a visit to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. One step inside this place and you’ll quickly learn why this town is often called “the Last of the Old West.”
Grand Teton National Park
Known for being “steep and deep,” Jackson Hole Mountain was recently voted the top ski resort in the U.S. by Ski Magazine. With one of the longest vertical drops in North America and the 2013–2014 season measuring close to 500 inches of snow, the skiing is truly world-class—and challenging. A note to the novice skier: These runs are more difficult than average, with a ton of ungroomed black- and double-black-diamond routes. But don’t fret if you’re not a skier. Nearby Grand Teton National Park offers a bevy of scenic, slower-paced activities. Keep an eye out for moose, elk, and coyotes on a tour with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Or, if you feel the need for speed, rent a snowmobile through Scenic Safaris, and zoom along the park’s endless miles of trails. Shoppers will love the cute stores in and around the town’s main square. Go Western chic at Pendleton or Jackson Hole Hat Company, browse stylish antler-clad décor at Twenty Two Home, and accessorize with some local jewelry from Habits. Whenever you go or whatever you do, here’s hoping there’s snow!