Wyoming’s Jackson Hole attracts tourists all year round for the hiking and outdoor fun in summer and skiers in winter. The resort makes a perfect travel destination with lots of things to do including experiencing the historical, cultural and natural beauty. Combine this with a large number of luxurious Jackson Hole cabins, and you have a perfect spot for a relaxing vacation. If this is your first time here as a tourist, check out the ten must-do things in Jackson Hole.
1. The Great Outdoors
One of the biggest reasons tourist flock to Jackson is to enjoy and experience the outdoors. The fresh mountain air provides a revitalizing break from the pollution in other major cities in the United States. You can go hiking, whitewater rafting, fishing and camping. Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park are a short distance away. People who love the outdoors will never be too far away from having the time of their lives in Jackson.
2. Explore the Historical Town
History fills in the town from the days of the cowboys and the old Wild West. The Town Square, near Cache and Broadway, feels like you’re back in time. A boardwalk stretches outside the buildings with four large elk antlers proudly displayed on their exteriors. The cowboy statue dominates the center and is a favorite spot for photographs. Some of the bars and boutiques have a Wild West theme with the shops stocking high-quality cowboy boots. If you’re visiting in the winter, expect the trees to be full of Christmas decoration to create a winter wonderland.
3. National Museum of Wildlife Art
Jackson’s cultural center is a great way to spend a few hours on a rainy afternoon. The museum, a few kilometers from the town, explains the history of regional wildlife in paintings, sculptures and a children’s discovery center. Inside, you’ll find a total of 14 galleries, a gift shop and a library. The National Museum is somewhat unique. Visitors will go on a historical journey as they pass through the different exhibits.
4. Return in the Winter and Go Skiing
Skiers claim the mountain resorts rate as some of the best in the world. More than 2500 acres of terrain, consistently high-quality snow and facilities for all levels of ability make Jackson Hole one of the top skiing spots in the United States. Out of the 133 named trails, half of them cater to the experts with a high degree of technical skill needed including the infamous Corbet’s Couloir. Other runs are suitable for intermediate and beginner levels.
5. Enjoy the Peace and Quiet
If you’re visiting in the winter, expect the town to be almost deserted. Most tourists come in the warmer months for the outdoor activities. But when the snow falls and the temperature plummets, the town transforms. Having fewer people around creates a serene setting in a pristine environment covered in a blanket of light snow. And if you’re not into skiing, there are plenty of other activities to take part in including dog sledding, riding snowmobiles to the Yellowstone National Park and snowshoeing in Grand Teton.
6. Experience the Wildlife
A range of animals live in the mountains surrounding Jackson including elk, deer and the occasional wolf. You can experience the town’s fauna by joining a safari, visiting the National Elk Refuge or going on a scenic drive through the mountains. Seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat is one of the top family-friendly activities in Jackson Hole.
7. Go to the National Elk Refuge
Elk are the long-term residents of the mountains and canyons. But when the temperatures drop to well below freezing for several months on end, the animals find it difficult to get enough food. This is where the National Elk Refuge comes in. The large sanctuary provides food and shelter in an unenclosed area. When they’re hungry, the elk come and then leave again on their own accord in spring. Visitors can drive through to see the animals grazing. For a more hands-on experience, sleighing tours take visitors around the complex. But, it’s important to remember you’re only going to see the elk if you visit in the winter.
8. Ride the Aerial Tram
Starting in Teton Village and rising to the top of Rendezvous Mountain, the Aerial Tram has some of the best views in Jackson. Buy a ticket and ride the gondola more than 1262 vertical meters into the air while enjoying the mountains. At the summit, you’ll find a restaurant where you can enjoy the views with a warm drink. Either hike down or take the Aerial Tram back to Teton Village.
9. Enjoy the Shopping Experience.
The best place to shop in Jackson is near Town Square. Shelves are full of everything a tourist could want from upscale boutiques to souvenirs and handicraft. Explore the smaller streets and walk along Gaslight Alley to buy jewelry, artwork and to find the perfect gift for friends back home.
10. Have a Spa Day
Jackson has several spas in and around the town as well as hot springs. What could be better after a day of hiking than a massage and a little therapy? You have the choice between a variety of treatments including half or full days at the spa.
Jackson Makes a Great Destination for a Holiday
Regardless of your budget and interests, you’ll find something in Jackson. The old town has history, shopping and lots of fun during in both the summer and winter. Visit when it’s warm and enjoy the outdoors. Or come after the first snowfall and go skiing. Whichever time you visit, you’ll find Jackson to be an excellent destination for you and the family.