(UPDATED SEPT 2021) Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was the destination I chose when my husband told me to plan a getaway anywhere that I wanted for just for the two of us. He was so shocked when I confessed that we were “headed out West”. The natural beauty and stark contrast of Jackson Hole to our typical vacation spots was the main draw in my choosing. I wanted to try something different. Here are the ten things that I loved most about Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which still ranks as one of the best trips of our life.
1. Spectacular Scenery
The scenery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is some of the most beautiful I have ever witnessed in the United States. For me, the Grand Teton Mountains reign supreme in the scenery category. The mountains are picturesque and remain partially snow-capped almost year-round. How can you not take a beautiful photo with the Teton Mountains as your backdrop?
2. Abundant Wildlife
There is something to be said for seeing animals wandering freely in their natural habitat. My husband tired quickly of me wanting to pull the car over every time I saw some magnificent creature walking down the road. There are signs posted to refrain from doing so, but we animal lovers think differently. My favorites were the bison.
3. Gourmet Chocolates
Atelier Ortega has amazing artisan chocolates that are sinful to both look at and taste. They are one of my favorite chocolatiers in Wyoming and maybe in the world! Be sure to stop at the shop in Jackson Hole and select all your favorites, which they will pack in their fancy signature orange box. I recommend the Espresso, Jasmine, and the Oregano & Earl Grey bonbons.
4. A Family-Friendly Rodeo
The Jackson Hole Rodeo is very fun, and it feels like a close-knit family event. It is affordable entertainment, plus you can make a whole night of the rodeo and unique features. This event has been running for over 100 years in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
5. Nature Around Jackson Hole
I love to explore the outdoors, and while I am new to touring the National Parks, my favorite thing about the Yellowstone National Park was the geothermal areas. They did not smell too good, but the pictures were exquisite. My favorite was the Midway Geyser Basin.
And the magnificent and almost second-to-none nature doesn’t stop there, it ranges from the water in the Snake River up through the patches of gorgeous evergreens and to the tops of the Red Mountains, Mount Washburn, and Caldera Rim. Inspiration Point is the do-not-miss scenic area for incredible Yellowstone Falls on the north rim.
If you want more National Parks, consider Theodore Roosevelt NP in Medora, North Dakota.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is such a relaxing destination, and even just the fresh mountain air is enough to lower your blood pressure a bit. Be at one with nature, treat yourself to a fantastic spa treatment at one of Jackson Hole’s fabulous resorts, or sit by a fire pit sipping a glass of wine or beer as you soak up the scenery. Rinse, and repeat.
7. Fabulous Fishing
Cast your rod into the Snake River, which meanders through Grand Teton National Park, for some memorable fly-fishing. Rent a boat or hire a guide for private lessons. My husband and I did this and even the boat ride itself was a great time. I didn’t do half bad though we didn’t catch any fish because the water was too swift the day.
Fun Fact: Be on the lookout for bald eagles! Wyoming has lots of them.
8. Fine Dining Options
Spoil your taste buds with a delicious upscale meal from Jenny Lake Lodge. The menu changes daily, but everything I had there was superb—I even tried bone marrow for the first time. Presentation of the meals was visually stunning as well. Hats off to the very qualified and impressive chef!
9. High-End Shopping
Stroll around the Jackson Hole Town Square and explore one-of-a-kind shops, savvy art galleries, and its famous elk-antler arches. I recommend a visit to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for eats, drinks, or just people watching. Later, take a quick browse around the Stone’s Mercantile.
10. Photogenic Outdoor Life
Go for a hike or bike ride and see what gifts nature will bestow upon you. There is always something new to discover and lovely at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I was in heaven just from the wildlife alone.
Jackson Hole: One of the Best Vacations Ever
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, was honestly one of the best vacations we have had in the United States. I highly encourage you all to venture out West for a memorable, beautiful, and unique trip of a lifetime. The wildlife and natural wonders will astound you.