Jackson Hole: A Perfect Balance of Wildlife and Nature
For vacation one year, my husband, Eddie, told me to book just us on a trip wherever I wanted. It would be only our second trip with no friends or family in almost 20 years. Thinking I would book Hawaii or London, he was surprised when I booked us on an adventure trip to gorgeous Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Upon arrival at Jackson Hole’s contemporary airport, I was shocked at how small it was, but the rustic beauty was overwhelming. Eddie and I rented a car and headed out for our first stop, four heavenly days at the Four Seasons Resort.
As we drove into downtown Jackson Hole, we stopped and browsed in a few shops and ate fresh Mexican food at the Merry Piglets. That also included a sampling of their tasty margaritas.
The park in the center of the town is very picturesque. I loved the stag antler arches at the park entrances with the statue of Wild Bill welcoming visitors.
The shops are very artsy and pricey; I would never have guessed that Jackson Hole, Wyoming was so cosmopolitan. An antler light fixture we saw was around was $4,000. Though we did not partake, taking a ride on a stagecoach around town looked like a lot of fun.
The Four Seasons Resort
The Four Seasons Resort was gorgeous and employed a pleasant staff. As I stepped into the ambient lobby with blazing fireplaces and animal print furnishings, I was in love.
The Four Seasons is up the hill from a ski complex, and in the summer months, the lifts double as bike lifts for mountain biking adventure trails. A restaurant sits at the top of the mountain for your convenience.
Eddie and I loved our elegant Four Seasons Resort hotel room, with chic buttery leather chairs, sizeable built-in wood cabinets, and an electric fireplace. Our balcony overlooked the scenic area where hot air balloons were launched daily, which was perfect for taking great photos.
The Four Seasons grounds offered a lovely outdoor terrace with fire pits, deep, comfy chairs, and the beautiful Teton Mountains as the backdrop. It was a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail while watching the brilliant orange sunsets.
Four Season’s Amazing Outdoors
The Four Seasons pool and deck was one of my favorites of any hotel in the United States. The pool was designed for privacy, with groups of stylish and comfortable lounges scattered throughout. Unique swings and hanging beds could be enjoyed, too.
A real bonus of the swimming pool was the towel warming cabinet that held hot towels for when you stepped out of the pool. Keep in mind that the mountains are still snow-capped regardless of what time of year it is.
Pool attendants were available to serve you food and drinks at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole Resort. I recommend ordering the Fig Crostini with goat cheese and arugula for lunch and a glass of wine to pair with it. Delicious!
Eddie and I both treated ourselves to spa treatments at the hotel. While the treatments were enjoyable and the spa aesthetically pleasing, the staff wasn’t friendly, and the prices far exceeded the treatments we received.
A Visit to Yellowstone National Park
One day, Eddie and I ventured out to spend the day at Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park. We ordered lunches to take with us from the Four Seasons Hotel menu. They were waiting for us at the front desk in insulated lunch boxes stuffed with ice packs. That would keep them cold for several hours.
The drive to Yellowstone National Park took about 40 minutes. Lucky for us, it was the last week before the tourists started to arrive in droves for peak season.
Yellowstone was my first National Park visit, and I was shocked at all the fantastic scenery, but mostly the wildlife.
Every time we encountered a buffalo, I had to stop and take 100 pictures, which was not sitting well Eddie after the first or tenth time. The fresh mountain air was a bonus!
Bucket List Check: Old Faithful
Witnessing the Old Faithful Geyser was remarkable. Yellowstone National Park has it down to a science for precisely what times the cone geyser will erupt. Huge crowds form to watch it from benches about 300 feet away.
Before each eruption, you will see little squirts of water, and it will eventually be equivalent to around 185 feet.
My favorite place inside the National Park was Grand Prismatic’s opal and turquoise pools. It is Yellowstone’s largest hot spring (the third biggest in the world), but there are other hydrothermal wonders along the ride.
Eddie and I stopped at a scenic waterfront location to enjoy our Four Seasons lunches. We had grilled vegetable wraps, fruit, a fabulous orzo side salad, and cookies. The lunch was delectable and worth every penny.
Later that night, after exploring Yellowstone for a good ten hours, Eddie and I had dinner at Alpenhof. The German and Alps-inspired eatery, in the complex outside of our hotel, came highly recommended by friends and fellow travelers. The restaurant’s service, ambiance, and food were all extremely noteworthy. My favorite part was the cheese fondue, creamy and rich in taste.
Heaven on Earth: Jenny Lake Lodge
The next three days were spent at my choice of accommodations, the Jenny Lake Lodge. Leaving a ritzy hotel and moving to a rustic cottage was definitely a drastic change, but one that we both enjoyed immensely.
Jenny Lake has 16 cottages on the property, with stunning views of the Grand Teton Mountains. Ours was the Buckwheat cottage.
Jenny Lake’s lobby is huge and has several seating arrangements and a big stone fireplace in the center. It felt warm and welcoming, decorated with fresh flowers and homey decor. The room rate included breakfast and dinner as well as a vast list of amenities including horseback riding and bicycle rentals.
At check-in, Eddie posed the question to the receptionist of whether this resort was worth the price they were charging. After being at Jenny Lake Lodge only a few short hours, the answer “yes sir” was evident because everything was perfect.
Our adorable Buckwheat cottage offered a king bed with flannel sheets and a lovely quilt. The room also had a chest of drawers, two flannel chairs with a small table, a tiny closet, and a small bathroom. The WiFi was patchy and there were no TVs, but it was fine with us as we were busy outdoors most days.
Our cabin offered rocking chairs on our porch. A massive fire pit sat in the middle of the property for all of the lodging to enjoy. Eddie and I received cabin service twice a day. Ice was delivered to our room in the evenings.
Most of the cabin stewards we met were from a sister resort in Jamaica, and it was their first time seeing snow. Their reactions were darling! The stewards were very friendly and a pleasure to chat with.
Jenny Lake Dining
The onsite restaurant at Jenny Lake was incredibly upscale. I was pleased to learn that a fellow West Virginian was the chef.
Being a foodie, I was more than happy with the menu choices as well as the culinary take on the classic dishes. Moose-shaped butter pats, flowers sitting on the tables and around the lobby, and the china contributed to my delights. Be sure to try the huckleberry syrup for breakfast, a Wyoming specialty.
Points of Interest in Jackson Hole
If you are traveling to Wyoming, do not miss Inspiration Point, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Have a drink at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar or an upscale meal at one of the dozens of upscale restaurants.
For a fun outing, Eddie and I hired a private guide to take us fly fishing. Our fishing adventure was on the Snake River, but it was too swift to catch any fish. Still, we had a blast! Even though it did not feel hot outside, we were burned to a crisp. Be sure to wear adequate sunscreen.
The Jackson Hole Rodeo offers gentle calf roping, bull riding, and bronco bucking, as well as sells fun souvenirs and t-shirts. Between all of that and the delicious concessions, it made for an enjoyable evening.
I loved that the rodeo emcee rattled off the states, and guests cheered for where they were from. Nearly every state was represented.
My favorite event at the rodeo was the kid’s contest, where they had to remove a blue ribbon from a sheep. The kids were running everywhere, and it was just cute as can be. It was a really “feel good” night!
My Vacation at Jackson Hole
All in all, I was thrilled with our vacation at Jackson Hole and would go back again. I chose the location at random based on the resorts and the fact that it was somewhere new.Eddie and I enjoyed the stunning nature and scenery and explored a state that we were not familiar with. We also had our first National Park experience. I can say that I’m a fan of the wild, west.
Have you been to Wyoming, and if so, how was your experience?
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