Jackson, Wyoming : Why we chose this Destination?
If you’ve been following me for a while you know that Collins and I love to take trips together. We’ve been traveling together for about 3 years and a couple of years ago we met Amanda during New York Fashion Week. We kept in contact with Amanda over the years and had dinner with her and Camille this past fashion week in September. During dinner we all joked that we should plan a winter trip somewhere fun where we can get great snow pictures. That, my friends, is where this trip idea was born. I’ve been out west plenty of times, but have never been up in the Wyoming/Montana/Idaho area, so I was thrilled to see a part of the country that I hadn’t seen before. We were very fortunate to get in contact with Jackson Hole Traveler, a one-stop destination magazine and online resource for all things Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Traveler acted as our sponsor for the trip and set up all of our activities and accommodations and made sure we felt right at home. We maybe felt too “at home” by the end of the trip because none of us wanted to leave!
Jackson, Wyoming : How did you get there?
If you live in Memphis like me, you know that there are very few direct flights to anywhere besides Atlanta, Dallas, NYC, and a few other large cities. I honestly thought it would be a lot harder to get to Jackson Hole, but in reality it was quite easy. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to leave Memphis and have a relatively short hour and a half long flight to Denver and then from there, an easy hour flight to Jackson, Wyoming. We left around 7 am and we were in Jackson by 10:30am MST. I don’t know why, but for some reason I was just thinking it would take longer than that. The Jackson Airport was so cute and quaint and doesn’t have jetbridges, so you get out of the plane using steps as seen in the picture above. Once we arrived at the airport we got a rental car (an SUV) which was definitely needed the entire trip since the city is pretty spread out and we had a lot of different activities all around town. The SUV was a must in the snowy weather, but I could imagine you could easily get away with a car during the summer months.
Jackson, Wyoming: Where did you stay?
We got the amazing opportunity to work with Rendezvous Mountain Rentals to stay in one of their 4 bedroom cabins in Teton Village which was located about 15-20 minutes from Jackson. Teton Village is home to several restaurants and shops as well as the Four Seasons Jackson Hole. Our rental cabin was truly stunning and had everything that we needed for our 3 night stay. The cabin had 4 bedrooms with each bedroom having its own bathroom. There was a huge great-room with an open kitchen layout which made winding down by the fire or having coffee in the mornings very easy. There were also ample amounts of couches and lounge areas for maximum relaxation. Our back deck had a large hot-tub and a big deck which would be perfect for the warmer months. If you have a trip planned for the Jackson Hole in the future be sure to check out Rendezvous Mountain Rentals to see what they have available. One of our hosts is also a realtor in the area, so if you’d rather just blow it out and buy property there you can check out his website at Live Water Jackson Hole.
Jackson, Wyoming: What did you do?
Snowmobiling with Scenic Safaris: I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t all that excited about snowmobiling before our trip – I know, I’m a loser. I am typically not an “extreme sports” kind of gal and I hate being cold. So take the weather forecast coupled with the early departure time and you have a grumpy Megan due to no fault but her own. I have to say that after our day with Scenic Safaris I completely 180’ed and I cannot wait to go snowmobiling again sometime. Once we were picked up at 7:30 am by Jeff, our tour guide, things started to get fun as we stopped at a local deli for some coffee and breakfast sandwiches. We all conversed in the van and made our way to “base camp” where all of the snowmobiles were arranged for us to hop on. We also swung by the Scenic Safaris office where we were able to use to restroom one last time and pick out our ski-suits, helmets, glove, and boots. I think going into this we were all so worried because we weren’t sure exactly what Scenic Safaris would provide, but they went above and beyond and had literally anything and everything we needed. Once at the bast camp we were able to listen and watch a brief safety demonstration by our guide Jeff and ultimately he believed-in each of us enough to just “grip it and rip it”, which soon became the motto for our whole weekend. We were able to follow Jeff along some of the treacherous routes for snowmobiling and we even got stuck a few times, which I now understand is completely normal on your first time! Personally, I was dying to go faster and so some extreme sports moves, so maybe next time I can show you all some new moves.
Shooting Experience with Jackson Hole Shooting: I grew up shooting guns out in the country because I grew up in Kentucky and my Dad’s Brother had a huge piece of land outside of the city where we’d go to target practice and whatnot. I can remember doing this as young at 5 and 6, so homegirl has known how to shoot a gun for a long time. My Dad was a policeman in the military and outside of the military, so gun safety and training was always something he taught me from a young age. Needless to say, I was thrilled to get to go to the gun range with Jackson Hole Shooting Club where we were immediately welcomed and felt like part of the family. Our coach and guide, Tony, couldn’t have been any nicer or more patient with us and made us all feel very safe and secure. Naturally, I was ready to let ’em rip first, so I hopped on down to the semi-automatic for some target practice and quickly learned that I was still as good as I was when I was shooting in my Uncles’s farm. We shot several different guns including a semi-automatic, a long range riffle, a pistol, and a machine gun. I won the 500 yard shot sharp shooter award. Overall this activity was so fun and I felt like I could have stayed there for hours.
National Wildlife Art Museum: The National Museum of Wildlife Art is a museum located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming that preserves and exhibits wildlife art. This was the perfect activity for us to do on a cloudy Sunday morning and the property itself is beautiful and set up on a hill with a gorgeous view. The National Museum of Wildlife Art is a Jackson Hole museum holding more than 5,000 artworks of wild animals from around the world. We were able to spend a good hour just looking through all of the exhibits and we then wandered off to the observation deck where you can try to spot wildlife with one of their many tower viewers. After taking in the sights of the museum we had a delicious meal at their on-site restaurant, Palette, which also overlooks the hillside behind the facility.
Jackson Hole Winery Tasting Room: I’m not a huge drinker but I still enjoyed our time at Jackson Hole Winery learning about the various wines that Jackson Hole Winery makes and sells. The Jackson Hole Winery tasting room is located right in the heart of the downtown square and makes for a fun activity for any group of people. They grow and source their grapes from the Sonoma, Napa and Walla Walla areas in California, while all of the winemaking, aging, and bottling is completed in Jackson. The tasting was very informational and I learned a lot about winemaking that I didn’t know before.
Bar Hopping Downtown: No visit to Jackson is complete without checking out some of the old cowboy bars downtown. People kept telling us about these local dives and I had pictured walking into an old western movie and seeing cowboys lined up at the bar. There were definitely a lot of old cowboys hanging out at these places but also a healthy mix of younger folk – really just a melting pot in general. We checked out the classic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, Silver Dollar Saloon, and the Stagecoach Bar (which has classic tw0-step line dancing on Sunday nights). Also, just a friendly FYI that in Wyoming, if a cowboy asks you to dance it’s considered rude to turn them down 😛
Sleigh Ride with Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures: this was perhaps one of the coolest things I’ve ever done while traveling and I feel so lucky to have experienced such a unique and interesting activity. The day for our sleigh ride couldn’t have been more perfect as it had been snowing for hours and truly looked like a winter wonderland. We drove about 30 minutes outside of Jackson to the Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures base camp where we were met by a jolly guy who legit looked like Santa Claus (he was actually the owner of JH Vintage Adventures). We all got out of the car and were chatting with AJ (aka Santa) as the horse-drawn sleigh came around the corner with the snow falling. It seriously felt like we were in a Hallmark movie! We took a sleigh ride around the wooded property that wound around the snake river and ended at their Tipi camp where we were greeted with hot chocolate, biscottis, and the best butternut squash soup I’ve ever tasted. Jackson Hole Vintage Adventures does sleigh rides in the winter and wooden boat tours in the summer.
Jackson, Wyoming: Where did we eat?
Four Seasons Jackson Hole Westbank Grill: the first night we arrived we all drove the short drive down the hill to the Four Seasons hotel for a dinner reservation at the Westbank Grill. We got there a little early so we checked out the Moet & Chandon Igloo popup that was happening outside along with the smores and hot chocolate station. Once we got seated at Westbank Grill we all had delicious appetizers while taking in the festive atmosphere of the busy restaurant.
Glorietta Trattoria Jackson: I was really excited for some Italian food after having salmon and traditional American food the first couple of nights of the trip. For our third meal we dined at Glorietta Trattoria which was a quaint little Italian restaurant located right off the main town square. If you are looking for tasty homemade Italian food – this is your spot! I distinctly remember not being very hungry when we ordered but once I had a bite of my pasta it was over and I polished off the whole bowl.
Enoteca in Hotel Terra: I have always been a fan of ethnic food and when I realized that Enoteca was a Mediterranean restaurant I was pumped to sample their offerings. The menu at Enoteca is tapas-style so we ordered several different things to share including a few of their crudo (raw fish) plates. I usually don’t like raw fish but the yellowfin and tuna were garnished so well that it didn’t even taste like raw fish that I’ve had in the past.
Overall Thoughts on Jackson Hole
I absolutely can’t wait to go back and want to visit in the summer to get to experience all of the warm weather activities. I really went into this trip not really knowing what to expect and came away blown away by the hospitality and beauty of Wyoming. It was quaint, lowkey, relaxing, and there were countless activities to keep you entertained.