Located in the valley between Wyomingï¿½s Teton Mountain Range and Gros Ventre Range, Jackson Hole got its name from the mountain men who had to descend down steep slopes to reach it.
Today, the land is much more easily accessible, but it still possesses the fascinating wildlife and natural beauty that the early trappers first admired years ago.
What to do
One of the best places to appreciate Jackson Holeï¿½s scenic surroundings is Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, a 1,106-acre refuge located within Grand Teton National Park on the southern end of Phelps Lake. Once a private vacation retreat for John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his family, today the preserveï¿½s views of the majestic Teton mountains can be enjoyed by everyone. Plan your trip at https://nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/lsr.htm.
There is also plenty of wildlife to take inï¿½both in real life and in still life. You can see animals in their natural habitat at the 25,000-acre National Elk Refuge, or see them beautifully depicted at the National Museum of Wildlife Art that overlooks the refuge. Learn more about these destinations at http://fws.gov/refuge/national_elk_refuge/ and http://wildlifeart.org/.
If you are traveling in the wintertime, you are probably looking to hit the slopes. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is often held up as the best ski resort in all of North America. Whether you are a casual skier who wants to stick to the intermediate slopes or a thrill-seeker who wants to take on the famously steep Corbetï¿½s Couloir, there is no better place to be than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Head to http://jacksonhole.com/ to learn more.
Where to stay
The Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole has much to recommend, beginning with its location, which is close to the Jackson Hole gondola for the winter and near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks for the summer. There is also the impeccable service, which includes a winter staff that will buckle your ski boots for you. To top it all off, the hotelï¿½s Westbank Grill has been called the ï¿½go-to spot for steak in Jacksonï¿½ by Eater.com. For booking information, visit http://fourseasons.com/jacksonhole/.
If you want to experience the history of Jackson Hole, get a room at The Wort Hotel. A downtown Jackson establishment since 1941, this gem combines rustic aesthetics with modern amenities. Plus, the hotelï¿½s Silver Dollar Bar and Grill is also a great spot for a stiff drink and a hearty meal. To reserve a room, go to http://worthotel.com/rooms/rates-and-reservations/.
Where to eat
The regionï¿½s most iconic restaurant is the Snake River Grill, which treats locals and vacationers to a world-class fine dining experience. Patrons might experience sticker shock when they first glimpse the menu or extensive wine list, but this is one expensive eatery that is actually worth the money. View the menu at http://snakerivergrill.com/.
If your palette or wallet wants a break from fancy fare, head to Cafï¿½ Genevieve, a historic Main Street eatery that raised its profile when it was featured on the Food Network television show ï¿½Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.ï¿½ This no-frills establishment specializes in down home cooking, with specialties that include steak frites and fried chicken and waffles. See their current menu at https://genevievejh.com/.
Another unpretentious yet delicious option is The Bird, an old school kitchen and bar known for having the ï¿½best burger in Wyoming.ï¿½ Of course, with 21 burgers on the menu, it may take a while for you to figure out which one earns that prestigious title! Get more information at http://thebirdinjackson.com/.
If youï¿½re still hungry after all of that, stop by Mooï¿½s Gourmet Ice Cream in downtown Jackson to finish your evening with a scoop of huckleberry. See the latest flavor combinations at http://moosjacksonhole.com/.
There is a whole lot to see, experience and taste in Jackson Hole. Let these recommendations be your guide as you indulge in the best that Wyoming has to offer.