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Nature, Cowboys, and Mountain Cuisine - A Visitor’s Guide to Jackson Hole

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Set in a valley in northwest Wyoming, between the Teton Mountains and Snake River, Jackson Hole is a nature lover’s paradise that offers outdoor activities year-round. Local attractions make it easy to immerse yourself in its Old West heritage, and the town of Jackson, the commercial centre of the valley, is where you can shop for western artwork and handcrafts, and sample regional cuisine and local beers.

Outdoor recreation

 

The majestic Teton Mountains, Snake River, and the area’s verdant valleys are where Jackson Hole locals and visitors head for outdoor excitement, no matter the season. Winter lures ski enthusiasts to the region’s world-class resorts, while summer beckons hikers and mountain bikers to local trails, and rafters to Snake River's whitewater rapids. The off-seasons of fall and spring entice visitors for calmer pursuits. In the fall, you can admire the area’s vivid foliage, and spring is ideal for fly-fishing and watching wildlife reanimate after the winter slumber.

 

Nature and wildlife

 

Jackson Hole is where you’ll find exhilarating stretches of unspoiled mountain terrain and a plethora of natural wildlife. You can’t miss a visit to Yellowstone National Park, home to Old Faithful, a geyser that spouts water and steam into the air roughly every hour making it one of the most predictable geographical features in the world. Grand Teton National Park is great for animal lovers looking to spot moose, grizzly bear, and bison, while National Elk Refuge is a sanctuary for the Jackson elk herd. While there, you might even spot a gray wolf or a bald eagle.

 

  • Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park 82190; Tel: +1 307 344 7381; Website: Old Faithful
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  • National Elk Refuge, 675 E. Broadway, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 733 9212; Website: National Elk Refuge

 

Wild West happenings

 

Jackson Hole is where you can get a taste of American cowboy culture and Old West fun. There are western-themed bars in downtown Jackson that feature live music, from classic country to bluegrass, along with country western dancing. At Jackson Hole Rodeo, you’ll be entertained by traditional cowboy pastimes like bull riding and calf roping. You can take the whole family out for an authentic chuck wagon dinner, complete with hearty campfire fare and live music performed by cowboys, then follow it up with a local production of a lively western musical at historic Jackson Hole Playhouse.

 

  • Jackson Hole Rodeo, 447 Snow King Avenue, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 733 7927; Website: Jackson Hole Rodeo
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  • Silver Dollar Bar, 50 N. Glenwood Street, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 733 2190; Website: Silver Dollar Bar

 

Shopping and gallery hopping

 

When you feel like taking a break from nature, you can head to downtown Jackson for an afternoon of browsing quaint shops and galleries. A good place to begin is Jackson Town Square, which is bordered by boutiques selling mountain-inspired items ranging from sheepskin rugs and wool capes to cowboy hats and boots. Steps away, you'll find fine art galleries displaying works including wildlife statues and dramatic western landscape paintings, as well as contemporary pieces by global artists.

 

  • Beaver Creek Hats & Leather, 36 E. Broadway, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 733 1999; Website: Beaver Creek Hats & Leather
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  • Turpin Gallery, 25 S. Cache Street, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 733 7530; Website: Turpin Gallery

 

Dining and drinking

 

Most of Jackson Hole's restaurants are located in downtown Jackson or at Teton Village, and whether upscale or casual, their menus are likely to include local game and seafood. Restaurants range from fine dining spots serving elegant dishes like elk tenderloin and Idaho trout, to casual brewpubs with bison burgers and award-winning ales. Afterwards, you can swing by a local bar to listen to live country music and join line dancing locals, or head to an upscale lodge to sip wine and craft cocktails by the fire.

 

  • Granary Restaurant, 1800 Spirit Dance Road, Jackson 83001; Tel: +1 307 732 8112; Website: Granary Restaurant
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  • Ascent Lounge, 7680 Granite Loop Road, Teton Village 83025; Tel: +1 307 732 5000; Website: Ascent Lounge