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My Favorite Places to Relax in Jackson, Wyoming

The minute you arrive in beautiful Jackson, you’ll start thinking of ways that will allow you to move there: Maybe I could open a coffee shop? Mend fences? Finally, an opportunity to launch my chainsaw art career! Who wants a giant, wooden bald eagle?

What’s especially fabulous about Jackson Hole is the mix of outdoorsy activities available within a short drive of town. The trails at Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons is a favorite. There’s a variety of hike options, from quickie 2-3 milers to longer, all-day treks. Best part? It’s only a half an hour from Jackson.

samantha brown - jackson hole

East Broadway

There’s nothing I love more than hiking for a few hours, then treating myself to a delicious meal followed by bumming around. You could hang around Jackson’s main square, but I say walk the few blocks between there and E. Broadway for a little more charm ,where buildings give way to lovely clapboard homes that house gift shops, restaurants and bakeries.

Cafe Genevieve: A Refueling Lunch

cafe genevieve's chicken & waffles - jackson hole

I adore breakfast and lunch at Café Genevieve. These guys do inspired home cooking—think chicken and waffles, filling reubens, and salads with locally caught rainbow trout. If you have the opportunity, try their Pig Candy– applewood smoked bacon, topped with sugar and spice and everything nice. If weather permits, grab a seat on the sunny porch. It’s pet-friendly, too—a great way to get your dog fix.

Persephone Bakery: Coffee, Snacks & Cocktails

persephone bakery - jackson hole

For coffee and baked goods, go to Persephone Bakery. This local spot is super charming, with treats baked daily from scratch: stellar croissants, naughty brioche cinnamon rolls and cookies of all kinds. They do sandwiches and salads, too. Sip on a fancy-feeling tea, great coffee from Intelligentsia roasters, or if you’re visiting after 5pm (or before… no judgment, you’re on vacation!), a glass of wine or cocktail form their lovely list.

Vintage Jackson: Best Kicks in Town

Vintage Jackson - Cowboy Boots

Three blocks north of E. Broadyway, you’ll find Mercill Ave., home to Vintage Jackson— a place to get your cowgirl on without selling the farm. A few days out west will leave you lusting over a nice pair of cowboy boots, but think about it…how often do you actually think you’ll be wearing these potentially 500 bucks and beyond boots? To work? Nope. Out on a date? Uh, no. To pick your kid up from school so all the other mom’s see how cool you are? Hell yeah! Do yourself a favor and buy a cheaper pair that’s already been broken in. They look better that way, anyhow.

Sotheby’s: Dream About Your Future

Jackson Hole _ Wyoming
photo by Larry Johnson

One of my guilty travel pleasures is checking out local real estate—I love imagining what might life might be like if actually lived there. If it’s all make believe anyhow, why not swing by Sotheby’s? They usually post information and photos of their most luxurious listings in the office’s front window. A 40,000 acre ranch and mega cabin? Hmm, maybe when I win the lottery.

Cosmic Cafe: Imagine Your Past

After you’ve fantasized about your future, maybe it’s time to explore your past. One of my favorite experiences in Jackson was with Carroll Mann, a clairvoyant at the Cosmic Cafe, near the main square. Tell her your name and she’ll do an hour session with you, exploring your past lives and your life’s path. She’ll explain why you make the decisions you do and have the career you have. I call it Wikipedia for the soul. Sure, it’s a little out there, but it’s also a nice juxtaposition from the cowboy culture. Not to mention, completely fun!

Snow King: Ski with the Locals

Snow King - Jackson Hole

Although we’re mostly talking stuff to do in town, when it comes to mountain living, you have to talk about skiing. My most recent visit to Jackson was in the summer. However, the locals told me the best ski spot is Snow King. It’s the only place in town with night skiing.  Skiing with locals… sounds perfect.

I’m sure I’m missing a few great spots. Share your favorites in the comments!

This Post Has 17 Comments

      1. October is the perfect time to visit! Crowds have thinned, the Parks are still open, and the weather usually behaves. Aspen trees turning glittery yellow. That being said, always bring layers when you visit Jackson. Temps can range from the 80’s down to the 30’s in October, and it’s not unusual to have a 40 degree swing in temps in a single 24-hour period. Try to plan your visit for the earlier part of October. By the end of the month, all bets are off!

        And if you want to know what’s going on in the arts, visit the Jackson Hole Art Blog, written by yours truly! TONS of content, all up-to-date!

  1. Love it there anytime, but Fall is my favorite. The scenery and wildlife of Grand Teton … just spectacular!

  2. Num dia gostaria muito de conhecer sua terra pra apreciar meus sentimenos…obrigado pela boa oportunidade de me apresentar a sua terra maravilhosa.

  3. Sam, have not been there since the early 1980’s. How has it changed? I remember a short hike at Jenny Lake on the way to Inspiration Falls, but not enough time to complete it, had to get the boat ride back.

  4. Love the Tetons and Jackson. Been there two separate times but both in early June. Nice weather, loads of wild flowers and lots of baby animals at that time (bear, moose, bison, etc). The view of the range and lakes from the top of signal mountain and the view at oxbow bend are my favs and Jenny lake is pretty too. The 6:00 famous gunfight show in Jackson at the town square is a lot of fun. Hope to go back one day

  5. Hi Ms.Samantha, I am big fan of yours. I watch all your programs aired in Discovery Travel & Living, India. Your programs are so good, while watching, I feel I am in that place with you. I get satisfaction of travelling to that place. To be truthful, I cannot afford to travel abroad and with your programs, I am understanding world better.kindly mail your pics and kindly contact me when you visit India.

  6. I try to go once a year and day dream of driving there from Florida one day and staying. Such a beautiful place

    1. Exactly! Pearl St Bagels in town or in Wilson is a must stop!!! Have to check out, best coffee in town!

  7. Since you are a beer drinker, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Snake River Brewhouse. The microbrews there are outstanding, and the food very good–also great atmosphere. Jackson and that area is one of our favorite places. The scenery is breathtaking, and the opportunities for hiking are endless.

  8. Been there several times but now I have more reasons to go back. Don’t forget to mention Bar-J Ranch for a great bbq dinner and cowboy show. And what’s the name of that place for pancakes –Bunny something? And most of all — go to the ski resort nd ride the tram up to the mountain top. Breathtaking!

  9. I have been to Jackson 4 times, 3 of those were for skiing and I recommend snowmobiling in Yellowstone, and the fourth visit was in June to attend a photo workshop. If you have any interest at all in photography, beginner or experienced, I highly recommend going on a photo tour of this area. The landscape and wildlife are stunning. I traveled with landscape/nature photographer, David Schultz, and you can check out his website and visit the workshop section after admiring his beautiful work. We stayed at the Heart 6 Ranch which gave us an opportunity to photograph the horses each day. Each day we traveled all around the area, sun up to sundown and even attended a rodeo for some challenging shots! Do check it out, you will not regret it!

  10. Silly as it seems I was fascinated by the Wells Fargo bank in town. The woodwork inside was incredible.

  11. Dear Samantha,
    I would love to invite you to the other side of wyoming. Jackson is fabulous, I take nothing away from it. I live in Sheridan wyoming and we have a ton of history in our area. Please come check us out in July when we have our rodeo week. We have the big horns mountain range that is full of wildlife, from bear to moose. Our main street has lovely shops and cafe’s. Mostly the people are the friendliest around. Please check our fine little city at the foot hills of the historic big horns mountains.

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samantha brown & chris grundy - 50/50 - Jackson Hole
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