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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!