Enjoy Snow-less Activities in Jackson Hole
There’s more to a Jackson Hole winter trip than skiing.
While you’re here on vacation, consider taking a day off from skiing — downhill or cross country, or snowshoeing or snowmobiling — and enjoy some of the other activities in Jackson Hole that make this area so incredibly special and that don’t involve frolicking in the snow. Here are 8 great suggestions.
VISIT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART
When you decided to travel to Jackson Hole for the skiing you probably never guessed that your trip to this northwest corner of Wyoming would include the chance to check out a national art museum. Surprise! Jackson Hole is the proud location of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, a world-renowned collection of wildlife and Western artistic creations. Consistently ranked as one of Jackson Hole’s top attractions, the museum is built into a hillside overlooking the National Elk Refuge. In addition to galleries, the museum boasts a gift shop, interactive children’s gallery, Palate café and outdoor sculpture trail.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A DAY OF WELLNESS
Pampering yourself on vacation and embracing wellness is simply a must! Whether your muscles are shot from non-stop skiing or you’re in search of a rejuvenating couple’s massage experience, a visit to a spa will help. Wellness spas are located inside most of the resort hotels in Teton Village as well as a few in town, such as The White Buffalo Club, or the brand-new Grand View Spa at Snow King Resort.
Healing Waters Therapeutic Float Center (pictured above) features the ultimate in relaxation: zero-gravity floating and an infrared sauna. Among other things, floating in magnesium is great for your skin and absorption. Couples can also choose full-spectrum infrared sauna. Full-spectrum infrared sauna helps with cell health, skin purification wound healing, relaxation and pain relief. Healing Waters is located at 250 Scott Lane, Suite 105.
Keep up your yoga practice—or try it for the first time—at one of the yoga studios in town. Inversion Yoga is a local favorite and offers a diverse line-up of classes. Teton Yoga Shala is located in the Aspens off Teton Village Road—the perfect location if you are staying in the Village for your ski vacation.
Eating healthy will really help you keep up your stamina. Check out Healthy Being Juicery as well as Picnic and Persephone Bakery or Snake River Roasting and Cafe for organic and/or healthy options for your body.
WATCH WINTER WILDLIFE
Though the bears are still hibernating, winter is a good time to see large animals in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. Elk and moose migrate to lower elevations in winter and the lack of leafy cover combined with the valley’s snowpack make for easy viewing. For the best chance of seeing critters of all shapes and sizes, embark on a half- or full-day trip with one of the area’s experienced wildlife safari outfitters. Guided by a trained biologist and conducted from the comfort of a specially equipped van with spotting scopes and a large sunroof, you will remember this excursion forever.
GO SHOPPING ON TOWN SQUARE
There’s nothing like a little “retail therapy” as well as getting a feel for the town of Jackson by taking a walk on the wooden sidewalks of Jackson’s historic Town Square.
Check out Jackson’s locally-owned shops which are filled with curated collections of treasures that include everything from one-of-a-kind art to T-shirts for the kids. There are jeans and cowboy boots for all, or if you’re game, go for the locally crafted jewelry or a chic handcrafted cowboy hat. Most shops are owned by local characters or informed local outdoor experts who will help you choose something great as they share a love for Jackson Hole.
We suggest shopping local, buying local at Teton Mountaineering, MADE, Belle Cose, JD High Country Outfitters, Skinny Skis, Valley Bookstore, Workshop, Two Grey Hills, New West Knifeworks, and/or Grit General, plus get a custom hat fitting with JW Bennett. To purchase original, Teton-inspired jewelry, pop into DanShelley Jewelers. (pictured above). And be sure to visit to Yippy-I-O candy emporium. Your sweet tooth won’t know what hit it!
LEARN ABOUT JACKSON’S HISTORY
Founded more than 50 years ago, the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum offers a place where “the Old West is still alive.” Current exhibits include “Homesteading in the Hole” and “Wyoming Women” and there are more than half a dozen permanent exhibits to check out, too. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 students and seniors, and free for kids age 5 and under, plus active members of the military. Winter hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is located on Town Square at 225 N. Cache.
SOAK IN A HOT SPRINGS
Rest your weary bones in a hot springs pool. Located just minutes south of Hoback Junction (an approximate 20-minute drive from the town of Jackson) in the gorgeous Snake River Canyon, Astoria Hot Springs Park* boast five hot springs pools, including one dedicated to children only, as well as a new cold plunge pool. Open year-round, multiple soaking sessions of two-plus hours each are available daily beginning at 9 a.m. by reservation. Cost: $18 adults, $14 for kids ages 2 to 12; under 24 months are free.
*Please call ahead (307-201-5925) to make sure the hot springs is open, as a truck accident in early December has temporarily closed the bridge access to Astoria.
TOUR THE ART GALLERIES
Jackson Hole is one of the top art towns in the West. Offering everything from Western to contemporary visual art and sculpture, our galleries can keep you enthralled for days. Mostly located in and around the Town Square, pick up a gallery map at your first stop and craft an itinerary from there. We recommend you especially visit both Altamira and Turner Fine Art, Cordair Fine Art, Mangelsen Images of Nature and Gallery Wild (pictured above).
Jackson also boasts a terrific Art Association where you can take a class or two if you are so inclined. The association is located inside the Center for the Arts where it has an art supply store for you traveling painters, sketchers and such to stock up on all you need to capture this glorious area on canvas. Check out the classes offered at artassociation.org.
LOCAL LIBATIONS TOURS AND TASTINGS
One less obvious and unique thing to do is visit a local craft vodka distillery. Jackson Hole StillWorks is the only vodka distillery based in Jackson Hole. Touring and tasting some home-grown libations is a special experience and you’ll be able to bring home a bottle or two of vodka as a souvenir for yourself and a friend.
Jackson Hole Winery has a tasting room inside New West Knifeworks just off Town Square. Tastings are available Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 7 p.m. If craft beer is more to your liking, Jackson boats three such breweries: Snake River Brewing, Roadhouse and StillWest. Learn more about these craft beer hubs by reading “Cheers to Jackson Hole Breweries.”
BONUS THINGS TO DO
See a ski flick
Teton Gravity Research has a retail store on Town Square that includes a 30-seat theater where nightly at 7 p.m. you can see the TGR-produced feature film “Far Out.” Also, every hour on the hour you can marvel at their 25-minute ski flick “Wild Jackson.” All film viewings are FREE of charge! The store location is 50 W Broadway in the Pink Garter Plaza.
Take center stage
The Jackson Hole Playhouse a favorite Jackson Hole attraction is an intimate and charming theatre. A mid-winter show is presented in the evening, and performances are available Monday through Saturday. Before the show, join for dinner in the Saddle Rock Saloon. Seating is at 6 p.m., pre-show in the lobby at 7:30 p.m., and performance at 8 p.m. Visit jhplayhouse.com for specifics.
Top off your day by straddling an authentic horse saddle barstool at the iconic Million Dollar Cowboy Bar on Town Square. This Wyoming landmark watering hole opens at 4 p.m. Wet your whistle and/or stay for dinner and music; The Cowboy is internationally famous for its Western dancing and live entertainment.