One of my best friends from college and I decided to spontaneously plan a trip. After throwing a few ideas out there, we somehow decided on Jackson Hole, WY. We planned everything in just three weeks.
We left Birmingham early Wednesday morning and made it the to Jackson Airport before 2:00 Mountain Time.
Fun Fact: The Jackson Hole Airport is the only airport in a National Park.
We were very excited to find out that our hotel had a shuttle to and from the Airport. We chose to stay at the Snow King Hotel. The staff here was very friendly and helpful! This was one of the cheaper options with two Queen beds. We also liked that it had a restaurant and view of the mountain. The hotel is walkable distance from the town square, but with the snow we were also able to get a shuttle from the hotel.
Our first night we had dinner at Glorietta’s, which is located near the town square at the Anvil Hotel. I had the Fettuccine Carbonara and Sarah had the Spaghetti w/ Meatballs. After dinner we walked around and went in a few shops. We were lucky to get into the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. This is one of the places I was really excited to check out. It did not disappoint. I loved listening to the live music here! The Million Dollar Steakhouse is located beneath the bar.
DAY 1 - Skiing
We woke up pretty early before our ski lesson and went into town to get breakfast at Cowboy Coffee Co. This was our favorite local coffee shop. I got the Snickers Latte. If you ask they will sprinkle a pattern of a moose, bison, or mountain on your latte. The breakfast was also very good here! The inside was open, but they only have about two tables.
There are 3 different places to Ski near Jackson Hole: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee. We chose Snow King because it was significantly cheaper than the Jackson Hole Resort and from what we heard it was much less crowded. Grand Targhee is over an hour from Jackson.
Snow King is a very family friendly place! In addition to skiing and snowboarding, they also have a roller coaster and snow tubing. You are also able to take the Summit Ski lift to the top of the mountain where you can get off and explore. We originally weren't going to ski, but I figured if we were staying at a Ski resort we should for at least one day. I had never skied a day in my life and quickly learned that out west probably wasn't the best choice to learn. Our Private ski lesson included a lift pass for the day. There are 3 Ski lifts at Snow King Mountain.
After our exhausting day on the mountain, we took the Start Bus to Teton Village for dinner. The Start Bus is $3 one way per person. This was great because an uber would have been $80 round trip to Teton Village. We had dinner at the Mangy Moose. This was one of my favorite restaurants! Sarah had the Elk Chili and I had the Prime Rib.
DAY 2 - Roadtrip
We left at 7am to pick up our rental car at the airport. We had breakfast at Persephone, a local bakery.
After breakfast we ran a few errands and waited for the snow to stop. Sarah drove our Toyota Camry up the Teton Pass. Our first stop was the Emporium in Victor, Idaho. We got Huckleberry milkshakes.
Fun Fact: Huckleberry is the State fruit of Idaho
We found out that we were only 15 minutes from Driggs, Idaho, so we decided to drive that way. We ate lunch at The Royal Wolf, a local spot. Our favorite stores were the Wardrobe Co. and Farmhouse 208.
After returning to Jackson we dropped off our car and had dinner at Gun Barrel. I had the Elk Chop and Sarah had the Bison Ravioli.
DAY 3 - Snowmobiling
Our last full day we went snowmobiling in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We chose the half day tour to Granite Hot Springs. Snowmobiling or dog sledding is the only way to get to Granite Hot Springs in the winter. We booked our tour through Teton Tours. Our guide picked us up at 7:15 AM. We stopped by the shop to get helmets, snow suits, and boots. From the campground parking lot it is a 10 mile ride. We got there right when the Hot Spring opened at 10am, so we were the first people in it. The water is 105-112º. The alcove is the warmest part, which is around 112º. The man that takes care of the hot spring also lives out there all winter long. He opens the valve and empties the spring each night and it re-fills by morning.
I highly recommend getting an early tour if possible. When we left so many people were arriving. As someone who has never driven a snowmobile... it was a lot harder than it looked. I can't imagine doing this without a tour guide. Our tour guide, Pat, was GREAT!! After getting back to the hotel we changed and went into town to grab a bite to eat at Roadhouse Brewery. We spent the afternoon shopping around the town square until dinner. My favorite stores were MADE, Lee's Tees, and Jackson Mercantile. We had dinner at The Local. The service was excellent! This is located in the town square.
Before heading out we made one last stop into town to get Coffee at the Cowboy Coffee Co. and grab a few more souvenirs and check out a few stores that closed early Saturday. The airport only has 11 gates and no jetways, so it was definitely stress free!
Overall, I felt like Jackson Hole/ Teton County took great COVID precautions. I hadn't been on an airplane in a few years and was a little nervous. We flew United and they were great at enforcing people to wear masks. When we arrived at the airport we were given a bag with a mask and hand sanitizer. Everywhere we went, including our hotel and all transportation required a mask. We made all of our dinner and activity reservations in advance due to limited capacity.