Located in the Jackson Hole valley, Jackson, Wyoming is a nature enthusiast and outdoor adventurer’s dream. Jackson is filled with almost limitless things to do and see, and it a great vacation destination for all ages.
Jackson is often erroneously called Jackson Hole Wyoming because the town is located in the Jackson Hole valley. Jackson is the biggest town in the valley, and all of Teton County, with a population of about 10,500. With a rich history, where pioneers and settlers set out to discover adventure, Jackson is a day trip from both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.
Whether you want to explore the wilderness, see wildlife you’ve never seen before, shop, or eat world-famous food, there is something for you in Jackson, Wyoming.
Located in the valley, Jackson Hole Wyoming weather varies during all four seasons. The temperatures are mild in the summer and very cold in the winter. Between January and April in 2017, Jackson had snowfall for 59 days, with snow between one inch and nineteen inches each time. Their summer highs are usually never more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the nighttime lows are typically in the 40’s.
If you are looking for adventure, wildlife, and fun, Jackson is the place to go. Here is more information about the history, fun things to do, places to stay, and food to eat while you are there.
History of Jackson Wyoming
As mentioned above, people often confuse the town Jackson with the valley called Jackson Hole. The town of Jackson is located at the southern tip of the 60-mile Jackson Hole Valley.
Initially, Jackson Hole was the home of the Shoshoni, Blackfoot, Crow, Gros Ventre, and Bannock Native American tribes. In the winter of 1807 and 1808, John Colter entered the Jackson Hole valley while returning from the Lewis and Clark expedition. After Colter passed through, the area became notorious for trappers, and the range was known for the travels of many famous mountain men who passed through.
While the area was famous for travelers, it wasn’t until the Hayden expedition in 1871 and 1872, when William Henry Jackson traveled through, that the expanse became well-known. William Henry Jackson took photographs of the Grand Teton mountains and Yellowstone. Those pictures, along with sketches that were drawn by Tom Moran, were sent to Congress with the request to protect Yellowstone.
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was the first National Park in the country. The Grand Teton National Park was not created until 1920 and then was expanded in 1950 when John D. Rockefeller purchased 30,000 acres to help it grow.
Jackson was named in 1984 but was not incorporated as a municipality until 1914. Some of the original buildings are still standing and can be seen throughout the town square. In 1920, Jackson became the first town to elect an all-female city council.
Today, Jackson is a popular vacation destination, a booming town, and a great place to visit.
Things to Do in Jackson Wyoming
The sheer number of attractions in Jackson Wyoming is impressive. There are hundreds of things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming. While these are just a few of the options, here is a list of seven of the top activities.
Go on a Nature or Wildlife Tour
There are around thirty different nature or wildlife tours offered in Jackson. Some of the top choices are day trips to Yellowstone or Grand Teton, wildlife safari’s, boat trips, and scenic safaris. Depending on what types of wildlife you are hoping to see, and what kind of adventure you want to go on, there are options for people of all ages.
Try a Snow and Ski Tour
For people who want to rent snowmobile’s, go skiing or snowboarding, or who want to spend their time in the snow-covered mountains, there are several snows and ski tours available.
Experience Wyoming Stargazing
While you have the option just to sit outside and enjoy the night sky, there is actually an educational 501©3 nonprofit organization in Jackson Hole, that is called Wyoming Stargazing. The nonprofit is dedicated to furthering education and inspiration, and they provide private and public stargazing events, planetarium programs, and astronomy lectures. Not only are you sure to learn a lot at Wyoming Stargazing, but you will also be helping an educational nonprofit.
Conquer Rendezvous Mountain
Known as one of the most challenging mountains to ski in the United States, Rendezvous Mountain actually has a lot of offer all people, whether they are planning to ski or not. For people who want a marvelous view of the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole valley, there is a 12-minute aerial tram ride to experience it. There are also gondola rides, ski lifts, hiking trails, natural slopes, a bike park, and a disc golf course.
Explore Town Square
Town Square in Jackson, Wyoming is where you can visit the iconic arch made of elk antlers, and you can spend time shopping, eating, playing in the park, and relaxing. The town of Jackson prides itself on being eco-friendly, welcoming, and happy.
Check out the National Elk Refuge
Just north of Jackson, the National Elk Refuge has built a natural winter habitat for the elk herd in their area. In the winter, they offer a winter sleigh ride program, and visitors can also check out the Historic Miller House while there.
Hike Antelope Flats
If you travel about twelve miles outside of Jackson, you will find the Antelope Flats hiking trail, known for its breathtaking view of the Grand Tetons, and home to antelope that you can sometimes see.
For people who love to explore nature and take off on day trips to take in the scenery and wildlife, Jackson Wyoming is a great destination. Whether you are traveling to Jackson for a destination vacation, or are just passing through, there is so much to do. For your trip, there are many different lodging options.
Where to Stay in Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson Wyoming has a reputation for having some of the best accommodations for travelers, whether they are visiting for a night, a week, or even longer. If you want a vibrant experience, there are guest ranches and historical lodges to try, and Jackson Wyoming hotels are well-known for their superior options.
Once you are in Jackson, getting around is a breeze with most places being centrally located, and if you want to travel to Teton Village, the city has a public transportation system that is affordable and convenient.
There are many places to stay, and all of them sound amazing. As an example, here are five of the top places to stay during your visit:
- Lexington Hotel at Jackson Hole. Known for its elegance, outstanding amenities, and exceptional customer service, this hotel has been a regal place for guests for over forty years.
- Flat Creek Ranch. Experience Wyoming’s own Dude Ranch. Built in the 1920’s by a cowboy and a countess, the Flat Creek Ranch is a luxurious and historic place to stay for couples, families, and groups. Hike, explore, fish, and dine at the ranch.
- Hotel Jackson. If you want a modern and refined experience at a boutique hotel, you will want to stay at Hotel Jackson. Your experience at this hotel is bound to be great. With many amenities and complementary services, Hotel Jackson is a deluxe experience.
- The Lodge at Jackson Hole. For people who want a luxury hotel and spa, The Lodge is for you. With lavish rooms, a personalized service experience, and world-class amenities, The Lodge is a centrally located option.
- Rustic Inn. Guests who stay at Rustic Inn enjoy the cabins that give a wilderness feel to a high-class Creekside resort and spa. Rustic Inn is a great place for people who want to relax and recoup from a busy life, with no real agenda. It is also great for people who are passing through and want a resort and spa experience, or for those who want to spend their days on adventures, and their evenings resting up for their next big adventure.
Where to Eat in Jackson
Jackson is known for its amazing culinary offerings. With many different restaurants, all highly sought out, people often find themselves having a hard time choosing between places. Here is a list of the top ten places to eat in Jackson, Wyoming.
- For Spanish cuisine, try Bin 22.
- For Barbeque, try Bar J Chuckwagon Suppers.
- If you want an American food bar scene, MacPhail’s Burgers is good.
- A French bistro with good desserts is Persephone Bakery.
- For seafood, try Blue Lion.
- The Snake River Grill is good for American comfort food.
- Café Genevieve is an American café.
- Merry Piglets Mexican Grill is a southwestern Mexican restaurant.
- For Asian food Teton Thai is excellent.
- If you want pizza, Pinky G’s is the best-rated pizza joint in the area.
Final Thoughts about Jackson
Jackson Wyoming is often referred to as Neverland because most people who visit, don’t want to leave. The town is laid-back and western, yet luxurious, with wondrous sights, a high-class culinary experience, and so much to offer everyone who visits.
There is so much to see and do in Jackson, making it a great vacation destination for people of all ages and families of all sizes.