The Black Stallion, our loyal SUV, led us from San Diego to Las Vegas to Park City and ultimately steered us to Jackson, one of my favorite cities in the USA. Jackson is an ideal year-round destination, one you'll especially love in the winter when the mountains are draped in snow under a vast blue sky. Winter here is spectacular. The air is crisp, the sun shines bright, and the endless surrounding beauty is mesmerizing. Many others share my adoration for this ski town - it is quickly becoming one of the most expensive cities in the country. The food scene is unreal, there are loads of stores for those who love shopping, and there is just an overall level of sophistication you don't get at every ski resort. I'd love to live here for a year to experience all the seasons. Goals...
You can access additional recommendations from our 2021 visit here. Otherwise, below are some highlights from our recent visit.
A wildlife tour while in Jackson is a must. On our first visit, we hired EcoTours Adventures to lead us through a sunset safari. On this second return, we wanted to experience another company's perspective and booked a private tour through Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari. Both companies provide great access to bison, moose, big horn sheep, and the most striking vistas. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and share loads of information that only locals would know and they also know all the great, secret back roads. Don't miss booking a tour.
This historic hotel has been around since 1941 and maintains lots of its original charm. Either just stop in to roam the lobby and check out the historic photographs that line the hallways or grab breakfast at Silver Dollar Bar. It's worthwhile to drop in, especially during the holiday season when the lobby is beautifully decorated.
There are a couple of main mountains to choose from. If you're staying in Jackson, Snow King is right in town. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is more easily accessible to those staying in Teton Village. Or, if you're like my family and like to lodge in Jackson and ski in Jackson Hole then just make the twenty-minute drive and you can have it all!
Things to consider:
Snow King: a 15-minute walk from town, offers night skiing, smaller crowds, tubing, and a thrilling coaster for additional fun Jackson Hole: In Teton Village, a much smaller and sleepier town than Jackson but a much larger mountain with more lifts and trails
Those of you who have followed my entire journey through the USA know that I am obsessed with chocolate shops. Coco Love never disappoints. Having their decadent Mexican hot chocolate in hand is a requirement for me as I stroll through town.
This tiny breakfast bar makes unbelievable breakfast burritos that are served until lunch. They offer two options only, keeping the selection simple so that they can focus on creating a fabulous result. The classic breakfast burrito is packed with eggs, pepper jack, onions, tomatoes, and hashbrowns - you can add jalapenos if you like it spicy as I do. D.O.G. hit the spot and left us craving for seconds.
pros: extremely casual burrito bar that serves exceptional burritos
cons: the jalapenos were not spicy must order: the breakfast burrito, hands down
I cannot stress enough how much I looked forward to a morning visit to Persephone, one of my top five bakeries in the USA. This local favorite exudes charm, warmth, and friendliness while mastering the art of baking divine pastries.
pros: great lattes, delicious food, fast service cons: it is always busy and very hard to find an empty table, they do not accept reservations must order: seeded avocado bowl with everything spiced avocado, smoked salmon, goat cheese, pickled onion, fried capers, soft-boiled egg, and rye crisp; and any of their baked pastries
I love the hearty food served in the historic log cabin turned cafe, especially the huevos rancheros loaded with homemade salsa verde. The space is cozy, the service is friendly, and their breakfast will keep you fueled all morning. pros: warm and inviting, great breakfast and lunch menu, food holds up well for take out as well
must order: huevos con chile verde for breakfast and the smoked trout nicoise salad for lunch
Everything about this innovative tapas restaurant that is set in the back of a wine and gourmet food shop is alluring. I recommend ordering as many of the dishes on the menu as possible - although they're meant for sharing, plates are small. You'll truly enjoy the culinary adventure if you order more than you think you can eat.
pros: tasty tapas in a cool space and a great wine list
cons: they don't accept reservations and they fill up fast, I recommend arriving no later than 5:30 pm to have guaranteed seating
must order: huevos rotos (for those who don't eat meat- the kitchen is flexible with removing the jamon serrano), patatas bravas, and octopus
One of the key reasons I was filled with excitement to return to Jackson is to have a second opportunity to eat at Coelette. This is my favorite restaurant in town, and I dare say one of my favorites in the USA. Located in a historic cabinet that has been meticulously renovated with careful attention to salvage original details, the space is elegant and chic. The menu often changes to keep up with the local harvest. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is just divine. From the presentation to the flavors and from the first cocktail to dessert, you'll be wowed. pros: a true culinary experience, seasonal ingredients used in creative ways, craft cocktails cons: on the pricey side, reservations book up fast must order: brussels sprouts with trout roe; smoked beets over black hummus and sprinkled with smoked almonds; fiorentini with mushrooms and parsnip puree; the wagyu
This exciting new addition to Jackson is simply SO good. That's no surprise since they are backed by Persophene who bakes all of their pastries and breads. The ambiance is stylish yet relaxed and there is a buzz from the chatters of the diners who rightfully fill the room to savor one of the many delicious breakfast and lunch dishes.
pros: enticing menu, fun vibe, extremely fresh ingredients
cons: order at the counter/no table service and it is approximately a five-minute drive outside of town but worth the effort
must order: smoked salmon and cucumber toast and the chicken zataar panini
The large, wood-burning grill is at the center of this fantastic Italian trattoria that takes pride in its wood-fired cooking and handmade pasta. From start to end we licked our plates. For an extraordinary Italian meal, look no further.
pros: perfectly prepared pasta along with everything else we ordered off the menu
cons: although we had a reservation we needed to wait fifteen minutes to be seated
must order: the spaghetti with mascarpone, mushrooms, and poached egg; the burrata with pistachios and fig and date jam; the wood-fired bison; the special soup of the day, tomato and chickpea, if they have it on the menu
It's impossible not to love Jackson, It's polished yet laid back and it carries a superior dining scene. Mostly though, the landscape is simply breathtaking.
Our road trip itinerary totaled three cities with approximately 2,000 miles of driving time and approximately thirty hours spent in the car. We started in San Diego, then went to Las Vegas for one night, next to Park City for two nights, followed by Jackson for three nights with a loop back to Park City for one night and finally one last night in Vegas before heading back to San Diego. Perfection! I'm already itching to hit the road again.