As I sit here and write this I can honestly say that our time in Jackson Hole was the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on! Something about being in nature and surrounded by nothing but stunning views, mountains, creeks, horses, buffalo, and sunshine is enough to make you just want to become one with nature hahah I know that sounds corny but I am being serious IT WAS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! From the minute we landed in Jackson Hole I fell in love. The airport is the cleanest and most picturesque place I have ever landed in my life so far. Andy has been all over the United States because he was in the Air Force so luckily because he has always been quite the traveler at heart this trip was one he had been on years ago and knew the area we are visiting pretty well.
Where to stay: We stayed in Teton Village which is about 15 minutes from Jackson Hole. I highly recommend staying in this area because their SO much to do. You could also book your stay in downtown Jackson Hole as well. We used airbnb to coordinate all of our lodging for this trip. Shopping, restaurants, hiking, water sports and site seeing galore are to name some of the few activities available to do on this vacation. Teton Village is a quaint little village that many people actually stay at during the peak ski season in Jackson Hole because the village actually sits at the bottom of the Tetons mountains. This is where thousands of people ski during the winter months. What is beautiful about this location is that you can see where the ski trails are from the bottom of the mountain where everyone stays and it is absolutely beautiful to see how vast they really are. The summer months in my opinion are equally as beautiful.
The great thing about this area of Wyoming is that it is NOT commercialized at all. Other than the main areas where the resorts, condos, and restaurants are commercialization is pretty much non-existent. Their are vast open plains wherever you look. What does exist though are beautiful, breathtaking sights and sounds wherever you look. Within Teton Village their are several restaurants, horse trail riding opportunities, gondola rides along with stunning mountain views and hiking.
Activities: The activities in the area that we stayed were honestly endless. If you stay in Jackson Hole or Teton Village you are basically in the mecca of where all of the events and activities you can do take place. We actually wanted to do more while we were vacationing but by the end of the 8 days we felt fulfilled with all that we DID accomplish in our time there. We did horseback riding, bike riding, hiking, swimming, basketball to name some of the few options you have! Next time we go we would love to go whitewater rafting! Another great thing about Teton Village is you can rent bikes and begin a lot of the activities at this spot. We did a two hour horse back riding adventure through Teton Village Trail Rides. HIGHLY recommend them if you want to horseback ride! Fun fact Scarlett Johansson actually did this same tour with the Rockefeller family our tour guide told us:) It really was such a beautiful way to take in more of the landscape and sites and sounds around this beautiful area.
Yellowstone National Park: Andy had been describing Yellowstone to Sofia and I for a long time and we both I don’t think fully grasped the beauty of how it really was until we actually physically were there in person. It is hard for me to really describe it to you in detail without you going to see it for yourself:) Another reason you should make this a bucket list trip! A few things to keep in mind with Yellowstone National Park is that their is a lot of driving so bring plenty of sandwiches, snacks, and water. I also recommend leaving EARLY so you can see the animals at dawn especially because you will get a lot of the driving out of the way to the park before the rest of the tourists begin piling in. Here are the different sites we visited while we were in Yellowstone. Where we stayed brought us to the south entrance of Yellowstone, so in order to get to Yellowstone you have to drive through Teton National Park which was another beauty but not as many landmarks to see at this one. Still so pretty to drive through though!
Lewis Lake: This is right at the entrance of Yellowstone park and to be honest I think it is one of the most underrated parts of the park because it is SO picturesque and beautiful! The waterfall running into the lake is gorgeous and it is not too large so you can go and explore. You certainly can jump on the rocks at the base of the fall and enjoy the water below.
Hayden Valley: This was one of our favorite parts of the park because of the amount of wildlife here. Buffalo are everywhere simply everywhere so MUCH that you are like where do I look? They are so adorable, they make funny sounds and as you see below they are on their own time and DO NOT care about crossing in front of traffic which is hilarious. We LOVED it! At dusk though their was NO buffalo here when we drove through on a different day so I would say the best time to come is during the daytime so you are able to see all of the buffalo! You may get lucky and see other wildlife as well:)
Old Faithful: We all thought Old Faithful was beautiful it is just VERY touristy and crowded. We actually hiked almost 2 miles to the top of one of the mountains to see this go off from afar. I highly recommend doing this because to us it was actually a lot better of a view and it was not as crowded to look at from above here. If you go I would make this site one to do maybe toward the end of your trip because to me their was other beautiful sites to see besides this one.
West Thumb: This was beautiful. So many hot springs at this part of the park and this site overlooks Yellowstone Lake so the sites and sounds are just so peaceful and serene.
Mammoth Hot Springs: This beauty is at the north side of the park and I highly recommend checking it out because this part of the park also has a general store, lodging and restaurants to eat at. It is so crazy how different parts of the park are really so different from one another.
Where we ate in Teton Village:
*Mangy Moose Restaurant & Saloon: Great great breakfast, cappuccinos, smoothies etc. YOU name it they have it and they serve breakfast until 11 AM. They also have dinner as well and we ate their one night for dinner. Really good food and drinks:)
*Jackson Hole General Store: This is such an adorable little general store right in Teton Village. They also have smoothies, sandwiches, and other snacks to choose from. They also have cute gifts around the store!
*Four Seasons- The Handle Bar: Ever since my trip to San Diego in June I have become overly obsessed with spicey margartias and The Handle Bar has amazing spicey margs. This was a great place to go after we would bike ride all day or we were done with our adventure through Yellowstone National Park.
*Four Seasons- Westbank Grill: We treated ourselves one night and ate dinner here and it was amazing. The food, the atmosphere, and our server were all so sweet and very accommodating. We actually all got steak and it was delicious. Sofia even got a smore for dessert and loved it. They have smores that you can actually buy and eat on the patio outdoor with your family around the fire pits.
Restaurants in Jackson Hole:
*The Merry Piglets: This restaurant has unreal Mexican food and if you know me you know I LOVE Mexican food. The spicey marg here was insane. Celebrities have even been seen eating here according to our lovely server.
*Jackson Drug: AMAZING ice cream. This location is right in downtown Jackson Hole and has a a cute quaint area inside for everyone to enjoy. I will warm you though the service is pretty slow so keep that in mind before you come but I PROMISE it is well worth it!
*Bin 22: This was surely a family favorite for all of us. Bin 22 has amazing Tapas. Unreal. Anything you order of the menu I guarantee will not disappoint. Sofia LOVED the lemonade here too:) She is still talking about it today!
*Teton Village Pizza: This pizza was amazing. REALLY good! We all enjoyed it and it was a quick and easy place to go after being in Yellowstone all day.
The shopping in downtown Jackson Hole is great they have a lot of general stores as well as home decorating shops (which I loved) We actually bought a beautiful rug and had it sent straight to our home so I will share that with you when we get it. They really have a wide range of everything from candy stores, to cute boutiques, and shoe stores. I would say a majority of the shopping though is in Jackson Hole. Teton Village only has a few places to shop. Look how adorable this restaurant is!