Dreams of Jackson were floating around for us for while before we planned our trip. Dreams of picking up and living there as part of a year away from real life included 3 months in Jackson- (as well as Seattle, Washington- Taos, New Mexico – and Montana… but I digress.)
My family had long loved Jackson and all that was wrapped up in it, from the cowboy vibes to the amazing skiing. But we were drawn to the vast natural aspect of it.
When we started planning we really didn’t know a lot. We knew we wanted to see bison and moose. We knew we wanted to dance at the Million Dollar Cowboy bar. And we knew we wanted a little adventure.
We flew in to Salt Lake and because of plane issues we decided to drive from Salt Lake to Jackson- It was a beautiful drive full of open highway, intense changing skies, rainbows, a gorgeous sunset and lots of music.
When we arrived in Jackson it was dark, we were ready to have dinner and unwind. It was a Saturday but things closed early- so we decided on a quick slice of pizza. Even though we love to be healthy- we had just spent hours flying and driving so we chose the path of least resistance.
Pinky G’s for pizza was definitely a locals vibe. But pizza was good and would hold us over until the next day.
We then went to our hotel- The Anvil. The guy at the front desk was so kind and helpful. Got us checked in. And our room was lovely. Dark green walls, white bead board, cream battenburg lace curtains, wool blankets for the still cold nights. We were in to it.
Took no time to pass out.
The next morning, we awoke to sounds of church bells ringing. We peaked out the window to see views of the ski slopes still with patches of snow. And chartreuse leaved aspens all around. Stark contrast against the grey skies and fog. After a long hot shower with the bathroom window open to let in ice cold air, while enjoying the smell of lavender body wash from C.O. Bigelow toiletries from the hotel we were ready for breakfast. Outside our window was a huge vintage sign that read “Only a visitor once”. It was true, this already felt like home. As we went down to our car a huge black raven flew past us. There was magic in the air.
We decided to head out to Persephone for breakfast. We were excited to find everything was a short drive in town. It was Mother’s Day! And they were giving out free homemade apricot bread to all the mother’s. We shared a huckleberry and cream cheese tart, croque monsieur and a turmeric latte. It is so charming in Persephone. From the amazing fresh baked goods to the perfectly curated kitchen items to the communal seating. It was one of our favorite places we visited.
From there we decided to do a bit of shopping. We headed to Jackson Hole Mercantile and there was every single fun little Jackson themed item imaginable, including a huge moose outside the store. We really wanted to see bison so we bought brass bracelets with tiny bison charms that we decided would be amulets to bring bison to us! A year later and we still wear them as a memory of such a great trip.
Next we headed over to Earthbound- full of all the fun oils, salt lamps, gem stone jewelry and crystals anyone could ever want. Fell in love and still wear the patchouli oil from there. The smell is intoxicating. And reminds me of Jackson every time I put it on.
Now it was time to hit the open road. Off to look for the Tetons we went. And they were stunning, glorious even- snow capped mountain range against a blue sky I wish we could have bottled. We turned off at Kelly Loop and saw a moose eating by itself. He was majestic, centered, unwavering and little whimsical as well. It was magical.
We drove taking in the vast open range. And we on the hunt to see bison! Finally after a bit of a drive we turned down one last road for the day at the beginning of sunset, to find a huge herd of grazing bison. They were beautiful. There was one bison that came walking over to our car and felt like he was posing for us. He had a huge lightening bolt of fur missing. Kind of had a rock and roller vibe about him with his goatee. We did not want to disturb them but just observe as noninvasively as possible. Felt very honored to be among these majestic animals.
Next we headed over to Mormon row to Moulton Barn for views of the Tetons and set against this old homestead.
Ready for lunch we went to Dornans near Snake River. We sat outside for blue skies, fresh air and the fun vibes of everyone else eating there. Best thing we had was Melvin’s Killer Bees Beer! Ice cold and so refreshing!
We decided to head back to our room to rest up a bit and had a friend send us a cheese board and a bottle of wine from Glorietta, the restaurant that was part of the hotel. Amazing marinated olives, rich bleu cheese and red wine. Yes, we were completely off our normal way of eating, but also yes we were on vacation!
We then headed to what the locals call “church” at the Stage Coach Bar or “The Coach” as it is known- to hear live music. As the music started the musicians came up and joined in one by one. First the famous mountaineer, the first man noted to ski Jackson who played the banjo, the harp and sang. He had amazing energy and everyone danced to his songs. Then the drummer joined. Next the keyboard chimed in. Followed by the bass and then the guitarist.
I watched cotton candy sunset skies through stained glass windows. And had so much fun watching all the men and ladies two-stepping.
Next day was beautiful. Sunny and in the 70’s. We slept in which felt so luxurious! With our pjs still on along with our bison bracelets we headed to the lobby for coffee. So charming, with fresh brewed coffee, curated on point goods like Pedleton capes, Apolis bags, cool baseball caps and coffee table design books. As we headed back to our room to get ready for the day we took in the blue skies, sweet bird song and mountain views with the gorgeous breeze.
We headed in to town and took the fun and obligatory pics in front of the antler arches!
Next we headed over to Moo’s for huckleberry ice cream to share a huge $5 waffle cone filled to the brim! We sat outside and enjoyed the fresh mountain air. The day was pure heaven!
We hopped in the car and headed out of town to Amangani. The heart of lux, views, service and all the things you dream about on vacation. The lobby was stunning. Earthy- filled with raw hide, woven baskets, intricate paper art made out newspaper and stunning views. We headed outside to eat on the patio. It was breathtaking. Wide open space in the valley below. We ordered fish tacos and the beef noodle bowl. We even got to meet the chef and discuss his new dessert- coconut milk, huckleberry crème brulee, which we tried and loved. Huckleberry is kind of a big deal in Wyoming!
From there we went on to the National Park which was closed but open to drive through. We ended up at John D. Rockafeller Preserve. There was the cutest frog noises and cotton tails in the creek. We were going to hike but decided to continue on exploring. We later found out that is a favorite spot for bears and not the best place to hike without bear spray which we did not have.
On our way to Jenny Lake we came across huge stoic elk- so graceful. The open land is expansive and awe inspiring.
Jenny Lake reminded of us a Grimm Fairy Tale. There was still snow on the ground in some spots. Very peaceful but also a little eerie in the most magical, shadow casting way. Mountains backing up to the Lake blocking the sun light. Black crows cawing and swooping down from the trees.
We ended up on Bicentennial Highway at sunset, which it stays light in May until 9:30!!! Dream! Love a long light filled day. The views brought tears to our eyes. We saw so many grazing animals at this time of day along this stretch of land.
That evening we went to Teton Village to the Four Seasons for a cheese plate near the fireplace. Brie cheese and honey with huckleberry jam for the win. We sat outside by the fire pit taking in the stars before heading back to our hotel for long hot baths, red wine and reggae!
That night we could not sleep. The excitement of all that we were seeing and doing kept us wired. When the first glint of sunrise came through the window we hopped in to our car and and drove back to Kelly Loop to find a huge herd of bison grazing, steam coming off their backs as the sun rose, sunlight making their furry coats glow, a golden mango colored sky behind them.
We decided we wanted to head back in to town to Persephone for breakfast. This time we had sweet potato and brussel sprout hash which is so good that we still try and make our own version at home. We also ordered eggs Florentine and matcha lattes.
After breakfast we went to Teton Art Gallery, where we met the talented Gerard, a self taught jewelry designer. We fell in love with his work and bought some beautiful opal studs as well as a pair of turquoise studs as a memento.
Next we went to a toy store under Lee’s Tee’s and bought a fun dice game called “Bison Dice” which we still have a blast mindlessly playing! On our stroll through town we spotted a beautiful picture of a bison at Brookover Gallery. The prints are surreal. Our favorite, a hauntingly stunning bison in a storm. The photographer uses a unique printing process that is almost obsolete making his prints worth the substantial cost and the lux feeling they portray.
While there we met a fun, energy filled art dealer who refers us to “Gotta Have It” to see the huge array of gently worn cowboy boots, as well as to see Bluegrass that night at the Wort.
Next we hop over to Mountain Dandy that has every amazing men’s thing all hand made and well we wanted it all for our self. While there a certain movie star was meandering around. From there we popped over to Made for fun bison mugs, bison felt ornaments and every other little gifty treat you could dream up.
Coincidentally the thrift store- Gotta Have It, the art dealer mentioned was across the street from our hotel, the Anvil. At first glance it is filled to the brim with tons of vintage cowboy boots, great kitchenware, and everything else you could think of. But upon a closer look I came across a group of small beautiful hand woven native American pots. They felt like treasure amongst all of the other items. I bought 2 but so wish I would have purchased all of them. (I ended up hand- carrying these home on the plane and still treasure them- they are now filled with foraged flowers from a hike in Laguna Beach’s Inspiration Point.)
Another bonus of Gotta Have It? We met an intuitive who worked there. Ellae Ellinwood. She talked about our beautiful Earth and how taking time to relax on the ground at a park or the beach or in your backyard even and letting the earth pull you in, connect with you and ground you can help build boundaries. She spoke of the high vibrations in Jacskon and how it is protected by Native American energy. She shared how Jackson Lake has seismic activity daily which lends to the intense energy. All very fascinating.
Next we grabbed lunch from Persephone’s little sister- Picnic for food on the go. Ambiance is not as special, but good to grab food for a hike or long drive (which we had ahead of us) and a great selection of free postcards! We hopped in the car and headed over the hill to Victor, Idaho a sleepy little town on the other side of the mountain.
The drive was worth it for the breathtaking views on the way back. You understand from the top of the mountain why it is called Jackson Hole, because the valley below literally looks like a hole or pivot from the surrounding earth. There was snow on the mountains still and everything else was stunning green. Intense grey clouds meeting huge billowy white clouds and sunlight peeking through to reveal blue skies. It was magic. Selfies galore we must admit.
After hearing about Jackson Lake’s daily seismic activity we wanted to check that out so we headed over to Moran Mountain at Jackson Lake where we read about Moran Mountain being on a different plane than the Teton mountains being on what is called a hinge. Very scientific and interesting and maybe a bit much to go in to here but fascinating if you like nature and natural phenomena like we do.
On the way back in to town (sound like a cowgirl already), we stopped and took photos in front of the iconic “Welcome to Jackson” sign while blaring Johnny Cash’s “I’m going to Jackson”…
That evening we played bison dice in our hotel room with the windows wide open, while it poured rain and we watched the chartreuse aspen leaves fluttering in the wind, the heater was on to keep us warm, and Debussy’s Pagodes was on repeat. So magical!!
We then popped over to Glorietta the restaurant connected to the Hotel for a bite and a drink at the bar, before heading over to The Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort, where we watched all the people dancing to live bluegrass. Why is the bar called the Silver Dollar Bar? Because the bar is literally covered in real silver dollars! After a very full day we called it a night.
The next morning we headed to our favorite little Persephone for hot cocoa, almond croissants fresh made that morning, our favorite addicting hash and some fresh crisp air. We sat out side at a little marble table under a huge pine tree.
Then we popped over next door to Healthy Being Juicery. Now we loved every moment of Persephone. But our normal healthy living is much more aligned with Healthy Being Juicery. The little juice shop + wellness store was filled with so many amazing wellness products from bath salts that contained French green clay and French grey sea salt, to hand painted cards with crystals on them. Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha in lavender and elderflower to sea salt popcorn for an on the go snack. After a week of indulging we were ready for our fave, a green smoothie- We put in a special order and the sweetest lady ever behind the counter was so accommodating. The Green Detox tweaked: grapefruit juice, we substituted cucumber and kale for spinach and romaine, turmeric, lemon, ginger, avocado and parsley. Then we added our own Vital Proteins marine collagen that we are never without! They have an amazing menu. Indoor seating yes, but also amazing seating on the green grass outside with blankets out under huge pine trees!
This was our last day in Jackson so we were winding down in our adventures and wanted to stay in town and hop in to as many places as possible.
This included the visitors center across from our hotel. Which is funny, I know, should have done this the first day! Because the person we spoke with was so knowledgeable about every trail and hike and animals habits but also hotels, bars and restaurants as well. He was like a Jackson concierge!
He told us about Figs, a Lebanese restaurant. Um yes please, Lebanese food is our favorite! Off we went to fall in love with George the Lebanese chef and eat plate mezze, lubnah, babganoush, the creamiest hummus, homemade hot puffy fat little pitas and fatoush salad. We were in heaven! George is warm and funny and a great chef.
We popped in to Game Trail Gatherings a unique store with interesting furniture made from wood, crystals and antlers. Paper + Grace was a fun paper store with every paper item you could dream of. We of course picked up some beautiful hand made papers to write lovely notes on. Cocoa Lovers for award winning Mexican chocolate cake that had an Aztec warrior dusted in cocoa on top of the cake slice. So delicious. Worth grabbing to take with you and enjoy somewhere with a view! Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is so famous and was packed and looked so fun. And we were really looking forward to going but after a long fun week we were ready to venture off to one more place and call it a day.
Where did we end our trip? Jackson Whole Grocer. Love the play on words. We walked in to find a liquor store with a bar inside the market where you could legally purchase alcohol and then do your grocery shopping. Yes, please. Our favorite part of the store besides the bar and amazing selection of clean products was the bulk bins. We spent over an hour choosing rose buds + lavender to cook with, and an amazing selection of teas + spices. As well as a collection of tiny amber colored bottles for future travel all came home with us.
The next morning we drove to Jackson Airport, the Tetons encircled in a cloud blanket- it was dream like, just like this entire trip. We sat in front a fireplace awaiting our plane- When it was time to fly off we teared up at the beauty of the Tetons and dreaming of the next time we would be back.
R E C A P
The Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort
Iconic “Welcome to Jackson
Mormon row to Moulton Barn