Most visitors to Jackson Hole, Wyoming take the trip with an aim for visiting Grand Teton National Park—as the town’s proximity to Grand Teton makes it an ideal spot for outdoor adventurers who want to take advantage of the area’s stellar scenery and numerous opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, and more.
However, Jackson Hole has more to offer than just Grand Teton—from wildlife watching to hitting the slopes, hot spring havens, and museums full of history, this Wyoming tourist destination is a great spot to check out some diverse local attractions when not exploring the vast beauty of Grand Teton.
Get A Glimpse Of Majestic Elk
The National Elk Refuge is the perfect spot for those looking to spot some of Wyoming’s most ubiquitous wildlife—elk. The perfect time to see these wonderful creatures is when the temps begin to drop, as the herds return to the sanctuary in winter to mate in autumn and to feed on their native vegetation in winter. The sanctuary also offers wintertime guided sleigh rides for visitors who want to see these amazing animals up close.
But the elk aren’t the only reason to visit the National Elk Refuge—this scenic wonder is also home to many other native animals, even in the warmer months. Stop in during summer to spot a plethora of marsh birds, including great blue herons and trumpeter swans; and welcome the migratory birds back in the spring. The Refuge Road Scenic Drive is also open all year long for visitors who want to want to take a tour of this scenic area.
- Need To Know: Visitors to the refuge in the warmer months report seeing little to no elk. However, if traveling to the refuge in the fall or winter months, be sure to dress accordingly, and plan your visit accordingly as inclement weather may limit access.
Take In A Show At The Jackson Hole Playhouse
Want to relax after a long day of outdoor adventuring? Then take a trip to the Jackson Hole Playhouse to catch a meal and a show. This small theater is known for its quality performances accompanied by a delicious menu and warm, local hospitality. Fun vibes, a great meal, and excellent performances all make this a worthy stop on any Jackson Hole itinerary.
- Need To Know: The current show is “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” which runs through October 2, 2021. Tickets can be purchased online and start at $50.00 for dinner and a show. The ticket price does not include alcoholic and specialty drinks, desserts, and gratuity.
Relaxation Is King At Granite Hot Springs
Jackson Hole isn’t just for thrill-seeking outdoor adventurers, it's also for those looking for some much-needed R&R. Open year-round, the Granite Hot Springs is perfect for those looking to soak their cares away—and the scenery can’t be beaten, too. A thermal pool located on the side of a mountain with panoramic views of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Granite Hot Springs is the ideal combo of scintillating scenery and rural relaxation.
- Need To Know: There’s also a ton of nearby outdoor activities for those looking to stay active in between bouts of relaxing. Check out the area hiking trails, or even head out for some whitewater rafting through Hoback Junction.
Check Out A Museum Or Two
Want to mix it up with a bit of area history and culture? Then head out to the National Museum of Wildlife Art, home of more than 5,000 pieces of wildlife art. Close to the National Elk Refuge, the panoramic views are also a hit with visitors. There’s also an outdoor art installation known as the Sculpture Trail.
Check out the area’s Wild West past at the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum. Chock full of interesting exhibits, including memorabilia; photographs; and profiles of local ranchers, cowboys, and Native Americans, this small museum is definitely worth a visit.
- Need To Know: Visitors say the museums are an enjoyable experience for everyone—not just history buffs. Anyone with an interest in local art and culture with an emphasis on Americana will enjoy these spots that are also known as great family-friendly destinations.
Visitors to Jackson Hole will love the breathtaking scenery combined with the myriad of outdoor adventures available all year round, notably at Grand Teton National Park and nearby Yellowstone. However, this small town is also full of other fun things to see and do outside the parks’ borders: from museums and resorts to theater and wildlife watching; Jackson Hole has something for everyone.
Accommodations: Live The Resort Life At Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole is known for its great skiing, and as the main resort in the area, Jackson Hole delivers as a skier’s paradise. However, skiing isn’t the only activity this well-known resort is famous for—known as a destination in the summer as well as winter months, it has plenty to occupy visitors; from biking and hiking to paragliding and on-site activities and an adventure park. There’s also the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, where visitors can travel to the top of Rendezvous Mountain for some of the area’s most spectacular views.
- Need To Know: Though the Aerial Tram is closed for the summer 2021 season due to maintenance, visitors can still catch some great views on the Bridger or Sweetwater Gondolas.
The Bridger Gondola takes guests up 2,700 feet to get some amazing views of the valley below, and also offers access to delicious dining, Via Ferrata tours (guided rock climbing), hiking trails, and yoga.