Turn-of-the-Century-Style Inn amid Jackson Hole’s Stunning Scenery
With the Grand Teton mountains as a dramatic backdrop, it's no wonder that Jackson Hole has served as the setting for several Hollywood westerns, including Shane and The Big Trail, starring John Wayne in his first leading role. Fittingly, the town square of Jackson complements the scenery with saloons, wooden sidewalks, and plenty of antler-based decor. Just a three-block walk from Jackson’s town center, the Parkway Inn exudes the charm of a bygone era through white-wood trim and a horse weathervane. From the inn, you’re within an hour's drive of Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with Yellowstone National Park just a day trip away.
The inn's spacious rooms and suites have been decorated with antique, western heritage styled furniture. For separate sitting and bedroom areas, choose one of the one-bedroom suites, which are housed in a separate bright-yellow cottage. In the morning, a spread of fresh fruit and pastries is laid out before a crackling fire in the homey dining area. After breakfast, guests can unwind in the jacuzzi or detoxify in the dry sauna.
Jackson, Wyoming: Wildlife and World-Class Skiing in the Old West
Jackson may be the only place on earth where you might see a rodeo cowboy, a rock climber, and a Hollywood starlet on the same block. The former frontier outpost draws visitors of all stripes for its special blend of Old West flavor and jaw-dropping natural beauty. Old-fashioned saloons and high-end galleries line the town square, but a few miles north, in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find nothing but wilderness.
Though summer and winter are Jackson’s high seasons, you’ll encounter lighter crowds in spring and spectacular foliage in the fall. As the snows begin to melt in May, the rivers swell and fill with rapids. There are about a dozen rafting outfitters in Jackson that run whitewater trips on the Snake River and scenic floats on a calmer stretch upstream, where you’ll have a chance to see eagles, moose, and pelicans.
By early December, the ski lifts are up and running at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, famed for its challenging terrain and laissez-faire backcountry policy. Back in town, the much smaller Snow King Resort boasts the only night skiing in the area; unlike the slopes, the lift tickets aren’t too steep—about $40 for a full-day adult ticket.
Ski bums are seduced by Jackson’s epic snowfalls, but a different species objects to the cold. Each winter, about 12,000 elk migrate to the valley floor, where the temperatures are milder. At the National Elk Refuge, which borders downtown Jackson, conservationists lead horse-drawn sleigh rides to view the mammals up close, mid-December through early April. If the elk prove elusive, head across the street to see them in bronze or watercolor at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.