Welcome to the other side of Wyoming, not to mention one of the state's most appealing towns. Hiding in a verdant valley between some of America’s most rugged and wild mountains, Jackson looks similar to other towns in the state – false-front roof lines, covered wooden walkways, saloons on every block – but it ain't quite the same.
Here, hard-core climbers, cyclists and skiers (recognizable as sunburned baristas) outnumber cowboys by a wide margin, and you’re just as likely to see a celebrity as a moose wandering the urban trails.
Although Jackson, being posh and popular, does have its downsides for the traveler, it does mean you’ll find a lively urban buzz, a refreshing variety of foods and no shortage of things to do – both in and out of town.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Jackson.
Major works by Bierstadt, Rungius, Remington and Russell breathe life into their subjects in impressive and inspiring ways. The outdoor sculptures and building itself (inspired, oddly, by a ruined Scottish castle) are worth stopping by to see even if the museum is closed.
This refuge protects Jackson's herd of several thousand elk, offering them a winter habitat from November to May. During summer, ask at the Jackson visitor center for the best places to see elk. An hour-long horse-drawn sleigh ride is the highlight of a winter visit; buy tickets at the visitor center.
There are dozens of photography galleries selling images of Yellowstone and its wildlife. This is the best of them. The images by Thomas D Manglesen are a cut above the rest. Although his images come from around the world, his Yellowstone wildlife and landscape photography brings the region's wild beauty to life.
The 60-passenger tram travels 2.5 miles in 12 minutes to the top of Rendezvous Mountain (10,450ft), offering great views of Jackson Hole. Hikers should note that they can hike up (or in via Grand Teton National Park) and take the tram down for free. Paragliding is done from here too. Ordering tickets online will save you a bundle; the same ticket is also valid for the Bridger Gondola and Teewinot chairlift.
Via ferrata, yoga, hiking and paragliding from the headwall (1355ft lower than 10,450ft Rendezvous Mountain). Free evening rides bring diners up to the Piste Mountain Bistro.
One-stop shopping for culture, attracting big-name acts and featuring theater performances, classes, art exhibits and events. Check the calendar online. Students get discounts on performances.
This place breeds trout for restocking rivers and for research. There's a fishing deck for anglers and daily tours.