Road Trip Stop #9: Grand Tetons + Jackson, Wyoming

July 17, 2016

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It’s hard to describe the beauty of our next stop, and I hope you think these pictures begin to paint a picture of just how gorgeous the Grand Tetons are. After leaving Yellowstone, we headed slightly south through Grand Tetons National Park and for two nights in nearby Jackson, Wyoming.

First, let’s talk about the Grand Tetons. Of the national parks we visited, this one is at the top of my list. The park is much smaller and more manageable than Yellowstone, and just take a look at the snow-capped mountains. I couldn’t get enough.

Grand Tetons

Our first day in the park we did an easy hike/walk around Colter Bay. The terrain was easy, as in I drank my coffee and moseyed along the trail. The couple of miles was a good way to wake up and gave us a perfect look at the mountains and surrounding bays. If you are doing a hike with kids or want something easy, do this one.

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From the forests to the bays.

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Grand Tetons

The next day at the park we visited Jenny Lake, took a short boat ride across the lake and did a hike to Inspiration Point (if you’re really paying attention, you’ll note this is the second hike of our trip called Inspiration Point. National Parks can be very inspirational, ya know?). This hike felt very safe, but was steep and exhausting. As we had hoped, it was worth the work for the expansive views.

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Grand Tetons

Now let’s chat about Jackson, WY because I’m obsessed and want to move there tomorrow. The town is adorable with the cutest downtown with shops and really good restaurants. It reminds me of all my favorite little ski towns–but of course we were visiting in the summer, thus I am already planning a winter trip back to Jackson.

We stayed at Snow King Resort, which was a breath of fresh air after a string of more “rustic’ shall we say, hotels. Snow King was awesome and I would eagerly return. The rooms were great, there was a very nice pool where we lounged for an afternoon and it was an excellent stay. The hotel is right next to Snow King ski mountain so in the winter this would be an ideal hotel. It’s a bit of a walk to the downtown area but very doable, or a quick drive.

I had received a bunch of restaurant recommendations in Jackson (thanks Melissa & Julia!) and it was hard to narrow it down. I need to go back to try all the other recos. Here’s where we went and what we loved (preview: everything).

Persephone Bakery: Even though we were only in Jackson two nights, we visited here twice and even tried to go a third time but the line was out the door and we didn’t have time. This bakery is a must for coffee (they have almond milk lattes, a rarity along our journey) and pastries. I’m actually not much of a pastry person but do not leave Jackson without getting a kouign amann (a croissant coated in caramelized sugar). I also loved the cheddar pepper scone and am still kicking myself for not trying the cinnamon brioche (next time, Persephone).

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Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream: Obviously when someone recommends the local ice cream joint, you make a special stop. Food Network selected their Wild Huckleberry flavor as the best dessert in the state of Wyoming, so of course I got that (review: A+). I also got the vanilla, which I know doesn’t sound so exciting, but they make it with 4 different types of vanilla beans. I didn’t even know there was more than one type of vanilla bean, but it was real good, get it.

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Snake River Brewing: A great casual place for local beers and tasty burgers. Actually some of the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had, and that’s really saying something.

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Snake River Grill: We decided to treat ourselves to one fancy meal in Jackson and Snake River Grill was an excellent choice. The restaurant is upscale but not in a stuffy way. I did some online research before we went and knew exactly what we would order: Branding Iron of Sweet Onion Rings, The SRG Steak Tartare Pizza, Cast Iron Seared Wagyu Minute Steaks, Hand Cut Steak Fries. Everything was VERY good, but the true star was the steak tartare pizza. It was incredible, the best thing we ate on our road trip and one of the top things we’ve ever eaten. If/when we get back to Jackson, we are getting another pizza.

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Smokin’ Iron: We stopped here for a mid-day snack because they allowed dogs on their patio so Ollie could hang with us. The restaurant had opened about two weeks prior so service was iffy, but the food was pretty good. Let’s actually talk about the drinks. They serve their cocktails with a flight option so we each ordered a flight of margaritas (I got huckleberry, watermelon and jalapeno). It $16 so I assumed they would be tiny margs, but oh no. They were each the size of a normal margarita, actually make that the strongest margarita you’ve ever tasted (but still tasting good). So between the two of us we had 6 margaritas to get through. We only got through half because oh man, they were strong. If you’re looking to get drunk on a budget, hit up this spot (but also go because it’s got a good atmosphere and tasty.

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I loved Grand Tetons & Jackson so much because you get the mix of lovely accommodations, top notch dining and a gorgeous national park, all right at your fingertips. I like to think that I’m a girl that can rough it, but if I have the choice to rough it or stay at a place like Snow King, I’m leaning towards Snow King. Have you been to Jackson? If so, let me know your favorite spots in the comments below.

And now, more pictures because it was too hard to narrow this down any further.

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grand tetons

After Jackson we made our way to Park City, Utah. Details on that next!

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