While most people visit the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area to see Yellowstone National Park or Teton National Park, many are still unaware of just how charming and entertaining the town of Jackson can be. Activities in Jackson are exciting year round, but there’s no time to be in Jackson like winter.

Beyond beautiful, the snowy scenery surrounding this town is breathtaking, and there are more than a few once in a lifetime experiences to be lived. From dining to outdoor sports, here are the things you can’t miss during your winter trip to Jackson.

Jackson, Wyoming. Credit: Town of Jackson Facebook Page

Start With Downtown

At the heart of Jackson is an amazing and historic Town Square full of shops and delicious dining options. Whether you’re looking for ski gear, cowboy hats, or artwork, you can find it and so much more at the many shops located in the downtown area. When you get hungry, you can check out the famous Gather for amazing gourmet food and drinks, or head over to Cafe Genevieve for some fried chicken and other classic American dishes.

After your meal, you may decide to visit one of Jackson’s most popular bars for a drink. Visitors love the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar where real saddles serve as barstools. While shopping, drinking, and dining, don’t forget to stop and take a picture by the elk antler arches!

Credit: Monster100 via Wikimedia Commons. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Observe the Winter Wildlife

One of the most amazing things to do while staying in Jackson during the winter is observe the wildlife. Wildlife tour companies like ours offer winter tours in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park where you can expect to see a variety of wildlife including elk, bison, mule deer, coyote, bighorn sheep, moose and wolves.

A popular tour option for those looking for a day trip is the Grand Teton Winter Wonderland Full Day Tour. During this tour guests will take a horse drawn sleigh ride at the National Elk Refuge which is home to thousands of elk seeking the low valley during the harsh winter season.

Elk in the National Elk Refuge. Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

For the more adventurous type, BrushBuck offers 4 Day / 3 Night Grand Teton & Yellowstone Winter Tours that include a full itinerary of wildlife viewing and other fun activities in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Brushbuck Guests at the Gate. Credit: Brushbuck Wildlife Tours

Go Ice Skating

If you’re hanging around in the town of Jackson during winter, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the ice skating fun. With several free outdoor rinks to choose from in the downtown area, there’s no reason not to take spin on the ice! If you choose the Winter Wonderland Skating Rink, you can rent skates for only five dollars, and the hot chocolate is always free.

You can also skate at several other free outdoor rinks including the Powderhorn Park Rink and the Rodeo Grounds Rink. Indoor skating is also available in town, but it’s not nearly as fun as skating in the majestic outdoors!

Skaters at Night. Credit: jhwinterwonderland.org

Visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art

High above the National Elk Refuge sits the National Museum of Wildlife Art, one of the most unique art museums in the country. Filled with paintings and sculptures both by local and world renowned artists, this museum cannot be missed during your stay in Jackson. With over five-thousand works of art, art lovers can spend hours viewing the mastery and beauty of these pieces.

The National Museum of WIldlife Art. Credit: Daniel Mayer

While you’re there, you may also want to get a bite to eat at the museum’s restaurant, Palate. Palate serves classic comfort food with a gourmet twist, along with a specialty Wine Dinner option. You can visit the museum’s website and download their app for more information on current exhibits and permanent installments before you go.

Take a Snowmobile Tour of Yellowstone

If museums aren’t your thing, get your heart rate up on a snowmobile tour of Yellowstone National Park’s most famous landmarks. Snowmobile tours will highlight either the Old Faithful geyser or Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon, and are guided by professionals who will bring you to the best places to view both wildlife and historical landmarks. These tours are one of the more adventurous ways to see Yellowstone in Winter, and come highly recommended!

snowmobile tours
Snowmobile Tour in Yellowstone. Credit: Brushbuck Wildlife Tours

Go Skiing or Snowboarding

There are countless things to do outdoors in Jackson during the winter, and most of them include some type of sport. Skiing is one of the most popular things to do in the area, and Snow King offers the closest slopes to downtown Jackson. This ski spot may be small, but it offers one of the steepest slopes in the country! There, you can also go night skiing until 7:00 p.m. if you prefer to avoid the daytime glare.

Another great ski spot near town can be found at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. This resort was listed as number one by Forbes in the entirety of North America five years in a row! Pretty much everything you can expect and desire out of a ski trip can be found there. You can also go sledding and tubing in different spots around town, or take a ride on a snowmobile as many tourists love to do.

Take a Spa Day

When you’re ready to take a break from all the snow sports and the winter cold, you can relax and unwind at one of the several spas in Jackson. You can indulge in a relaxing massage, detox your body in a sauna, book a facial, and so much more. The top spas in Jackson include The Wilderness Adventure Spa, named a top 15 spa by Travel and Leisure, and Solitude Spa, dubbed Hot Spa 2008 by Conde Nast Traveler.

These spas could be everything you need to rest and recharge, and they may even be the main reason for your visit to Jackson, Wyoming. Just be sure to call and book in advance before heading over to any of the many spas in and around town!

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