Warning…very long, photo heavy post ahead! Our family had decided awhile back that we really wanted to end our summer on a high note and take a vacation somewhere during our final week of break. We had thrown around a few different location ideas over the past few months, and ultimately decided a few weeks ago to take a trip to Jackson. We have heard so many amazing things about it, plus as it sits right on the Idaho border, it isn’t too far of a destination.
For our first evening in Jackson, we went to dinner at Calico. I had heard that it was a great place to take kids as they have a huge field full of balls & toys right next to their outdoor patio, plus their kids meals are very affordable. What I hadn’t heard as much about was the food…and we were in for a real treat! I booked the restaurant thinking it would be a great place for the kids to be able to get their wiggles out after a long day of traveling, and thought the food would probably just be okay. This turned out to be our favorite meal from the entire trip. We shared a caprese salad and I had the shrimp linguine and everything was absolutely incredible. This restaurant is a must on a trip to Jackson – be sure to call early for reservations to get a patio seat.
After dinner, we headed downtown to see the famous elk antler arches in the town square and do a bit of shopping. Teton Toys is an incredible toy store and they have a huge selection. My kids settled on toy cap guns and stick on mustaches so they could feel like real Wyoming cowboys! After shopping we went to CocoLove for a nightcap dessert. I had the Mexican hot chocolate and a few chocolates (the lavender was incredible!), while the kids had gelato.
On the next day of our trip we headed to the Snow King Mountain Resort for a day of fun! I highly recommend purchasing a Big King Pass for all of the activities, and if you buy online in advance you get a 10% discount as well. My kids loved riding the Cowboy Coaster and the Alpine Slide over and over, and Cole’s favorite activity of the day was the Treetop Adventure.
In the evening we headed back to the town square for the nightly shootout and dinner at the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse. The shootout is the longest running shootout in the country and is held nightly during the summer at 6:00 pm. It only takes about 15 minutes, and is definitely a must do at least once. My boys really loved it! Also make sure to stop at Moo’s for their amazing homemade ice cream.
The next day we hopped in the car and spent the day touring Grand Teton National Park. If you are going to drive yourself, I highly recommend purchasing the Gypsy Guide Grand Teton app which will tell you what you are seeing and all the history of the land as you drive – as well as the key places to stop. Our highlights were stopping in at Menors Ferry and shopping in the old general store, taking a boat ride across Jenny Lake to hike to Hidden Falls, stopping at Mormon Row, and of course spotting wildlife! I still can’t get over the awe inspiring beauty of this place and can’t wait to go back.
For dinner we headed back into town for Sushi at King Sushi! You wouldn’t think Jackson would have great sushi and is more of a steak and potatoes kind of place…but the sushi here is some of the best I’ve had. It is also an old historical blacksmith building which makes the ambiance even cooler.
In the evening we put on our western finest and headed to the Jackson Hole Rodeo! Little known fact about me…I grew up in a small farming and ranch community in Oregon and grew up riding horses and competing in local riding clubs, horse shows & 4-H. I was also a rodeo princess of our local professional rodeo my senior year of high school! So it’s kind of fun taking my kids to rodeos and showing them a bit of how their mom grew up (they think it’s quite funny!). The kids even got to compete by joining all of the other kids to attempt to grab a bandanna off a sheep to win prizes. It was absolutely hysterical and just made the rodeo even more fun for them.
The next day we decided to have a low key day with a trip to the National Wildlife Museum. While there is of course some incredible wildlife art – the museum is surprisingly a lot of fun for kids as they have a children’s gallery where kids can create their own art. I also highly recommend downloading the museum app as you can play animal noises that go along with the paintings you are viewing (which keeps it more interesting for kids). They also have a restaurant at the museum which is quite good – and they have a really fun “paint a cookie” dessert.
In the afternoon we headed downtown to walk around a bit more and do some more shopping! Altitude is a really fun boutique and I also love the Pendleton store (I grew up near Pendleton so their famous wool is sentimental to me!). We also stopped at this fun art alley for a few silly selfies.
For our last dinner in Jackson we decided to do the Bar T 5 Chuckwagon Dinner Show. This kind of thing could easily veer into being cheesy…but this was far from it. The whole experience was easily a highlight of our trip. The people were so nice, enthusiastic and talented, the food was great, the scenery was beautiful, and it really made for an all around fun and memorable evening. The history and story about how this show came to be is also fascinating. If you visit Jackson this is a must do – and we will be doing this again on our next visit!
On our last morning in Jackson we went to Persephone Bakery for brunch before heading home. A friend who had lived in Europe for a period of time and had eaten at Persephone told us we must go as it easily rivals any patisserie in France. It did not disappoint! We tried a variety of pastries including the huckleberry croissant and the lavender lemon loaf, as well as a lavender honey latte, and an egg sandwich. Every single thing was incredible.
This was somewhat of a spur of the moment trip, and also easily one of our favorite family vacations we’ve ever taken. Jackson is truly a gem, and we’ve already decided this needs to become an annual tradition for us. I can’t think of a better way for us to have ended our summer break!