They say that people come to Jackson Hole for the Winters but stay for the Summers – here’s what I say “Jackson Hole in the Winter makes me forget about Summer”. Not that Summers aren’t extraordinarily beautiful, magical and full of activities – because they are and then some, but because I love skiing in Jackson so much I never want winter to end. As a matter of fact Jackson Hole was named #1 ski resort in the country for 2014. Not bad for a sleepy little village and a giant bad-ass mountain.
Jackson ski resort has always been known as an advanced skiers mountain – which until lately, has kept the beginner / intermediate skier and family away. The locals didn’t complain – but the retailers and accommodations did. Now the mountain boasts a variety of terrain for all levels as well as one of the most comprehensive ski programs around, offering a variety of ski camps for adults and hands down, the best ski school I have yet seen for kids, the ‘Kid’s Ranch’. My son and daughter first learned to ski in Jackson at the ripe ole age of 18 months and 3 years old….
Can I tell you – they are now 8 and 9 and have no fear, will ski anything if you let them. As a matter of fact, they would throw themselves down on the snow and wail with heartbreak when I pick them up after a long 8 hours of skiing – bingo! That’s what I could only wish – my kids developed the same passion for skiing that I have.
Jackson is still a skiers mountain and that’s what’s refreshing about it – you won’t find Gucci, Prada, Lanvin or a Gap. You won’t see people skiing in furry boots, full makeup or attitudes….what you will find is a spirit of truly passionate skiers relishing in delicious food, live music, happening apres ski and embracing folks who have traveled from great distances to experience some of the greatest skiing on earth.
If you want to experience pure ski life with the heartbeat of a majestic mountain under your boots, you will love Jackson Hole…and I’ve got some of my favorite places to share with you! XO ~ L
1. Best kids Ski School: Kids Ski Ranch – plenty of hot chocolate breaks, visits to Winnie the Pooh’s cabin and adventure through the animal trails, to super G and steeps for the more advanced shredders, makes this kids ski ranch a winner! ps. most ski instructors also double as babysitters – nice! http://www.jacksonhole.com/kids-lessons.html
2. Best Pizza at the Bar: Osteria – a bee hive of skiers swarm to this cozy spot. With deelish food, truly scrumptious thin crust pizza (I like the prociutto pizza) and glass of vino at the bar, it makes for an easy transition from mountain to jacuzzi or bed. Make sure you order the warm olives too – divine http://www.jhosteria.com/index.html
3. Best Margarita with the Locals: Teton Thai – We ordered the spicy thai chili hand muddled margarita and I was blown away, declaring “this is my new favorite place!” – no mixes, no strainers, fresh fruit with the pulp, great tequila – I’m thinking this is doctor’s orders. A tiny, little family run biz with big heart, the food is super fresh and tasty too! http://tetonthaivillage.com/
4. Most Happening Apres Ski: The Spur – score the couches next to the fire and watch the action – they even have a special room for the kids to play so the grownups can play. How smart is that – thank you! http://tetonlodge.com/spur-dining/
5. Best live Music: The Mangy Moose Saloon – a must if you want the full Jackson experience and a chance to let-go. Just what you’d imagine a Wyoming saloon to look like – fun, loud, great bands and good dancin! http://mangymoose.com/
6. Best place to get a green drink/juice/smoothie: Jackson Whole Grocer – I hit this store as soon as I touch down and stock up on all my favorite healthy goodies on my to Teton Village. A thoughtful and comprehensive inventory of organic products, produce and foods, this store keeps me healthy and strong away from home – love, love their fresh juice bar! http://jacksonwholegrocer.com/
7. Favorite dinner hot spot: Rendezvous Bistro – outside the village in town, this is a delicious semi-fine dining experience with the local warmth and hospitality. No pretentiousness here, just fabulous mountain bistro food, fresh trout, lamb, risotto, wine list and insane desserts – make reservations! http://www.rendezvousbistro.net/
8. Best Spa: Terra – because you need it when you ski hard! http://hotelterrajacksonhole.com/spa/spa-services/
9. Most Helpful and Convenient Ski Rentals: Pepi Steigler Sports – A ski in and ski out rental, the shop is right under the tram and next to the lifts. They are 9. sooooo nice, patient and knowledgeable. Make sure to ask for the discounts and specials they run throughout the year. http://pepistieglers.com/