ART, WILDLIFE, AND COWBOY SHOOTS HIGHLIGHT SUMMER IN JACKSON HOLE
From the art of nature to works on canvas, elk antler arches, concerts, and shootouts, there’s plenty to see in Jackson Hole. Here are six must-sees in the city:
Jackson Hole boasts a healthy arts scene, with 30 art galleries in town. You’ll find contemporary artwork, cowboy and Native American antiques, photographs, sculptures, and more. For example, Altamira Fine Art specializes in Western contemporary artwork and hosts artist receptions and talks every month. And Wild by Nature features landscape and wildlife photographs taken by local Henry H. Holdsworth. The Jackson Hole Gallery Association hosts regular art walks and events, listed on its website. If you’re in the market to browse or buy art, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Jackson Hole.
HISTORIC TOWN SQUARE
George Washington Memorial Park, aka Historic Town Square, is the heart of Jackson Hole. Surrounded by restaurants, art galleries, and shops, it was dedicated in 1934 to commemorate the birth of George Washington. It’s a great place to get a taste of the Old West as you walk through one of the four entrances marked with arches made from elk antler sheds. During the summer you can catch a nightly shootout performed by the Jackson Hole Playhouse, take a horse carriage ride around the park, and join a free walking tour of town. On the tour, members of the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum point out the historic buildings and discuss the wild characters and events in Jackson’s past. If you’re interested in the Old West or need a starting point to explore Jackson Hole, Historic Town Square is the place to go.
NATIONAL PARK TOURS
Jackson Hole is the perfect base camp for two of the most spectacular national parks in the country—Yellowstone and Grand Teton. If you want to do it yourself, start at one of the ranger stations, grab a map, and get going. Some highlights of Grand Teton National Park include the Grand Teton, Colter Bay, Jackson Lake, and the Signal Mountain area. Yellowstone highlights include the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Lower Yellowstone River Falls, Upper Geyser Basin, and, of course, Old Faithful. If you’re interested in taking a tour, there are outfitters who guide visitors through the parks. With incredible scenery and exciting wildlife, take some time to tour the national parks while visiting Jackson Hole.
MUSIC FESTIVALS & CONCERTS
Jackson Hole has a thriving music scene all year long. There’s the annual four-day Jackson Hole Rendezvous in March, with concerts and more. Then in June the summer concert season begins. There’s Jackson Hole Live—an all-ages outdoor summer-long concert series—and Concerts on the Commons in Teton Village. And if you’re in town in July and August, you can’t miss the Grand Teton Music Festival, which has been going strong since 1962. If you’re up for a drive, there’s the Targhee Music Fest and the Targhee Blue Grass Festival. The fun even continues into the winter, with Grand Teton Music Festival Presents Winter Music and holiday music at the Jackson Hole Playhouse. Boasting a wide variety of music festivals and concerts, there’s an event for every music lover in Jackson Hole.
WILDLIFE SAFARIS & VIEWING
It’s not hard to spot wildlife in Jackson Hole—it’s everywhere. There are documented popular wildlife lookout points. And if there’s ever a traffic jam in Jackson Hole or multiple cars pulled over, you know it’s a chance to view some animals—just be sure to keep your distance. But you don’t always find what you’re looking for. With an experienced guide, though, you’ll never miss out on the bison, bears, antelope, moose, elk, or whatever it is you’d like to see. Guide services usually offer half- or full-day trips, and they’ll take you to the best places to spot the wildlife you want to see. Jackson Hole Eco Tour Wildlife Adventures and BrushBuck Wildlife Tours are two of the companies that offer specialized wildlife viewing tours. With a wealth of wildlife living around Jackson Hole, you’re sure to spot animals on your trip.
JACKSON HOLE PLAYHOUSE
When your body needs a break from all the adventure, kick back with a show or shootout at Jackson Hole Playhouse. The theater’s actors reenact an Old West shootout six nights a week, all summer long and put on a show inside the building, which was built in 1915 as a livery stable. This summer the show is “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” running from June 2 to September 30. The Town Square shooting begins at 6 pm on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. Whether you’re looking for an Old West shootout or theater, it’s worth a stop at the Jackson Hole Playhouse.