36 Hours in Jackson Hole
5 to 8 PM
More than 20 downtown galleries open the doors to evening strollers during the Third Thursday ArtWalk, a free monthly affair from 5 to 8 p.m. Tipple and treats greet gallerygoers, as do the full gamut of Jackson art, from traditional wildlife and landscape art (Trailside Galleries, Legacy Gallery and Astoria Fine Art) to New West works (Altamira Fine Art), from modern masters (Heather James Fine Art) to contemporary stars (Tayloe Piggott Gallery and Diehl Gallery).
Snake River Grill could be transplanted to any city in the world and rival its urban peers. Helmed by chef Jeff Drew, the Grill, as locals call it, serves haute fare with creative Western winks: sweet onion rings come stacked on a branding iron. Daily specials spotlight Drew's unending imagination, and every meal should end with Eskimo Bars, the hand-dipped caramel and chocolate ice cream bars that the Food Network spotlighted on its show, "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
The Lower East Side has Death & Co. Chicago has the Violet Hour. And Jackson has the Rose - a speakeasy-style craft cocktail lounged tucked upstairs at the recently reopened Pink Garter Theatre. Channeling the Pink Garter's playhouse past, the Rose juxtaposes dramatic details - velvet wallpaper, crystal chandeliers, red tufted booths - with creative concoctions like the Kill Devil Hills, a lush layering of ingredients - buffalo trace bourbon, Campari, oleo saccharum, black tea, angostura bitters, sparkling wine and freshly grated nutmeg - that can come in a punch bowl. Across the lobby, the Pink Garter hosts a rotating roster of touring bands.
Breakfast of champions
Rise early to snag a table at Nora's Fish Creek Inn, a Wilson depot recently recognized as an "American Classic" by the James Beard Foundation. Trout and eggs, huevos rancheros and short stack of pancakes make for a hearty start to the day.
Venture into Grand Teton National Park via the Moose-Wilson Road, a windy roadway shaded by lodgepole pines. Along the way, you'll pass two trailheads - Granite Canyon and Death Canyon (most conveniently accessed through the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve). Answer their call to action, park and go hiking. Granite can be explored to the west and south - the latter loops back to Teton Village - while Death Canyon leads to Phelps Lake and higher points like Rimrock Lake. Check in with the park ranger at the park entrance for a map and conditions. Pack a picnic from Aspens Market on the Westbank or Persephone Bakery in downtown Jackson.
A slice of heaven
Rarely does pizza come with an unparalleled view as it does at Dornan's Pizza and Pasta Company in Moose. Overlooking the expanse of Grand Teton National Park, Dornan's attracts a wide array of patrons, from mainstays of Monday-night Hootenannies to athletes celebrating a successful summit bid. Dornan's menu features fresh, hearty fare, and the adjoining Wine Shoppe stocks a top-notch selection of varietals that can be uncorked and enjoyed next door. The two decks - one wraps around the restaurant and the other perches above it - invite relaxing, worked muscles and all.
For 51 summers, the Grand Teton Music Festival has recruited the nation's finest classical musicians to spend the summer at the base of Rendezvous Mountain. Under the visionary leadership of Music Director Maestro Donald Runnicles, the Music Festival stages concerts Tuesdays through Saturdays, July 4 through August 16. With chamber concerts and creative spotlights filling weekday nights, the weekends bring large-scale orchestral concerts - all within the world-class setting of Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village. For the full schedule, visit www.gtmf.org.
Taste of the Tetons
Café Genevieve honors the history within its walls as the turn-of-the-century log cabin home of Genevieve Van Vleck, one of five women elected to the Jackson Town Council in 1920, a group known as the "Petticoat Government," the first all-female municipality in the U.S. Chef Joshua Governale, who cut his teeth at esteemed establishments like the Coyote Café, features regional ingredients in dishes rich with New Orleans flare. Brunch favorites - enjoyed on the outdoor deck - include waffles and fried chicken, fried green tomatoes eggs benedict and the Bueno Burger, a juicy patty topped with housemade green chili, a fried egg and cheddar cheese.
National Museum of Wildlife Art Twenty five years ago, valley residents Bill and Joffa Kerr decided to share their wildlife art collection, and with friends, opened the Wildlife of the American West Art Museum on the Town Square. Outgrowing the space, the museum moved into a stunningly craggy structure that blends into the butte overlooking the National Elk Refuge, just north of town. In 1994, the U.S. Congress bestowed national status on the museum, recognizing it as the definitive site to see wildlife art in the country. Summer exhibitions include George Caitlin's American Buffalo, Amazing Animals: John James Audubon to Andy Warhol, Traveling Trout, National Geographic: Selections from Greatest Photographs of the American West and Ancient Traditions: The Whetzel Collection of Pueblo and Pre-Pueblo Pottery.
After satiating your aesthetic side, enjoy a late lunch at one of many downtown eateries. For a burger, visit Local Restaurant or Liberty Burger. For Thai cuisine, choose from Thai Me Up, Thai Plate and Bon Appe Thai. For a pub fare, visit Snake River Brewpub or the Wort Hotel. Primo slices can be found at Pizzeria Caldera and Pinky G's Pizzeria. Sandwiches are high art at New York Sub Shop and Creekside Market. Sweetwater Restaurant cultivates a homey ambiance and fare, while Lotus Café makes healthy food truly tasty. Taqueria Sanchez, Hatch, and Pica's Mexican Taqueria both feature excellent Mexican food. Creative cafes - with decks no less! - include: Persephone Bakery's new café and boulangerie, where artisanal breads take center stage; Cafe Boheme, and the aforementioned Café Genevieve. With so many tasty menus to choose from, you may have to extend your Teton stay to make room for more meals.