4 days in Jackson Hole during Shoulder Season

We planned my parents a family vacation to Jackson Hole as a Christmas gift. Then Grant decided this was a good idea and wanted to do the same for his parents, but to Belize. Around the same time we were invited to a destination wedding in Todos Santos, Mexico. So since we live in Costa Rica and flights back to The States are pricey, we decided to combine all the trips back-to-back-to-back! Kind of crazy, but it worked for us! First stop: Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

We scheduled around the wedding so this put our trip in April. Our family isn’t big skiers so we weren’t looking for powder in Jackson Hole, even though it is famed for this! But we also weren’t going to get any summertime hikes in either. There is still so much to do in Jackson Hole during shoulder season.

My sister and her husband were supposed to join us on the trip but she got the flu a few days before! (Horrible timing!) So it was my parents and our family of 3.5 (Grant, myself, 1 year old Marin, and a bun in the oven.)

Where to stay in Jackson Hole

We had a great cabin in an awesome location. It could have technically fit six adults but would have been tight. We ended up comfortable with four plus Marin. The location was perfectly situated in between town and the park and you could see the gorgeous Tetons. Plus we saw elk in the backyard daily!

What to do in Jackson Hole during Shoulder Season

Take an Elk Ride at the National Elk Refuge

The elk ride was really cool. If there’s snow on the ground you ride in a horse and sleigh, but with most of it melted during our visit we rode in a horse-drawn wagon. The tour guide shares a lot of interesting facts and you get up close to hundreds of elk!

Check out Teton Village

This is where the ski lifts are but there are also some great restaurants and shops. We ate at the The Handle Bar at the Four Seasons. Don’t let the Four Seasons fool you, this pub is super low key and inviting. We wanted to do the gondola ride while in Teton Village, but it was closed. A shoulder season bummer!

Check out the National Museum of Wildlife Art and The Visitor Center

At the National Museum of Wildlife Art there are impressive animal statues. You can walk around outside and the view is gorgeous! It’s definitely worth a side of the road stop.

Okay typically I would not recommend a visitor center, but there were some great kid friendly exhibits! Something to do with toddlers for sure.

Visit Grand Teton National Park

This is the highlight, right!? The nature and vast vistas of the Tetons are absolutely breathtaking! Shoulder season was a great time to visit because everything was still covered in snow, yet it was sunny with mild temperatures. The only downside is some of the trails were inaccessible until summer.

Go Bar Hopping

I was 5 months pregnant with baby Hobie but that didn’t stop me from hitting the town with Grant one night. The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is an institution and an absolute must. Sit on saddles at the bar and hit up the gift shop. There was also a free music festival in town so we wandered the streets and tucked into a few other cute bars. We especially enjoyed the live music at the Silver Dollar Bar inside the Wort Hotel.

Watch wildlife

We loved driving around looking for elk and moose. We saw hundreds of elk but only 2 moose (meese? mooses?). It was so cool to see these huge animals in the wild! Your best chance at spotting them is dawn and dusk.

Go shopping

There are so many cute boutiques to check out in town. We got baby-to-be Hobie a onesie and the boys some matching pajamas. I wanted to splurge on some cowboy boots for Marin, but toddler’s feet grow too fast! And let’s be real, we live in Costa Rica and he is barefoot 99% of the time.

Where to eat in Jackson Hole

Glorietta Trattoria – This restaurant is amazing. The handmade pasta and chic interior are a dream.

Persephone Cafe – This cafe had delicious food and coffee. We went for a brunchy lunch.

The Handle Bar at the Four Seasons – Don’t miss this aforementioned cozy pub in Teton Village.

Cowboy Coffee – Grab a coffee and pastry from this cute coffee shop in town.

The Local – Delicious! If with kids, sit on the bar side for a more casual dining experience.

Is Jackson Hole good for a toddler?

We had an awesome family vacation in Jackson Hole. Marin loved seeing the elk and playing in the snow by our cabin. Dining and shopping-centric vacations aren’t always the best with little ones but there is plenty of room to mix adventure in too. The only thing to consider is that there is potentially a lot of car time if you’re going to drive around the national park wildlife spotting or visiting nearby Yellowstone.

Cozy in Jackson Hole,


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