4th of July Weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming// Summer Edition

After leaving Salt Lake City, we had the longest 7 hour drive ahead of us to Jackson Hole. But I couldn't have been more excited to spend my 4th of July in this magical place that stole a piece of my heart. Jackson is an old-school cowboy town with lots of new panache and I am head over heels in mad love. It reminded me a lot of my time in Aspen, Colorado..another little sweet gem occupying up real estate in this heart and mind of mine. 

(For your Jackson Hole guide..scroll down to the middle of the post) 

So it's the 4th of July and I am waking up in SLC and have to admit I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. It's a holiday and I just want to lounge by a pool and eat ice cream and grill some hot dogs for the pups. It's warm and the thought of putting on all that gear and getting back on the bike after a rest day just sounds like the worst thing on earth. 

I am a girl who loves traditions. Lin, not so much. 

So about 125 miles northeast of Salt Lake City lives a little place called Garden City, Utah. It's really hardly a city..more like a tiny community that is perched on the edge of a great big blue lake called Bear Lake. This tiny town makes an immodest claim to renown as the birthplace of the ''famous'' raspberry shake. Not much grows in the dry hills, so I was surprised to see so much evidence of fresh raspberries. There were two stands selling fresh berries and jam, and towering advertisements for raspberry shakes. I mean....signs for raspberry shakes everywhere!! And it's the 4th so every little shake place is just booming with people and families and these beautiful 4th of July traditions. We pull over to one of corner gas stations and souvenir stores to fuel up and I see this couple with two dogs and we start talking. They live in SLC but come to Garden City every 4th for a raspberry shake ( the dogs get one too) and to have a beach bonfire on the lake. My mood instantly shifts and long story shake...with all of the shake stands advertising they have the BEST raspberry shake, I do some research and we end up at LaBeau's Drive-In. It's a cute little building in the center of town with a 10-foot-high revolving shake out front! 

So the famous shake.....

First, fresh raspberries are spooned into a large cup. Then, soft ice cream is pumped into the cup, which has a metal sleeve inserted into it so that the mixture doesn't ooze over the top. Finally the mixture is given a short spin with a rotating milkshake mixer. The shake is so thick that when the metal sleeve is removed, the mixture stands up over the edge of the cup like a pink ice cream tower. No straw is provided; the shake must be eaten with a spoon. It's delicious and it was the perfect way to celebrate the holiday for a bit!!!

Just a few miles up the road from here making your way to Wyoming, you will do through a tiny sliver of Idaho. It confused me greatly and I thought Lin went the wrong direction. Ha! I am so directionally challenged. 

We surely did go the right way!!! Hellooooo Wyoming!

We finally made it to Jackson!! Such a charming charming place that I would happily return to at a moment's notice You will feel like you're stepping back into time. And of course Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons are just outside your door, and they make a pretty big impression as soon as you arrive. And of course your summer and winter experiences are going to be so different. Summer in Jackson Hole is arguably a busier season than the winter, since the town fills up with people exploring the mountains by foot, bike, and even boat. Plus the kiddos are out of school for the summer. Those who’ve visited for skiing might not realize that the town is just a 30-minute drive from Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, so it makes a perfect home base for exploring.

The 4th of July weekend has so many great things going on so don't miss the Town Square Pancake Breakfast. 

Take part in this annual tradition, an all-American smorgasbord in Town Square! The Jackson Hole Lions Club will help get your 4th of July started off right with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7:00 am – 10:00 am. 

There's the parade...After you’ve polished off that final pancake, head over to Snow King Avenue to check out the annual 4th of July parade! Starting at 10:30 am, the parade winds down Snow King Avenue to Glenwood, turns onto Broadway and ends on Willow street. They recommend grabbing a front-row seat in front of the Center for the Arts on Glenwood Ave.  It’s the spot with the best view...and the most candy! "

There is also a music festival, a town square shoot-out, and of course THE RODEO!!! 

And the you have fireworks in both Jackson and Teton Village so you can choose. Seriously soooo much fun!!!

JACKSON HOLE TRAVEL DIARY: 

STAY

We checked into the  Snow King Resort Hotel , located at the base of the eponymous mountain on the edge of town.Snow King Mountain is the oldest ski area in Wyoming. Known by locals as the "Town Hill." In 2013, the property completed a $16 million renovation, which means crisp bedding and stellar views. Lin did so great! Our room was literally in the midst of it all. From our balcony, we had a front row seat to the fireworks. It was like having a seat in the sky to celebrate America's birthday!!! 

This place is amazing for the whole family too. During the summer the ski resort transforms its base into a real community hub. Daily activities at Snow King include scenic chairlift rides, the alpine slide, a "Cowboy Coaster" and Treetop Adventure ropes course—complete with zip lines—miniature golf course, paragliding, hiking, biking, bungee trampolines, a new interactive maze and a bouldering park. Of course there is a pool and hot tub too!

And afternoon rosé at Hayden's Post is a must! Ohhh the views!

And if you get hungry Hayden’s Post, has some fab elevated campfire-style fare, like bison chili ($7) and molasses-brined chicken.

    EAT

    Start your day with French pastries and Intelligentsia coffee (helloooo My favorite) or the craft mimosas at Persephone Bakery, a cheery downtown café and larder. The Brussel-sprout-and-sweet-potato hash is divine and at lunchtime, there are sandwiches and fortifying salads, like quinoa and kale with sweet-potatoes, feta, and pumpkin seeds. Stock up on snacks while you’re here: the larder offers stylish noshes like Mast Brothers chocolate, Noble maple syrup, and house-made granola, plus enamel mugs and color-blocked cutting boards. The patio is perfection and they will even offer you a blanket to keep warm! You all know I was in heaven.

    Dig into the best steak in town at the Local. The meat here’s top-notch, all grass-fed, butchered in-house, and local (much of it comes from Lockhart Cattle Company, a few miles down the road). Try handcrafted charcuterie like duck prosciutto, pheasant and spicy elk sausages, and smoked trout. They have a great burger too. 

    The Lotus Cafe --this cozy spot, right off the main drag, serves organic—and local, when possible in this snowy place—veggies and healthy breakfasts. You will love the mile-long tea list. It’s always buzzing with locals during breakfast and lunch. I enjoyed the raw pad thai and the samosas. 

    SIP

    The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar isn’t exactly a discovery (you’ll know it by the enormous, neon bucking bronco sign in the middle of town), but it’s one of Jackson’s most iconic spots. You’ll find tourists, sure, but locals actually hang out here, too, in large part because of the raucous square dancing that takes place to the tune of live music six nights a week. And the barstools are made out of old saddles!!!! Make sure to stop in for a bottle of the local brew ($5) or a fire cider (whiskey, cider and cinnamon, $6) amid knobbled pine beams and Wild West artifacts, including a stuffed grizzly killed barehanded by one C. Dale Petersen. Around the corner the Silver Dollar Bar & Grill in the Wort Hotel is another cowpoke scene featuring live fiddling bands and guys in suspenders dancing with tight-jeaned women beneath the curved pink lights of the “Cowboy Deco”-style bar.

    Man, I love the wild west!!! If only Lin loved to dance....

    Shop

    DANGEROUS TOYS FOR BIG BOYS

    The Mountain Man Toy Shop offers the finest tools, gifts and accessories for the modern day outdoorsman. They make tools inspired by the rich outdoor heritage and lifestyle of Jackson Hole, WY. Jackson Hole has been the destination of mountain men from legendary trappers and explorers like Jim Bridger to today's world class hunters, skiers, climbers, fishermen and other adrenaline hogs. Whether its for charging hard in the wilderness, hanging with the boys around the campfire, or running into town for a whiskey, MMTS provides the finest supplies for those who live to answer the Call of the Wild.

    New West Knifeworks ---We are both in love with this gem!! THE ULTIMATE CHEF KNIVES AND KITCHEN KNIFE SETS live here. I seriously have not been able to find a set that looks good in our incredibly modern kitchen. Like everything is just plain ugly out there. For those of us who love fine food, cooking is an art, and a quality knife is the artist's brush. At New West Knifeworks, they make their chef knives like they cook; they use the finest quality ingredients and prepare them with the patient hands of an artist. Their chef knives are finely tuned, quality instruments, a fusion of form and function. Other customers refer to their American made kitchen knives as 'kitchen jewelry' and the chef knife sets as 'sculpture for the countertop.'  Really hoping Santa delivers these this year!!!!

    Jackson Hole Pendleton-- Always a classic and I was thrilled to actually try on a hat! I hate buying hats on line. And I found a cream vision and had it shipped. Lin had some pieces shipped too! The customer service is divine here.     

    Made-- This gem has locally made jewelry, letterpress cards, and glass belt buckles.    

    Exhibitions at the Diehl Gallery include single-artist collections (Canadian artist David Pirrie, L.A.-based sculptor Gwynn Murrill) as well as multiple perspectives on a single subject. For contemporary Western art, check out Altamira Art, and don’t miss Amy Ringholz’s large-scale, vibrant-hued wildlife paintings at her eponymous gallery

    So now my only question for you is when are we planning our Winter edition weekend escape plan???!!!!!!!!!

    Shop the story here...

    XOOXOX
    SAM