A Sunday morning coffee thought. I’ve met so many people through my travels and the motivators behind planning travel interest me: do you go back to the same place every year? do you pick a different destination to explore each trip? do you use a travel planner, or pour hours into researching a destination, or just book the trip and figure it out when you get there? I’m the kind of person that spends hours planning the trip – from setting flight alerts to areas on my travel bucket list, to picking restaurants, accommodations and mapping out a day-by-day itinerary. I put my heart and soul into my travels because I don’t think it’s guaranteed that I’ll be back and I want to get the most out of every destination. I do see the allure of arriving and figuring everything out, but to me that’s too risky. What kind of traveler are you?
I recently went back to a destination that has a very special place in my heart. Little did I know when I planned this trip that my heart would be hurting due to a tragic death in my family – my Gramps passing away in his sleep. There is something incredibly soothing about visiting a place that means so much to you, it feels familiar, yet like it wants to challenge your senses. My Gramps accomplished in many areas, but one of his favorite things was nature photography, so being immersed in all the nature immediately after his passing felt like I was with him. He was on my mind the entire time.
Jackson Hole is the intersection of the wild west and Americana old school class and here are some of the highlights:
Mountain Modern Motel – I helped open Mountain Modern Motel, a contemporary motel right off the main square in Jackson Hole. The accommodations are functional and minimalistic, with every modern convenience you could hope for. The rooms are equipped for your favorite Jackson activities, i.e. there is an area in your room to store your skis, hooks on the wall for your backpacks and a large sink to clean off your hiking boots. This is the perfect base-camp for your time in Jackson Hole.
Jackson Hole Shopping – Walk around the square and peek into the shops selling western novelties. I snagged a turquoise ring, plaid pajama shorts and some blackberry salt water taffy.
Via Ferrata – With Italian origins, this sport is exhilarating and an exciting change after days of hiking. You are harnessed via steel cords to the mountain and literally climb and scale the rock formations.
Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Park – Take a day and enjoy the beauty of my favorite national park. There is nothing like seeing the Grand Tetons on a clear day. I recommend taking a hike around Jenny Lake and then boating back to continue to your car and driving through Yellowstone National Park. You’re guaranteed to see wildlife – I got lucky and saw a moose!
Cream + Sugar Ice Cream – We met the owner behind Cream + Sugar ice cream sandwiches. My favorite flavors were huckleberry and mint chocolate chip.
Snake River Brewery – Can’t come out west without stopping at a place like this. Sit outside and enjoy the view of the mountains, with people sitting around fire pits and playing corn hole.
Lotus Organic Café – Stop here for your fix of grain bowls, salads and noodle dishes. Get your perfect lunch Instagram here.
Persephone Bakery – I couldn’t believe a place like this exists in Jackson! Enjoy your croissants, cappuccinos, and granola by the outdoor fire pit and snuggle up with the blankets they drape over chairs.
Are there any places you can’t stay away from? xC