Over Labor Day weekend we decided to make a last minute family trip to the town of Jackson, WY. I had been to Jackson Hole, Wyoming many, many years ago as a kid when my family passed through on their way to Yellowstone National Park, but I didn’t remember much, and the rest of my family had never been. Just a quick 5 hour drive from Salt Lake City, it was the perfect getaway. Before we left I researched everything I could about things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September. Here’s all the fun things you need to know for your family trip to Jackson Hole. Affiliate links are included in this post.
WHERE TO STAY IN JACKSON HOLE
Making last minute plans in the town of Jackson Hole in September is a bit trickier than I realized. The Jackson Hole hotels downtown fill up quickly and well in advance of holiday weekends. I was surprised to learn that the town of Jackson, WY is actually busier during the summer months and into September than it is during the winter. I had always thought of Jackson as a ski town, which it is, but more importantly it is the gateway to national treasures like The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, which bring in visitors from all over the world. These parks are largely closed during the winter, so all of those visitors come during the summer months. This guarantees that there are lots of fun things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September! For about two weeks prior to our trip I researched the best places to stay in Jackson Hole in summer and decided that for our family, staying in one of the Jackson Hole hotels downtown would be best.
There are two main areas to stay in and near Jackson Hole. The town of Jackson, WY is a bustling western themed downtown area full of shops and restaurants. There is a wide variety of Jackson Hole, Wyoming hotels to choose from. The top contenders for me were The Hotel Jackson and The Wort Hotel. I read wonderful things about the Rusty Parrot Lodge as well, but ultimately it came down to the convenience of everything downtown Jackson Hole had to offer and both the Hotel Jackson and Wort Hotel were closer.
The Wort Hotel Jackson Hole
We were able to get the best rates at the Wort, so we stayed in a large 2 Queen Bedroom that was more than comfortable for our family of 4. The Wort Hotel feels like everything you would want to see in Jackson Hole, WY. This luxury boutique hotel has 55 beautiful guest rooms housed in an historic building. Rooms are decorated in western decor with plush beds and large spa like bathrooms. The location could not be better if you are looking for Jackson Hole hotels downtown. It is right in the heart of downtown Jackson and steps away from Jackson Town Square. There is a super popular restaurant and bar on the premises, the Silver Dollar Bar and Grill, with live music and dancing several nights a week as well as lots of big screen TVs to watch your favorite sporting event. It is super lively and loud, so if you are concerned about noise in your room, just be sure to ask about a room away from the restaurant when you are booking. We were on the first floor on the opposite side of the building from the bar and didn’t hear a thing. Service at the hotel is wonderful and rooms are large, clean and comfortable.
Teton Village Hotels
Teton Village is about a 10 minute drive from the town of Jackson, WY, more remote and removed. Teton Village is definitely your ski-in/ski-out winter weather destination. Luxury Ski Lodges in Teton Village like the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, are nestled in the hills at the base of Teton Village Ski Resort and offer slope-side lodging. It is a gorgeous resort! The Hotel Terra Jackson Hole is another beautiful option at the base of the ski resort. Smaller hotels like the Alpenhof Lodge are darling and cozy giving you the feel of staying in an Alpine village in Switzerland, but they do have mixed reviews, so be aware. We visited the lobby to get a feel for the hotel in case we wanted to return and it seemed cute to me, but I can’t vouch for the rooms. There are a number of restaurants and a few little shops in the Teton Village, but it definitely feels more like a ski town with fewer options and more resort pricing. I can imagine that during the winter it feels even more remote due to snowy weather making it more difficult to travel around.
Fireside Hotel Jackson Hole
If you are looking for a fun and different lodging option in Jackson Hole, WY, check out the Fireside Resort. Located about halfway between Jackson Hole hotels downtown and Teton Village hotels, the Fireside Resort is an actual campground/RV park where they have constructed individual luxury cabins on about half of the RV lots. Think tiny houses. These cute cabins have kitchenettes, fireplaces, luxury linens, well appointed bathrooms, large flat screen TVs, a cute little porch and an outdoor fire pit. You get the feel of camping without the work (and sleeping on the ground. ;)) . They offer three different sizes of cabins that sleep up to 6 guests.
THINGS TO DO IN JACKSON HOLE WYOMING IN SEPTEMBER
Jackson Hole, Wyoming offers a plethora of outdoor adventures like white water rafting adventures, hiking, mountain biking, camping and fishing in some of the most picturesque country I have ever seen. I am not what you would call an “outdoorsy” person, but being in these gorgeous surroundings even made me want to bike and hike! If you are looking for things to do in Jackson Hole in September, you will find that your list gets longer and longer the more you research! Here are some of the things we did and that I would recommend if you are planning a trip to Jackson Hole.
Rafting in Jackson Hole
Remember the whole “we’re not outdoorsy people” thing? Well, when I was looking for things to do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, rafting down the Snake River kept coming up as a “must do” activity. I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to do white water rafting as it was going to be September and Jackson Hole weather can be a bit unpredictable at that time of year. That was when I discovered Barker Ewing float trips.
A Barker Ewing float trip is a perfect way to see the beauty of the Snake River and the Grand Tetons and not get wet. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly and taught us so much along the way. The great reviews that Barker Ewing receives on travel sites are well deserved. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Barker Ewing also offers whitewater rafting trips as well, and if you are considering whitewater rafting in Jackson Hole I would highly recommend a trip with them. Whitewater rafting would be one of the fun things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September for people who have never done a whitewater trip before because the river water levels are very low at the end of the season, making the trip a good one for newbies.
Jackson Hole Farmer’s Market
The Jackson Hole Farmer’s Market is definitely a must do on your list of things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September. The market runs Saturday mornings from 8am-12pm in from the first Saturday after July 4th- the third weekend in September. The market is located on Jackson Hole’s iconic Town Square with its signature elk antler arches. There is live music and delicious locally grown food. We had the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich made with homemade bread and locally produced cheese, amazing fruit cups and yummy smoothies. Come hungry because the food is GOOD!
Jackson Hole Town Square
Jackson Hole Town Square is a beautiful little park right in the middle of downtown Jackson surrounded by pretty shops and restaurants. You’ll definitely want to take your picture under the incredible elk horn arches marking each corner of the park. If you have little ones, don’t miss the Jackson Hole Town Square Shootout. This long running Jackson Hole tradition takes place nightly at 6pm (except Sundays) and re-enacts an Old West shootout. You can read a little about the history of the Jackson Hole Town Square shootout here. With teenagers, we found it to be a little bit silly, but I’m sure smaller kids would love it! Get there early because it definitely gathers a large crowd!
Jackson Hole Rodeo
While not available as an activity in September, if you are in Jackson Hole during the summer months, you should definitely embrace the cowboy culture for a more authentic experience and head to the Jackson Hole Rodeo. The Jackson Hole Rodeo is definitely something fun to do in Jackson Hole, WY and if you are visiting most Wednesday, Friday and/or Saturday nights from May-August, you will have the chance to catch the rodeo in town. The show starts at 8pm. You can find the schedule here. Things to be aware of if you decide to attend the rodeo:
- The rodeo is fairly expensive…adult tickets range from $21-33 a piece for general admission tickets up to $40 for a reserved seat. Kids prices are slightly less expensive. (those are discounted online ticket prices, tickets are more expensive at the venue)
- The rodeo takes place rain or shine. There are no weather delays or refunds for bad weather. Bring a jacket as weather can change quickly from warm and sunny to windy and cold.
- The rodeo is very popular. Get tickets early if you are planning on making it a part of your Jackson Hole vacation. You will avoid long ticket lines this way and ensure that you get in. Crowds start gathering about 45 minutes prior to the start of the rodeo, so get there early if you want to get a good seat!
Bar J Wranglers Chuck Wagon Cowboy Dinner
Along with our scenic river float trip, I consider attending a Chuck Wagon cowboy dinner with the Bar J Wranglers to be one of the total highlights of our trip to Jackson Hole, WY. The food is delicious and hearty and the show is incredibly entertaining. This activity is fun for all ages and can accommodate large groups, so if you’re heading to Jackson Hole with family or friends definitely put this chuck wagon cowboy dinner at the top of your list of things to do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September. The nights are cool this time of year, so it’s great to attend an indoor show. You can read all about our experience here and get all the details on what you need to know before you go.
National Elk Refuge Jackson Hole
Driving back and forth from downtown Jackson to Teton Village you will notice a large (and I mean really large!) fenced in area along the side of the road. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some elk. This is the national elk refuge in Jackson Hole. Winter is prime elk sighting season as they come to the refuge in search of food during the cold winter months, but during the summer months you can enjoy a walk or bicycle ride on the multi-use pathway open from May through October. It’s also a great place to try and spot other wildlife in the area. You can pick up maps and suggestions for wildlife viewing along Refuge Road and other Jackson Hole valley locations at the Jackson Hole visitor’s center.
Stargazing in the Wyoming Skies
Stargazing may not be at the top of your list of things to do in Jackson Hole, but I’m here to tell you that it should be! Most of us live in or near large cities where without realizing it, we are missing out on some of the most amazing views around. Wyoming is home to some of the country’s darkest night skies and I have never been more amazed by the stunning universe than when we took a few minutes to pull off the side of the road and gaze at the night sky on our trip to Jackson Hole. It was so incredible, that we are planning a trip back to more fully enjoy the Wyoming night sky. I promise, you will be amazed. Be sure to research the best way to see the stars…there are tricks like letting your eyes adjust to the night sky with no other light around for 30 minutes in order to see the best. Learn about those tips and tricks before you go. Here is a great place to start. You can also check out the Wyoming Stargazing organization for tours and more.
A few other things to see and do in Jackson Hole Wyoming in September:
Moulton Barn (a famous spot for photography lovers)
SHOPPING IN JACKSON HOLE
If you’re not into skiing or nature, have no fear. Jackson Hole, WY has so many cute shops and boutiques that you can spend the weekend browsing and buying. Aside from just your average Jackson Hole gift shops, here are some of my Jackson Hole shops you don’t want to miss.
MADE Jackson Hole
This shop is SO cute! Located in Gaslight Alley this cute boutique features all kinds of local, handmade goodness with a fun vintage feel. I found stationery, jewelry, home goods and art that I wanted to take home with me.
Two Twenty Home : Jackson Hole
This amazing home design store is super gorgeous and SUPER expensive. Wander through and dream about what you want your mountain house to look like…and bring your self restraint and no kiddos that might touch or break anything. 😉 lol!
Paper and Grace : Jackson Hole
I am a sucker for a great stationery store and this one is SO cute!! They have all kinds of pretty journals and cards and party supplies and pens…and some of the coolest crepe paper from Italy that I have been dying to get my hands on for crafting. Definitely a must stop when you are in town.
Mountain Dandy Jackson Hole
This cute shop is perfect for the man in your life. If you need to design a man-cave or rework your hubby’s closet, there is something here for every man in your life. Super cool gear for every man.
Mursell’s Sweet Shop Jackson Hole
When you need a sweet treat after all your shopping adventures, head on over to Mursell’s Sweet Shop. The decor is darling (navy and white striped painted wood floors!) and you can be sure to find something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
I hope you are as excited about planning a trip to Jackson Hole now, as we are about heading back soon. We seriously loved our time there SO much!
If you make it there, be sure to let me know about your experience or any other amazing things we need to see or do next time we’re in the town of Jackson, WY so I can add them to my ever growing list.
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