Teton Village has all the fancy resort hotels, the skiing and the mountain biking park. Jackson—the main town in the valley and 12 miles from Teton Village—has wooden boardwalks, an elk-antler-arched Town Square, the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, cool boutiques, two dozen art galleries, even more restaurants and a diversity of lodging options. My definition of a “downtown” Jackson hotel is any one in which all of the above is within easy walking distance. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a stay at any of the below might also include overhearing the shenanigans of the nightly Jackson Hole Shootout, the longest-running staged gunfight in the West and, Wednesday and Saturday nights, the Jackson Hole Rodeo announcer. Year-round, all of these sit in the shadow of Snow King Mountain—a much smaller ski area than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, but beloved by locals for its winter skiing, summer hiking, mountain bike rides and its scenic chair lift.
Sitting on the private deck of your log cabin at The Rustic Inn, you’d never know you’re a mere five blocks from Jackson’s elk-antler-arched Town Square. Falcons and geese fly overhead, and deer and moose wander outside among the 155-room hotel’s cabins, many of which sit on Flat Creek.
Each of the 22 rooms at this Scandinavian-inspired inn has a gas-lit fireplace, deep soaking tub, private balcony, Egyptian linens and European down comforters. Run by a husband-and-wife team of former Olympians, the Alpine House also serves one of the best breakfasts in town and has developed its own line of bath amenities, Alpine House Botanicals, which are used in its The Little Spa.
Inn on the Creek
You can order your breakfast delivered to any of this inn’s nine rooms, but we’re not sure why you would: While some rooms overlook Flat Creek, which flows through the back yard, the downstairs breakfast room’s French doors open out to it. In summer, take you breakfast to the outdoor patio or, at dinner, have a BBQ.
Travel + Leisure readers once ranked the 32-room Rusty Parrot Inn— overlooking a park that’s a five-minute walk from the Town Square—the #1 hotel in North America (and 28th best in the world). It could have been because of its generous-but-not-stuffy service, the Italian-made Anichini linens, or the afternoon tea service (complete with fresh cookies or scones).
Jackson’s only National Historic Hotel of America, The Wort (pronounced “Wirt” in proper Jacksonese) opened one block from the Town Square in 1941 when downtown’s streets were still dirt. Today, interiors include Fili D’oro linens, a permanent art collection with nearly 100 original pieces, and a bar with one of the best live music scenes around.