In Jackson Hole, people take après ski as seriously as they do skiing, and there are nearly as many stools to sit on as slopes to explore. Locals love the Village Café – aka the VC – for pizza and PBR (now served in new, roomier digs at the Inn at Jackson Hole), or the freshly renovated Spur in Teton Mountain Lodge for spicy margaritas and mountainous nachos. Do not miss the Many Moose Saloon, dubbed one of the 10 hottest après-ski bars in the world by Forbes Traveler. Having hosted a historic roster of big-name bands, the Moose is serious about its live music, and most afternoons find local groups rocking out beneath the stuffed moose dangling from the rafters. If the sun is shining – and the forecast seems to suggest it will for most of this month – then head to the outdoor eateries Teton Fresh and Tin Can Cantina, both of which plate fresh mex fare in sunny splendor. Teton Fresh boasts Adirondack chairs beneath the Teton Club, while Tin Can Cantina offers benches beside the Gondola. On bluebird days, the deck is always packed at Nick Wilson’s, where classic bar food and beer is served beneath the Tram. Deck dining can also be found at Michael Mina’s The Handle Bar, where fried pickles, housemade moustache-shaped pretzels and a wide whiskey list make for pub-filled fun.
Nearby, the Four Seasons’ Lobby Lounge serves sushi amid a serene setting accented by acoustic musicians. For an elevated experience, ride the Gondola to Couloir, where the delectable roasted ginger or butter sage nuts rival the sweeping views of the valley. On the Moose-Wilson Road, the Q Roadhouse pours its own microbrews alongside hush puppies, barbecue and lively bands.
Once you’ve satiated your après-appetite, spend a night on the town in downtown Jackson. For live music, head to the Pink Garter Theatre – a freshly renovated playhouse replete with velvet curtains and seats – where indie bands stop while touring the Rocky Mountain West. In the coming weeks, the Pink Garter is hosting a pair of San Diego reggae bands, Tribal Seeds and Through the Roots, on January 22, and then Moon Taxi lands with their new record, Cabaret, on January 25.
Across the street, the Silver Dollar Bar hosts a rotating roster of local and visiting bands every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; the free music and dancing begins at 7:30pm and runs until 11pm. Cowboy crooners take to the stage at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, the quintessential Jackson Hole watering hole where saddles stand in for bar stools and real wranglers play pool into the wee hours. For arts and culture, check out the calendar at the Center for the Arts (www.JHCenterfortheArts.org). From exhibit openings to musicals, the Center is always abuzz with creativity. And because this is Jackson, you’ll find the dress code is snow-pants casual at all of these places.