Nobody ever said that choosing to visit Jackson Hole in the summer is going to be particularly easy on one’s bank account—but the bank doesn't have to break. Let us arm you with the knowledge and the numbers of which lodging, restaurants, tours and attractions can cost you less during your vacation in Jackson Hole.
But remember, after all is said and done, you will find the experience of being here is really pretty priceless.
Sleep On the Cheap(ish)
Hotels in the town of Jackson are generally less expensive than those in Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. At the lower end of the spectrum, a double room in town can start around $200. A room for two at more up-market lodges average $300 and higher. Conversely, accommodations in most hotels out in the Village are well upwards of $400 a night in summer.
Why not think outside the box for alternative lodging? Eschew the traditional hotel room and try a hostel (an inexpensive lodging facility for open-minded travelers that typically has dormitory-style sleeping arrangements— called also youth hostel) Experience Cache House located just steps from Town Square, the Anvil Hotel's sister property. Cache House is unlike anything you’ve come to expect. Queen, full or twin bunks options to choose from feature a custom curtain to block out light and sound when it’s time to rest. More amenities include radiant heat floors, 12 private bathrooms, private locker storage, freshly brewed coffee, gathering space, and movie nights! Rates start as low as $88 per person, per night, with a two-night minimum.
Savings Tip: A lot of hotels and inns offer special reduced rate packages, so don’t forget to ask about those before you book. Also keep in mind that you can find even cheaper lodging in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall—and Jackson Hole is just as amazing during those months as it is in the summer.
Don’t Rent a Car...
… At least not for the entire length of your visit. Is a car convenient to have in Jackson? Yes and no. There are a lot of folks who visit in July and August which translates into even more cars on the roads which naturally equals a lot of slow-moving traffic, plus a harder time finding a spot to park downtown near Town Square. And who wants to spend precious vacation exploration time in a traffic jam? Again, we encourage you to think outside the box.
A lot of hotels and resorts offer a free shuttle service between the Jackson Hole Airport and the hotel, so right off the bat, you're comfortably car-less. Once you’re settled in you can take full advantage of Jackson Hole’s START (Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit) bus to get back and forth between town and Teton Village and vise versa. It only costs $3 a ride (cash only) for adults and children under age 8 ride free plus getting from Point A to Point B within the town limits is free for everyone! START also has a community bike share program servicing the town of Jackson, so you have access to 55 bikes and 18 conveniently-located START bike stations and the fee is nominal—unlock a bike for $2 and it’s only 10¢ a minute. Soak in the fresh air and see the sights without worrying about traffic.
You will need to rent a car for a trip out into Grand Teton or Yellowstone national parks, but that cost is so much less than renting for a week or two.
Savings Tip: You can always see the national parks with a scenic wildlife tour operator. The average cost for a half-day is $140 adults, children age 10 and under $105; full-day is $240 adults and children age 10 and under $205. Not only are you seeing all the sights of Grand Teton and Yellowstone with someone else behind the wheel, but you're also guaranteed to spot wildlife up close in their magnificent stomping grounds in the Tetons. Most tour companies offer a complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your hotel located in the town of Jackson or Teton Village. Win-win!
Minimal Money for Mountain Munching
There are many restaurants throughout the Jackson area—in and around Town Square, on the outskirts of town, in Teton Village—and while we recommend you check them out, your wallet may grow weary, so we'd also like to let you know that your lunch or dinner options need not always equal the cost of your hotel room.
The first recommendation is simply two words: Happy Hour. At any given eatery or bar, the Happy Hour is going to feature eats on the cheaps. That's a given, so keep this option in your back pocket.
Our second recommendation is encapsulated in three words: $10 lunch specials. A sampling of these glorious, money-saving menus include the $10 lunch at Hole Bowl, three tacos for $10 at Streetfood in the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson (between the town of Jackson and Teton Village), $10 White Buffalo Club burger, fries and a beer during Happy Hour (pictured), two slices of pizza and a drink for $10 at Pinky G’s and Snake River Brewery's $10 lunch menu.
One of the perks of visiting Jackson Hole in the off-season is what we locals really look forward to in both fall and spring: The arrival of two-fer's (two-for-one meals).
If you're headed out to Grand Teton or Yellowstone national parks or any other adventure, get some grab-and-go noshes for around $5 at Creekside Market and Deli, located across from the Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center.
Think shoulder seasons
One of the perks of visiting Jackson Hole in the off-season is what we locals really look forward to in both fall and spring: The arrival of two-fer's (two-for-one meals) at many of the restaurants around town. These dining deals—two-fer's and/or discounted meals—usually begin mid-to-late October and last into the early part of November. Some of the eateries that offer the BOGO meals are Sidewinders, The Kitchen, Roadhouse Pub & Eatery, Il Villaggio Osteria, Bin 22, Hatch, Gather, The Blue Lion, and Thai Me Up.
Visit jhfinedining.com for more details on discounts at specific restaurants.
Free food! Best. Vacation. Ever.
Savings Tip: Check out our "Specials" tab for discounts at restaurants and bars, as well as for retail stores, tour companies, etc.
No-To Low-Cost Entertainment
Given the high prices of all manner of activities, you might not imagine that Jackson Hole nightlife would be easily and happily affordable, yet summer here offers free music in spades, as well as other cheap entertainment in the evenings.
Free musical options are Sunday Concerts on the Commons at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, listening and dancing to the decades-old Stagecoach Band at the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson (dubbed "Sunday Church"), hearing live bands play nearly nightly for no cover charge at the Silver Dollar Showroom inside the Wort Hotel and JacksonHoleLive concerts at the base of Snow King Mountain ($5 for those age 18 and up).
Attending the free, Monday night Jackson Hole Hootenanny out at Dornan’s in Moose is sure to be one of the most memorable parts of your visit to Jackson Hole. This real deal, Western acoustic musical event has been around for more than 60 years. It starts at 6 p.m.
The Grand Teton Music Festival presents free family concerts throughout July and August at Teton County Library and at Walk Festival Hall in Teton Village, and GTMF additionally offers free, family-friendly "Movies on the Mountain" on Monday nights, also in Walk Festival Hall. You can catch free ski movies at the Teton Gravity Research retail store on Town Square. It includes a 30-seat theater where nightly at 7 p.m. you can see the TGR-produced feature film "Far Out." Also, every hour on the hour you can marvel at their 25-minute ski flick "Wild Jackson."
'Summit' Rendezvous Mountain For Free
While we highly recommend taking the Aerial Tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for the unparalleled views of the valley and the Tetons—not to mention the yummy waffles at Corbet's Cabin—the cost is $45. That said, A) It's worth it, and B) Tickets are $7 cheaper if you buy them online. There is, however, a way to get nearly to the summit of Rendezvous Mountain at the resort for free. Gratis gondola rides start daily at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, during the summer. Ride the "gondi" up to the top for happy hour on The Deck, which overlooks the whole of the Hole. The Deck is a favorite of both Jackson Hole denizens and visitors alike. A summer menu of appetizers and shared plates are available, as are tunes from local musicians and DJs. Feel free to take a short hike around, too. And the photo ops from up there are top-notch.