Posts filed under ‘Nightlife’

Jackson Hill Climb

So… last weekend was Hill Climb here in Jackson. This being my first spring spent in the area, I got to experience this special event for the first time. For those of you who may also be unfamiliar with Hill Climb, the event is formally known as the World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb. About 20 snowmobilers known as the Jackson Hole Snow Devils started a hill climb in 1975 at Snow King Mountain in town, and the tradition has continued annually at the same location ever since. To say that it has grown in size, however, may be an understatement. This year, for its 40th anniversary, Hill Climb drew over 300 snowmobilers, and a crowd of more than 10,000 fans to the valley.


Snowmobilers start the events early in the morning, and they last all day. Competitors start at the base of the mountain, and the objective is to snowmobile straight up the incredibly steep slopes of Snow King, and end up the first one at the top. I live right near the base of Snow King, and so luckily (or unluckily, depending how you look at it), I was able to see and hear the snowmobiles revving up early every morning.

The festive spirit of Hill Climb is definitely palpable in the air in Jackson throughout the weekend. The base of Snow King houses beer and food stands from great local vendors, and of course, hundreds of jovial fans. A trip to the nearby bars downtown is recommended on Friday and Saturday night, as visitors and locals alike continue the celebratory spirit after hours. If you don’t prefer to be right in the middle of the crowd to spectate the events, a great option is Lift Restaurant and Bar, which due to its location, has become somewhat of an epicenter for Hill Climb festivities. Located on Cache Street, just across the street from the base of Snow King, Lift is open all day during hill climb and serves up a delicious selection of elevated bar food and drink. A great way to spectate is to go to the roof of Lift, which has perfect panoramic views of the action at Snow King.

Overall, Hill Climb is definitely a unique way to have some fun while taking a break from skiing in March, if you can. I hope that you are able to experience it at least once during your travels to Jackson Hole… I definitely look forward to it next year.


March 31, 2016 at 3:53 pm 1 comment

Country Western Swing Dance Lessons in Jackson Hole

Two years ago I was elbow deep in preparation for my August wedding, reading the Knot blog posts and perusing Pinterest boards for inspiration when I came across a post about preparing for your first dance.54113_637296061575_1650376246_o My then fiance, Jared, would regularly joke about how I had an allotted number of times I could get him out on the dance floor each year. Every time I would drag him out on the dance floor at a friends wedding he would remind me “you are using up one of your dances tonight!” In our early years when I frequented the Stagecoach Bar in Wilson for Disco Night, or Ladies Night as it’s also referred to, on Thursday nights I invited him the first few times. After politely declining every time I came to realization that Thursday nights at “the Coach” were always going to be a true ladies night for me.

So when I came across the article about our first dance a little bit of panic set in. We definitely didn’t have much practice dancing as a couple and I was having a western wedding, complete with the cowboy boots under my dress, so how could I not throw in some country western dance moves for our first dance? I immediately turned to my best friend, Google, and asked it where I could find country western dance lessons in Jackson Hole. It generated one solid lead – Dancer’s Workshop offered country western dance lessons at the Center for the Arts. Yahtzee!

I pulled up the schedule and my enthusiasm rapidly waned as I realized that the only lesson available before our wedding was an advanced lesson. Jared and I didn’t even know what foot to start with, let alone how to do a turn. I called up the Workshop and asked if the lesson was suitable for beginners. They said that it may be a little advance but we should be fine. So we each donned our cowboy boots, paid our $20 fee and entered the dance studio, where the lesson was held. Within the first 5 minutes we knew that we were in over our head. They were teaching complex, old school country western dance moves, such as “the window”. One of the instructors noticed us flailing in the corner and came over and gave us some basic maneuvers to work on. We had a good time but knew that we probably should have started with a class for beginners. So, when last week I saw an ad for free country western dance lessons at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar on Thursday night, I told Jared that we should attend.

We showed up at 7:30PM, grabbed a drink from the bar and headed to the dance floor. There were three instructors – one old school cowboy and two ladies with flowing skirts. We started by learning the steps, one foot in, one foot planted in the back – lean in, lean out, lean in, lean out. Once we had that sorted we moved on to a girl turn, then a guy turn. As we progressed through the lesson we realized that we knew a lot more about country western dancing than we gave ourselves credit. There were a few couples who had clearly never danced before, dancing like puppies whose paws are too big for their body, clumsy and flailing. They watched us with awe, as if we were Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk for the first time. However, I’m pretty sure that we looked like bumbling idiots, just less so than them.

We were taught the cuddle and how to do a behind the back boy turn. Then we learned the two step, which while it is important to the history of country western dancing, I have yet to really see it being done on the dance floors in Jackson Hole. After the lesson we tipped our instructors and then the band started. We grabbed a beer and headed out onto the dance floor to try our new moves. We had an absolute blast! And I think that we even got a whoop or two from the crowd – though I could have completely been imagining that. If you are interested in learning how to dance, or even just to experience some true western culture, I would highly recommend attending the country western dance lessons at the Cowboy Bar. The lessons occur every Thursday from 7:30PM to 9PM. Make sure to bring a partner because when we went there were a lot more girls than guys so they didn’t end up doing the lesson. So grab your partner, don your cowboy boots and head down to the Cowboy for some good old fashion dance lessons!

**Note – the Dancer’s Workshop offers Country Western Dance Lessons on occasion. They currently do not have any lessons scheduled**

June 17, 2015 at 2:17 pm Leave a comment

Nightlife in Jackson Hole – The Local

I spent many  late nights closing down the Cadillac Bar & Grill, so when they closed their doorsThe Local JH two years ago I was devastated. No matter what came in its place, it couldn’t possibly be better than the Cadillac. And then, I heard that the new restaurant to open in its place was called the Local Restaurant and Bar. Locals refer to it as “The Local.” I thought, how can they really call it The Local, they have no idea if locals will actually patronize their restaurant. I was very skeptical, but true to their name, The Local on any given Friday or Saturday night is where you are going to find the locals. The school teacher, the entrepreneur, the ski bum and the fly fishermen can be found co-mingling, exchanging stories about their week and catching up with old friends.

The restaurant is located in downtown Jackson on Cache Street, next to the infamous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The restaurant itself boasts delicious, albeit expensive, steaks, elk and fish options. The bar menu has a variety of finger foods and includes a particularly tasty hamburger. They have a signature cocktail menu with drinks ranging from $9 to $12 and 12 beers on tap. The bar can get a liThe Local Jackson Holettle tight after 10PM as they have a fair amount of tables and seating around the bar and not much standing room. They do not have live music. The Local is a favorite place for locals to meet friends to catch up, celebrate a birthday, bachelorette party or grab a few drinks before heading over to dance at the Cowboy Bar. If you are looking for a quiet place to grab a drink I don’t suggest that you go to the Local on a Friday or Saturday night. The bar tends to be loud and crowded which can be fun or miserable depending on what type of mood you are in. If you want to be social and rub elbows with a bunch of locals it’s a great spot. If you are looking for a romantic spot to grab a drink with you hunny I would suggest heading to a somewhere else, like the Snake River Grill’s bar or Hayden’s Post. Either way, I would definitely pop in to the Local if you are looking for a good nightlife spot when you are in Jackson. You never know who you are going to run into!

March 26, 2015 at 3:13 pm 2 comments

Nightlife in Jackson Hole – The Silver Dollar Bar

Every Tuesday there is a bar in downtown Jackson that is packed with flannel and dusty cowboy boots and the plucking of a mandolin. 10423979_859876080692208_3949536324939462243_nYoung and old flock to the Silver Dollar Bar at the Wort Hotel every Tuesday night for bluegrass night. Packed tight like sardines, ski bums and cowboys alike crowd the small round tables, tapping their feet to the music. The dance floor, like the bar, is packed to the gills with swing dancers, twirling and dipping.

The Wort is a beautiful historic hotel located in downtown Jackson. The Silver Dollar Bar is located inside the hotel and it boasts an elaborate bar top with 2,032 uncirculated 1921 Morgan Silver Dollars inlaid in it. The bar is decorated with western oil paintings and western themed bronze statues. The bar is filled with small round tables which makes it the ideal place to gather with friends or significant other for an intimate drink.

The live music, including bluegrass on Tuesdays, always starts at 7:30PM. The nice thing about the Silver Dollar Bar is that they never charge a cover. Additionally, on Tuesday nights the bar is 21+ only. Bluegrass night is always popular so if you are hoping to get a table I would advise arriving early (around 7PM) to secure a spot. There isn’t much, if any, standing room available in the bar so arriving early and getting a table means that you will be able to enjoy your night without having to worry about being in the way of the waitress or other patrons.

The bar does have a bar menu so you can have dinner or snacks in the bar if you Silver Dollar Bar's Bartender's Margaritawant to go before dinner to secure your table. They also concoct a  delicious bartender’s Margarita. As well as being a fully stocked bar, they have an array of local and domestic beers on draft and glasses of wine on the menu. If you are in town on a Tuesday definitely make a point to stop by the Silver Dollar Bar for Bluegrass Tuesday. You won’t regret it!

December 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Nightlife in Jackson Hole – The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

When I first moved to Jackson 5 years ago I was told that the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar was a tourist trap, so I avoided it for the first year under the assumption that only tourists went there. jackson_039pWhat a fool I was! Since my first time at the Cowboy Bar 4 years ago it has become one of my favorite night life spots. It has a very unique atmosphere, complete with saddles for bar stools, silver dollars inlaid in the bar, pillars of knobbled pine and trophy animals on the wall and in showcases. It also has 4 pool tables for those who like to play bar games. Since 1937 the Cowboy Bar has been a fixture of the town square. Though it has undergone a few changes in ownership, the bar remains similar to its original condition – a piece of history that has outlasted years of change on the town square.

I believe that the Cowboy Bar offers some of the best nightlife in the valley. It is the only bar that has a built in stage and dance floor and it regularly has live music. The bar itself can accommodate a crowd. It has 3 bars and a multitude of tables with waitstaff. The bands who play at the 167156_1571117198290_4593894_nCowboy Bar play country western music. When they have live music (see the schedule on their website) the dance floor will be packed with swing dancers ranging from amateur to experienced. If you aren’t much of a dancer it’s fun to watch others on the dance floor and enjoy the live music.

From young to old, tourist to local, skier to cowboy, you will find a wide range of people at the Cowboy Bar. Everyone goes to the Cowboy Bar for the same thing – they are looking to have a great time. So don’t be surprised if you get asked to dance by a stranger, or if someone at the bar asks to buy you a drink.

The Cowboy will often have a cover on nights that they have live music. Be prepared to pay up to $10 for entry. Drinks are reasonable and not overpriced. It is also one of the last bars to close at night – on a weekend night the bar closes at 1AM. So be sure to pack your dancing shoes or cowboy boots and stop in at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar when you are in town.

December 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm 1 comment

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