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Great Outdoors, Culture and Culinary Delight in the Teton Valley

TETON VALLEY – WHERE THE GREAT OUTDOORS, CULTURE, AND CULINARY DELIGHTS MEET!

September is a beautiful time to visit the Yellowstone-Teton area. Judging by the traffic on the main thoroughfares, you can tell many travelers are clinging to summer for as long as they can. Campers fill the grocery store parking lots, and every other car seems to be loaded to the gills in search of adventure, carting everything from kayaks, mountain bikes, 4-wheelers and everything in-between. Drift boats roar by headed to the South Fork of the Snake or one of the other reputable fisheries in this Rocky Mountain playground. Canoes drop from the banks into the Teton River for that leisure cruise offering unsurpassed views of the Teton Mountains around every bend. Bird watchers will also have plenty to see on the Teton as this river is home to a variety of winged creatures including owls, ducks, cranes, sandpipers and more. A moose and her offspring will also appear quite frequently, and, they always have the right of way.

Golfing in the Teton Valley, Art Festival, The Perfect Time of Year

Yes, one could safely say the Fall "shoulder season" is definitely a thing of the past. Savvy travelers have discovered that things don’t slow down after Labor Day in this neck of the woods. Golfing on the Headwaters Golf Course at Teton Springs is simply delightful right now. Tee times are easier to secure, daytime temps are textbook perfect, and specks of gold are splashing the aspens as they make their transition into what promises to be a brilliant display of fall foliage in the coming weeks.

The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival is also underway and most guests at Teton Springs this time of year have this prized event in their sights. The Fall Arts Festival, after all, is recognized nationally as one of the premier cultural events not just in the Rocky Mountains, but in the entire country.

Art lovers will also be pleasantly surprised at the number of reputable artists who call Teton Valley, Idaho, home and the arts are definitely becoming a significant economic driver in this community. Visitors and residents alike will have a blast discovering local treasures in a variety of non- traditional outlets. Collectibles are also more affordable in this market so expect that the original oil depicting the spectacular Teton Mountains could actually fit your budget.

Great Food and Entertainment in the Teton Valley – Victor & Driggs

A day of searching for that perfect one-of-a-kind painting, antique rifle or hand-carved duck decoy in the charming Teton Valley towns can be exhausting. It’s time to relax! Enjoy a nice meal at the Headwaters Grille or treat yourself to a massage at the Stillwaters Spa & Salon. And if you’re out and about; well, the choices surprise even the seasoned traveler. It appears that foodies are also attracted to the valley of the Tetons and one can literally eat their way thru Victor, Driggs and Tetonia.

Teton Valley continues to build on its eclectic array of eateries. Of late, a genuine French restaurant joined the ranks. The Frainkin family arrived in Idaho with multi generations in tow and a very impressive resume. This venture, definitely a family affair, recently opened Le Paris Bruxelles on Main Street in Victor. The chef, who once created dishes for Belgium royalty, was drawn to the American West for its wide-open spaces and the freedom enjoyed by U.S. citizens. Dining is an art form perfected by the French so leave your fast food mentality at home if you visit this charming Main Street restaurant.

At Le Paris Bruxelles diners honor the French tradition of viewing food as an art form and take their time sampling the daily specials. I’m not very familiar with French food but I am making it a priority to at least learn to say, "I’d like a chocolate croissant please," in the native tongue of this very intriguing establishment.

The sound of music in the valley is definitely slowing down but it is by no means over. It was a terrific summer season of "Music on Main" in downtown Victor and Grand Targhee’s music festivals were a roaring success. However, "Mulligan Monday’s," a night of free music in the Headwaters Grille at Teton Springs, is still in full swing and features some of the best musicians in the region.

One beloved resident years ago coined the phrase "Driggs, Idaho, cultural hub of the Universe." He was of course poking fun at our low-key, agriculture based community, but boy, he should see us now! Come visit us now and stay in one of our beautiful luxury lodge rooms in Victor, ID. Or book a beautiful log cabin home to rent for the weekend, or week, or even better, weeks!

 

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Summer is Flying by at Break Neck Speed – Let’s Play!

It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching mid-August already. Maybe it’s true what they say about getting older; the hours in the day wiz by and weeks turn into months in a blink of an eye. Some days I start to panic, how will I ever check off all the fun stuff left to do this summer in Teton Valley?

There’s so much energy around Teton Springs Resort this time of year. Families are frantically trying to squeeze in the last bit of quality time with the kids as the target date for heading back to school looms just around the corner. The college kids working at Teton Springs are clicking off the days until they return to life in the dorm, football practice and advanced math. Is it my imagination or are kids forced to abandon summer so much earlier than we use to? Labor Day use to signal an official end to the crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer. Not anymore. Nowadays kids face their first English quiz before the summer ending holiday kicks off. What’s the rush?

Golfing, Yellowstone, Hiking, the Crisp Air

There’s no better time to be in this Yellowstone-Teton area than now and it becomes even more glorious as we cross into September. There’s already a subtle coolness in the Teton air, optimum for that afternoon hike up Pole Canyon, perfect for that late Summer beautiful hike in the Teton Valley.

The days turn crisper and the threat of afternoon thunderstorms become a distant memory. The sunlight on the resort’s Headwaters Course this time of year only accentuates how truly beautiful this entire landscape is, especially in the evening hours. That probably explains why August & September are also the premier months to say “I DO” at Teton Springs. It’s a chance to host a wedding in one of America’s most spectacular destinations, a location guaranteed to wow even the most seasoned traveler.

The Perfect Wedding Overlook

Even if weddings aren’t your thing, it’s hard being at this venue and not getting misty eyed, beautiful bride notwithstanding. It’s almost overload for the senses – the panoramic view of the mountains, the aspen stands bordering the Caribou-Targhee National Forest and the lone fly fisherman making the perfect cast in one of the resort’s lakes. The Teton Springs brochure can’t begin to do this scene justice. From the resort’s new wedding site, the Caddis Lake Overlook, you can also sip a cocktail watching golfers tee off on the resort’s signature 10th hole overlooking Caddis Lake. This usually provides more entertainment value than the Hokey Pokey or tossing of the garter ever could!

The great Byron Nelson and his design team certainly created a masterpiece with the Headwaters Golf Course. The five tee-boxes on each hole present options galore for the seasoned golfer boasting the low handicap and also for the beginner who is perhaps more easily intimidated.

In addition to attracting happy couples to the resort, late summer and fall are optimum times for the leisure traveler to cruise thru Yellowstone-Teton country. Right about now the RV’s start to disappear from the highways and you practically have the scenic overlooks and the many points of interest all to yourself.

The Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop

My favorite, and undoubtedly one of the most breathtaking drives in North America, has to be the Yellowstone-Grand Teton Loop Tour. The most critical aspect of this particular road trip is starting your journey at precisely the right place. Most of us “locals” have taken this route, long before tourism officials officially designated it as one the “Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies” (www.drivethetop10.com). You begin your sight-seeing adventure in Victor, just steps from your lodge room at Teton Springs.

Beautiful Grand Teton Mountains and Surrounding Area

Head north thru Teton Valley with the majestic Grand Teton Mountains guiding your every turn as you head towards Yellowstone National Park’s West Yellowstone entrance. The first town you’ll hit after leaving Teton Valley is Ashton, Idaho. Their welcome sign says “Adventure Starts Here,” and that’s no exaggeration. You’ll need fuel for this sightseeing trip so don’t leave Ashton without a quick stop at the historic “Frostop.” The best chocolate malts and tater tots are delivered right to your car by Ashton’s fresh faced teens happy to serve. It’s a very pleasant journey down memory lane especially for the younger generation accustomed to the modern day same all, same all, drive thru joints.

The thundering Upper and Lower Mesa falls are next on this agenda, two of the last undisturbed waterfalls of consequence in the west.

This loop also claims Harriman State park and the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Hope you packed the fly rod. Next stop Yellowstone and then back to your comfy digs at Teton Springs. Enjoy the ride!

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Tough to Leave Teton Valley for Spring Break

Tough to Leave Teton Valley for Spring Break When the Lifts Still Turn Round and Round! I took a cruise once many moons ago. It was a family celebration for my dad’s 70th birthday and it was a short jaunt of three nights on the ocean. That was plenty. I had a blast with my dad and siblings but it seemed like waiting for the next extraordinary buffet was the daily highlight. My friends have since tried to entice me over the years to book a longer spring break trip on one of the newer and massive cruise ships. I’ve never taken the bait, for a variety of reasons.

I’m not knocking the cruise vacation per se as most are probably magnificent journeys with exotic warm weather beachy places thrown in. Just not for me. My key concern is the fact that these floating cities seem to break down, a lot, leaving the huddled masses hungry, thirsty and frustrated. Not to mention floating aimlessly at sea sometimes for days on end. Or, maybe you get lucky and you don’t suffer mechanical difficulties, just lower GI ones, from some intestinal super bug that at the speed of sound takes passengers and crew hostage.

Spring Break in the Teton Valley

Springs break at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa is definitely the best option for the winter sports enthusiast dedicated to squeezing in a few more quality days on the snow.

After all, Grand Targhee will accommodate this need for carving perfect turns on pristine and freshly groomed slopes deep into April. And, it’s no coincidence that Teton Springs Lodge & Spa is offering a FREE night when you book two over Spring Break. Why this generous offer when this boutique property is already so popular in all seasons? Well, they know from personal experience that a few days of spring skiing in the Tetons just never prove to be enough, and, the folks at Teton Springs are simply experts at wanting to spoil their guests, check out our Winter stay and play packages. Guess that’s why their visitor ratings on TripAdvisor.com are always so sky high and the lodge was recently voted "The Best Hotel in Idaho" for the second straight year!

Luxurious Mountain Log Homes – Skiing & Lodge Vacation

Their generosity doesn’t limit you to the lodge & suites on this deal, the luxurious mountain log homes are also included in this offer. If this getaway needs to be a quick trip, there’s always the one night lodge & ski combo at the Lodge with a gourmet breakfast basket delivered to your room.
 


 

There’s also a myriad of backcountry terrain in this neighborhood if an early morning trek at sunrise with the Tetons in full view is your thing for spring or, a warm afternoon jaunt in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest when the rising temps transform the bowls and glades into a corn snow fest.

Relaxing at the Stillwaters Spa & Salon

There’s no doubt, a spring skiing vacation is so much more civilized. Most days in late March & April, it’s best to sleep in, enjoy a light breakfast and let the staff at the Stillwaters Spa & Salon work their magic with a Deep Tissue Massage and/or a treatment designed to sooth & lubricate dry winter skin. There’s rush in hitting the slopes early this time of year, unless it’s a powder day of course.

Normally as old man winter relaxes his grip, you’ll want to wait until the high altitude snow softens under the Rocky Mountain sun and your boards glide effortlessly over the vast collection of runs on Targhee’s two mountains.

Spring Skiing and Eating Well

Spring skiing also means leaving the down-filled parka behind; this is vest wearing weather with tall cold beverages savored on the deck at cocktail time. You’ll arrive back at Teton Springs in time for the dinner bell (winter hours – Thurs thru Sunday 5:00-9:30).

The Headwaters Grille at Teton Springs Resort is serving up some scrumptious dishes from their new menu and they’ll start you off with Chef Jordan’s amazing crab cakes or classic Calamari. If you’re around at the end of March, the Headwaters Grille is serving their famous Easter Brunch. Make those reservations early; this is easily of one the most beautiful locations in Teton Valley to celebrate Easter Sunday (208.787.8130).

So, grab some friends and head for the hills. Unlike a cruise to the islands, you’ll never get seasick on this spring break adventure!

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