To be honest, it’s a really long drive. To be more honest, it’s totally worth it! Arriving in West Yellowstone is its own sort of homecoming. As you come through the mountains and the vistas open up, snow mobile tracks seem to be more prevalent than tire tracks in these parts. The main thoroughfare through town drops you in the center of things. Take a right and you’ll find plenty of shops and lodging and to the left, you’ll find sleepy entrance to the world’s first national park.
West Yellowstone may be sleepy but it is the perfect launching pad for so many true American experiences. So, lets settle in and get started.
Come on in and stay awhile!
Our choice for accommodations is the retro-lodge inspired Three Bear Lodge. This rustic lodge has been welcoming visitors since 1932. Our lodge offered us all kinds of experiences from simply using the dining room for some good home cookin’. Look for the hotel to also be able to arrange activities like snowmobile tours, coach tours into the park, and access to local skiing. Modest rooms give you a cozy home base to get out into the great outdoors!
Canyon Street and Yellowstone Avenue
The heart of this little hamlet that was developed for park visitors has plenty of charming shops and eateries to get you acquainted with national park life. Artist’s Shops sell pottery, canvases, and photography representing the natural wonders of the flora and fauna in the area. Think moose. Our favorite stop is the Book Peddler and Cafe where we were able to enjoy a little reading and pastry.
Eagle’s Store is the general store for all of your needs. Be sure to check in at the old fashioned ice cream counter and gas up before heading into the park.
Fine dining is not on the menu in West Yellowstone but you will find some seriously great options to keep your belly full. And the choices range from The Euro Cafe with Yellowstone’s take on European cuisine (passport holders may want to pass on that one). For a great mid day sandwich stop check out Ernie’s Bakery and Deli. One of the best picks in town is Wild West Pizza who will deliver even in the snow.
Get out and explore the great outdoors. That’s why you’ve arrived after all! Here are our picks for getting started in the right direction.
- Eco tours are a great way to enjoy an area and be part of the solution! West Yellowstone has plenty of options. Check out the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center to learn about the regional conservation efforts in support of these majestic creatures.
- Unique tours that bring you in to the National Park System like West Yellowstone Guides
For more resources and inspiration, check out these picks!
Saddle Up To Jackson Hole
Two to four hours south east of West Yellowstone is majestic (yet bougie) Jackson Hole. With moose in the front yard and the Grand Tetons framing your view, Jackson Hole offers a little something for everyone. If you’re a foodie, go here. If you’re a shopaholic, check it out. Maybe great American art is your thing, Jackson Hole is for you. Jackson Hole is also the epicenter for all things huckleberry.
With high end galleries and plenty of glitzy snow bunnies, Jackson Hole is a draw winter or summer. As a springboard for plenty of outdoor sports, the community is tourist central and includes some great activities like:
Best Mid Price Rustic Stay
The Rustic Inn is full of cozy cabins with great bathrooms and deep sleep mattresses. You feel super homey during your stay. It’s perfect for families and breakfast is included. (For the super bougie stay, check out Teton Village. America’s version of a ski chalet is where you will find the wealthy enjoying the winter.)
Enjoy Good Eats
- Best Mexican: Merry Piglet’s Mexican Grill
- Super steaks and wild game: Gun Barrel Steak and Game House
- Best Dinner View: Stillwest Brewery and Grill
- Most Adventurous Dinner Experience: Bar T 5