By Kate Hull
Once known as the quieter side of the Teton region, Victor, Driggs and Tetonia—the three communities that make up Teton Valley, Idaho—are no longer the sleepy neighbor to nearby Jackson Hole. Located a quick three-and-a-half-hour jaunt south of Bozeman, Teton Valley is bustling with activity and worthy of a weekend getaway spent soaking up a mountain town of a different flavor.
While Jackson Hole is celebrated for its big mountain skiing and iconic Town Square dotted with fine dining and shops galore, just over Teton Pass sits another valley that’s a bit less assuming but just as memorable. Head to Teton Valley for a three-day adventure sure to leave you wanting to stay a few more days and vying to return.
When the snow starts to melt, the locals aren’t packing up their ski gear just yet. Grand Targhee Resort, located in Alta, Wyoming, and accessible only through Teton Valley, keeps the lift spinning through mid-April where staple spring events, warm corn skiing and parking lot grilling and tailgates are a must. Hit up live music from local and regional acts at the Trap Bar & Grill and make sure to order up a heaping serving of the famous Wydaho Nachos perfectly paired with a margarita or local brew. For a spring weekend trip, plan for a visit during the celebrated Spring Breakaway where activities like pond skim or the cardboard box derby are some local favorites.
Summer in Teton Valley is special without question. Cool, high-alpine temps, endless outdoor activities, and a packed calendar of anchoring events make this short but sweet season unlike any other. Grand Targhee is home to seemingly endless cross-country and downhill mountain bike trails. Bring your gravel, mountain or downhill bike or rent from a local shop. Back in town, the valley is surrounded by nonstop trails for all skill levels and biking preferences.
Cool off on a float down the Teton River on a paddleboard or wet your fly line off the banks. Make a day of it with a guided trip down the South Fork of the Snake or Teton rivers with any of the local pro outfitters like Teton Valley Lodge or WorldCast Anglers. While outdoor adventure is in no short supply, a stroll down Main Street in Driggs welcomes fun of a different variety with must-visit shops, a brand-new art gallery, Foxtrot Fine Art by artist Katy Ann Fox, interior design shops like The Rusty Nail. Visit the Velvet Moose for souvenirs, gifts and apparel, then grab a famous huckleberry milkshake at the Corner Drug or the Victor Emporium.
Taste of the Town
While the outdoor adventure might be what brings you to town, the culture, restaurant scene and flavor found throughout Teton Valley is why you’ll linger. The foodie scene may just surprise you—there’s more than enough on the menu in Teton Valley to satisfy most any craving or palate. On the south end in Victor, fuel up for the day with brunch at Butter Cafe. The Al Pastor Hash or a hearty Carnivore Burrito are just a few favorites. Nearby, sister restaurant Wanderlust Bistro dishes out breakfast, lunch and dinner at Teton Valley Resort.
In Driggs tucked behind Main Street, Rise Coffee House is the spot to gather while savoring the best cup of coffee in town. Order up a Bee’s Knees Latte with a touch of cinnamon and honey and enjoy any of the delicious freshly baked goods.
For lunch or dinner, the options are aplenty—you can’t go wrong. Without question, make it a pizza night at least once, or maybe twice! Each town has at least one must-visit pizza spot serving up delicious pies all with their own unique flare. Order a locally brewed pint and pie from Wildlife Brewing in Victor or take pizza to go from Pinky G’s—they are also known for their locations in Jackson Hole and Big Sky. In Driggs, enjoy pizza of the woodfired variety at Tatanka Tavern and grab a seat on the scenic patio overlooking Main Street. Pizzeria Alpino is dishing up gourmet rocky mountain cuisine with an Italian flare like their Ponderosa Pine Pie heaped with artichoke, mushrooms, spinach and fresh basil. Get Baked Emporium is whipping up take-and-bakes perfect for making a night of it at your home-away-from-home.
You can’t come to Teton Valley without an evening spent at Teton Thai in Driggs. Authentic Thai fare is made from scratch with spice to fit your liking. If you like a little kick to your green curry or Pad Thai, opt for two stars on their heat rating. For those more daring, four stars will do the trick. No matter the spice, the ambience, impressive wine and beer list and mouth watering menu is enough to kick your evening up a notch.
Up the road on Little Avenue, Forage Bistro & Lounge is a favorite for an intimate dinner for any occasion. Named the Best Restaurant in Idaho by U.S.A. Today, Forage whips up made-from-scratch seasonally inspired dishes in their open-air kitchen daily. Unwind after your valley adventure for happy hour with a charcuterie board and bottle of wine sipped and relished on the patio.
Night on the Town
While the nightlife is understated in Teton Valley, you can still make a night to remember at the local hotspots. In Victor, catch a live show with nationally renowned acts at the Knotty Pine Supper Club. Bands like New Orleans’ Galactic and Americana singer-songwriter Jeff Crosby have frequented this long-time Victor staple. On Thursdays, the Knotty hosts late-night music after the free community concert series, Music on Main, ends. The Royal Wolf in Driggs is equal parts restaurant and bar, but 100 percent where you should post up to toast to a day well spent in the mountains. Grab a cocktail or pitcher and try your hand at pool or take in the cool evening outside on the porch. The newest addition to the local scene, the Tetonia Club is a throwback hotspot hole in the wall that’s like a step back in time. You might catch a live show but you’ll definitely find great cocktails, vintage ski décor and eclectic vibes.