There’s more to the American West than cowboys, Native American history and horses. If you get far enough out, there are opportunities to view species of North American wildlife in natural habitats, view constellations with an astronomer in unspoiled night skies, or hike and run along challenging trails. For these reasons alone, Jackson Hole is regarded as the home of the “American Serengeti.” Cheyenne, meanwhile, offers visitors a special opportunity to encounter the mythic bison.
In addition to ski season, the sky is literally the limit when it comes to outdoor adventure at The Four Seasons Jackson Hole. The property has sussed out a prime star viewing location in Grand Teton National Park. After snacks, beverages and a spectacular sunset, guests can view galaxies, comets, nebula and double stars, planets, the moon and other celestial sites with the property’s state-of-the-art,12-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes and commentary from a noted astronomy expert.
Another excursion worth the splurge is a fly-fishing expedition, daytrips to Yellowstone National Park and exclusive and customized four-hour “safaris” within Grand Teton National Park, the Bridger Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge. The Four Seasons’ dedicated naturalist team take participants into select locations to safely and comfortably view the magnificent creatures (elk, moose, mule deer, bison, bears, wolves, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, river otters, trumpeter swans, owls and other rare birds) in their natural habitats. Between sightings, the guides offer fascinating insights into Wyoming’s flora and fauna, geology and history of its significant ecosystem.
In addition to the Four Seasons, other companies offer safaris in the parks near Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris offers numerous packages that include several multiday, specialized safaris and photo safaris and workshops. Backcountry Safaris has a team of young, energetic guides whose observations and knowledge will inspire kids and teens interested in science and wildlife to follow in their footsteps.
Near Cheyenne, visitors can sign up for one of seven daily Bison Train tours departing from Terry Bison Ranch. The hour-long experience takes guests through a scenic pasture full of grazing bison, where participants can then feed the bison out of their hand from the side of the train. Guests will also see ostriches, camels and other farm animals.
Beyond the train, families can experience an authentic and more rustic side of Wyoming at Terry Bison Ranch. Accommodations include sites for RV parking, camping and cabin rentals, and on-site activities include guided horseback rides for those over 8 years old, pony rides for kids 2–8, ATV tours with guides and several ride-and-dine packages.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card recently launched BoldFamilyTravel.Chase.com, an interactive, online resource allowing families to plan future travel together. The launch followed the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card Survey of parents and grandparents that revealed most parents believe children are important resources for planning family vacations and that one-third of parents don’t currently involve their children in planning but would like to.
West Virginia is home to the United States’ newest national park. Last month, Congress passed a bill upgrading West Virginia’s New River Gorge from a national river to a national park. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve marks the 63rd national park in the United States.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
If the winter months have you craving a snowy retreat surrounded by off-season island fun and warm fireplaces, The Bungalow at Greydon House should be on your list. An iconic stay in Nantucket, Massachusetts, The Bungalow offers a two-bedroom, three-bathroom retreat in the heart of historic downtown.