City Life: Winter sports and wildlife
Who could have predicted that this former rough-and-ready frontierland in Wyoming would have blossomed into an upscale ski resort?
Actually, the clues were always there in the landscape: snow-topped slopes, rugged mountains and two national parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstones, populated by hulking bison and shaggy buffalo. If this were a Western, the main action would be split between two places: the small town of Jackson, encircled by craggy peaks, and Teton Village, in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Jackson has all the swagger of the Wild West: saloon-fronted stores and restaurants with cowboy-cool; the Swiss-style Teton Village is fit for ski-bunnies.
Salt Lake City, Utah, is a four and a half hour drive from Jackson Hole. The area makes for dramatic driving - hairpin bends, mountain ranges and dazzling views. (You may have to share the road with the occasional moose or two.)
Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is 10 miles north of Jackson Town Centre. Pick up an internal flight from Chicago or Dallas with Delta (www.delta.com), from Atlanta or Salt Lake City with American Airlines (www.aa.com) or from Chicago, Denver or Los Angeles with United Airlines (www.united.com).
US Country code: +1. Area code: +307
The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains by Own Wister is one of the most influential Westerns, published in 1902, with a romping romance at its heart. For a more modern read, dip into Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx ('Brokeback Mountain', which was a recent cinematic hit, is one of the stories).
Do go / Don't Go
Taxis can be hailed in the main square - the fare is around US$25-US$40 from here to Amangani (the hotel has a luxury car service that will ferry you to the main square for US$35).
Add a 15 per cent tip to your restaurant bill and you'll definitely be welcome back.
US dollar ($).
Schöffel ski jackets so you can hit the slopes in style; heavy duty sun-block; Ralph Lauren and Armani threads for après-ski.
Head to the National Museum of Wildlife Art (+1 307 733 5771; www.wildlifeart.org) at 2820 Rungius Road to admire a selection of artwork which dates back to the 1800's. See what plays and concerts are taking place at the Centre for the Arts (+1 307 734 956; www.jhcenterforthearts.org) at 240 S Glenwood Street.
Browse an eclectic array of handmade jewellery, furniture and homeware at Made (+1 307 690 9019; Made), at Gaslight Alley, 125 North Cache, Jackson. Products are crafted by artists across America and the stock is constantly updated with new, offbeat design pieces.
Go hiking in Grand Teton National Park for dazzling views of the snow-capped mountain tops.
During the summer season, a theatrical shootout (bank robbers against the good guys) is staged in Jackson's main square.
June-August Jackson Hole Rodeo comes to town (www.jhrodeo.com), with rodeos staged every Wednesday and Saturday night. June-August Grand Teton Music Festival involves more then 40 concerts, including opera and classical performances. Mid-late July Teton holds a county fair (www.tetoncountyfair.com), with rides, races, stalls and carnivals.