What would it take to persuade you to take this summer's vacation trip to Wyoming? How about a dynamite music festival set against the backdrop of mountain scenery?
What festival? It's the Jackson Hole Music Festival tinyurl.com/67yp47 scheduled for Aug. 16-17, with scheduled headliners including Wilco, Brian Wilson, Ben Harper and the Black Crowes. Along with music, you get a view of great scenery from the festival site at the base of the Bridger ski gondola in Teton Village www.jacksonhole.net/tetonvillage.htm a dozen miles northwest of the town of Jackson.
Can't make it for the festival? Take a look at August in Jackson Hole Events www.jacksonholeevents.com/calendar/august.php for programs in the Grand Teton Music Festival www.gtmf.org/ with music running the gamut from classical to jazz, and the Aug. 8-10 bluegrass Festival.
Teton Village is in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort www.jacksonhole.com/ where "Activities & Events" includes riding that Bridger gondola in the summer up to 9,000 feet for restaurants and access to hiking, paragliding and climbing. That chapter's summer entries also include golf, tennis, kids summer camp and adventure guides, fishing, rafting and horseback riding. Clicking on "Mountain Info" will get you to photo galleries, and "Plan Your Vacation" takes you to lodging and other services in the resort. Look over to the left on the planning page for "Jackson Headlines" and the link to their summer package deals, including something called "Cowboy Up" for families with kids.
There's no shortage of other things to see and do right around the area. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce www.jacksonholechamber.com/ has directories of companies that will arrange chuckwagon cookouts and sightseeing flights, take you on llama treks and river trips, or rent you a horse or a canoe. Click on "Summer Fun" at the top of the page and look for "Tours," by bicycle and boat, or devoted to photography or just the scenery. And if you don't want to stay at the resort, the chamber's lodging directory has everything from campgrounds and dude ranches to bed & breakfast inns and Jackson's historic Wort Hotel.
Drive north out of Jackson a few miles on U.S. 89 and you're in Grand Teton National Park www.nps.gov/grte/ with jagged peaks up to 13,770 feet high, crystalline lakes, moose, elk and bears. Look under "Plan Your Visit" for details on camping if you decide against the accommodations in Jackson and Jackson Hole. And be sure to find their photo gallery.
Keep driving north through Grand Teton to Yellowstone National Park www.nps.gov/yell/ and show your kids geysers and colorful hot springs. If that isn't enough for them, and yourselves, look under "Plan Your Visit" for "Things To Do" that include fishing, hiking, boating, biking, and special programs led by park rangers.
With so much to see and do in the area, you might appreciate some suggestions from people who have already been there. Take a look at "Traveler Reviews" on the Jackson page at TripAdvisor tinyurl.com/ntohg ranging from scathing motel evaluations to a Georgia visitor's recent "great float trip on the Snake River" rave for a company that provides raft trips. Or search for Jackson in the Forums section of the Fodor's online guides www.fodors.com/forums/ and you can turn up exchanges on topics such as recommendations for things to see in Yellowstone and Grand Teton: "Sunset at Signal Mountain is spectacular."