Luxury for Less
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Lesson to Travel By: Our favorite summer playgrounds are open year-round.
The Deal: When Grand Teton National Park is covered in snow, you'll have an easier time spotting wildlife and a far harder time running into other visitors.
The Luxury Essentials: Think winter is far too expensive around Jackson (view slideshow)? Think again. While the ski resorts are running at full capacity—and full price—the hotels that cater to summer visitors are running specials. At the Spring Creek Ranch, for instance, where the rooms have a breathtaking view of the saw-toothed Tetons, a two-bedroom suite with a balcony costs $260 with breakfast; in summer, when the resort is packed with Grand Teton–trippers, that same setup goes for $360 without meals. The ranch arranges sleigh rides, snowshoe trips, cross-country skiing, and even dog sledding, and it's just 30 minutes to the Teton Village ski area. Hungry? Order a wood-fired prosciutto pizza or succulent half chicken at Trio in Jackson.
Artful Advice: Though the park is open year-round, only some roads are plowed in the winter. Elsewhere, you'll need to travel by snowmobile or the far more eco-friendly snow coaches—vans or buses with large skis and treads. The white landscape makes it easy to see bison, moose, and even wolves, and there are typically 10,000 elk wintering at the National Elk Refuge, which borders Jackson.
A Fair Fare: From Washington, D.C., to Jackson, look for fares under $300 in February; in summer, you could pay almost $400.
Spring Creek Ranch
Tel: 800 443 6139 (toll-free)
Tel: 307 733 8833
Doubles from $179
Tel: 307 734 8038