Positively Las Vegas


Wanderful Wednesday with Melinda Sheckells for Jan. 27, 2021

Posted at 6:43 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 09:43:58-05

Melinda Sheckells, Las Vegas lifestyle and entertainment expert and editor of OffTheStrip.com, shares recommendations on local and regional travel deals, extraordinary experiences and amazingly “Wanderful” dream trips to far away destinations.

Wanderful Wednesday hits the road for an exciting trip through some of the west’s top ski resorts and clean-air mountain towns.

Bozeman, Montana

Bozeman in the state of Montana is a quirky, fun, small mountain city that truly represents the spirit of this gorgeous state and is adjacent to fabulous skiing at the Big Sky resort. When in Bozeman, check out The Lark hotel [https://www.larkbozeman.com], originally built in the 1960s and representing the Streamline-era roadside motel architecture style, it was modernized in 2015 with an open-air design, an outdoor fire pit and spacious balconies. In 2018, The Lark expanded to include additional guestrooms and a café space on the ground floor of a second building on the hotel property. Overall, the climate in Bozeman is quite nice for outdoor activity as it averages 300 days of sunshine and the average winter temperature is 34 degrees, plus it receives an annual snowfall of 86 inches.

Every Lark employee doubles as a local guide with recommendations on the region—from secret swimming holes to powdery peaks. Nearby find destinations for downhill and Nordic skiing and ice climbing in the winter and hundreds of miles of trails for hikers and cyclists, while teeming rivers and lakes beckon anglers during the summer and fall. Yellowstone National Park is less than 80 miles away.

Upon check-in, guests receive a Field Guide travel journal to document their adventures. Duck inside the Map Room and peruse historical and current maps.

Inside the rooms look for works by artists such as fine art ceramicist Patrick Hoffman, artist Brittany Simmonds and graphic designer Yogesh Simpson, among others. Hoffman combined the infographic concept with artistry to create a radial map for hotel rooms which grounds visitors with the idea of "you are here," then expands that with a different way to visualize the travel time to various Bozeman area places and activities. Graphic Designer Yogesh Simpson sought to pay respect to two outstanding ski areas near The LARK (Bridger Bowl and Big Sky), taking historical data from SNOTEL sites and average daily snow depth totals from Nov. 1 to May 31 in a single year to illustrate the two mountains and the physical differences between them in a hotel room mural. Artist Brittany Simmonds created a mural of a moose named “Marvin,” in one hotel room, providing an up-close and personal life-size look at one of Montana's most impressive animals.

Take advantage of the Bozeman 101 offer—which takes your virtual classroom on the road—at The Lark through April 30, 2021. The package includes 15 percent off the best available rate, in the your room of choice, Gallatin Valley Land Trust Trail Map, for adventures from Main Street to the Mountains, print-outs of the Downtown Bozeman Historical DIY Tour, open public learning spaces in the West Lobby or Map Room and a $20 gift card to the Country Bookshelf.

Jackson, Wyoming

Four hours by car from Bozeman, roll into another great destination in the west, Jackson, Wyoming. If there is room at the inn check out Hotel Jackson [www.hoteljackson.com], ideally located in the middle of town and right by Jackson’s iconic antler arches and the famed Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. The Grand Teton National Park is about 15 min away, where you’ll see everything from grizzly bears to elk.

Hotel Jackson was created by the Darwiche family, who moved to town in 1977, and has 55 luxury guest rooms, including 4 suites, designed with rustic elegance, contemporary western flair and mountain modern aesthetic. Some of these details include reclaimed barn wood and soft leather elements. Inside the Hotel Jackson, FIGS restaurant serves modern Lebanese cuisine—think puffy pita, mezze, shawarma and kebabs—in front of a two-story fireplace and local art, and hand-crafted cocktails, as well as the Sacajawea Library, an intimate space for reading and relaxation.

Winter sports are widely available through several programs at Hotel Jackson, including the Snow Shoeing Guest Experience, offering half-day snow shoeing in the Grand Teton National Park with a private guide, transportation, custom picnic lunch batched hot toddies to-go and room; and Snow Mobiling includes half day of adventure with private transportation, guide, picnic lunch and room. They also have cross country, back country and sidecountry skiing, which is lauded as some of the most spectacular skiing in the U.S. During ski season, Hotel Jackson offers its guests a complimentary luxury shuttle to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and a dedicated concierge service to assist with planning and executing ski excursions.

A don’t-miss adventure is the Bespoke Stargazing Experience, in partnership with Wyoming Stargazing. Get picked up at the hotel, head to Grand Teton National Park and cozy up in camp chairs with blankets as an expert astronomer guides you through the magic of the night sky. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you will see things you never thought existed.

Follow @melindasheckells and @offthestrip for more unforgettable adventures