Twenty-four miles west of Jackson , the town of Victor, Idaho, was—until recently—little more than the proverbial wide spot in the road. But things have changed dramatically as the population doubled in just five years and an ugly sprawl of homes and businesses covered former ranchland. Despite this, the town does have a couple of places worth noting.
Trails End Motel (208/787-2973, $80 d) rents simple four-person log cabin units with microwaves and fridges and is open May-mid-October.
Two miles south of town on Pole Canyon Road, Kasper’s Kountryside Inn (208/787-2726, www.kasperskountrysideinn.com , $89-109 for up to four) is a barnlike building with two modern apartments with full kitchens.
Teton Springs is more evidence of the spillover effect from Jackson. This private club for the moneyed class includes 500 homes and condos, a golf course, a spa, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and an “old town village” with shopping, dining, lodging, and more. A heliport waits for those who can afford the helicopter flight over to Jackson for the evening. Various lodging options are offered at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa (208/787-7888 or 877/787-8757, www.tetonspringslodge.com ), including luxurious hotel rooms ($237 d) and suites ($336-504 d). Condos and sprawling four-bedroom “cabins” are also available on a nightly or weekly basis.
On the north end of town, Cowboy Roadhouse Lodge (381 N. Agate St., 208/787-2755, www.cowboyroadhouselodge.com , $119 d) is a modern two-story motel with log beds, Wi-Fi, and two queen or one king bed.
Set on four acres and surrounded by cottonwood trees, Fox Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast (27 E. 550 South, 208/787-3333, www.thefoxcreekinn.com ) has three guest rooms with queen beds and private baths ($139 d), plus a more spacious room with king bed, private bath, and indoor Jacuzzi ($185 d). All include a full breakfast, access to the outdoor hot tub, and Wi-Fi. Fox Creek is halfway between Victor and Driggs .
The Forest Service’s pleasant Trail Creek Campground (518/885-3639 or 877/444-6777, www.recreation.gov , open mid-May-mid-Sept., $10) is six miles southeast of Victor and just across the Wyoming state line. Teton Valley Campground (208/787-2647 or 877/787-3036, www.tetonvalleycampground.com ), one mile west of Victor on Idaho Highway 31, has RV hookups ($28-41), tent sites ($22), basic cabins ($45), plus a small heated outdoor pool, a playground, and Wi-Fi.
Victor Emporium (208/787-2221, www.victoremporium.com , daily 8 a.m.-6 p.m.) houses an old-fashioned soda fountain with huckleberry shakes in season, plus sundaes, banana splits, and cones year-round. It’s been in business since 1949, and also sells fishing supplies and Idaho souvenirs.
Housed in an old one-car garage, Grumpy’s Goat Shack (37 S. Main St., 208/787-2092, www.goatshack.com , daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Apr.-Oct., till 11 p.m. summer weekends) is a fun hot-dog stand/wine bar where Mike and Liz serve the best brats you’ll ever taste, along with hot Italian beef sandwiches, chili-cheese dogs, charbroiled burgers, and Chicago-style hot dogs. They’re the real deal; even true Chicagoans love ‘em. The owners’ goat produces milk for homemade goat cheese, served with roasted garlic and bread. The ceiling is crowded with bras and panties left by previous female customers (free drinks are the incitement). Sit outside around the patio tables. Credit cards are not accepted, but everything’s under $9.
A cozy little brunch nook, Sun Dog Café (208/787-3354, daily 7 a.m.-3 p.m., $6-10) has a full espresso bar, with delicious pastries and local chocolates filling the display case. Eggs Benedict or French toast with bacon are good breakfast choices. For lunch, try a mahimahi taco or grilled steak salad.
Also in Victor is Knotty Pine Supper Club (208/787-2866, www.knottypinesupperclub.com , 11 a.m.-10 p.m., bar open until 1 a.m.), with hearty ribs, steaks, and rack of lamb. Most entrées are $10-25, but you can always choose the $10 dinner of hot turkey, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Knotty Pine is an old-fashioned place with low ceilings, log walls, and a dark interior brightened by blue Christmas lights. Dining is also available on the outside deck. Live bands crank out the dance tunes most nights and the bar is entirely smoke-free.
Amazingly, there are two microbreweries in Victor. In existence since 1988, Grand Teton Brewing Company (208/787-9000, www.grandtetonbrewing.com , 1-8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 2-7 p.m. Sat.-Sun.) is on the east end of town. Drop by to sample Teton Ale, Old Faithful Ale, Bitch Creek ESB, Howling Wolf Weisse Bier, or Sweetgrass IPA. The gift shop (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) sells T-shirts, glasses, and beer to go.
Much smaller is Wildlife Brewing and Pizza (208/787-2623, daily 4-11 p.m., $14-18), a busy spot with crunchy pizzas by the slice or pie, plus fresh beers from the on-the-premises brewery, darts, horseshoes, a pool table, and an outdoor beer garden.