I have to admit, I ‘ve watched The Sound of Music at least 10 times. It remains a classic film to this day and one of my all-time favorites for far too many reasons to expound on here. But one has to give the Von Trapp family credit; they certainly made astonishing music in the high-altitude hills of Austria. The gorgeous alpine backdrop only added to the magic and the breathtakingly beautiful Teton Mountains are keeping a similar tradition alive in the northern Rockies. This spectacular Teton Valley has become a Mecca for quality summer music events and draws visitors from all over North America to our lush countryside. This charming community in eastern Idaho, hugging the Wyoming border and a quick hop over Teton Pass from iconic Jackson Hole, has historically been recognized more for its famous potatoes, summer recreation and world-class skiing at neighboring Grand Targhee than for its cultural nourishment.
However, the secret is out that this low-key mountain community is home to not only some of the country’s most renowned musicians but also nationally recognized painters, sculptors, furniture makers, glass blowers, authors and filmmakers. The rich and famous, if you will, love the low-key vibe here and appreciate how our local community supports their desire to more or less stay under the radar here on the “quiet side of the Tetons.” It’s not difficult to understand why a creative force is blossoming in the shadow of the Tetons; the inspiration one can draw from the incredible beauty of this valley has the power to unleash the artist in all of us.
For many welcomed outsiders, the optimum home base for sampling this area’s wares just happens to be Teton Springs Lodge & Spa. Many of our guests are drawn to Teton Valley each and every summer for a unique roster of dynamic outdoor adventures and special events, particularly music festivals, that are guaranteed to excite any musicophile. Our guests often plan their fly-fishing trips and treks to Yellowstone National Park to coordinate with the impressive array of music events in the area.
Located in the heart of Victor, Idaho, this four-season resort community is literally surrounded by the finest array of outdoor activities this area has to offer, the best of the west so to speak. Hang by the pool, tee it up on the award-winning Headwaters 18 hole course, cruise into the adjacent Caribou-Targhee National Forest on your fat tires, perfect your fly casting technique on the resort’s ponds and indulge in a massage or other fabulous treatment the Stillwater Spa & Salon offers. Or, simply take in Idaho’s most splendid scenery at this four-season resort, as the resident Bald Eagle soars overhead.
Only a driver and five iron shot away from the resort
You’ll head to Main Street of Victor, 58 North Main Street to be exact, for “Music on Main,” compliments of the Teton Valley Foundation. The TVF is a giant among the valley’s non-profit community and its mission is to bring quality cultural and recreational events to Teton Valley for both residents and summer visitors. The Foundation certainly hit a home run with the immensely popular Music on Main which starts in mid-June and repeats every Thursday through mid-August. It consistently delivers on its promise to showcase both up and coming and critically acclaimed bands into every Thursday session.
You can tell by the ever-growing audience that the word is definitely out! This once local event has blossomed into something much grander, as duly noted by the parked vehicles sporting license plates from across the country. They could be part of the ever-growing summer resident population of our valley, or, travelers taking a detour from their trip to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks to sample a night of true American in downtown Victor. In chatting with some of the folks in this diverse weekly crowd, many are also Wyoming “locals,” making the trek over the pass from their home town of Jackson Hole. Pack your lawn chairs and blankets and arrive hungry. There’s a diverse blend of local food and libation on site. Admission is free, all ages welcome and donations to the Foundation appreciated.
There’s barely time to sleep
Grand Targhee just barely celebrated their 15th birthday celebrating their annual July Targhee Fest. This low-key but immensely popular event offers an eclectic mix of bands and the mountains don’t remain quiet for long. The valley’s magical music tour is gearing up for the resort’s 32nd Annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival. This nationally recognized festival is slated for Friday through Sunday August 9-11.
Both events are definitely worth planning your Teton Valley vacation around. Targhee festivals take place on their intimate outdoor stage nestled in a band of Aspens and the hills definitely come alive for these events. A combination of premier performers, activities for the entire family, and a relaxed, casual atmosphere all provide a two-festival knock-out punch. There’s even an official “kids Zone,” filled with arts & crafts and activities if the younger attendees can only tolerate sitting and listening to great tunes for so long. The resort provides free shuttle service from Driggs to this Alta, Wyoming, venue on festival weekends.
Strap on your fiddle; there’s bands of jamming bands scattered throughout the resort! Check out the Bluegrass Festival parking information. Prepare to have fun!