Idaho, known as the Gem State, is a hidden gem among the United States’ travel destinations. With its diverse landscapes, stunning natural beauty, and rich cultural heritage, Idaho offers something for every type of traveler. From majestic mountains and pristine lakes to charming towns and historic sites, this western state is a paradise waiting to be explored
Nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, Sun Valley and Ketchum are two neighboring towns that have been attracting visitors for decades. Known for their world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter, they offer numerous outdoor activities during the summer, including hiking, mountain biking, and fly-fishing. The Sun Valley Resort, with its iconic lodge and breathtaking scenery, has been a favorite destination for celebrities and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
Idaho’s vibrant capital, Boise, is a city that perfectly balances urban amenities with outdoor recreational opportunities. The Boise River Greenbelt offers a scenic pathway for walking, jogging, and cycling, while the Boise Foothills provide excellent hiking trails with panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape. The city’s cultural scene is thriving, with the Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Capitol, and numerous art galleries and theaters to explore.
Situated on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, this charming resort town is a waterfront paradise. The crystal-clear lake offers ample opportunities for water sports, fishing, and boat cruises. The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s floating golf course is a unique attraction that golf enthusiasts should not miss. Wander through the downtown area to discover quaint shops, restaurants, and galleries.
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Sawtooth National Recreation Area:
For nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA) is a must-visit destination. Covering over 756,000 acres, the SNRA boasts jaw-dropping landscapes, including rugged mountains, alpine lakes, and vast wilderness. Hiking and camping in places like Redfish Lake, Alice Lake, and Sawtooth Lake offer unforgettable experiences.
Often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a stunning natural wonder that should be on every traveler’s itinerary. Located on the Snake River near Twin Falls, the falls are higher than Niagara Falls and offer breathtaking views and photo opportunities. Springtime is the best season to witness the falls in full force when the snowmelt swells the river.
Moon National Monument
Prepare to step into an otherworldly landscape at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. This unique area is a vast expanse of ancient lava flows, volcanic craters, and cinder cones. Visitors can explore the underground lava tubes, hike the trails, and stargaze in one of the darkest skies in the country.
Idaho Falls is a welcoming city with a beautiful riverwalk along the Snake River. The Idaho Falls Greenbelt is a popular spot for picnics, walking, and observing wildlife. The Museum of Idaho showcases the state’s history and features rotating exhibits on various topics.
Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area:
Venture to the western edge of Idaho to discover Hell’s Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America. This vast wilderness area offers a rugged and remote outdoor experience, with opportunities for hiking, whitewater rafting, and camping. The panoramic vistas from the canyon rim are awe-inspiring.
Silverwood Theme Park:
Families and thrill-seekers will love a visit to Silverwood Theme Park, Idaho’s largest amusement park. It features roller coasters, water slides, live entertainment, and an adjoining water park for a full day of fun and excitement.
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Idaho’s Historic Towns:
Delve into Idaho’s rich history by exploring its historic towns. Places like Wallace, Idaho City, and Lewiston offer a glimpse into the state’s past, with well-preserved architecture, museums, and cultural landmarks.