Idaho is a pretty place and a lot of people do not know that. They go through their lives thinking all about Idaho and potatoes and how there are more cows than people in the state (True, but not by all that much. There are two million cows and 1.7 million people) and just ignore all of the cool things that Idaho has going on. I desperately want to rectify this situation so that people can realize just how amazing Idaho is and why they should put it in their plans to give the state a visit in the near future. If you are an Idaho resident, sit back and enjoy hearing about how awesome your home is. If you are new to the world of Idaho, buckle up and get ready for a sudden urge to move to the Gem State yourself. Okay, it probably will not be that strong an urge but I hope you reach the end of my gushing about Idaho and find your opinion changed and your mind intrigued. Idaho is definitely worth your attention and I would recommend that if you do not, believe me, you come over and give the state a try yourself by visiting.
Did you know that Idaho is one of the best places in the country to go if you want to stargaze? First of all, there are a lot of places in Idaho that do not have any light pollution. This makes it pretty easy to find somewhere dark that lets you get a pretty good view of the sky. However, this is not the real reason that Idaho is so great for stargazing. The real reason is that it is the only state in the United States to have a Dark Sky Reserve set up by the IDA, an international organization devoted to creating parts of the world that are ideal for dark skies. Because it is an international organization, it has set up these dark sky reserves all over the world, but only one of them can be found in the United States and that one would be in the Sawtooth Mountain Range, a place well known for its lack of civilization and lights.
Another place that is almost certainly unique to Idaho is the World Center for Birds of Prey. Some people might look at this place like just another zoo that has some pretty cool birds in it, but it is more about preserving endangered raptor species across the country and rest of the world. There are a lot of bird species that have not weathered the rise of humanity very well and need help to keep on surviving. The World Center is all about breeding new birds that can be released into their species’ original environment when they are ready. You can visit the facility to just see the interesting birds and watch them move around in their enclosures but you can also learn a lot about how the birds behave and what is being done to save them from the influence of humans.
Idaho is also absolutely covered in hot springs. It is well known for the number and length of its rivers (The Snake River is absolutely massive with all kinds of stuff going on along its length) but a lot of people do not realize that more rivers often add up to more hot springs. There are resorts you can go to and get a hot spring experience that is tailored for relaxation and rest and there are also just little spots out in the wilderness that are much hotter than the rest of the river. You have places like Lava Hot Springs, a tone built around tourism for their luxurious hot springs and then there are places deep in the mountains that require a good hike to get to. Keep in mind that a lot of these harder to reach springs are going to be private most of the time. Any visitors already settled in may be surprised at additional guests due to the extreme privacy of remote locations. It's best to make your presence known as far out as possible so others know you are advancing in their direction and do not get taken by surprise.
Idaho is home to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, one of the largest wilderness areas in the country (It might be that there are no other larger). A wilderness area is a part of the country where the government has decreed that no development will go on (Or at least, development will be extremely limited). You will find no cities in a wilderness area and very few or no towns. No one is allowed to set up factories or start tearing down forests for logging operations. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area is just thousands of square miles of untouched and unspoiled natural wonders. You can visit this area and go camping or hiking or just bask in the wonder of not being around people.
Did you know there is an entire city in Idaho that was moved? American Falls literally picked up all of its buildings and residents and moved a few miles away. A river near the town was going to be dammed up and that meant the town was going to be flooded. Giant trailers were brought in to physically pick up each building and move it to a new location. Some of these buildings were quite big, including a large church and several businesses. All told, more than a hundred buildings were moved and the entire town still exists (After seeing nearly a hundred years of wear and tear) in an entirely new place.
Of course, Idaho is also known for its excellent and ubiquitous potatoes. There is even a museum in Blackfoot Idaho. If you ever wanted to know more about the potato and its history when it comes to Idaho (Which, why would you not?) this is the place to do so. It is a quaint little museum to spend an evening exploring and it can be a little bit of fun to just take some time and enjoy yourself there.