“Vacation” is one of the greatest words in the English dictionary. Who doesn’t like the sound of “vacation” and all that it entails? From sunsets at the beach to adventures in just about anywhere in the world—nature or in shopping malls—“vacation” can mean a wide range of things. A vacation is different for each person setting out on one, and each country, and in each state in the U.S., vacationing can be a different experience for everyone. Vacationing in Idaho is no different. It can hold whatever the adventurer wants to experience, as long as it fits within what Idaho is capable of, of course (there isn’t any surfing going on here, for instance, but a lot of adventures in water can be found in the Gem State.
Idaho is famous for its scenic views, expansive nature trails and parks, its fishing and hiking spots, hunting spots, skiing, shopping, art, theater, and so much more. You can go to resorts, visit historical locations, go to live theatre performances that will take your breath away, and soak in one of hundreds of hot springs in the state.
If you are interested in vacationing in Idaho, it is a beautiful state to explore and is chock-full of art locations (such as museums, theaters, literary sites, and more), outdoor activities, special events, nature activities, and amusement and water parks. There is a potential journey at every turn in Idaho—you just need to know where to look.
If you want to go to Idaho, you can visit one or many of Idaho’s popular destinations, from waterfalls to historic sites and shopping centers. Whether you’ve been to the state or lived in it your whole life or are a brand-new tourist vacationing in Idaho for the first time, the list below is a great starting point in planning your quest in the great state of Idaho.
Shoshone Falls and Thousand Springs
Does anyone not love waterfalls and exploring nature on a gorgeous river? If you are one of the water-loving people out there over the moon at the very thought, Thousand Springs and Shoshone Falls is a fabulous spot to vacation in within Idaho.
Shoshone Falls is a mere two hours from Boise and gives visitors the lovely view of waterfalls that reach taller heights and greater lows than Niagra Falls. Be sure to visit when the falls are on, though—they are due to a dam and can only be viewed at certain times of the year. In the spring you can check out the fantastic view of these taller-than-Niagra-Falls waterfalls, but even if you vacation there at any other time of the year, there is still plenty to see and do. For example, if you visit in the summer, you can experience the crystal-clear rivers nearby, also known as “Thousand Springs.”
Experience Idaho via Road Trip
Don’t know where to go? Can’t pick just one place to stop at in Idaho? Don’t fear! You don’t need to decide—make a vacation out of the journey of seeing a lot of special places in the state, from the Craters of the Moon to the Bruneau Sand Dunes and Yellowstone National Park. If you enjoy learning and discovering information about geology or simply enjoy visiting national parks around the country, stop by Craters of the Moon as you pass by/go into Southern Idaho. You’ll feel like you’re on the moon there (the name is no joke). Or you can see what Yellowstone’s Ol’ Faithful is all about or cruise around the sand dunes at Bruneau Sand Dunes.
The Boise Area
If you want a city vibe on your vacation in Idaho, go to the capital city and its surrounding area. Boise and its surrounding cities, making up “the Treasure Valley” is a bustling place that is growing like a weed. It has been on many lists as one of the best areas to live in and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. There are tons of places to visit and things to do in this area. There are countless movie theaters, for example, including an IMAX and a large cinema in Meridian with “D-Box” seats, which gives the viewer a 4D experience complete with a moving seat that brings you that much closer into the film experience.
In Boise, you can visit the infamous football field at Boise State University, the “Smurf Turf” that is aptly named due to its blue field. If you are more of an art enthusiast rather than a sports person, you can attend plays at Boise State or the nearby Boise Contemporary Theater. This theater has history to it in the area as well. Movie star Matt Damon and film directors Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy have promoted various films in the area to donate money to this theater. Thousands and thousands of dollars have been donated into it thanks to these influential Hollywood stars.
On top of all of this, there is a large variety of museums to visit, shops to check out, and staple restaurants in the Boise area as well. Some popular spots include Smoky Mountain Pizza, Indian Creek Steakhouse, and Barbacoa. In Caldwell, the gem that is Indian Creek Steakhouse is wonderful. Customers have been known to travel from out of state to eat the food here. Try hand-made specialties such as uniquely smoked steaks and buttered scones as you enjoy the homey Western atmosphere.
Are you a history buff, or at least enjoy peering into history? If you are/do, Idaho City is a fun city to visit. The nearby ski resort now known as Bogus Basin (another great spot to vacation at in Idaho or to at least visit) was a hot spot during the gold rush a couple of hundred years ago. Due to this, Idaho City became a prosperous place filled with tons of businesses, shops, and stories now etched in infamy. Many immigrants landed here. A famous one named Polly Bemis because a well-known Idahoan; her story is documented in the novel (and its movie sharing the same name) A Thousand Pieces of Gold.
The adventures above are just some of the many popular locations you can visit or stay in when vacationing in Idaho. Every person has there own unique tastes and vacationing ideas, so if you want to vacation in Idaho and want to learn more of what the state has to offer, research what exactly you want to visit. Whether it’s Silverwood Amusement Park up north or one of the many hot springs in the state, or a shopping center or various literary locations, you can find what you’re looking for in the amazing Gem State.