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Idaho Guide – Be My Travel Muse


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Carmina Rosenberger



Welcome to the beautiful state of Idaho, where adventure and natural beauty await at every turn. Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Idaho is a hidden gem for travelers seeking an authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience.


Idaho is known for its breathtaking landscapes, from the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the tranquil lakes and winding rivers that flow through its valleys. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff, or food lover, this state has something for everyone.


With its vast wilderness areas and preserved national parks, Idaho offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting. The vibrant culture and charming small towns also provide a unique window into the history and lifestyle of the region.


If you’re a thrill-seeker, Idaho won’t disappoint. You can take part in adrenaline-pumping activities like whitewater rafting down the Salmon River, paragliding over the Snake River Canyon, or skiing on the world-class slopes of Sun Valley.


Idaho is also home to a diverse array of wildlife. You might spot a bald eagle soaring overhead, catch a glimpse of a moose or bighorn sheep in their natural habitat, or even encounter a pack of wolves or a grizzly bear in the rugged backcountry.


Idaho’s culinary scene is another delight to explore. From farm-to-table restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients to craft breweries and wineries offering unique and flavorful libations, there’s no shortage of delicious options to satisfy your taste buds.


So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey through the wild and enchanting landscapes of Idaho. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into the state’s rich history and culture, Idaho has it all.


In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to plan your trip to Idaho. From the best time to visit to the top attractions and activities, we’ll help you make the most of your experience in the Gem State. So let’s get started and discover the wonders that await in Idaho!


Overview of Idaho

Idaho, located in the northwestern region of the United States, is a state known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse landscapes. With a population of just over 1.7 million people, Idaho is one of the least densely populated states in the country, allowing visitors to enjoy a sense of solitude and tranquility.


The state is divided into seven regions, each offering unique attractions and activities. The North Idaho region is characterized by its lush forests, beautiful lakes, and charming small towns. The Central Idaho region is home to the majestic Sawtooth Mountains and the renowned Sun Valley ski resort, attracting outdoor enthusiasts all year round.


In the Southwestern Idaho region, you’ll find Boise, the state capital and largest city, known for its lively downtown area, vibrant arts scene, and cultural events. The Eastern Idaho region is dominated by the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains, with scenic spots like Yellowstone National Park and the famous Teton Range.


Idaho has a diverse climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The state experiences four distinct seasons, each offering unique opportunities for outdoor activities. Spring brings mild temperatures and vibrant wildflowers, while summer is the perfect time for hiking, camping, and water sports. Fall is known for its stunning foliage, and winter transforms Idaho into a snowy wonderland, ideal for skiing and snowboarding.


Idaho is also rich in cultural heritage, with a blend of Native American, pioneer, and modern influences. The state has a deep connection to its history, which is evident in its numerous museums, historical sites, and festivals. Visitors can learn about the pioneers who settled the state, explore Native American heritage, and experience the local traditions and customs.


One of Idaho’s greatest assets is its outdoor recreational opportunities. With over 30 state parks, 12 national forests, and numerous lakes and rivers, the state is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, or wildlife viewing, Idaho offers endless possibilities to immerse yourself in nature.


Idaho is also renowned for its wildlife, with a diverse range of species calling the state home. From majestic elk and deer to elusive wolves and bears, animal lovers will have the chance to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.


Idaho’s friendly and welcoming atmosphere, combined with its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a unique and unforgettable experience. So get ready to explore this hidden treasure and discover all that Idaho has to offer!


Best Time to Visit Idaho

Idaho offers a range of experiences throughout the year, so the best time to visit depends on your interests and what you hope to do during your trip. Each season in Idaho brings its own unique charm and activities.


Summer (June to August) is the peak tourist season in Idaho, thanks to its pleasant weather and abundance of outdoor activities. During this time, temperatures average in the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius) in most regions, making it perfect for hiking, boating, camping, and exploring national parks and forests. Summer is also the ideal time to visit popular destinations such as Sun Valley, where you can enjoy activities like mountain biking, golfing, and fishing in pristine lakes and rivers.


Autumn (September to November) in Idaho is a season of vibrant colors as the leaves turn shades of red, yellow, and orange. With temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to mid-70s Fahrenheit (low to mid-20s Celsius), fall is a great time to visit for those who prefer cooler weather. The state’s mountain ranges, such as the Sawtooth Mountains and the Teton Range, offer breathtaking views, and it’s a perfect time for hiking, wildlife spotting, and enjoying the natural beauty of Idaho.


Winter (December to February) transforms Idaho into a winter wonderland. The state is renowned for its world-class ski resorts, such as Sun Valley and Schweitzer Mountain Resort, which offer excellent downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling opportunities. Average temperatures range from the low teens to high 30s Fahrenheit (-10s to high 0s Celsius), depending on the region, so make sure to pack warm clothing and gear to fully enjoy the winter activities.


Spring (March to May) in Idaho is characterized by milder temperatures and the awakening of nature. It’s an excellent time to witness blooming wildflowers, especially in the lower elevation areas. Spring weather can be quite variable, with temperatures ranging from the 40s to 60s Fahrenheit (low teens to high teens Celsius), so be prepared for some cooler and rainy days. Spring is a fantastic time to visit Idaho’s national parks, such as Yellowstone National Park and Craters of the Moon National Monument, with fewer crowds and plenty of wildlife to observe.


It’s important to note that the weather in Idaho can be unpredictable, especially in the mountainous regions. Always check the forecast and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions, regardless of the season you visit. Keep in mind that popular tourist destinations may be more crowded during peak seasons, but there are always hidden gems and less-known areas to explore for a more secluded experience.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Idaho depends on the type of activities you enjoy and the kind of experience you’re seeking. Whether you’re a winter sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone who simply appreciates the beauty of the great outdoors, Idaho has something to offer year-round.


Getting to Idaho

Getting to Idaho is relatively easy, with multiple transportation options available. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, you can reach the state by air, road, or train.


By Air: Boise Airport (BOI) is the main gateway to Idaho, located in the capital city of Boise. It offers numerous flights from major cities in the United States, including direct flights from Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Los Angeles. The airport is served by several major airlines, making it convenient for both domestic and international travelers. Other regional airports, such as Spokane International Airport (GEG) in Washington and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Utah, also provide options for reaching different regions of Idaho.


By Road: If you prefer a road trip, Idaho is easily accessible by car via several interstate highways. Interstate 84 runs east-west through the southern part of the state, connecting Idaho to neighboring states such as Oregon and Utah. Interstate 90 traverses the northern part of Idaho and is a popular route for those coming from Washington and Montana. Additionally, other major highways, such as US Route 93, US Route 20, and US Route 95, provide access to different regions within Idaho.


By Train: Amtrak operates the Empire Builder route, which passes through Northern Idaho. The train stops in Sandpoint, providing a scenic and relaxing option for travelers. From there, you can explore the surrounding areas and continue your journey by car or other means of transportation.


Once you have arrived in Idaho, it’s important to consider transportation options for getting around the state.


Driving: Renting a car is a popular choice for exploring Idaho, as it offers flexibility and the opportunity to venture off the beaten path. The state has well-maintained roads and highways, making it easy to navigate. However, during winter months, it’s important to check road conditions and be prepared for snowy and icy conditions in mountainous areas.


Public Transportation: Public transportation options in Idaho are limited, especially in rural areas. However, there are bus services available in cities like Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls. Additionally, some national parks and ski resorts offer shuttle services to help visitors explore the surrounding areas.


Taxi and Ride-Sharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in larger cities, providing convenient transportation within urban areas. However, their availability may be limited in smaller towns and rural areas.


Biking and Walking: Idaho is known for its bike-friendly communities and scenic trails. If you’re visiting a smaller town or exploring a specific area, biking or walking can be a great way to get around and enjoy the natural beauty at a leisurely pace.


When planning your visit to Idaho, consider your preferred mode of transportation and the activities you wish to pursue. Having prior arrangements for transportation will ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey throughout the state.


Transportation within Idaho

While Idaho is a vast state with wide-open spaces, there are still transportation options available for getting around and exploring its diverse regions.


Driving: Renting a car is often the most convenient way to travel within Idaho, especially if you plan to explore multiple destinations or venture into remote areas. The state has a well-maintained highway system, making it easy to navigate from one region to another. However, be aware that winter driving conditions can be challenging in some areas, so it’s important to check weather and road conditions before embarking on your journey.


Public Transportation: While public transportation options are limited in Idaho, there are bus services available in larger cities. Boise, the state capital, has a public bus system that serves the city and surrounding areas. Additionally, some towns and cities may have local or regional bus services, offering transportation within their respective communities.


Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis are available in larger cities like Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Idaho Falls. Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are also available in certain areas, providing convenient transportation within urban and suburban areas.


Biking: Idaho is a bike-friendly state, with numerous biking trails and paths available for both recreational and transportation purposes. Many cities and towns have designated bike lanes, making it easy to navigate around urban areas. Biking can be a great way to explore local neighborhoods, enjoy the scenic beauty, and experience the outdoors at a leisurely pace.


Walking: If you’re exploring smaller towns or specific areas, walking can be a pleasant way to get around. Many towns have pedestrian-friendly downtown areas with shops, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll in a quaint town or a scenic hike in a national park, walking allows you to fully immerse yourself in the surroundings and experience Idaho’s natural beauty up close.


Shuttle Services: Some tourist destinations in Idaho, such as national parks and ski resorts, offer shuttle services to help visitors navigate the area. These services can be particularly useful if you prefer not to drive or want to avoid parking hassles in busy tourist spots.


Air Travel: If you need to travel long distances within Idaho or to reach remote areas, air travel may be an option. Regional airports such as Boise Airport and Spokane International Airport offer flights to various destinations within the state and neighboring regions. Flying can save time and provide a unique perspective on Idaho’s breathtaking landscapes.


When planning your transportation within Idaho, consider the specific regions and destinations you wish to explore, as well as your preferred mode of transportation. Renting a car provides the most flexibility, especially for off-the-beaten-path adventures, but public transportation, biking, and walking can also be enjoyable options depending on your itinerary and personal preferences.


Accommodation Options

When visiting Idaho, you’ll find a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From comfortable hotels to cozy cabins and unique lodges, you’ll have no shortage of places to stay while exploring the beauty of the Gem State.


Hotels and Resorts: Idaho has a wide range of hotels and resorts, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxurious accommodations. Major cities like Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Sun Valley offer a variety of chain hotels and upscale resorts with amenities like pools, spas, and on-site restaurants. These properties provide convenience, comfort, and often excellent proximity to popular tourist attractions.


Campgrounds and RV Parks: If you prefer a closer connection with nature, Idaho’s campgrounds and RV parks are a great option. Throughout the state, you’ll find both public and private campgrounds that offer spaces for tents, RVs, and campers. Many campgrounds come equipped with amenities like picnic tables, fire pits, and restroom facilities, while some even offer hookups for RVs. This is an ideal choice if you’re looking to immerse yourself in Idaho’s pristine wilderness and enjoy activities like hiking, fishing, and stargazing.


Cabins and Vacation Rentals: Renting a cabin or vacation home is another popular choice in Idaho, especially for those seeking a cozy and rustic experience. Many cabins are nestled in scenic locations, allowing you to wake up to breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, or forests. Vacation rentals offer the added convenience of a full kitchen and living space, giving you a home-away-from-home feel. Whether you’re planning a family getaway, a romantic retreat, or a group adventure, renting a cabin or vacation home allows you to create your own idyllic escape.


Bed and Breakfasts: For a more intimate and personalized experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast (B&B). Idaho has charming B&Bs nestled in historic homes, countryside settings, or near popular attractions. Staying at a B&B often includes a homemade breakfast in the morning and the chance to connect with friendly hosts who can provide insider tips and recommendations for exploring the area.


Lodges and Guest Ranches: Idaho is known for its rustic lodges and guest ranches, offering a unique and immersive experience in the heart of nature. These accommodations range from cozy log cabins to luxurious mountain lodges and offer various activities like horseback riding, fishing, and guided wilderness adventures. Staying at a lodge or guest ranch allows you to disconnect from the outside world and fully embrace the tranquility of Idaho’s wilderness.


Unique Accommodations: Idaho also offers unique and unconventional accommodations for those seeking one-of-a-kind experiences. You can find options like yurts, treehouses, and even converted historical buildings that have been transformed into hotels. Staying in these distinctive accommodations adds an extra layer of adventure and novelty to your Idaho experience.


Whether you prefer the convenience and amenities of a hotel or the rustic charm of a cabin, Idaho’s diverse range of accommodation options ensures that you’ll find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate during your stay. It’s recommended to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourism seasons, to secure your preferred choice and make the most of your Idaho adventure.


Popular Destinations in Idaho

Idaho is a state filled with incredible natural beauty and diverse attractions. From stunning national parks and vibrant cities to charming small towns and historical sites, there’s no shortage of popular destinations to explore in the Gem State.


Boise: The capital city of Idaho, Boise, is a vibrant and charming destination. Nestled along the Boise River and surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, Boise offers a mix of urban amenities and outdoor adventures. Explore the downtown area with its lively arts scene, boutique shops, and diverse culinary experiences. Don’t miss the Idaho State Capitol building and the beautiful Kathryn Albertson Park.


Yellowstone National Park: While primarily located in Wyoming, a part of Yellowstone National Park spills over into Idaho. This iconic national park is known for its geothermal features, including the famous Old Faithful geyser. Witness the majestic wildlife, hike through its stunning wilderness, and marvel at the otherworldly landscapes that make Yellowstone a must-visit destination.


Sun Valley: Sun Valley is a renowned year-round resort destination, attracting visitors from around the world. Known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding in winter, Sun Valley also offers a plethora of outdoor activities during the summer months, including hiking, mountain biking, and golfing. Enjoy the charming village atmosphere, indulge in exquisite dining, and explore the vibrant arts scene.


Coeur d’Alene: Located in the panhandle region of Idaho, Coeur d’Alene is a picturesque town surrounded by pristine lakes and lush forests. The highlight of the area is Lake Coeur d’Alene, where visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming. Explore the charming downtown area with its shops and restaurants, and don’t miss the stunning Coeur d’Alene Resort with its famous floating green golf course.


Sawtooth National Recreation Area: The Sawtooth Mountains in Central Idaho are a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area offers breathtaking alpine landscapes, crystal-clear lakes, and numerous hiking trails. Explore the charming town of Stanley and embark on outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting, fishing, camping, and wildlife spotting in this pristine wilderness.


Shoshone Falls: Known as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a spectacular waterfall located on the Snake River near Twin Falls. With a height of 212 feet (65 meters), it’s even higher than Niagara Falls. Visit during spring to witness the falls at their most dramatic, or enjoy the recreational activities available in the area, such as hiking and picnicking.


Idaho City: Take a step back in time with a visit to Idaho City, the state’s first territorial capital during the gold rush era. Explore the historic streets lined with preserved buildings and learn about the town’s fascinating history. Visit the Boise Basin Museum to delve deeper into the area’s past and explore nearby recreational opportunities.


These are just a few of the popular destinations in Idaho. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a mix of both, Idaho’s diverse attractions offer something for every traveler’s taste. So pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders that await in the Gem State.


Outdoor Activities in Idaho

Idaho is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities to indulge in its breathtaking natural landscapes. From rugged mountains to pristine lakes and winding rivers, there’s no shortage of outdoor adventures to embark on in the Gem State.


Hiking and Backpacking: With its diverse terrain, Idaho provides endless opportunities for hiking and backpacking enthusiasts. Discover scenic trails that wind through lush forests, traverse rugged mountain ranges, and lead to hidden alpine lakes. Some popular hiking destinations include the Sawtooth Mountains, Hell’s Canyon, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.


White Water Rafting and Kayaking: Idaho is home to some of the best white water rafting and kayaking spots in the country. The Salmon River, also known as “The River of No Return,” offers thrilling rapids and stunning scenery. The Snake River and the Payette River are also popular spots for water adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a beginner looking for a thrilling experience, Idaho’s rivers won’t disappoint.


Fishing: Idaho is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, with numerous rivers, lakes, and streams teeming with a variety of fish species. Cast your line in the Clearwater River for steelhead, try fly fishing in the Henrys Fork of the Snake River for trout, or enjoy angling on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Fishing in Idaho offers a chance to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the great outdoors.


Mountain Biking: Idaho boasts an extensive network of mountain biking trails, catering to riders of all skill levels. From flowy singletracks to thrilling downhill descents, there’s a trail for everyone. The Boise Foothills, the trails surrounding Sun Valley, and the Teton Pass Area are some of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the state. Strap on your helmet and get ready to experience adrenaline-pumping rides through beautiful landscapes.


Skiing and Snowboarding: Idaho’s snowy winter landscape transforms the state into a winter wonderland, perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Sun Valley is renowned for its world-class slopes and well-groomed trails, attracting winter sports enthusiasts from around the world. Other ski resorts, such as Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Bogus Basin, offer a variety of terrain and activities for all skill levels.


Camping: Camping is a beloved pastime in Idaho, allowing visitors to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the serene surroundings. Whether you choose a traditional campground or opt for backcountry camping in the wilderness areas, spending a night under the stars is an unforgettable experience. Wake up to the crisp mountain air, enjoy a campfire, and let the beauty of Idaho’s landscapes surround you.


Rock Climbing: Idaho offers diverse rock climbing opportunities, with formations ranging from granite cliffs to towering limestone walls. City of Rocks National Reserve is a popular destination for sport and traditional climbers, boasting thousands of routes suitable for all levels. Castle Rocks State Park and Hell’s Canyon are also known for their challenging and scenic climbing routes.


Wildlife Viewing and Photography: Idaho’s abundance of wildlife makes it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species. Visit national parks, such as Yellowstone and Sawtooth, or venture into remote areas to observe animals in their natural habitats. Remember to maintain a safe distance and respect their territory for both their well-being and yours.


These are just a few of the outdoor activities that Idaho has to offer. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, peaceful retreats in nature, or the chance to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, Idaho’s landscapes are waiting to be explored.


Wildlife and Nature in Idaho

Idaho is blessed with abundant natural beauty and diverse ecosystems, making it a haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. From majestic mountain ranges to pristine lakes and winding rivers, the state is teeming with wildlife and offers endless opportunities to experience the wonders of the natural world.


Wildlife: Idaho is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, both big and small. Keep your eyes peeled for iconic creatures such as elk, mule deer, moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats roaming the rugged mountains. Wolves, coyotes, and black bears also inhabit the wilderness areas of the state. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the opportunity to spot bald eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, and a variety of migratory bird species. Additionally, if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of elusive creatures like lynx and wolverines, which inhabit more remote regions.


National Parks and Forests: Idaho is blessed with numerous national parks and forests that showcase the state’s diverse natural landscapes. Yellowstone National Park, which extends into Idaho, is renowned worldwide for its geothermal features, wildlife, and iconic Old Faithful geyser. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area offers breathtaking alpine scenery, pristine lakes, and stunning mountain peaks. Other notable areas include Craters of the Moon National Monument, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, which is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states.


Lakes and Rivers: Idaho is known for its pristine lakes and winding rivers, which provide tranquil settings for a variety of recreational activities. Payette Lake, Lake Coeur d’Alene, and Priest Lake are popular destinations for boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming. The Snake River, Salmon River, and Clearwater River offer thrilling white water rafting and scenic floats, as well as excellent fishing opportunities. These bodies of water are also important habitats for a variety of fish species, including trout and salmon.


Scenic Byways: Idaho is crisscrossed with breathtaking scenic byways that allow travelers to experience the state’s natural beauty from behind the wheel. The Salmon River Scenic Byway, known as the “River of No Return,” offers stunning views of rugged canyons, mountain ranges, and the rushing waters of the river. The Teton Scenic Byway takes you through the beautiful Teton Valley, with towering mountains and rolling farmlands. The Payette River Scenic Byway meanders along the scenic Payette River, offering picturesque views and access to outdoor activities.


Flora and Fauna: Idaho’s landscapes are adorned with a rich variety of flora and fauna. From wildflower-strewn meadows and towering evergreens to abundant sagebrush plains, the state is a botanical wonderland. During spring and summer, vibrant wildflowers carpet the hillsides, adding bursts of color to the already magnificent scenery. Explore the diverse plant life and enjoy the fragrant scents as you embark on hiking trails or simply immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.


When venturing into Idaho’s natural areas, it’s important to respect and preserve the delicate ecosystems. Practice Leave No Trace principles, maintain a safe distance from wildlife, and follow any guidelines or regulations set forth by park authorities to ensure the preservation of the state’s incredible wildlife and nature.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the natural world, Idaho’s abundance of wildlife and diverse ecosystems will leave you in awe and provide unforgettable experiences.


Cultural and Historical Attractions

Idaho is not only renowned for its stunning natural landscapes but also for its rich cultural and historical heritage. From the preserved remnants of the state’s Native American past to the history of the pioneers who settled the region, there are numerous cultural and historical attractions that give insight into Idaho’s fascinating past.


Native American History: Idaho has a deep-rooted Native American history, with several tribes having inhabited the land for centuries. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Fort Hall Reservation near Pocatello offers visitors a glimpse into the culture and traditions of the tribes. The Nez Perce National Historical Park, encompassing areas in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, tells the story of the Nez Perce people and their interactions with European settlers.


Idaho State Capitol: Located in Boise, the Idaho State Capitol is an architectural gem and serves as the seat of government for the state. Visitors can explore the grand building and learn about Idaho’s political history through guided tours or self-guided visits. The Capitol’s beautiful dome and stunning interior, with its intricate details and historical artifacts, provide a fascinating look into the state’s governance.


Old Idaho Penitentiary: Step back in time with a visit to the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise. This former prison operated from 1870 to 1973 and now serves as a museum, offering insight into Idaho’s criminal justice history. Explore the cell blocks, gallows, and solitary confinement cells to learn about the stories of the prisoners who were once confined within its walls.


Idaho State Museum: Located in Boise, the Idaho State Museum is a must-visit for those seeking to delve into the state’s cultural heritage. The museum showcases Idaho’s history, art, and cultural artifacts through interactive exhibits and displays. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the region’s geological history, Native American cultures, pioneer life, and more.


Lewis and Clark Historic Trail: Follow in the footsteps of the famous explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail. This historic trail commemorates the journey of the Corps of Discovery, who explored the American West in the early 19th century. Parts of the trail pass through Idaho, allowing visitors to connect with this significant chapter in American history.


Idaho State Historical Society: The Idaho State Historical Society operates several museums and historic sites throughout the state. One notable site is the Fort Boise Commerce site, which offers a glimpse into Idaho’s fur trade history. The Historical Society also manages the Chief Shoshone exhibit, showcasing the life and legacy of the famous Shoshone chief, Sacagawea, who played a vital role in the Lewis and Clark expedition.


Idaho City: Visit Idaho City, the state’s first territorial capital and a living testament to its gold rush history. Take a stroll along Main Street and explore the preserved buildings that showcase the town’s past. The Idaho City Museum provides further insights into the area’s rich history and the challenges faced by early pioneers during the gold rush era.


From Native American heritage to the waves of pioneers and explorers who shaped the region, Idaho’s cultural and historical attractions offer a glimpse into the intriguing past of the state. Explore these sites and museums to gain a deeper understanding of Idaho’s diverse cultural heritage and the events that have shaped its identity.


Food and Drink in Idaho

When it comes to food and drink, Idaho showcases a delicious blend of flavors that will satisfy even the most discerning palate. From farm-to-table cuisine using locally sourced ingredients to craft breweries and wineries producing unique libations, the culinary scene in Idaho is one to be savored.


Potatoes: Idaho is famous for its potatoes, known for their exceptional quality and flavor. Sample the state’s iconic tuber in a variety of forms, from crispy French fries to creamy mashed potatoes. Don’t miss the chance to try Idaho’s signature dish, loaded baked potatoes, topped with a delectable array of toppings like cheese, bacon, and sour cream.


Farm-to-Table Delights: Idaho’s fertile soil and agricultural heritage have allowed for a thriving farm-to-table movement. Experience the freshness and flavors of locally sourced ingredients by dining at farm-to-table restaurants that showcase the state’s bountiful harvest. Feast on seasonal produce, grass-fed beef, artisan cheeses, and other farm-fresh delights.


Trout and Salmon: With its abundance of lakes and rivers, Idaho is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, and trout and salmon are among the prized catches. Indulge in the freshest trout and salmon from local waters, prepared in various ways, from pan-seared to cedar-planked. Experience the rich and delicate flavors of these delicious freshwater fish.


Craft Breweries: Idaho has a thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries offering a wide range of unique and flavorful brews. Discover local favorites, hoppy IPAs, rich stouts, refreshing wheat beers, and more. Take a brewery tour, sample the brews, and learn about the beer-making process from the passionate craft brewers.


Wineries: Idaho’s climate and soil conditions make it an ideal region for grape cultivation, and the state boasts a burgeoning wine industry. Explore Idaho’s wineries and vineyards, which produce a variety of wines, including award-winning reds, whites, and sparkling wine. Wine tasting events and tours can be enjoyed in picturesque settings, immersing you in the charm and beauty of wine country.


Huckleberries: Idaho is known for its wild huckleberries, which are similar to blueberries but with a unique and intense flavor. These tart and sweet berries can be found in various forms, from jams and sauces to baked goods and infused drinks. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the taste of huckleberries during your visit.


Local Cuisine: Idaho offers a range of culinary delights influenced by its diverse cultural heritage. From hearty cowboy fare to Scandinavian-inspired dishes, you’ll find an array of flavors to tantalize your taste buds. Sample Idaho’s take on beef dishes, elk or bison steaks, hearty stews, Dutch oven cooking, and Scandinavian treats like lefse and lutefisk.


Farmers Markets: If you’re a fan of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and artisanal products, visit one of Idaho’s vibrant farmers markets. Explore the stalls overflowing with colorful fruits and vegetables, homemade jams and preserves, local honey, fresh-baked goods, and more. Beyond the delicious offerings, farmers markets provide an opportunity to connect with local growers and artisans and experience the vibrant community spirit.


Whether you’re indulging in Idaho’s world-famous potatoes, savoring the catch of the day, or exploring the vibrant craft beer and wine scene, Idaho’s food and drink offerings are sure to leave you satisfied and craving for more. Immerse yourself in the flavors of Idaho and discover the culinary traditions that make this state a gastronomic delight.


Shopping in Idaho

When it comes to shopping, Idaho offers a diverse range of options, from unique local boutiques and specialty stores to bustling farmers markets and charming antique shops. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, local handicrafts, or fresh produce, shopping in Idaho is a delightful experience.


Local Shops and Boutiques: Idaho is home to numerous locally owned shops and boutiques, offering a treasure trove of unique finds. Explore charming downtown areas in cities like Boise, Coeur d’Alene, and Sun Valley, where you’ll discover an array of specialty stores featuring clothing, jewelry, home decor, and artisanal products. Support local artists and artisans by purchasing handmade items that reflect the spirit and creativity of Idaho.


Farmers Markets: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Idaho’s farmers markets, where you can find an abundance of fresh produce, locally made products, and unique artisanal crafts. Stroll through aisles of colorful fruits and vegetables, sample homemade jams and sauces, and browse through handmade crafts and artwork. Interact with local producers and artists, and savor the flavors and creativity of Idaho’s vibrant community spirit.


Antique Shops and Thrift Stores: For those who love vintage and unique finds, Idaho boasts a number of antique shops and thrift stores. Explore these hidden gems to uncover vintage clothing, retro collectibles, unique furniture pieces, and quirky treasures. Whether you’re a dedicated antique collector or simply enjoy the thrill of finding something special, Idaho’s antique shops offer a delightful shopping experience.


Idaho-Made Products: Take home a taste of Idaho by purchasing locally produced products. Look for Idaho-grown jams, salsas, and honey, or treat yourself to Idaho-made chocolates, cheeses, and gourmet delicacies. Idaho is also known for its exceptional wines, craft beers, and spirits, so consider stocking up on your favorites to enjoy throughout the year.


Outdoor Gear and Sporting Goods: With its abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities, Idaho is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore specialty stores and sporting goods shops that cater to a variety of outdoor activities. Find high-quality gear for camping, fishing, hiking, skiing, and more, ensuring that you’re well-equipped for your adventures in Idaho’s great outdoors.


Art Galleries and Studios: Immerse yourself in Idaho’s vibrant art scene by visiting art galleries and studios throughout the state. Discover works of art ranging from paintings and sculptures to photography and ceramics, showcasing the talent and creativity of Idaho’s local and regional artists. Some galleries even offer the opportunity to meet the artists and gain insight into their creative process.


Shopping Centers and Malls: If you prefer the convenience of shopping centers and malls, Idaho has a number of options. Boise, in particular, offers several shopping centers with a wide range of stores, from popular national chains to department stores and specialty shops. These centers provide one-stop shopping for apparel, accessories, electronics, and more.


Whether you’re seeking unique souvenirs, locally made products, or the thrill of a vintage find, shopping in Idaho offers something for everyone. Explore the diverse array of shops, markets, and galleries to discover the treasures that reflect the beauty, creativity, and spirit of this incredible state.


Safety Tips for Travelers in Idaho

When visiting Idaho, it’s important to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Gem State:


Weather Preparedness: Idaho’s climate can be variable, so it’s essential to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for the season, including layers, rain gear, and sturdy footwear. Be aware of the potential for sudden weather changes, especially in mountainous areas, and check weather forecasts before embarking on outdoor activities.


Outdoor Safety: If you plan to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or skiing, make sure to familiarize yourself with the area and any potential hazards. Follow trail markers and maps, stay on designated paths, and let someone know your planned itinerary. Bear safety is also important in certain areas of the state, so carry bear spray and understand how to use it properly.


Water Safety: Idaho’s lakes and rivers offer fantastic recreational opportunities, but it’s crucial to prioritize water safety. If participating in water activities, such as boating, swimming, or rafting, always wear a life jacket and follow safety guidelines. Be aware of currents, water depth, and any posted warnings or advisories. Keep an eye on weather conditions, and be prepared for changing water conditions, especially during spring runoff or after heavy rain.


Road Safety: If you’re planning to drive in Idaho, follow safe driving practices. Observe speed limits, wear seatbelts, and avoid distracted driving. Be cautious when driving on mountain roads, especially in winter, as roads may be icy or snowy. It’s important to carry emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as a spare tire, jumper cables, and a roadside emergency kit.


Wildlife Encounters: Idaho is home to a variety of wildlife, and it’s important to maintain a safe distance and respect their natural habitat. Do not approach or feed wild animals, as they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. If you encounter a bear, back away slowly without turning your back, and make yourself look as large and noisy as possible to deter them.


Health and Safety Precautions: It’s always important to prioritize your health and safety while traveling. Stay hydrated, especially in summer, and wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays at higher elevations. Take precautions to avoid insect bites, such as using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing in areas with ticks or mosquitoes. If you have any specific health concerns or conditions, consult with your healthcare provider before traveling.


Respect Nature and Leave No Trace: Idaho’s natural landscapes are pristine and fragile, so it’s essential to practice Leave No Trace principles. Pack out all trash and litter, leave natural and cultural artifacts untouched, and respect wildlife and vegetation. Follow any posted regulations and guidelines in parks and protected areas to help preserve these beautiful environments for future generations.


By keeping these safety tips in mind and staying aware of your surroundings, you can fully enjoy the wonders of Idaho while ensuring a safe and memorable travel experience. Whether you’re hiking in breathtaking national parks, exploring charming towns, or engaging in thrilling outdoor adventures, being prepared and cautious will contribute to a successful trip.



Idaho is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered, offering breathtaking beauty, outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re seeking rugged mountains, serene lakes, captivating history, or vibrant cities, this state has something for everyone.


From the moment you arrive in Idaho, you’ll be captivated by its natural wonders. Explore the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, wander through scenic national parks, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of crystal-clear lakes and winding rivers. Engage in outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, skiing, and rafting, and soak in the awe-inspiring landscapes that make Idaho a playground for nature lovers.


But Idaho isn’t just about the great outdoors—it also has a rich cultural heritage to uncover. Delve into Native American history, learn about the pioneer era, and immerse yourself in the art and culinary scenes that showcase the state’s creative spirit. Explore local shops and farmers markets, sample Idaho’s famous potatoes and gourmet treats, and savor the flavors of the local food and drink scene.


As you travel through Idaho, remember to prioritize safety and respect for the natural environment. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, follow water and road safety guidelines, and practice wildlife safety precautions. By doing so, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable journey through the state’s diverse landscapes.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Idaho will not disappoint. Its hidden treasures and natural wonders will leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the magic of this beautiful state.


So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to embark on an incredible journey through the stunning landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality that define Idaho. It’s time to uncover the hidden gems of the Gem State!