They say if you flattened all the mountains in Idaho, the state would be as big as Texas. Spanning two time zones, Idaho runs from Canada to Nevada and borders the western portion of the Rocky Mountains. Rivers, mountains and farmland dominate the landscape. Green hills, rugged mountains and sparkling clear lakes can be found here. Central Idaho is dominated by sharp mountain peaks. The Snake River Plain, with its open vistas and bustling cities, is the character of Southern Idaho.
According to allpubliclibraries, Northern Idaho is also known as Lakeland. This is because the glaciers of the Ice Age have left behind hundreds of beautiful lakes such as Priest Lake, Lake Coeur d’Alene and Lake Pend Oreille. Mountain biking families will love the Coeur d’Alene Trail and the Hiawatha Route. However, Northern Idaho also offers a different kind of adventure! Hold on tight as you ride the Tremors roller coaster at Silverwood Theme Park. Or enjoy the Triple Play Family Indoor Water Park. Golf enthusiasts are also in the right place in Idaho. Circling Raven Golf Course at the Coeur d’Alene Casino and Golf Resort has been voted one of the best of its kind by various golf magazines. If you come in winter, be sure to visit Schweitzer Mountain and the Silver Mountain Ski Resort. These are just 2 of the 17 ski areas in this state.
Northern Idaho is so full of American history and beautiful scenery that it would take a book to describe all there is to see and do. The Lewis and Clark Route along Highway 12, with several historic sites, is easily accessible from the road. The Nez Perce National Historical Park, the only National Park that puts people first rather than location, is just outside Lewiston. Once you’ve enjoyed the mountains and prairies, you can then descend into the deepest canyon in North America, Hell’s Canyon. Rafting here is an adventure for all ages. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing and many other opportunities are available in northern Idaho and the only bad news is that you probably won’t have enough time to do all of this.
In southwest Idaho, you can explore the rocky canyon “Snake River Birds of Prey Conservation Area”. Or climb a sand dune, swim in a natural spring, visit a wine cellar, one of the many museums or a cultural attraction such as the Spanish Cultural Center, the Basque Block or the Anne Frank memorial for human rights. Tamarack, Brundage Mountain and Bogus Basin Mountain offer quiet slopes in the winter and beautiful hiking and biking trails in the summer.
Eat and drink
In Idaho, just like in a large part of the USA, it is customary to have breakfast outside the door. The prices are low. Discover the tips for eating & drinking in Idaho.
Idaho: Pearl of the North
Although Idaho is a lesser-known US destination, this ‘pearl of the north’ is definitely worth a visit. Discover the least discovered area of North America and be surprised! The Idaho Tourist Board is happy to help you plan the ultimate trip and recommend accommodations such as hotels and excursions.
Food & Drink in Idaho
In Idaho it is quite common to have breakfast outside the door because what could be nicer than starting the day with, for example, a stack of delicious pancakes? Go to a typical American diner or a local coffee house and start your day right.
Just like in the rest of America, food trucks have become part of the street scene in Idaho. You can get a delicious meal here for little money. Idaho is also called the potato state in America because of the 3 billion potatoes that are produced here. So the fries are good in Idaho. And of course they in turn taste great with a delicious hamburger, for example bison meat. Boise, the capital, offers a wide range of restaurants and nightlife, especially on 8th Street, also known as restaurant row. There are terraces where you can enjoy al fresco dining in the summer, there is live music and there are events and festivals all year round. Take a concert in the Knitting Factory, for example, where even our own Dutch band Chef’s Special plays. Boise is a college town, so a large portion of the Boiseans are college students who bring extra life to the brewery.
Breweries & Wine in Idaho
In Idaho there are about 30 craft breweries that brew local beers such as the Payette Pale Ale. But wine lovers can also visit Idaho. The state has the fastest growing wine industry in America with more than 50 wineries. The fertile soil between the Rocky Mountains and the Snake River provides a good basis for fine wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling and Chardonnay. Of course you can order a delicious wine in a restaurant, but it is much more fun to experience a tour and a tasting at one or more wineries.
Arts & Culture in Idaho
For a relatively small city like Boise in Idaho, there is an unexpectedly large selection of art & culture. Art can be found on almost every street corner. Evenings and weekends come alive in Boise with theatre, music and dance from the Boise Philharmonic, the Boise Dance Theater and Opera Idaho, among others.
The Boise Art Museum (BAM) also has a collection of art that is accessible to everyone. After a visit to the BAM, many visitors walk downtown to look around one of the many local art galleries. Shakespeare lovers flock to Boise in September for the annual Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Scattered across Idaho are several museums, ranging from small to large. Idaho Tourism provides a helpful overview on their website. In this overview you will find, for example, how could it be otherwise, the Idaho Potato Museum near Pocatello.
Capital Boise has a very European feel and is a great starting point for a journey of discovery through Idaho. The city is one of the best kept secrets in the west and is the largest city in Idaho with more than 200,000 inhabitants. An average of 234 days of sunshine guarantee a wonderful stay. In the summer, the city bustles with activity and The Grove Plaze in the center is the place to be. For example for Alive After Five where you can enjoy live music every Wednesday evening. More music can be heard during concerts at the Idaho Botanical Garden or during the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. In September, art lovers can head to the Julia Davis Park for Art in the Park and every first Thursday of every month, the galleries and shops downtown stay open extra long for special events and extra shopping time!