Best Places to Visit in Idaho – Things to Do in Idaho

Top 7 Must-Visit Places in Idaho | Traveling Kangaroo

Things to do in Idaho-  Introduction to Idaho’s Hidden Gems

Idaho is often overlooked as a travel destination, but this hidden gem in the heart of the Rocky Mountains has so much to offer. From vibrant cities to picturesque lakeside towns, and from majestic mountains to unique lunar landscapes, Idaho is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. In this article, we will uncover the top 7 places to visit in Idaho, showcasing the state’s diverse beauty and captivating attractions.

Boise – The Vibrant Capital City

Boise - The Vibrant Capital City

Nestled along the banks of the Boise River, the vibrant capital city of Boise is a must-visit destination in Idaho. With its lively downtown, thriving arts scene, and abundant outdoor recreational opportunities, Boise offers something for everyone. Take a stroll through the charming streets of the historic district, browse the local boutiques and art galleries, or enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s many parks. For nature enthusiasts, the Boise Greenbelt provides miles of scenic trails for biking, walking, or jogging. Don’t miss the chance to explore the Idaho State Capitol Building, a stunning architectural masterpiece that offers guided tours highlighting the state’s rich history.

Sun Valley – A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Sun Valley - A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, Sun Valley is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, Sun Valley attracts winter sports enthusiasts from around the globe. But there’s more to Sun Valley than just winter sports. During the summer months, the area transforms into a haven for hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and golfing. Sun Valley Village, a beautiful place in Idaho, invites you to take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of Bald Mountain or explore its picturesque streets filled with charming shops, restaurants, and galleries. Whether you visit during the winter or summer, Sun Valley is sure to captivate your adventurous spirit.

Coeur d’Alene – A Picturesque Lakeside Town

Coeur d'Alene - A Picturesque Lakeside Town

Nestled on the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, the town of Coeur d’Alene is a picturesque destination that will leave you in awe. With its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrop, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the lake’s pristine beauty, or take a leisurely cruise on one of the lake’s many boat tours. Back on land, stroll along the Coeur d’Alene City Beach, which offers sandy shores and breathtaking sunsets. The downtown area is also worth exploring, with its charming shops, art galleries, and vibrant dining scene. Coeur d’Alene truly embodies the essence of Idaho’s natural beauty.

Sawtooth National Recreation Area – Majestic Mountains and Pristine Lakes

Sawtooth National Recreation Area

For those seeking awe-inspiring natural beauty, the Sawtooth National Recreation Area is a must-visit destination. This breathtaking wilderness area is home to jagged peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and countless hiking trails. Lace up your boots and embark on an adventure through this majestic landscape, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views at every turn. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Redfish Lake, a stunning glacier-carved lake that offers a variety of recreational activities, including camping, fishing, and boating. The Sawtooth National Recreation Area is a true gem for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Shoshone Falls – The “Niagara of the West”

Shoshone Falls

Often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a natural wonder that will leave you in awe. Located on the Snake River, just east of Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States. With its thundering cascades and scenic surroundings, the falls are a sight to behold. Visit during the spring when the snowmelt swells the river, creating a dramatic display of water and mist. There are several viewpoints and picnic areas over the deepest river gorge in the Gem State that offer stunning vistas of the falls.

Craters of the Moon National Monument – A Unique Lunar Landscape

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Step foot into a different world at the Craters of the Moon National Monument. This unique destination is a surreal landscape of lava fields, cinder cones, and volcanic caves, reminiscent of the moon’s surface. Explore the vast expanse of rugged terrain, marvel at the ancient lava flows, and venture into the depths of a lava tube cave. The monument offers several hiking trails of varying difficulty, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in this otherworldly environment. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight for the cave exploration, as the underground passages can be dark and mysterious. The Craters of the Moon National Monument is a must-see destination for those seeking a truly unique and otherworldly experience.

Idaho City – A Historic Gold Rush Town

Idaho City

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the history of Idaho City, a charming town that was once the largest city in the Pacific Northwest during the gold rush era. Today, Idaho City, a city in Idaho, is a thriving museum, with many of its original buildings preserved and restored to their former grace. Take a stroll along Main Street and admire the historic architecture, browse the antique shops and art galleries, or learn about the town’s fascinating past at the Boise Basin Museum. For outdoor enthusiasts, the nearby Boise National Forest offers ample opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping. Idaho City is a hidden gem that showcases Idaho’s rich history and natural beauty.

Top Attractions in Idaho

Idaho, often called the Gem State, is a state brimming with a diverse range of attractions that make it one of the most beautiful places for visitors to explore.

One of the top attractions is Shoshone Falls, often referred to as the “Niagara of the West.” This stunning waterfall is even higher than Niagara Falls and is a must-see for any nature enthusiast. For those interested in history, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, one of the best places for a historical tour, offers a fascinating insight into the Gem State’s past.

The eerie cell blocks and gallows are sure to make an impression. For those who prefer a more urban experience, the Boise River Greenbelt provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely walk or bike ride.

No trip to Idaho would be complete without a visit to the Sun Valley Resort, which ranks among one of the best places in the Gem State. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Idaho is becoming an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking natural beauty and rich history.

Luxury & Special Occasions

Luxury and special occasions go hand in hand, as these are the moments when we want to treat ourselves and our loved ones to something truly extraordinary.

Whether it’s a milestone birthday, a wedding anniversary, or a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, luxury is often the ultimate way to mark the significance of these special moments. From staying in a lavish five-star hotel to enjoying a gourmet dining experience, luxury adds an extra layer of indulgence and celebration to any special occasion.

It allows us to create unforgettable memories and truly immerse ourselves in the joy and significance of the event. Whether it’s a luxurious spa day, a private yacht charter, or a bespoke tailor-made suit, luxury brings a sense of exclusivity and opulence to any special occasion.

It’s a way of elevating the experience and making the occasion truly one-of-a-kind, leaving a lasting impression and creating cherished memories for years to come.

 

What travelers are saying

Travelers are saying that they are thrilled with their experiences and adventures. Many are raving about the incredible hospitality and warm welcome they received from the locals in various countries, with North Idaho being one of the best places mentioned.

They are also expressing their delight in the amazing food and stunning landscapes they have encountered on their journeys. Some travelers are sharing their appreciation for the cultural and historical knowledge they have gained while visiting different destinations.

Many are also commenting on the convenience and ease of booking accommodations and transportation, thanks to the plethora of user-friendly travel platforms available. Additionally, parts of Idaho, which are lesser-known destinations, have left a memorable impression on many visitors.

Overall, travelers seem to be in awe of the wonderful memories they have created and the unforgettable experiences they have had while exploring the world. Their positive feedback and glowing reviews are sure to inspire others to embark on their own adventures.

Idaho Attractions Information

Idaho is a beautiful state filled with diverse attractions for visitors to explore. For those who love the outdoors, Idaho offers stunning national parks such as Yellowstone and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. The state is also home to a variety of natural attractions, including Shoshone Falls, often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” and the stunning Craters of the Moon National Monument.

History buffs will enjoy visiting the Old Idaho Penitentiary and the Museum of Idaho, which showcases the state’s rich cultural heritage. Additionally, Idaho is known for its vibrant arts and entertainment scene, with events such as the Sun Valley Film Festival drawing visitors from all over the country.

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, the state also offers opportunities for whitewater rafting on the Salmon River and world-class skiing in destinations like Sun Valley and Schweitzer Mountain Resort. With its diverse array of attractions, Idaho has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Unusual Attractions in Idaho

Idaho is known for its stunning natural beauty, but the state also has some unusual attractions that are worth a visit. One of the most unique is the Idaho Potato Museum in the town of Blackfoot.

This quirky museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the potato, a staple of Idaho agriculture. Visitors can learn about the production and processing of potatoes, as well as the important role they play in Idaho’s economy.

Another offbeat attraction is the Idaho Potato Commission’s Big Idaho Potato Hotel, a six-ton replica of a Russet Burbank potato that has been converted into a cozy, one-bedroom hotel. For those interested in more quirky sights, the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a must-visit.

This otherworldly landscape features vast lava fields, cinder cones, and caves, making it feel like you’ve stepped onto another planet. These unusual attractions offer a unique glimpse into the diverse and unexpected side of Idaho’s tourism scene.

Unforgettable Experiences Nearby

There are so many unforgettable experiences waiting to be had near you. From thrilling outdoor adventures like hiking through rugged canyons, to peaceful moments spent gazing at breathtaking sunsets, the opportunities for unforgettable experiences are endless.

If you’re a thrill-seeker, consider trying out activities like zip-lining through lush forests or white-water rafting down winding rivers. Or perhaps you’d prefer a more relaxed experience, like strolling through charming local markets or enjoying a leisurely bike ride along scenic pathways. Wherever your interests lie, there’s something nearby just waiting to create a lasting memory for you.

Don’t let these amazing opportunities pass you by – get out there and make the most of the unforgettable experiences that are right at your fingertips. Whether it’s a new hobby, a new favorite spot, or a new way to connect with the beauty of the world around you, you’re sure to find something unforgettable nearby.

FAQS

Q: What are the top places to visit in Idaho?

A: Some of the top places to visit in Idaho are Yellowstone National Park, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho Falls, City of Rocks, Bruneau Dunes State Park, Coeur d’Alene Resort, and Boise.

Q: What are the best things to do in Idaho?

A: In Idaho, you can enjoy soaking in natural hot springs, exploring beautiful landscapes, visiting national parks, and indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping.

Q: What are the most beautiful places to visit in Idaho?

A: Some of the most beautiful places to visit in Idaho include the scenic areas of southern Idaho, the natural wonders of northern Idaho, and the unique landscapes of eastern Idaho.

Q: When is the best time to visit Idaho?

A: The best time to visit Idaho is during the summer and early fall when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are in full swing. However, each season offers its own unique charm in Idaho.

Q: What are the must-see attractions in Idaho?

A: Must-see attractions in Idaho include Yellowstone National Park, the stunning Shoshone Falls, the fascinating Hell’s Canyon, and the historic Old Idaho Penitentiary.

Q: What are some popular hot springs to visit in Idaho?

A: Some popular hot springs to visit in Idaho are Lava Hot Springs, Goldbug Hot Springs, Burgdorf Hot Springs, and Kirkham Hot Springs.

Q: What are the best places in Idaho for first-time visitors?

A: For first-time visitors, some of the 10 best places to visit in Idaho are Coeur d’Alene, Sun Valley, Boise, and the scenic drives in central Idaho.

Q: What are the best places to visit in southern Idaho?

A: Southern Idaho offers a variety of attractions including the Snake River Canyon, Shoshone Falls, Craters of the Moon National Monument, and the city of Twin Falls.

Q: What are the top attractions in northern Idaho?

A: Northern Idaho is home to Lake Coeur d’Alene, Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Silverwood Theme Park, and the charming town of Sandpoint.

Q: What are the must-visit locations in eastern Idaho?

A: Must-visit locations in eastern Idaho include the iconic Idaho Potato Museum, the scenic Teton Valley, the historic town of Idaho Falls, and the beautiful Yellowstone Bear World.

Wrapping Up Your Idaho Adventure – Final Thoughts

As you wrap up your adventure through Idaho’s hidden gems, take a moment to reflect on the beauty and diversity this state has to offer. From the vibrant capital city of Boise to the picturesque lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene, and from the majestic mountains of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area to the unique lunar landscape of the Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho is a destination that will leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply a place to unwind and reconnect with nature, Idaho has it all.

Popular Tourist Spots

In addition to the top 7 places to visit in Idaho, there are several other popular tourist spots worth exploring. One such spot creating a beautiful place in Idaho narrative is the Idaho Potato Museum, located in Blackfoot. Here, visitors can learn about the history of the potato industry in Idaho and even see the world’s largest potato chip. Another must-visit attraction is the Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the state’s criminal history. For those interested in Native American culture, the Nez Perce National Historical Park is a must-see destination, showcasing the rich heritage of the Nez Perce Tribe.

Tips & Recommendations

Before embarking on your Idaho adventure, here are a few tips and recommendations to ensure a memorable trip. Firstly, be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially if you plan to visit the mountainous regions. Pack layers and be ready for both hot and cold temperatures. Additionally, make sure to bring comfortable footwear, as many of the attractions in Idaho involve hiking or walking. Lastly, don’t forget to sample the local cuisine, which includes delicious Idaho potatoes, huckleberries, and trout.

Best Restaurants to Visit

After a day of exploring Idaho’s hidden gems, you’ll surely work up an appetite. Luckily, the state is home to many amazing restaurants that offer a taste of Idaho’s culinary delights. In Boise, don’t miss the opportunity to dine at State & Lemp, a renowned farm-to-table restaurant that showcases the best of local ingredients. For a taste of Idaho’s famous potatoes, head to Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro, known for their mouthwatering potato dishes. In Coeur d’Alene, be sure to try Beverly’s, an upscale restaurant with panoramic views of Lake Coeur d’Alene. These are just a few of the many fantastic dining options Idaho has to offer.

Traveler Tips

To discover the most of this beautiful part of Idaho, here are a few traveler tips to keep in mind. Firstly, plan your visit during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Additionally, consider renting a car to explore the state at your own pace and to reach more remote destinations. Lastly, take advantage of the state’s outdoor recreational opportunities by going hiking, biking, or fishing. Idaho’s natural beauty is best experienced by immersing yourself in the great outdoors.

Should You Rent A Car?

Yes, you should rent a car. especially if you are flying in or really just want to surprise that special someone. Renting a car is an excellent option for getting around the state and exploring its many natural wonders.

Tip: Can be expensive-check out our partners at Discovercars.com for the best deals.

Where to find the best deals on flights and hotels

Finding the best deals on flights and hotels can be a challenge. Luckily, we have you covered!

Many travel websites offer discounted rates on flights and hotels, so check out these sites if you’re looking for something specific in Washington state or just want an idea of what’s available.

Our top two picks are as follow…

  • Expedia: Well known for having good deals
  • WayAway: The option to get cash back, you can learn about the cash back option here.

Conclusion

Idaho’s hidden gems are waiting to be discovered. From the vibrant capital city of Boise to the picturesque lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene, and from the majestic mountains of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area to the unique lunar landscape of the Craters of the Moon National Monument, this state offers a wealth of natural beauty and captivating attractions. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an adventure through Idaho’s diverse landscapes, often considered one of the most beautiful places in the US. You won’t be disappointed.

Other Dream Vacations: 

Check out the best Airlines to fly here to make your dream vacation go smoothly…

Photo of author

Nick

I’m Nick — a traveler and photographer with a knack for shooting the world’s most beautiful places. Over the last decade, I’ve circled the globe, visiting countless countries, to bring home photos that cross language barriers. With fluency in five tongues, I believe in the power of communication to unlock culture. My travel blog, Traveling Kangaroo (yes, it’s a real animal!), is here to inspire you to take your own leap around this rock. I’ll continue to post about my journeys as I explore everything our world has to offer — one adventure at a time.