Tag Archive for: idaho

When visiting Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Parks, travel to nearby Victor for a uniquely Idaho treat. Victor Emporium serves huckleberry milkshakes made with local ice cream and packed with Idaho’s state fruit. If your travels take you near Ashton, drop by Five 11 Main for a fantastic huckleberry shake served with a side of nostalgia in a converted soda fountain shop.

Boise has a reputation for its vibrant music scene, featuring both talented local artists and touring acts from all over the world. Check out Pengilly’s Saloon – a local favorite beloved for its old-school Brunswick bar, vintage decor and rotating mix of live local music, ranging from jazz to bluegrass.

For touring acts, Treefort Music Fest and Duck Club Entertainment have created a legacy of bringing in well-known artists as well as some still flying below the radar. Opening in 2023, the Treefort Music Hall in downtown Boise will showcase a variety of sounds for discovery.

The Lewis-Clark Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA) is a must-do for sampling Idaho wine. Lindsay Creek Vineyard’s Irresponsibility Red Wine is an irresistible red blend pleasing to almost any palate. Or head to Rivaura Wine in Julietta for their award-winning cabernet franc rosé.

For touring acts, Treefort Music Fest has created a legacy of bringing in well-known artists as well as some still flying below the radar. CREDIT Amy Russell

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

Treefort Music Festival in Boise (March)

Boise plays host to national and regional musicians while showcasing local up-and-coming talent.

Savor Idaho in Boise (June)

Savor Idaho is Idaho’s premier wine event, taking place in June during Idaho Wine and Cider Month at the beautiful Idaho Botanical Garden.

Hells Canyon Days in Cambridge (June)

A fun-filled weekend of family-friendly activities, music, crafts, cars/trucks, food and more.

National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest & Festival in Weiser (June)

A five-day celebration complete with fiddle contests, food and merchandise vendors, local entertainers and more.

Snake River Stampede Rodeo in Nampa (July)

The Stampede began as a small, local bucking horse competition in the early 1900s and has evolved into a major professional sports event.

Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell (August)

With over 600 world-class contestants and seven action-packed nightly events, the excitement in the arena is electric.

McCall Winter Carnival in McCall (January)

The McCall Winter Carnival was inspired by the Payette Lake Winter Games, first held in 1924, when a train from Boise brought 248 visitors to McCall, Idaho. Over the years, it has grown into an iconic Idaho event that brings more than 60,000 people to McCall each year.

National, regional and local up-and-coming talent all perform at the Treefort Music Festival in Boise each March. Photo courtesy of Southwest Idaho

For more information on Southwest Idaho, visit VisitSouthwestIdaho.org.

Idaho’s 80-plus breweries have unparalleled access to some of the best ingredients, with Idaho claiming the top spot for barley production and second-highest for hops in the U.S. Every April, the state celebrates this bounty with Idaho Craft Beer Month. The month kicks off with Pints Up Idaho and is filled with unique events including one-of-a-kind beer pairing dinners and new beer releases.

Thanks to its fertile volcanic soil and four distinct seasons, Idaho is ripe for growing wine grapes. The industry has developed to include over 65 wineries and tasting rooms from the state’s three American Viticultural Areas – Snake River Valley, Eagle Foothills and Lewis-Clark Valley. Each June, this growth is celebrated with Idaho Wine and Cider Month, including special events and promotions from wineries and cideries across the state.

You can sample treats from comforting baked goods to refreshing lemonade packed with huckleberries at the Donnelly Huckleberry Festival, held the second weekend in August. Huckleberries are the state fruit of Idaho, and locals have concocted a variety of ways to enjoy this wild and tart cousin of blueberries. Beyond delicious food offerings, the festival features a float parade, 5K fun run and walk, and arts and crafts vendors.

June is Idaho Wine and Cider Month, celebrating the state’s 65-plus wineries and tasting rooms. Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

 

New Moon Dinners in the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve: The Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Ketchum hosts New Moon Dinners in the darkest months of the year – November through February – to showcase the beauty and wonder of Idaho’s night skies in the southern tip of the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Guests enjoy a catered farm-to-greenhouse dinner with wine, outdoor fire pits, and telescopes with local astronomers to map the night sky.

Yellowstone National Park’s 150th Anniversary: Eastern Idaho is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park and is the perfect starting point to take in the area’s natural beauty and wildlife splendors without the crowds. Begin your journey, or extend your visit, with a road trip along the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway or Teton Scenic Byway. The region is home to Harriman State Park, the majestic Grand Tetons, stunning Mesa Falls and world-class fishing on Henry’s Fork of the legendary Snake River.

POSTPONED – Jaialdi to Return in 2025: Idaho is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the U.S.; and when it comes to celebrating their unique heritage and culture, the Basques know how to throw a party. Jaialdi, the six-day festival held every five years in Boise, will return in 2025. Attendees are treated to authentic Basque food, music, games, performances and more.

Visitors can experience the beauty and wonder of Idaho’s night skies with a catered farm-to-greenhouse dinner with wine, outdoor fire pits and telescopes with local astronomers to help map the stars. Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

 

Idaho is no stranger to quirkiness. From creating the ultimate comfort food combo and reimagining recreation on the river to sleeping above the tree line, Idaho is proud of its peculiarities.

Finger steaks are a uniquely Idaho delicacy. You’ll find these battered, deep-fried strips of beef on menus across the Gem State. Various establishments have claimed to be the first to create these savory treats; but wherever they originated, it’s safe to say it was definitely in Idaho. For the full experience, dip your finger steaks in fry sauce – a perfect, punchy blend of ketchup, mayo, pickle brine and spices.

Idaho may be a landlocked state, but inland surfers near and far flock to its rivers to catch a wave. Multiple communities have made impressive surfing waves out of the state’s abundance of river waters, including Boise Whitewater Park, Kelly’s Whitewater Park in Cascade and Lochsa Pipeline near Lowell. If you’re not ready to brave the flow wave yourself, river surfing is a great spectator sport.

Idaho has nearly a dozen fire lookouts – towers in remote areas formerly used to spot wildfires – that now function as the ultimate secluded and cozy overnight stay. Book most lookouts online at recreation.gov, or check Airbnb.

A basket of finger steaks, a uniquely Idaho delicacy, with a side of fry sauce. Photo courtesy of Westside Drive In

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

If you’re looking for unique activities to delight a variety of ages and interests, consider these Idaho events restarting in 2021 and 2022.

Treefort Music Fest: Boise

The Treefort Music Fest makes its return with two festivals within six months. This popular event brings artists representing nearly every genre of music and highlights film, food, beer, yoga, art and more. Spring 2022 will be Treefort’s 10th anniversary — a celebration you won’t want to miss. Find festival COVID-19 protocols here. September 22-26, 2021, and March 23-27, 2022

Trailing of the Sheep: Sun Valley, Ketchum & Hailey

Experience the history of sheepherding in Idaho at the Trailing of the Sheep Festival. This festival honors the autumn migration of sheep from their mountain ranges to lower-elevation pastures for winter and showcases Basque food, music, dancing and art. October 6-10, 2021, and October 5-9, 2022

Jaialdi: Boise

Idaho is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the U.S.; and when it comes to celebrating their culture, the Basques know how to throw a party. Jaialdi is a six-day festival held every five years, and attendees are treated to authentic Basque food, music, games, performances and so much more. July 26-31, 2022

Idaho is home to the largest concentration of Basques per capita in the U.S., and their six-day Jaialdi festival is not to be missed! Photo courtesy Aaron Ridriguez

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

When your landscape is filled with rivers, mountains and agriculture, sustainability is a natural part of the lifestyle. Many Idaho businesses are looking at unique ways to preserve, recycle and maintain the beauty and resources of the state.

The Urban Worm in downtown Boise composts waste onsite for neighboring restaurants Bittercreek Alehouse, Red Feather Lounge and Diablo & Sons Saloon. Located in the basement below the restaurants, hundreds of thousands of worms work 24/7 to compost kitchen waste to create worm castings, a nutrient-rich, organic compost for gardens and houseplants.

Mill 95, the only processor of hops in Idaho, was built in 2016 in Wilder to offer fresher, premium hop pellets to brewers in Idaho and around the world. Looking toward sustainability, they began selling hop hash – the raw hop residue that collects on the back of pellet grates and often goes unused – to local breweries like Payette Brewing and Barbarian Brewing.

Elevation 486 in Twin Falls pairs beautiful Snake River Canyon views with gourmet dishes prepared with a thoughtful selection of local ingredients. Try American Kobe beef from Snake River Farms with a glass of full-bodied Syrah from Koenig Vineyards in the Snake River Valley AVA.

Below Bittercreek Alehouse, Red Feather Lounge and Diablo & Sons Saloon on 8th Street in downtown Boise, hundreds of thousands of worms work 24/7 to compost kitchen waste. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center

Between mountain-peaked skylines and lush forests along the backcountry of Central Idaho, stop at the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center. Learn the history of the famous and heroic Sacajawea – the young Agai’dika Lemhi Shoshone who helped guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The 71-acre park is filled with artifacts, scenic walking trails and Heritage Community Gardens.

Gold Rush Historic Byway

From grain fields to lush forest coverage, the Gold Rush Historic Byway is a scenic drive rich in history and wildlife, including Lewis and Clark historical sites and Pierce, Idaho, where gold was first discovered in Idaho by pioneers. Stop at the Weippe Discovery Center to see Nez Perce artifacts and replica tools used by the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Bruneau Dunes State Park

With campsites and cabins available year-round, Bruneau Dunes State Park is an ideal outdoor escape just over an hour’s drive from Boise, Idaho’s capital city. Once you’ve settled into camp, rent a sandboard to surf the tallest freestanding sand dunes in North America. There’s plenty of high-desert terrain for birdwatching, biking and hiking as well. Once the sun sets, catch the vibrant night sky at the Bruneau Dunes Observatory.

Bruneau Dunes State Park, located just an hour’s drive from Boise, Idaho, is the ideal outdoor escape year-round. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

Like the famous mining town he calls home, Rick Shaffer is inviting, quirky and unapologetically proud of his community. So much so that he’s the self-appointed “prime minister of hospitality and goodwill” of Historic Wallace, Idaho – the small town bold enough to claim the title of “Center of the Universe.” Boasting a 100-plus-year run as the world’s largest silver producer, Wallace and residents like Rick welcome visitors to experience the area’s unique perspective.

Rick’s background in hospitality brought him to Wallace via New York City to manage properties including The Wallace Inn and Stardust Motel. Encouraged by Wallace’s colorful history and culture – including mining wars, gambling and brothels – Rick decided to stay permanently and is nearing three decades as a Wallace resident.

Inspired to “do whatever it takes to keep Historic Wallace in the public eye,” the idea of the prime minister was born.

“My creating this now-universal self-appointment was sewn in the knowledge that any entity that wishes to remain famous or known has to be unique. Historic Wallace is about fun and creating memories. I take it upon myself that whomever I come into contact with leaves Historic Wallace with all of this and more,” Rick said.

Rick Shaffer is the self-appointed “prime minister of hospitality and goodwill” of Historic Wallace, Idaho – which boasts the title “Center of the Universe.” Photo Courtesy Idaho Tourism

For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.

Offering rich history and abundant wilderness across 30 state parks, along with 31 scenic byways covering over 2,400 miles, Idaho is an ideal destination for a grand and fascinating road trip by car, RV or motorcycle. If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas for your next visit to the Great American West, consider these four pairings packed with Idaho’s stunning scenery and captivating stories.

Oregon Trail – Bear Lake Scenic Byway & Bear Lake State Park

Connect with Idaho’s pioneer history along the Oregon Trail-Bear Lake Scenic Byway with a stop at the National Oregon/California Trail Center. Take an auto tour, visit interpretive sites or hike trail segments of the westward migration of American settlers.

Located just 30 minutes south of the Oregon National Historic Trail, Bear Lake State Park is home to the sparkling turquoise waters of its namesake lake. Often referred to as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake stretches 20 miles across the Idaho-Utah border and is the perfect spot to spend a day swimming, fishing or water-skiing.

Bear Lake State Park. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

City of Rocks Backcountry Byway & Castle Rock State Park

 Continue your history lesson with the City of Rocks Backcountry Byway. This rural byway wraps around two geographic stunners in southern Idaho: City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. City of Rocks is a 14,407-acre paradise of granite domes and pure Idaho wilderness well-known for rock climbing, hiking and birding. The reserve is also home to historical trails, replica wagons and markings from pioneers traveling the California Trail during the gold rush. Emigrants passing through named it “The Silent City.”

Next door, Castle Rocks State Park is formed by a unique rocky landscape that dates back 2.5 million years. While exploring the rock formations, be on the lookout for Native American pictographs created by the area’s original inhabitants.

Castle Rocks State Park. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway & Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes State Park

What better spot to get lost in the twists and turns of an open road than beautiful, airy Coeur d’Alene? Known as one of the best summer playgrounds in the Pacific Northwest, a drive along the Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway offers views of lakes, mountains and wildlife.

Make your way to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes – a 73-mile paved path through the center of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s aboriginal territory. Stretching along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, the trail is perfect for a leisurely bike ride. Along the way, catch glimpses of eagles, deer, elk and other wildlife among the pine and fir trees.

Lake Coeur d’Alene Scenic Byway. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

Salmon River Scenic Byway & Land of the Yankee Fork State Park

Take the Salmon River Scenic Byway to the Land of the Yankee Fork State Park for highlights of Idaho’s frontier mining history. Located near the intersection of Idaho State Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 93, the site’s interpretive center showcases the area’s mining past, and historical sites and ghost towns throughout the park tell the story of the land’s early inhabitants and gold seekers.

Scenic overlook of Salmon. Courtesy Idaho Tourism


For more information on Idaho, visit VisitIdaho.org.