Natural adventures with breathtaking scenery
Get outdoors! mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, zip lining
Get To Know Idaho
The Gem State is one of the most scenic states in the nation, offering the adventure of a lifetime for newcomers. Idaho’s natural attractions will take your breath away, and the many outdoor sports common in the state, like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and zip lining, will ensure there’s never a dull moment throughout your trip.
When you choose to visit Idaho, you should know you’re in store for some of the country’s most incredible natural destinations. Take Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, for example, which not only offers the incredibly scenic sight of the falls but also many areas for picnics, paddling, and play. The Shoshone Ice Caves offer an amazing attraction for families in the form of a network of lava and ice caves that stretch over 1,000 feet long! Those looking to visit a state park can find tons of them in Idaho, including Coeur D’Alene Parkway State Park in Coeur D’Alene, Lucky Peak State Park in Boise, and Thousand Springs State Park in Hagerman.
Outdoor sports like mountain biking, horseback riding, zip lining, and motorsports are also highly popular in Idaho, and you can set up your adventure almost anywhere. Finally, incredible amusement and water parks simply abound in the state, like Triple Play/Raptor Reef in Hayden Lake, Silverwood in Athol, and Wahooz Family Fun Zone & Pinz Bowling Center in Meridian.
There's no shortage of things to do in Idaho.
Idaho, though, is more than outdoor sports and extreme adventures. There are historical sights running through the state, connecting it to the greater nation and a solemn history. The Minidoka National Monument remembers the time when Japanese and Japanese-American residents were interned during World War II. The Bear River Massacre historic site, which marks the largest slaughter of Native American people in our nation’s history in terms of numbers, can also be found in the state.
Of course, there are moments of beauty in Idaho’s history as well, such as the City of Rocks National Reserve, which astounded the men and women who traveled from the East Coast toward the West. Also, the Nampa Train Depot, which has been standing since it was built in 1903, is another amazing sight from days gone by.
Idaho is indeed a cultural state as well as an active one, as it is home to some of the most interesting museums in the country. These include the Museum of Idaho in Idaho Falls, the Idaho Potato Museum in Blackfoot, and the Warhawk Air Museum in Nampa. Taking in the contributions and intricacies of Native American culture is also an important part of a Gem State visit, and you can do so by dropping by the Appaloosa Museum & Heritage Center in Moscow.
Must See List
- Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Boise
- Glade Runner Mountain Coaster
- Pomerelle Mountain Resort
- Castle Rocks State Park
- Jammer Park and Bear Progression Park
- Kirkham Hot Springs, near Lowman
- Twin Falls, Shoshone Falls Park
- Brundage Mountain Resort
- The Activity Barn
- Schweitzer’s 20 miles of cross country trails
- Silver Mountain Resort
- Silver Rapids Indoor Waterpark at Silver Mountain Resort, Kellogg
- Balanced Rock Park
Top Cities To Visit in Idaho
Rolling hills overlook flowered meadows and rushing rivers in Lewiston, Idaho. It is ranked as one of the top 5 most affordable cities in Idaho, yet it still has an abundance of things to do. Bordering Washington State, this city offers everything you can expect from the Northwest: mild, temperate climate, gorgeous scenery, and plenty of seasonal activities. Between Lewis Clark Valley (a natural canyon with plenty of boat rides and wineries) and Hells Gate State Park (riverside camping), this town is a get place to enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t feel like packing a picnic? From dinner cruises to crispy thin-crust pizza, the food is enough to travel for in itself.
Bad and Boise! Boise is full of activities to keep you busy during your stay, no matter what interests you. With a popular art deco downtown, the scenery is an art lover’s dream. Hike along a reserved segment of the Oregon Trail (not just a popular 90’s computer game after all!), or get spooked on a tour of an old penitentiary site which features historic prison cells and gallows.
Bogus Basin offers a world-renowned skiing area for winter. If you’re more of a summer traveler, Snake River is nearby, boasting water recreation. The bridges linking between the canyons are both functional and scenic, making for gorgeous snaps and memorable views.
Coeur d’Alene is a city in Idaho known for its water sports. Surrounded by lakes that were once polar ice, there is no shortage of water in the region. Although it may have a French-inspired name, this American town is at the heart of the northwest — making it an All-American travel destination boasting plenty of activities. It is listed as one of Idaho’s best places to live, making it a great destination to visit as well.
Acclaimed resorts sprawl across this city, offering romantic getaways where couples can relax, sightsee, and connect with one another with few distractions. World-class boating, water skiing, cruises, golf, snowboarding, yoga, spas, and unmatched culinary attractions await in Coeur d’Alene.
It may not authentically be the Moscow most people imagine, but Moscow, Idaho is the next greatest thing stateside. Moscow averages 43 inches of snow, while the rest of the US averages just 28. Snow lovers are in for a treat — you could even say there’s snow better place to be than here this winter.
But Moscow has even more tricks up its sleeve. If skiing and snowboarding aren’t up your alley, perhaps a trip to the arboretum and botanical garden, where you can learn more about plants native to the area and enjoy the beauty of flowering buds. Plus, the Appaloosa Museum is a good spot to brush up on your local history. This region is rich in history, as it was along the trail when settlers started moving west. Bordering Washington state, Moscow offers a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountains, it has tons of amazing food, beer, and wine, and it was ranked as the number one place to raise a family.
Where and When to Stay
Those hoping to stay in one of the state’s larger cities, like Lewiston, may want to consider a reliable option like the Hampton Inn Lewiston, while those who are looking for something a bit off-the-beaten-path might try the Pioneer Motel. Staying in Boise, the capital city, offers many options, such as the Residence Inn Boise Downtown/City Center, the Reston, or the Anniversary Inn. There are plenty of both name brand hotels and boutique offerings, so you can find the best option for your stay no matter what is your budget.
The great thing about Idaho’s outdoorsy spirit is that you can visit the state any time. In the summer or the winter, there will always be exciting sports and activities in which to participate! Still, you’re likely to see the landscapes, parks, and gardens at their most vibrant and beautiful if you visit in the spring.
What to Bring
Bring plenty of sunscreen to Idaho — even in the winter. You’re going to be outdoors a lot, and you’re going to need to protect your exposed skin. Sun protection is no laughing matter as most locals will tell you! Make sure to bring shoes that can get you where you need to go — athletic sneakers are a must — and clothes you can move in. You never know where you might end up!