16 Best Places in Idaho

16 Best Places in Idaho
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Idaho is a very beautiful state. The nickname “The Gem State” comes from the state’s rich mineral resources. Idaho is also known to many as the “Potato State” because the good Idaho potatoes come from here and are known throughout the United States.

The 43rd state in the USA is still quite unknown as a vacation destination and is therefore often underestimated – wrongly, because Idaho represents a dream destination for nature lovers, families, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure and peace seekers away from mass tourism.

Idaho does not need to hide from its neighboring states. Here, visitors will find superlative sights. Bruneau Dunes State Park is home to the largest stand-alone sand dune in North America, standing more than 140 meters tall. Furthermore, Hells Canyon is the deepest stream canyon in North America. With a depth of more than 2,400 meters, it is deeper than the Grand Canyon. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area encompasses more than 930,000 acres of pristine and wild backcountry, making it the largest wilderness area in the United States.

Below, we present 16 reasons to travel to this natural paradise.

16. Sandpoint

Sandpoint, Idaho
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If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, visit Sandpoint in Idaho. With about 9000 inhabitants it is a rather small town. It offers numerous routes for hiking, biking or just relaxing. However, the city has a lot more to offer. If you love castles, you should take a look at “Swiss Chalet”. However, there are also numerous bars, clubs and restaurants to linger. From cultural-historical sights, to the absolute adrenaline kick, Sandpoint has a lot to offer. Even for the very youngest there is a lot on offer.

If you are looking for relaxation, you will find it at the Pack River. For a bit of variety, there are possible canoe trips, guided tours by off-road vehicle or a Segway tour. Enjoy nature on your own and get to know Idaho from its most beautiful side.

15. Lava Hot Springs

Lava hot springs Idaho resort and spa
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Lava Hot Springs is a beautiful city that enchants every visitor. It has a unique thermal spring that is a must-see. Furthermore, the existing water park has a lot to offer and not only for our children. If you are more cultural, you can enjoy the numerous museums that you can visit in Lava Hot Springs. Whoever visits this village should be a water rat, because here everything really revolves around water. The mineral water holes that you can always find offer a high level of relaxation.

The downtown area also has a lot to offer, because here you will not only find great stores that invite you to an extensive shopping trip, but also cafes, bars and a variety of restaurants. The South Bannock County Historical Center Museum is also worth a visit and should be included as a day trip. Skiers will also get their money’s worth in the winter, as there are a variety of must-see ski resorts.

14. Idaho Falls

Idaho Falls
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Idaho Falls is located in the Snake River Plain of Idaho and has a variety of attractions for young and old. The Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park is a must visit when visiting Idaho Falls. However, the city’s special features also include the Idaho Falls River Walk, Japanese Friendship Garden, and let’s not forget Funland. Idaho Falls will greatly delight all nature lovers. There are numerous outdoor sporting activities and you can also enjoy the natural events, such as waterfalls, to your heart’s content.

Idaho Falls has many spots on offer, so you can do many activities with the whole family during the day and enjoy the downtown area with its numerous places to stay in the evening. The city has a distinctly rural feel, yet has a decidedly high level of amenities to offer. From golfing, to boating, to walking in the various parks, Idaho Falls has something for everyone.

13. Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d`Alene, Idaho
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Coeur d’Alene also likes to be referred to simply as CDA. It is certainly the largest city located in northern Idaho. The city has a plethora of different attractions to offer for everyone. Coeur d’Alene is located right on the water, so not only does it offer a beach for lounging, but it also has plenty of activities. Not only can you go sightseeing, but you can also enjoy gastronomic highlights or enjoy historical sites. Children love McEuen Park, but also the century trail will surely arouse your interest.

If you love being out in nature, don’t miss Tubbs Hill. The Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation Trail are great for hiking, and downtown Coeur d’Alene means variety for the whole family. Silver Mountain Resort is perfect for all water lovers, young and old.

12. Shoshone Falls

Shoshone Falls
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Shoshone Falls is a must-see if you are planning a trip through Idaho. These are beautiful and also very large waterfalls. They are a special highlight and fascinate many people every year. They are located in the Snake River and are a special experience. These waterfalls were formed about 14000 years ago during the ice age. However, not only the waterfalls are special, but also the landscape is extremely overwhelming.

The Snake River meanders through the landscape, just like a snake does, hence the name. Every now and then you will find an impressive bridge here and there and get a different view of the natural spectacle. You can bike around the waterfall, hike or just enjoy a picnic.

11. Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument
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The Craters of the Moon National Monument is a protected area. This can be compared very well with a national monument. Here you can find a lot of lava flows, which have cooled down, but also an incredibly appealing landscape. Nature lovers will get their money’s worth here. The black volcanic landscape is a spectacular experience. Visitors can not only hike here to their heart’s content, but also camp.

The national park was founded as early as 1872 and today attracts many visitors every year. Not only the landscape is impressive, but also the lava caves that can be visited impress again and again. It almost seems as if you enter another planet, another world.

10. Sun Valley

Snow covered mountains in Sun Valley, Idaho
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Sun Valley is a popular vacation spot located in Blaine County. The possibilities that are offered to you here are almost endless. You can go biking, horseback riding, play tennis, skiing, golfing, and even mountain hiking. Sun Valley was established in 1936 and has grown in popularity over time. Sports enthusiasts will find as much to their liking here as nature lovers.

Sun Valley is also known for its Olympic athletes. Of course, the city also caters to the palate and the impressions of the day can be reviewed in one of the numerous restaurants. You can relax and enjoy a very special flair in the evening. Sun Valley is a city that has a lot of charm to offer, but also has a lot to offer culturally.

9. Boise

Downtown Boise Idaho just after sundown with Capital building
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Boise is the capital of Idaho and always the hub of numerous activities. The Boise River Greenbelt, Old Idaho Penitentiary, the World Center For Birds of Prey and the Freak Alley Gallery are among the city’s specialties. For those who enjoy the outdoors, there is also much to explore, as Boise also has some very beautiful scenery to offer.

The city is often referred to as a hidden gem, which certainly has to do with the fact that not only appealing and worth seeing museums can be visited, but also pretty parks and numerous historical sights. The city of Boise also invites you to shopping tours and you can enjoy yourself in the numerous cafes, restaurants and bars.

8. McCall

Lake McCall, Idaho
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McCall is billed as a beautiful resort town. The city is located in Valley County and is a great asset for all nature lovers and people who want to take a break from everyday life. Among the most spectacular sights are certainly the Ponderosa State Park, but also the numerous lakes where you can practice sports. If you want to get to know the country and its people better, you can do so in the beautiful old town.

McCall is particularly well suited for people who simply need some time off and want to take a break from their stressful daily lives. Hiking, walking, biking, or just settling down somewhere comfortable and enjoying the view, McCall has it all.

7. Bruneau Dunes State Park

Bruneau Dunes State Park
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Bruneau Dunes State Park is located in the western part of the USA. This is a unique recreational area that has a lot of nature to offer. Visitors can experience and admire the largest sand dune in the USA. In the park itself you can fish, camp or just watch the stars in the evening. Experiencing this landscape is unlike anything else, a unique experience.

The protected landscape, which is surrounded by lakes, leaves nothing to be desired in terms of scenery. If you would like to visit the Bruneau Dunes State Park, extensive walks are ideal. Guided tours or boat trips are also recommended, during which you can and will get to know much more of the surroundings.

6. Stanley

Stanley, Idaho
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Stanley is a town in the Sawtooth Valley in Custer County, Idaho, United States. The city is famous because of its Beaver Lake, which winds through an incredibly beautiful landscape. The city impresses with its small beautiful wooden houses, perfectly integrated into the nature. Most of the houses were painted white and have a blue corrugated roof. All the sights of the town can be reached from one street. Again and again cruise ships moor in front of Beaver Lake, which are picturesquely integrated into the big lake.

Culturally, the cities, which are located directly on Beaver Lake, have a lot to offer. Christ Church Cathedral is worth seeing, as is the Whalebone Arch. Victory Green invites you for an extensive walk and the Historic Dockyard Museum inspires all culturally inclined visitors. In the water you will also find the Jhelum Shipwreck, which tells history. Of course, small cafes and restaurants along the boardwalk also invite you to linger.

5. Thousand Springs State Park

Thousand Springs State Park
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Thousand Springs State Park is a recreation and nature reserve. It consists of different units and is open to the public. If you love nature walks or hikes, this is the place for you. Ritter Island Loop is a popular lake that always attracts tourists in particular, but also locals. The existing waterfall is a special spectacle for young and old.

Thousand Springs State Park has different routes that you can walk through. From the easy route, which is more for walkers, to the routes that require a bit more endurance. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful nature and come across landscapes that will enchant you. Of course, you can also book a trip through Thousand Springs State Park.

4. Rolling Hills of the Palouse

Rolling Hills of the Palouse
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The Rolling Hills of the Palouse offer a picturesque natural landscape from which you can’t take your eyes off. The different colors that have integrated into the nature are just beautiful to look at. This is a great place for walking, cycling or just relaxing and experiencing the wonder of nature for yourself.

3. Hells Canyon

Whitewater rapids in Hells Canyon, Idaho
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Hells Canyon is nestled in a river and is located right on the Idaho border. Usually, the canyon is described more as a recreational area. The canyon is about 16 km wide and is located on the border with Eastern Oregon. Nature lovers get their money’s worth here. Along the river you can take a lot of positive impressions and if you want to be more active, you can hike along the mountain.

Tours to the mountain are offered by experienced hikers and mountaineers. The river is also ideal for all anglers. The tranquility found here is first class and can be enjoyed to the fullest. There are many opportunities for beautiful photos at Hells Canyon.

2. Pocatello

Famous Chief Theater Sign Pocatello, Idaho
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Pocatello is certainly the largest town in Bannock County. If you want to experience something very special, you should visit the Museum of Clean. Here everything revolves around cleanliness and hygiene, not everyone is interested in this, but it is still worth a visit. Pocatello offers some worth seeing spots that you simply must have seen. How about the historical museum Fort Hall Replica, which has a lot to offer. Swore Farms is a great place to visit with kids and the Idaho Zoo is also worth a visit.

Pocatello also offers some shopping opportunities that hide a special feature, such as the Poky Popcorn Shop. The Nel’s Bi-Lo Market is also always a popular place to visit. For those who want to experience a special treat, visit the Palace Playhouse. Numerous culinary delights can be discovered here for you.

1. Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

Sunset over the mountains and the salmon river in the Frank Church River of no Return wilderness area in northern Idaho USA

Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is a true natural wonder. This is special protected area, which is located directly in Idaho. The area is especially popular with all whitewater rafting enthusiasts. Wherever you look, you will find beautiful coniferous forests. Along the rivers you will find open land and those who love nature will feel very comfortable here. Here you can hike, relax and also go fishing. Sports activities are also offered in a large variety.

The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is a geological feature. If you are quiet and pay little attention, you can also experience one or the other wild animal in the wild. If you like to spend your free time in the wilderness, you have the possibility to camp at the Frank Church-River. In the evening it is worth to have a look at the sky, which is incredibly beautiful.