Ten Things to Do in Idaho

Things to Do, Travel Tips — By njensen on October 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

When I travel, I like experiences I can’t have anywhere else. I like to eat truly local food, see sights that are unique to that area, and learn as much as I can about the particular history of that place.

With that in mind, I have compiled a list of ten things to do in Idaho that are so unique to our area, you cannot experience them elsewhere. If you do all ten things, you will know Idaho as well as anyone.

Celebration Park sits on the shores of the Snake River in southwestern Idaho. It’s remote and arid. Here you can see petroglyphs from humans living in the area 10,000 years ago. You can learn how they lived and what their lives were like.

World Center for Birds of Prey has an interpretive center with many rare birds who can no longer live in the wild. You will learn how DDT nearly wiped out certain species of birds. You will gain new respect for the majestic birds of prey.

Fish eagle at Birds of Prey

Hells Canyonis the deepest gorge in the U.S. so it’s a definite must-see. Camp along the Snake River, take a guided raft trip, fish, or at least drive by in your car.

Hells Canyon

Lewiston, Idaho has the unique distinction as an inland port city. It is located where the Snake River converges with the Clearwater River. Ships can actually travel all the way from Portland up the Columbia to Lewiston.

Farragut State Park in north Idaho was once a navy training base during World War II. Again, we’re landlocked, so this is a rather odd set of circumstances. Situated on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, Farragut was the largest city in Idaho at the time, and has completely disappeared.

The Salmon River is one of the wildest, most remote rivers in the country, and you can still sometimes see a salmon trying to make it home to spawn. Raft, camp, hunt, or fish. This is what wilderness really feels like.

Salmon River

The Coeur d’Alene Resort golf course has the only floating green in the world. If golf is your thing, you have to play this course. It’s also considered one of the toughest courses, so bring your best game.

The famous floating green

Idaho has the largest Basque population outside the Basque region of Spain, so come learn about this interesting people at the Basque Museumin Boise. While there, you can eat at two different Basque restaurants and shop at the Basque market. The Oinkari Basque Dancers are a sight to behold. If you’re lucky and plan your trip right, you can experience Jaialdi, the Basque cultural celebration that happens only every five years.

Oinkari Dancers

Shoshone Falls is often referred to as the Niagara of the West. The falls is wider and deeper than Niagara, and more natural. I’m a waterfall lover, and this is one of the best waterfalls you’ll ever see.

Ernest Hemingway had many homes in his life, including one in Ketchum, Idaho. The home is now owned by the Nature Conservancy, and while there is no public access to the house, if you are resourceful, you just might find a way to see it.

Hemingway's typewriter near a window in his Ketchum home.