Let’s head out to the 14th-largest state in America to the stunning (and often overlooked) vacation destination of Idaho. Vacations in this part of the USA are ideal for those who want to appreciate unspoiled scenery at its best. In addition to a backbone of snow-dusted mountain peaks and meandering rivers, there are some fantastic Idaho destinations to visit. Snake River attracts dedicated anglers and adventurous kayakers who come for the ultimate in Whitewater rafting, while the yawning chasm of Hells Canyon continues to draw tourists in their thousands. However, there’s also plenty of urban buzz, for those who want it. Head to Boise for a city that offers the perfect fusion of modern amenities and natural beauty.
If you’re looking for just one reason to take vacations in Idaho, it has to be for the scenery. Wherever you go, there seems to be a landscape or backdrop that’s worthy of national park status. Yellowstone National Park is a fine example. In addition to the lush forests, scooped-out canyons, spouting geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone Park, you’ll also see a wide variety of wildlife. Bears, moose, elk, wolves and bison are just a few of the local critters you can spot in their natural habitat.
Set in the Wood River Valley and opposite the charming town of Ketchum, Sun Valley is a superb place for Idaho package vacations at any time of year. During the summer months there’s plenty of opportunities to get out and about. Go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and fishing when the weather’s warm and the countryside is at its greenest. Skiing fans and snowboard enthusiasts flock here once the snows come, with over 2000 acres of skiing terrain and tracks that run for around 40km to explore.
Idaho Falls is perfect for both families and couples, with plenty to see and do. Set on the banks of the Snake River, the city takes its name from the spectacular Shoshone Falls, which measure 13m taller than their better-known cousin, Niagara Falls. Tautphaus Zoo offers excellent entertainment for those travelling with children, and the city acts as home to the Joe Marmo/Wayne Lehto Ice Arena. In addition to being able to go ice skating there, there’s also the opportunity to catch a hockey game or watch a figure-skating display.
Coeur d’Alene must be one of the most idyllic Idaho destinations. Set on the shores of the majestic lake of the same name, it’s surrounded by rugged peaks and offers some of the best sunsets in the United States. The downtown district is something of a paradise for antique-hunters and art aficionados. Known as the ‘Playground of Northwest Idaho’, there are some outstanding spas in which to unwind on your Idaho vacation, and golf courses for fans of the five-iron.
Moscow is a popular destination if you’re planning on taking vacation packages to Idaho,, but can’t bear to leave the bright lights behind. A big city with a small-town feel, it offers a slower pace than the state’s capital, but with just as many shopping and dining opportunities.
You’ll find McCall a couple of hours from Boise. In the summer it’s a haven for those who enjoy outdoor adventure, with horseback riding, water sports and biking on offer. In the colder months and in addition to the mandatory skiing and snowboarding, there are the delights of the Winter Carnival, which features a fantastic display of snow sculptures.
Mountain Home, in Elmore County, is a firm favorite with those who want to combine the best of the local scenery with everything a 21st Century city has to offer. Laidback and leisurely, Mountain Home boasts 17 beautiful parks and some fantastic boutique stores.
While winter and summer tend to draw the biggest crowds, any travel guide will tell you that fall is the time to go. Quieter, and with temperatures in the high 60s°F, you can make the most of your time in the ‘Gem State’.
While most of the major cities have a good public transport system, this is predominantly a rural state, so you’ll need to hire a car for longer journeys.