With the summer fast approaching and National Idaho Day on May 17th, it’s the perfect time to plan your next Idaho summer getaway. Luckily we live in a beautiful state that offers a plethora of options for a weekend getaway without ever having to cross the state line!
Idaho is full of surprises and adventures waiting to be discovered and experienced. From the towering peaks of the Sawtooth Mountains to the serene waters of Redfish Lake, gorgeous alpine hikes, and Craters of the Moon, there is something for everyone to enjoy! So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore all the amazing gems Idaho has to offer!
Nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Sun Valley is a picturesque resort town renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation. A fly fisherman’s dream with hour after hour, bend after bend of public fisheries. Idaho state law designates the land within a navigable river’s high-water marks as public trespass right-of-way; once you’ve entered a river from an appropriate access point, you can wade as far upstream or downstream as you like!
Take a gondola ride up 7,700 ft for breathtaking views on the summit of Bald Mountain. World-class golf courses, scenic hikes, and local breweries are just a few of the things that make Sun Valley the perfect weekend getaway.
Dreamy views of the jagged peaks of the Sawtooth Mountain Range and crystal-clear alpine lakes make Stanley one of the most sought-after camping destinations in the state! Situated at almost 6,500 ft, Redfish Lake offers picturesque views and unparalleled clarity with up to 30ft visibility. While the lake makes for a stunning stay, the Redfish Lake Lodge will take you back in time, not quite to 1929 when it first opened, but the lodge is reminiscent of the simpler times. With rooms to rent upstairs, a restaurant to eat delicious food, and a massive front porch with rocking chairs overlooking the lake– stay and play for the weekend!
Often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is a must-see natural wonder at the entrance of Twin Falls. As one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States, it cascades down 212 ft, spans for dozens of miles, and runs the entire length of the town.
Explore the scenic overlooks, go for a hike along the trails, or have a picnic in one of the designated areas. The best time to visit is during late spring and early summer when the falls are at their most impressive due to snowmelt!
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve
For a unique and otherworldly experience, the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a volcanic wonderland with lava fields, cinder cones, and lava tubes. With a guided tour, hiking on well-maintained trails, explore alien-like landscapes and volcanic formations up close! Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the extraordinary sights and learn about the volcanic history and geology of the region at the visitor center.
Stay at the Lava Flow campground and experience the night skies. Craters of the Moon– designated in 2017 as an International Dark Sky Park!
Silverwood Theme Park
If you’re seeking family-friendly fun and thrills, look no further than Silverwood Theme Park. Located just north of Coeur d’Alene, this amusement park features a variety of roller coasters, water slides, and other attractions for all ages. Cool off in Boulder Beach Water Park, ride the iconic wooden roller coaster, and enjoy live entertainment throughout the summer!
With Coeur d’Alene so close, this is the perfect opportunity to combine boutique shopping and a thrill-seeking getaway all in one weekend!
North Beach at Bear Lake
This beach is by far the best beach at Bear Lake! Fine powdery sand, no grassy wetlands, and very few rocks make it the perfect place to enjoy the most beautiful turquoise water in Idaho!
Yellowstone Bear World
Yellowstone Bear World is a wildlife park in southeastern Idaho near Rexburg. It’s a popular destination for families and wildlife enthusiasts looking to experience a more intimate interaction with wildlife, specifically black bears and the infamous grizzly!
Get up close and personal with a guided wildlife excursion or learn more about bottle-feeding the bear cubs! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
You can drive through the exhibit in your own vehicle and observe the bears as they roam around their natural habitat.
After visiting Bear World, drive an extra hour along US-20/ID-33 to Teton Valley; you won’t regret it! The landscape drastically transforms, and before you know it, you will be immersed in the lush valleys with breathtaking views of the Teton Mountain range.
Teton Valley and the picturesque communities of Driggs, Victor, and Tetonia will capture your heart with the slower and more peaceful way of outdoor living. Experience world-class trout fishing, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, golfing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more!
Just a short trip two hours north of Boise, situated around Payette Lake, McCall has been a desired recreation destination for decades. A summertime playground– from ice cream in an alley to wake surfing, hiking, biking, and warm summer days at the beach, this quaint mountain town offers everything you could want in a weekend getaway.
Enjoy a scenic chairlift ride up Brundage Mountain. Explore the summit and return by chairlift or bike down the Elk Mountain Trail. Spend a day paddleboarding or kayaking the Upper North Fork of the Payette River; this gentle tributary is a designated “Non-Motorized Zone” where you will often see deer, moose, elk, eagles, osprey, and otters!
After that hard hike, take a long soak at Gold Fork Hot Springs. Located just south of McCall in the small town of Donnelly, Gold Fork offers five pools to soak in, ranging from very hot to cool. Pack a lunch or dinner and plan to spend a couple of hours unwinding at this vibey outdoor spa!
Idaho stole our hearts with over 130 soakable hotsprings, 4.7 million acres of designated wilderness, 107,000 miles of rivers, and 63% public land. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventure seeker, or craving a simple life, the Gem State is a wonderful vacation destination and the perfect place to call home!