Hidden gems in the Gem State
Looking for the best weekend getaways in Idaho? We've got you covered!
Nestled in the arms of the American Northwest, Idaho has been a beloved tourist favorite for many years.
While it may not be your first thought when the idea of a vacation comes up, it should be if you want something you'll never forget!
Idaho is an incredibly diverse natural landscape of all the best Mother Nature has to offer.
It is covered in reserves, lakes, mountains, and everything in between. Because of this, tourists flock to the state to get some of that good old-fashioned Idaho fun.
If you want your weekend getaway to be all that it can be, try some of these 10 Idaho gemstones.
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For those who find ‘vacation’ and ‘resort’ to be synonyms, McCall is your kind of place! This is one of the most prominent resort towns in Idaho and for good reasons.
The skiing here is some of the best snow and trails, and the spas will leave you dreaming of a massage like that again for ages.
Even if you aren’t one for the slopes, you’ll find plenty to entertain here. From a lively local culture to the sweet sounds of nature, McCall is one place you’ll never want to leave!
Address: McCall, ID
One word: wow! And you'll be saying that word a lot if you choose Shoshone Falls for your next Idaho weekend getaway.
This is one of the tallest waterfalls and one of the most stunning natural tourist attractions in Idaho. It is a massive, rapid, awe-inspiring phenomenon that has visitors coming back for more.
You can even paddleboard beneath the falls or try a tour around the area for a deeper insider look at everything that makes this place shine. And be sure to keep an eye out! Shoshone Falls is known to feature its fair share of rainbows.
Address: 4155 Shoshone Falls Grade, Twin Falls, ID 83301
Now, this is getting away! Stanley is an incredibly small town where you won't be bothered by much big-city noise.
The population is less than 100! But don't let that fool you; there is more than enough accommodation to be found and some of the best homey restaurants in the state.
Stanley is such a great tourist destination because it is right on the cusp of some of Idaho's pristine nature reserves.
Goat Lake alone looks like something only seen on the cover of magazines, and the Iron Creek Trailhead has numerous stops that will make your jaw drop.
Address: Stanley, ID
One small step for tourists! Craters of the Moon National Monument is one of the unique weekend getaways in Idaho.
Here you can walk on what was previously lava and explore all that entails. There are even underground attractions such as molten rock-framed lava tubes that will fill up your camera memory space fast.
Although it has been thousands of years since any actual lava flowed through this location, you still get to walk through the charred remains.
Not many other places in the United States, never mind Idaho, can offer an experience as distinct as this. Craters on the Moon is an out of this world experience right here in Idaho!
Address: Arco, ID 83213
One of the few and tallest places in the United States for sand dunes! Sand dunes aren't just something to marvel at on a casual walk. In fact, you can actually ride these!
Sand surf, slide or hike up and down these mountains of sand for an experience you're hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Bruneau State Park is a massive expansion of Idaho beauty that attracts people from far and wide to its protected forests.
There is plenty to do here to last a weekend, and some will leave you with the most inspirational memories to date.
It is also a great place to go if you're interested in observing the natural wildlife. There are several species of birds to be found, as well as other animals that sporadically pace the grounds.
Go early in the morning for the best chance to see some of these incredible creatures. You'll also have freer reign over the park and not see as many tourists on your trek.
There is also a museum for those interested in learning about the area. Be sure to give that a stop, and you'll leave an expert on all things Bruneau.
Address: 27608 Bruneau Sand Dunes Rd, Bruneau, ID 83604
Yes, that Lewis! Lewiston is famous for being able to date back to the expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1805. Lewiston is still one of the great finds of the modern-day.
It is a true getaway paradise as you have both sweet serenity and big city living.
You can spend your days on the banks of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers and spend your nights at the best bars in town. Several tours run throughout the city ranging from historic to haunted, for educational fun.
And to get into the spirit of adventure: check out the Lewis Clark Discover Center! Here you'll find all-day interactive fun throughout numerous exhibits, displays, and so much more.
There are even some important Native Americans available for viewing. This location takes you through the route Lewis and Clark took all those years ago and offers detailed tales to guide you on this walk through history.
There is so much to learn in just one of Lewiston's many attractions! If you want your Idaho weekend getaway worth its weight in gold, check out Lewiston!
Address: Lewiston, ID
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder when really, beauty is in Sandpoint, Idaho. It is frequently cited as one of the most visually stunning places in the United States.
Sandpoint sits on the banks of the lake and is cradled by mountains; it is no surprise that so many people choose Sandpoint as their weekend getaway adventure.
During winter, it is a popular hub for skiing at the famous Schweitzer Mountain Resort, and during summer, the trails open up to some otherworldly wonders. All year you get jaw-dropping scenic views of the lake and some of the friendliest locals in town.
Although there is no shortage of things to do in the area, there are a few must-sees in Sandpoint.
First and previously mentioned is the Schweitzer Mountain Resort. This towering mountain is an absolute ski haven and is one of the most significant sources of tourism.
There is also a fascinating and well-maintained Bonner County Historical Society Museum that is well worth a visit! And if civilization just isn't your thing for your getaway, check out the Mickinnick Trail Head or the Sandpoint City Beach for some well-deserved rest among the best of nature.
Address: Sandpoint, ID
Speaking of skiing, if you're an experienced rider, you're sure to have heard of Sun Valley. It is one of the most notable ski cities in Idaho and earns its title every winter season.
There are two top-tier ski areas near the city to choose from and more than enough trails and paths throughout the city to keep even the most restless of travelers satisfied.
The two areas are Dollar Mountain and Bald Mountain, which feature some of the best slopes in the United States. Snow is thick and ripe for shredding through on your ski or snowboard of choice. There are classes, tours, and casual winter sports throughout the complexes.
Need a summer vacay? Sun Valley is still in the running! There are so many activities to enjoy here. If you can think of it, Sun Valley probably has it! Horse riding? Check! Fishing? Check! Hiking, running, strolling, sightseeing? Check, check, check, check!
The weather here is just that perfect blend between warm and hot that won't leave you gross after only a few minutes. It is a welcoming, lively town that embraces tourists like their own and makes Sun Valley a can’t miss weekend getaway in Idaho.
Address: Sun Valley, ID
Don't be fooled by the name; this place is heaven on earth! Hells Canyon is the location of the deepest water gorge found in all of North America.
It is an incredible expanse of water bookended by a jaw-dropping display of nature. There are numerous trails to follow and even a few boat tours available.
And if you see better from a distance: be sure to check out the helicopter tours in the area. You'll be amazed at everything you can see with an eye in the sky.
Address: Riggins, ID 83549
Take your getaway in the capital city of Boise! It is one of the most well-known locations for tourists to venture and explore.
Boise is one of the most prominent sites of the Oregon Trail, as well as featuring other historical landmarks like the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site and so much more.
There are also a couple of notable natural attractions near the city. For example, visitors are raving about the Bogus Basin.
There is also an immersive experience in skiing, hiking, and everything resort lifestyle right here in the city. Whatever your traveling passion may be, Boise is here to deliver the best. Make Boise your best vacation yet!
Address: Boise, ID