25 Best Things to Do in Idaho

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“25 Best Things to Do in Idaho”

Part of the iconic Yellowstone National Park is in Idaho and it is just the beginning of many things to do in this beautiful state. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is fantastic skiing on Schweitzer Mountain, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and fishing on the Big Wood River. If you are traveling with kids, don’t miss Roaring Springs Waterpark and Silver Mountain Resort. Art lovers can immerse themselves in the world of visual art at the Boise Art Museum, and garden enthusiasts can head to the Idaho Botanical Garden.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs

© Lava Hot Springs

Lava Hot Springs is a curious little city in the Portneuf River valley, on the route of the old Oregon and California Trails, which developed as the popularity of the nearby Lava Hot Springs grew. In the late 1800s, the land and the springs, which were part of the Fort Hall reservation, were bought from the Indians by the United States Government.

The hot springs are rich in minerals and were known for their healing properties by the original inhabitants, the Shoshone-Bannock people, who called them Poha-Ba, the Land of Healing Waters. Today, the Hot Springs are under the management of the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation’s Lava Hot Springs Foundation. Lava Hot Springs are famous for five hot pools where temperature ranges from 102° to 112°, as well as the Olympic pool, water slides, diving platforms, Indoor Aquatic Center and Portneuf Kiddie Cove.

430 East Main, Lava Hot Springs, ID 83246, Phone: 208-776-5221

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2.Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene

© Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene is a natural lake next to the city of Coeur d’Alene. It is 25 miles long, and from 1 to 3 miles wide. In the past, it was used to transport lumber, but today, it is a popular tourist destination for many because of its wonderful beaches, scenic views and endless opportunities for outdoor activities. The North Idaho Centennial Trail runs along the lake’s north shore and is very popular among hikers, bikers and joggers.

Many other trails circle the lake and offer spectacular views. Water sports are, naturally, very popular. You can boat, kayak, fish, sail, and swim in the crystal clear water. One of the popular activities is watching bald eagles feeding on the kokanee in the Wolf Lodge Bay. Things to Do in Coeur d’Alene

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3. Activities Near Me: Idaho Botanical Garden

Activities Near Me: Idaho Botanical Garden

© Idaho Botanical Garden

What was once the grounds and the tree nursery of the historic State Penitentiary in Boise’s Old Penitentiary Historic District, is today a living museum that holds a diverse botanical collection, educational programs, high quality entertainment and numerous cultural and community events. This lush 15-acre mosaic of pleasant shade and splashes of color contains domestic and Idaho native plants that are well adapted to the local conditions.

There are more than 800 species from 42 families, planted in 14 distinct specialty gardens. Some of the specialty gardens are: The Water Conservation Landscape, which focuses on plants that require very little water; The Meditation Garden; and the Lewis & Clark Native Plant Garden, which contains 145 plant species that the two explorers collected between Great Falls in Montana and The Dalles in Oregon.

2355 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, Idaho 83712, Phone: 208-343-8649

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4. Things to Do in Idaho: Museum of Clean

Things to Do in Idaho: Museum of Clean

© Museum of Clean

Museum of Clean in Pocatello is not a cleaning museum, it has no detergents or brooms; it is a museum of clean. It is an immense 75,000 square foot complex of education, excitement, and inspiration. It is based on the fact that clean dominates everything that affects our life, such as clean air and water, clean language, health, clean bed and floors, clean politics, teeth, jokes, art, even clean arteries.

The museum’s goal is to present as many dimensions of clean as possible through displays, artifacts and participation. It takes a minimum of an hour and half for a tour with kids, but much longer if you are a history or art buff.

711 S 2nd Ave, Pocatello, Idaho 83201, Phone: 208-236-6906

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5. Things to See Near Me: Silverwood Theme Park

Things to See Near Me: Silverwood Theme Park

© Silverwood Theme Park

Silverwood Theme Park is located near Coeur d’Alene, about 47 miles from Spokane, Washington. It was opened in 1988 with a bunch of carnival rides, an original steam train that took guests on a loop around the park’s property, and a “main street” with various shops and restaurants.

Over the years, Silverwood has grown into a major regional theme park and today, stretched on 413-acres, is the biggest theme and water park in the northwest. In 2003, Boulder Beach Water Park was added with its 65 rides, slides, attractions and shows. Some of the most famous are the new Riptide Racer, Aftershock, Corkscrew and Panic Plunge. Things to Do in Spokane

27843 North Highway 95, Athol, Idaho 83801, Phone: 208-683-3400

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6. Activities Near Me: The Route of the Hiawatha

Activities Near Me: The Route of the Hiawatha

© The Route of the Hiawatha

The Route of the Hiawatha is considered the ‘crown jewel’ of mountain bike adventures, with views that are among the most beautiful in the country. The trail is 15 miles long and has 10 train tunnels and 7 high trestles. One of the most exciting parts of the trail is the 1.66 mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel. The trail follows the peak of the Bitterroot Mountains close to Lookout Pass Ski Area.

Lookout Pass Ski Area, located at the Idaho/Montana state line, serves as the information center, bike rental and service shop. What makes this trail such a wonderful family adventure is that the entire trail goes downhill – shuttle buses will bring you and your bike to the top.

Route of the Hiawatha, I-90, Mullan, Idaho 83846, Phone: 208-744-1301

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7. Yellowstone Bear World

Yellowstone Bear World

© Yellowstone Bear World

Yellowstone Bear World is a commercial private wildlife park in Rexburg, Idaho, near Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1998, it is the only wildlife reserve in the area that is drive-through. What it means is that the visitors can see gray wolves, grizzly bears, moose, white-tailed deer, bison and other animals indigenous to North America going on about their lives, in their natural habitat, from the comfort and safety of their cars.

As a special activity, the visitors are invited behind the scenes, to participate in feedings of bear cubs, in the company of the park animal keepers. There is also a popular petting zoo, which covers one acre of land, on which farm animals and birds live freely. Occasionally, visitors can participate in bottle-feeding of elk calves and deer fawns.

6010 S 4300 W, Rexburg, Idaho 83440, Phone: 208-359-9688

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8. What to Do in Idaho: Warhawk Air Museum

What to Do in Idaho: Warhawk Air Museum

© Warhawk Air Museum

The Warhawk Air Museum is a 40,000 square foot museum in Nampa, Idaho, that aims to teach and preserve the history of American veterans and their contributions to the country’s freedom, as well as to show the relationship between the United States and its citizens and those foreign wars which so immensely impacted the country and the world. The museum’s exhibits cover World War I, World War II, the Cold War Era, the Korean War and Vietnam War.

The Warhawk Air Museum Education Program has a goal of igniting student’s appreciation and respect for the sacrifices made to preserve the freedoms they enjoy. The museum features a range of historical memorabilia and personal stories, but also a large collection of airplanes, including two Curtiss P-40 World War II fighter airplanes and a rare World War II P-51C razorback Mustang fighter airplane.

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201 Municipal Way, Nampa, Idaho 83687, Phone: 208-465-6446

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9.Things to Do in ID: The Wolf Center

Things to Do in ID: The Wolf Center

© The Wolf Center

Located in the magical Nez Perce Tribal Wilderness, the Wolf Center is a serene place surrounded by meadows and trees. There are miles of beautiful trails to explore the flora and fauna of the region before or after visiting the wolves. The Wolf Education and Research Center is dedicated to providing public education and scientific research about the gray wolf and its native habitat in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

It provides education on the captive wolf care, complex ecology considerations and the fine balance between human recreation, cultures and industry on one side, and the untouched wilderness that is home to top natural predators such as wolves. In 2008, the Wolf Education & Research Center offered home to five out of seventeen wolves rescued from Murphy, Idaho. The center’s biologist nursed the wolves back to health and they are today the new public face of the Center’s programs as people are free to come and see them in their natural habitat.

518 Joseph Ave, Winchester, ID 83555, Phone: 888-422-1110

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10.Wallace District Mining Museum

Wallace District Mining Museum

© Wallace District Mining Museum

The small mining town of Wallace, Idaho, located in Idaho’s scenic Silver Valley, is known as the “Silver Capital of the World.” More than 1.2 billion ounces of silver came out of Shoshone County since 1884. The whole town of Wallace is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Wallace District Mining Museum &Visitor Center is an Education and Research Center and repository of documents and objects that celebrate the history of silver, zinc, lead and gold production in the district.

Artifacts, photographs, models, paintings and techniques and mining activity displays faithfully capture the feel of the mining industry in Northern Idaho from the early gold rush days to the recent world-record silver production periods. Some exhibits are inside a timbered mine, offering an authentic mining experience.

509 Bank St, Wallace, Idaho 83873, Phone: 208-556-1592

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11.Roaring Springs Waterpark

Roaring Springs Waterpark

© Roaring Springs Waterpark

Located in Meridian, Idaho, about six miles from Boise, Roaring Springs Waterpark is the largest waterpark in the American Northwest. This sprawling, year-round park offers a large range of rides for all ages – a lazy river, speed slides, wave pool, kids slides, family raft ride, a kiddie play area and so much more.

They even have swim diapers for the little ones. Pinz Bowling Center and Wahooz Family Fun Zone are located next to Roaring Springs Waterpark, and are connected by a walkway, so when you get tired of being soaked, you can just hop next door and do something else. There are plenty of food and drink offers to replenish your energy.

400 W Overland Rd, MerIdahoian, Idaho 83642, Phone: 208-884-8842

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12.Fun Things to Do in Idaho: The Springs

Fun Things to Do in Idaho: The Springs

© The Springs

The Springs in Idaho City, about 45 minutes from downtown Boise, is a luxury day spa that offers ultimate pampering in the natural hot spring pools, in the clean mountain air and under the clear mountain sky. When you arrive, you are welcomed in a swanky lobby with crystal chandeliers and given your own towels, locker room keys and some high quality pampering products. You can soak in a state-of-the-art huge pool or in one of the small, private hot tubs.

Lush surrounding forests add to the sense of relaxation and peace. Relax afterwards with a massage, enjoy a steam room, take it easy in one of the many lounge chairs, or have a light meal – a cafe serves light fare such as sandwiches, salads, soups and drinks. The resort limits the number of people who can be in the pool at one time to allow all the guests to enjoy space and privacy, so reserve in advance, spots fill up quickly.

3742 Idaho-21, Idahoaho City, Idaho 83631, Phone: 208-392-9500

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13. Must Do in Idaho: Silver Mountain Resort

Must Do in Idaho: Silver Mountain Resort

© Courtesy of Yan – Fotolia.com

Silver Mountain Resort is a year-round resort located in Kellogg, Idaho, about 70 miles from Spokane and 30 miles from Coeur d’Alene. It offers some of the best snowboarding and skiing in the Northwest, world class golfing at Galena Ridge Golf Course and Idaho’s biggest indoor waterpark Silver Rapids.

While in the winter you can go skiing, snow tubing or snowboarding, in the summer you can enjoy golfing, hiking, mountain biking, gondola rides and so many other fun activities. Since all the activities at the waterpark are indoors, you can enjoy it year round, splashing indoors while it is snowing outdoors.

610 Bunker Ave, Kellogg, Idaho 83837, Phone: 877-230-2193

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14.Idaho Things to Do: Burgdorf Hot Springs

Idaho Things to Do: Burgdorf Hot Springs

© Burgdorf Hot Springs

Burgdorf Hot Springs is a charming rustic resort high up in the rugged mountains of central Idaho, 30 miles from McCall. In winter, access to the springs is possible only on snowmobiles. In summer, the resort can be accessed by car via Warren Wagon Road. There are 15 rustic, historic cabins for rent, each with unique history and charm.

They are without electricity and running water, so be prepared to rough it. The resort has a small snack bar with a limited lunch and dinner menu, so guests are advised to bring their own food. The main attraction is the large swimming pool that is always about 100 °f. It is fed by a natural hot spring at about 150 gallons a minute. There are two small hotter pools at the nearby inlet and a shallow pool for the kids. The skiing in the area is fantastic, and guests can snowmobile to the top of the mountain and ski back down. The soak in the hot pool after a day of skiing is memorable.

404 French Creek (USFS #246), McCall, Idaho 83638, Phone: 208-636-3036

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15.Places of Interest in Idaho: Sacajawea Historic Byway

Places of Interest in Idaho: Sacajawea Historic Byway

© Sacajawea Historic Byway

The best way to enjoy scenic Sacajawea Historic Byway drive is by starting at the fascinating Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Education Center in the city of Salmon, Idaho. You can learn about Sacajawea, an “Agai Dika” Lemhi Shoshone woman, who was an interpreter for Lewis and Clark, and helped the expedition find the Salmon River.

The byway starts in Salmon, on Idaho 28 going southwest for 120 miles to exit 143. It then follows Idaho 33 for 12 miles until the intersection of Interstate 15 and Idaho 33. The whole byway is about 132 miles long and will take you about two and half hours, without stops. Along the way you will find fossils of the Pleistocene lion, extinct for thousands of years, fantastic Native American rock art, and legacies of the Lemhi-Shoshone people. You will pass through Gilmore, a ghost town of an abandoned mining settlement and you will enjoy spectacular scenery wherever you look.

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16.Museum of Idaho

Museum of Idaho

© Museum of Idaho

The Museum of Idaho is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the natural and cultural history of Idaho and, through unique, permanent and temporary exhibits, provides educational opportunities for visitors. The permanent exhibits are: Race for Atomic Power, about the critical political and scientific events that occurred in Idaho; and the local Idaho History Room, with the Andrew Henry Rock, inscribed with the earliest known writing found in Idaho, a flag carried in the Civil War by Joseph Lawyer with his bloodstains on it, Lewis and Clark memorabilia, with American Indian artifacts including a buffalo hide tipi, weapons, a bull boat, clothing, tools and headdresses.

The History Room also has a replica of the 1882 school house built in Eagle Rock, with desks, books, slates and a pot-bellied stove. The Museum also has a range of visiting temporary exhibits and activities for children such as summer camps and one day classes.

200 N Eastern Ave, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402, Phone: 208-522-1400

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17.Idaho State Capitol Building

Idaho State Capitol Building

© Courtesy of pngstudio – Fotolia.com

The Idaho State Capitol in Boise is the seat of the Idaho government, and a fascinating architectural masterpiece designed by Charles Hummel and John E. Tourtellotte, who used classical examples of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St Paul’s Cathedral in London and the United States Capitol as an inspiration. It is 208 feet high, covers an area of 201,720 square feet and 50,000 square feet of carved marble. Its famous dome is surmounted by a 5 feet 7 inch bronze eagle.

There are 219 pillars made of fake marble. The first floor has 13 large stars for the thirteen original colonies. The second floor contains offices of the lieutenant governor, the governor and the attorney general. On the second floor rotunda is a magnificent sculpture of George Washington on a horse. The Senate and the House of Representatives are on the third floor.

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700 W Jefferson St, Boise, Idaho 83702, 208-334-2100

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18. Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

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Schweitzer is the largest and one of the most popular ski resorts in Idaho, with 2,900 acres of amazing terrain for spectacular skiing for all skill levels. Located in the Selkirk Mountains, the resort has magnificent views of Lake Pend Oreille on the southeast, surrounded by the imposing mountain ranges of the Bitterroot and Cabinet mountains. The summit of Schweitzer Mountain reaches 6,400 feet. The mountain has 92 registered runs and open bowls with the average yearly snowfall of more than 300 inches. The longest run is Little Blue Ridge Runat 1.7 miles.

There are seven chairlifts and three surface tows. About 20 percent of the terrain is suitable for beginners, 40 percent for intermediate, 35 for advanced, and 5for experts. The resort offers accommodation and a range of activities and restaurants at the Schweitzer’s Village. Biking and hiking trails start just outside the hotel door, and the Activity Center offers all sorts of fun for the whole family.

10,000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864, Phone: 208-263-9555

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19. Idaho Vacation: National Oregon-California Trail Center

Idaho Vacation: National Oregon-California Trail Center

© National Oregon-California Trail Center

The National Oregon/California Trail Center is located in the City of Montpelier, Idaho, on the historic Oregon/California Trail, about half way between Salt Lake City and Jackson/Yellowstone. Visitors can relive the Days of the Oregon Trail through the simulated Wagon Trail Adventure, in which they become members of a wagon train going west. They will ride in a covered wagon and spend an evening at the Clover Creek Encampment in an encircled wagon train.

The adventure is guided by actors- pioneers in period costumes who will tell you stories that will make the past seem alive. The Center also features the Peg Leg Smith Trading Post gift shop, various exhibits, the Allinger Community Theatre, Rails and Trails Museum, an art exhibit featuring paintings of scenes from Oregon Trail by Idaho artist Gary Stone, as well as the murals of the Center’s artist-in-residence John Wayne Cook.

320 N 4th St, Montpelier, Idaho 83254, Phone: 208-847-3800

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20. Idaho Attractions: Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center

Idaho Attractions: Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center

© Bird Aviation Museum

Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center is a 16,000 square foot aircraft museum located in Sagle, Idaho, founded by Dr. Forrest Bird. The museum features approximately 20 aircraft dating from pre-World War I to today.

The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center has a goal to educate visitors about the major impact of innovators and aviators who have contributed to the development of modern technology, and to honor and celebrate individuals who have radically changed the way we live today. Besides the aircraft, the museum contains exhibits of inventions such as the Bird Respirator, the Barbie doll by Ruth Handler and the Apple II by Steve Wozniak, and more.

2678 W Cessna Ave, Hayden, ID 83835, Phone: 208-758-8355

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21.Idaho Tourist Attractions: Sun Valley Resort

Idaho Tourist Attractions: Sun Valley Resort

© Courtesy of Yan – Fotolia.com

Snuggled in the sunny valley near Ketchum, between the slopes of Bald and Dollar mountains, Sun Valley Resort is a winter resort like no other. With spectacular skiing, a 26,000-square-foot family center that takes care of all your needs and a range of gourmet restaurants, no wonder Sun Valley became a winter playground for the rich and famous.

It’s not only in the winter that Sun Valley offers so much fun,in the summer guests can bike, hike, golf or fly-fish. Catch a breathtaking sunset at the Roundhouse at 8,000 feet, then enjoy a jazz show. There are accommodations for every taste, budget and need, from charming cottages to luxury condos.

1 Sun Valley Rd, Sun Valley, Idaho 83353, Phone: 208-622-2135

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22.Old Idaho Penitentiary

Old Idaho Penitentiary

© Old Idaho Penitentiary

Between 1872 and 1973, the Old Idaho Penitentiary was a prison for about 13,000 convicts, some of whom were quite notorious and dangerous. It started as a single cell jail and it grew into a multi-building complex surrounded by a 17-foot-high wall made from sandstone quarried by the convicts themselves from the nearby stone ridges. The Old Idaho Penitentiary is today managed and operated by the Idaho State Historical Society.

Tourists can visit cell blocks, solitary confinement and even the gallows. There are several exhibitions offered in the historic buildings, such as the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit of Arms and Armaments. Programs and events are organized for the groups to tell the story of the prison’s past, scandals, daring escapes and executions.

2445 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, Idaho 83712, Phone: 208-334-2844

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23.South Bannock County Historical Center

South Bannock County Historical Center

© South Bannock County Historical Center

The South Bannock County Historical Museum offers a range of permanent and temporary exhibits about the origins and the history of Lava Hot Springs and the surrounding communities of Arimo, Downey, Inkom, Virginia, McCammon and Swan Lake.

The area of today’s Lava Hot Springs has been known for its healing hot springs and has attracted early health tourists for centuries. One of the major permanent exhibits is Poha-Ba, Land of Healing Water, about the Native American’s use of hot waters before the white man. The museum also has a digital theater which shows archival photos of important events in the history of the area.

110 Main St, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho 83246, Phone: 208-776-5254

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24. The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

© The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho

The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho (TAM) is located on the walkway overlooking the scenic Snake River in Idaho Falls. The museum opened its doors in 2002 and since then has been promoting local and regional visual arts and artists through original and stimulating exhibits. The Museum has a strong focus on educational programs in arts.

The Art Museum has five galleries, an art classroom and workshop area, a children’s interactive, hands-on art learning area, and a gift shop. Visitors can browse on their own, join one of the regular tours, or come for an art lecture, class, family day or any other special event.

300 S Capital Ave, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402, Phone: 208-524-7777

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25.Idaho Activities: Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch

Idaho Activities: Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch

© Courtesy of hookmedia – Fotolia.com

Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch is a 40-acre working ranch snuggled in the mountains only 15 minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The ranch owners raise Suri and Huacaya alpacas for their exceptionally fine wool, and sell fiber as well as alpacas to other breeders. The alpacas share the ranch with a number of horses, chickens, goats, llamas, dogs, cats, more than 100 wild turkeys, deer and elk.

The farm is a fantastic place to visit with the kids, and alpacas are exceptionally friendly and docile. It is a working ranch, so the kids can also learn what it means to take care of animals which are not pets but have a job to do. They can even try their hand in a bit of manure cleaning or animal grooming.

2885 S Folsom RIdahoge Rd, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814, Phone: 208-755-4925

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25 Best things to do in idaho

  • Lava Hot Springs, Photo: Lava Hot Springs
  • Lake Coeur d’Alene, Photo: Lake Coeur d’Alene
  • Activities Near Me: Idaho Botanical Garden, Photo: Idaho Botanical Garden
  • Things to Do in Idaho: Museum of Clean, Photo: Museum of Clean
  • Things to See Near Me: Silverwood Theme Park, Photo: Silverwood Theme Park
  • Activities Near Me: The Route of the Hiawatha, Photo: The Route of the Hiawatha
  • Yellowstone Bear World, Photo: Yellowstone Bear World
  • What to Do in Idaho: Warhawk Air Museum, Photo: Warhawk Air Museum
  • Things to Do in ID: The Wolf Center, Photo: The Wolf Center
  • Wallace District Mining Museum, Photo: Wallace District Mining Museum
  • Roaring Springs Waterpark, Photo: Roaring Springs Waterpark
  • Fun Things to Do in Idaho: The Springs, Photo: The Springs
  • Must Do in Idaho: Silver Mountain Resort, Photo: Courtesy of Yan – Fotolia.com
  • Idaho Things to Do: Burgdorf Hot Springs, Photo: Burgdorf Hot Springs
  • Places of Interest in Idaho: Sacajawea Historic Byway, Photo: Sacajawea Historic Byway
  • Museum of Idaho, Photo: Museum of Idaho
  • Idaho State Capitol Building, Photo: Courtesy of pngstudio – Fotolia.com
  • Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Photo: Courtesy of likoper – Fotolia.com
  • Idaho Vacation: National Oregon-California Trail Center, Photo: National Oregon-California Trail Center
  • Idaho Attractions: Bird Aviation Museum & Invention Center, Photo: Bird Aviation Museum
  • Idaho Tourist Attractions: Sun Valley Resort, Photo: Courtesy of Yan – Fotolia.com
  • Old Idaho Penitentiary, Photo: Old Idaho Penitentiary
  • South Bannock County Historical Center, Photo: South Bannock County Historical Center
  • The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Photo: The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
  • Idaho Activities: Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch, Photo: Courtesy of hookmedia – Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of knowlesgallery – Fotolia.com

More Ideas in Idaho: Museum of Clean

Located in Pocatello, Idaho, the Museum of Clean is a museum dedicated to the history of cleaning techniques, practices, and industry, featuring the world’s largest collection of vacuum cleaners and devices. Born in 1935 in Twin Falls, Idaho, Don Aslett is an entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker who is best known as the co-founder of Varsity House Cleaning Company.

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Aslett co-founded the corporation with his friend Arlo Luke while attending Idaho State University in 1957, offering janitorial, construction, and landscaping services to businesses and private individuals. By 2013, the company, now known as Varsity Facility Services, had expanded its business to all 50 United States and several Canadian provinces, providing services to major corporations such as CenturyLink. Aslett is considered one of the most prolific and influential authors and motivational speakers on the topic of household and professional cleaning, with more than 40 books published in 10 languages, and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Aslett’s personal collection started with the purchase of a 19th-century pre-electric sweeper from the Edison Museum in Detroit, which inspired him to begin work on a small museum collection of vintage cleaning equipment for display adjacent to his main Varsity Cleaning Center facility. A 2006 acquisition of 250 pre-electric vacuums prompted the search for a larger permanent facility for the collections. A former 1915 warehouse facility in Pocatello was selected and renovated over the course of five years to meet strict environmental standards, earning the completed facility LEED Certification for its use of recycled materials, energy-saving lighting, and rainwater collection plumbing system. The museum was opened to the public in November of 2011, completed at a cost of $6 million.

Permanent Exhibits

Today, the six-story museum houses more than 6,000 historical cleaning artifacts, including the world’s largest collection of vacuum cleaning devices. More than 1,000 vacuum cleaners are on display at the museum, including the items from Aslett’s 2006 acquisition from the collections of Peter Frei. Highlights of the collection include the 1900 “Pneuvac,” a hand-pumped pre-electric vacuum, a horse-drawn gas-powered vacuum from Great Britain thought to be the first motor vacuum, and a large 1912 model requiring two people for operation. A large number of non-electric carpet sweepers are also on display, showcasing a wide variety of technologies and allowing visitors to try their hand at operation of several models, and a collection of vacuum cleaner art pieces presents works created from the parts of defunct cleaners.

Several replica exhibits recreate the working and cleaning conditions of the 19th century, including an Old English City exhibit that details health and sanitation concerns of the Victorian era and an Old-Time Store Display featuring historically-accurate pricing for tools, chemicals, and other cleaning items commonly available for purchase at local general stores. An exhibit on washing machines highlights an early model from 1945, and a vintage toilet collection showcases a model that once belonged to Queen Elizabeth of Austria. Other collections chronicle the history and innovations of bathtubs, brooms, and the cleaning uses of military helmets. A number of exhibits focus on cleaning, recycling, and conservation techniques, including a “Texas-sized trash can” educational exhibit on environmentally-friendly waste practices.

In addition to the museum’s device collection, an Art Gallery showcases more than 200 advertisements, paintings, models, and artifacts related to cleaning practices, including a collection related to Chinese foot-binding cleaning techniques. A 10,000-square-foot Event Center features an 88-seat theater and may be rented for community events, workshops, and private parties. The museum’s gift shop, All Things Clean, offers locally-made goods, children’s-sized cleaning equipment, and educational publications.

Ongoing Programs and Events

The museum serves as a stop on Pocatello’s First Friday Art Walk, a monthly event that features exhibits at more than 20 galleries, businesses, and restaurants in the city’s Old Town area. Exhibit openings and live artist demonstrations are featured, and complimentary refreshments are provided at many businesses. Past Art Walk openings at the Museum of Clean include exhibits by Lauren Borgholthaus, Catherine Auger, Becky Pickens, Rachel Mayer, and the photography students of Wendy Roberts. An annual Young Artist Winter Fair in February showcases the works of area youth and offers performances, demonstrations, and family-friendly activities.

Continuing the museum’s commitment to sustainability, a number of new and ongoing green initiatives are in progress, including a solar collector along the museum’s south wall and an 8,000-square-foot rooftop garden available for private event rental, featuring a park-style landscape setting and event seating with views of the surrounding mountain areas. Contributions to green initiatives and donations to museum collections are accepted on a continual basis through the museum’s website.

711 S 2nd Ave, Pocatello, ID 83201, Phone: 208-236-6906

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More Ideas in Idaho: Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Whether they are looking to ski, snowboard, snow-tube, or just relax, the Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Idaho offers something for every type of visitor. This family-friendly destination provides excellent powder, outstanding accommodation options, and plenty of activities for a memorable vacation. The Spokane area is known as the home of the Selkirk Loop, which includes two of the area’s biggest ski resorts: Schweitzer Mountain and Whitewater Ski Resort.

Powder Triangle Spokane

Boasting 300 inches of snow annually, both resorts offer ideal conditions for skiing minus the crowds and the expense of their competitors. Due to its small population of just half a million people, Spokane is often underrated as a ski-hub. However, minimal wait times at lifts equate to more time exploring the 13,749 acres of skiable slopes for visitors who chose these mostly undiscovered gems. Travelling to the area is fairly straightforward as Spokane International Airport receives 11 direct flights from some of the biggest cities in the country.


Schweitzer Mountain was named after a mysterious and reclusive hermit who first arrived there over a century ago. This man was reportedly once a member of the Swiss Army and locals began affectionately referring to him as Schweitzer, the German word for a Swiss person. The Schweitzer Mountain Resort was founded by Jack Fowler in 1963. As the resort grew in popularity, many features were added to make it the premier ski destination that it is today. In 2000, the resort installed a six-passenger chairlift, which greatly improved guest access to 150 acres of ski terrain. The early 2000s saw many further additions, such as White Pine Lodge, the Chimney Rock Grill, and the Schweitzer Activity Center. During this time the resort’s skiable terrain also expended, making it the biggest ski resort in Idaho.

Sandpoint Idaho

Located just 11 miles from Schweitzer Mountain, Sandpoint is a small town with a lot of character. Those visiting the resort in the summer months will find that Sandpoint is a great place to stay due to its proximity to Lake Pend Oreille, which offers a perfect counterpoint to the elevated terrain of the resort. In addition, the town also has an active arts community that presents the Festival at Sandpoint Concert Series during the summer months as well. While the town has many notable eateries, such as Trinity at City Beach, Loaf & Ladle, and MickDuff’s, visitors can also try local produce sold through the weekly farmers’ market. Located just a 20-minute drive from Sandpoint, Silverwood Theme Park is another great north Idaho attraction that draws visitors each year.

Sky House at the Summit

Offering 360-degree views of the mountain, the Sky House is a perfect place to reflect, relax, and re-fuel. This two-story lodge has two eateries: the Nest Café and the Red Hawk. Whether grabbing a snack on the go or sitting down for a light meal, visitors will find a variety of healthy meals that will allow them to comfortably keep active all through their time on the mountain.

Activity Center

Visiting Schweitzer is not all about skiing or snowboarding, ultimately visitors come to make memories with their loved ones. With this in mind, the activity center located adjacent to the Chimney Rock Restaurant in Selkirk Village provides visitors with a variety of things to do on and off the mountain. Both child-friendly and adult-centered activities are offered. Children can enjoy crafts, movies, and scavenger hunts while adults can partake in village campfires and beer-themed scavenger hunts. Families looking to reconnect can borrow board and video games, books, and much more in order to spend much-needed quality time together. The trained staff at the activity center can offer information about dining and shopping options in the village for those just getting their bearings at the resort.


Considered one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Schweitzer Ski Resort offers 2,900 acres of trails to choose from. Both Nordic ski trails and Alpine trails are represented in the bowls, chutes, and cruiser trails available at the resort. The Schweitzer Bowl starts in the village and offers some of the best tree skiing that the resort has to offer. Though it can be a bit difficult to spot at first glance, the Outback Bowl takes up the largest expanse of space on the mountain. Visitors seeking breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille can enjoy 32 kilometers of Nordic ski trails that offer just that. Both skate and classic trail systems are represented.

10,000 Schweitzer Mountain Road, Sandpoint, ID 83864, Phone: 208-263-9555

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More Ideas in Idaho: National Oregon/California Trail Center

Few events are as iconic of the American experience as the pioneer journey westward. The National Oregon Trail center is an organization that is committed to educating and preserving the legacy of pioneer culture through their immersive exhibits, artifacts, and artworks. The 19th century saw one of the most significant shifts in population in American history. By some estimates, over 200,000 men, women, and children followed the Oregon/California Trail by wagon during this era.


While with modern conveniences, people are able to complete the trail in just 4 days, the same trip took 5 months by wagon. Fueled in part by the Gold Rush and in part by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the journey westward was full of hardships and dangers, the likes of which many of the travelers had not seen before. Starting from the Independence Landing in Missouri, migrants would cross the Salt Lake Desert and the Sierra Nevada Mountains into California. Aided by sturdy wagons, trade from Native Americans, and a desire to succeed against all odds, 19th century pioneers achieved the ever-elusive American Dream.

Trail Center:

Visitors seeking an immersive pioneer experience need look no further than the National Oregon Trail Center. With decorated sets and costumed docents, the trail center offers visitors an inside look at all of the challenges early pioneers would have faced when making the journey to the American West. History buffs will likely already know that this great migration took place between 1842 and 1869, however few among them will know what kind of provisions pioneers would have needed to successfully complete the journey, much less the threats and joys they would have encountered on their way. The rich history of the region and the personalized narratives of those brave men and women who pushed the American frontier are all there for visitors to discuss and discover as they participate in this interactive exhibit.

Rails and Trails Museum

Showcasing the history of Bear Lake Valley, the Rails and Trails Museum has three collections consisting of historically significant artifacts and accompanying information. Transportation is a key theme in the collection due to its role in the development of the region. The Montpelier Railroad comprises one third of the museum’s holdings. The Daughters of Utah Pioneer exhibit allows visitors to get a better understanding of the human side of the pioneer lifestyle. The artifacts brought by pioneers are a jumping off point for discussions about the daily struggles of families and individuals who tried to make their way west at a time that offered few of the luxuries that characterize the modern age. As Bear Lake Valley became settled by pioneers who established long-term homesteads, the culture of the area changed. The enduring legacy of the first settlers continues to be a point of pride for the region and is expertly displayed in the Bear Lake County and Historical Society exhibit.

Oregon Trail Paintings

In addition to the immersive pioneer experience on offer at the trail center, visitors also have the opportunity to view 44 paintings that capture the excitement, hope, and fears of 19th century pioneers. In creating these works of art, artist Gary Stone combined his experience travelling the Oregon/California Trail while reading the diaries and notations left by actual pioneers. The result is an impressive oeuvre of paintings that speak to a pivotal chapter in the American story.

Scenic Trails Chuck Wagon

Visitors who have ever wondered what it might be like to dine like a pioneer can take advantage of the Scenic Trails Chuck Wagon experience at the trail center to find out. While not technically a restaurant, the Scenic Trails Chuck Wagon facility has seating for up to 80 patrons, who must book the experience in advance. Upon arriving, visitors will be able to enjoy a chef-prepared meal of prime rib served at sunset in modified wagon booths. Each table setting has a screen that displays images of views from the famous Oregon/California Trail.

Allinger Community Theatre

A focal point for the locality of Bear Lake County, the Allinger Community Theatre is an extension of the trail center’s commitment to preserving the history and culture of the area. Visitors are welcome to enjoy a show in their state-of-the-art facility that is decorated in line with the 19th century pioneer era. Featuring both professional and rising talent, the programming is bound to entertain even the most discerning of audiences.

320 North 4th Street, P.O. Box 323, Montpelier, ID 83254, Phone: 866-847-3800

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