Travel Guide
Photo provided by Peg Owens/Idaho Tourism
Embrace your wild side in this breathtakingly scenic state dominated by the dramatic and often isolated wildernesses of the Rocky Mountains.

One of the great mysteries of Idaho is that it remains a little-known state that makes it onto few tourist itineraries. Disappear into its spectacular mountains with barely any impact from development and explore idyllic landscapes in a stunning state that still feels undiscovered. The “Gem State” is just that, a hidden jewel among the western states that beckons to intrepid visitors seeking an escape into nature.

Roam through a landscape that was explored by Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s on their famous journey west. Ancient rock carvings known as petroglyphs, found at places such as Celebration Park, speak of the indigenous inhabitants of Idaho who lived here as long as 12,000 years ago.

Most of Idaho’s major cities are located in the south of the state, between the mountains and the desert. Spend time in Boise, the welcoming capital city, where you can enjoy wineries, bourbon distilleries and botanical gardens. The Idaho State Historical Museum is one of the best museums in the region and gives a fascinating overview of local history.

Bring your camera to the untamed, untouched wildernesses of Idaho. Places such as Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Shoshone Falls and Snake River Canyon have vistas of awe-inspiring beauty. Climb dozens of peaks that reach heights of over 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) or ride a raft down white-water rapids.

Unwind in natural hot springs that bubble up through the mountains. Destinations such as Kirkham and Burgdorf offer serene spas in tranquil, secluded settings.

Winter in Idaho comes with the opportunity to speed down the mountains on skis and snowboards. Find resorts in Schweitzer Mountain, Brundage Mountain and Farragut State Park and spend your days carving up fresh powder.

One of the best ways to reach and explore Idaho is by driving. Revel in the scenery of routes such as the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway and the Sawtooth Scenic Byway, which wind through mountains and alongside glimmering lakes. Come in every season to see Idaho in all its different colors.

Where to stay in Idaho

Idaho showing a waterfall

Downtown Boise

4/5(496 area reviews)

Downtown Boise boasts a vibrant cultural center with a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions like the Idaho State Capitol and Egyptian Theatre. Stroll along 8th Street's pedestrian zone, lined with sidewalk cafes, or explore the Basque Block.

Downtown Boise
Pond at sunset

Southeast Boise

4.5/5(135 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the live music and sporting events in Southeast Boise. You might want to make time for a stop at Albertsons Stadium or ExtraMile Arena.

Southeast Boise
The City of Trees from the Boise Depot

Boise Bench

You'll enjoy the gardens and waterfalls in Boise Bench. You might want to make time for a stop at Ann Morrison Park or Hillcrest Country Club.

Boise Bench
Idaho State Capital Building. Boise, Idaho.

North End

5/5(12 area reviews)

North End is note