Trip to Sun Valley, Idaho
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A little over a month ago (the end of July) we packed up the fam and headed to Sun Valley, Idaho by way of Boise. It was such a beautiful trip. I wanted to share what we did and encourage you to visit, because it was breathtaking. I know a lot of people say overall America has the most beauty and variety, yet people want to visit Europe instead. If Europe isn’t in the cards for you or even if it is, I do encourage to check out domestic travel, because there truly is a lot to be seen here in the United States… and Sun Valley, Idaho should be at the top of your list!
Full transparency, we visited Sun Valley for a wedding. Nick’s cousin grew up there and her events took us there. I wish we visited sooner and stayed for a couple more days, if that tells you anything about how the trip went. We flew into Boise on a Wednesday morning, then drove to Sun Valley that evening. Next time I think we would fly directly into Sun Valley, but it was nice to see Boise and explore. My parents flew into Boise and they were our childcare during the week of festivities, so it really was our best option to fly into since we were their ride. It is a 2.5 hour drive between the two so not bad at all - just annoying when you aren’t ready to leave yet!
OUR TRIP ITINERARY
As I said above, we went for a wedding so a lot of our itinerary were centered around the festivities, but I still wanted to share what we did. I’ll share details in a paragraph form then list out everything if you prefer bullet form.
We landed in Boise around lunch time, so we headed straight to Fork which was very good. It’s a farm to table restaurant and we liked the vibe. Everyone told us to check out the capitol building, so we did that, then checked out some parks. We also visited the Boise State campus (they have a blue field) and the Boise River Greenbelt. For dinner we had Alavita which is the sister (Italian) restaurant of Fork. For dessert we had wonderful ice cream from The STIL. We picked up my parents that night, then began our drive to Sun Valley.
We arrived in Sun Valley very late Wednesday evening, so I don’t have anything to share for SV for that day except that we stayed at an AirBNB in Hailey. Since we had a car this distance an issue at all - about a 20(ish) minute drive when we needed to get somewhere else. They also have a shuttle around the city if you need transportation, just be aware of the schedule. There are lots of rentable options in Ketchum and Sun Valley, so check that out if you want a more homey feel. We enjoyed staying in Hailey. We considered staying at the Sun Valley Lodge, but opted for a house with 3 rooms so the twins could have their own space, as well as my parents.
As I mentioned, we arrived very late that night prior, so we didn’t know if we would really be up for anything the next day. I’m so glad we got up early regardless of our lack of sleep though! We drove to Redfish Lake which is in Stanley, ID. It was amazing and so worth the drive / time. The water is beautiful and clear, as it comes down from a glacier. The views are amazing and even just relaxing on the beach is worth the trip. We had access to speedboats, so we rented the twins some life jackets and took them on their first boat ride. We probably would have stayed a little later, but we needed to get back by early afternoon, so we could get ready for the bridal welcome party. That evening they had pizza from Enoteca which was amazing! I highly recommend it.
That morning I did a hot yoga class at Gather Yoga Studio that was really nice, then we looked around downtown Sun Valley. It is very walkable and has tons of cute stores. That afternoon we explored the area of the airbnb in Hailey, as it walking distance from the Big Wood River. It was just a river, but I was amazed by it! It was very clear, cool, and had no odor whatsoever. I guess I’m just used to fishy rivers / those that don’t have fresh glacier water? Either way, I was very impressed. Idaho outdoors has a lot to offer even if you aren’t a “nature” person. We ate dinner at Rickshaw in Sun Valley and it was very good! That evening we had an after party of sorts for the rehearsal dinner, which was held at the River Run Lodge in Ketchum, at the base of Bald Mountain. Initially we were supposed to be at The Roundhouse restaurant via gondola ride, but they ended up closing the gondolas due to weather. It was sad, but it was still a dreamy evening.
We tried to make up for what we missed out on the day before and took the gondolas up Bald Mountain! The twins were allowed up the first one (as was our stroller), but Nick and I took the Christmas Lift up to go even further, while my parents and the twins stayed on the lower level. We initially made reservations at The Roundhouse (which is on the lower level), but opted for views and grabbing a drink instead of a meal. After that, we explored downtown Sun Valley with my parents this time, then we drove to the Sun Valley Lodge to check it out. It has tons of history and you can visit it even if you aren’t staying there. They have a restaurant and an outside ice rink that is chilled year-round! A lot of olympic athletes have trained here in the winter for both the ski slopes and ice skating. While we were in town, we had to grab my dad some more Red Barn Granola which is made locally, as he was obsessed. It is sold at Atkinson’s. We were sad to go, but we needed to head back to our Airbnb to get ready for the night’s festivities. That evening was the wedding which was held at Trail Creek Pavillion. It was a beautiful night! One of my favorite parts was that they had several large telescopes so you could see the stars. There’s a dark sky reserve in Sun Valley, so you can see so many constellations. Nick and I saw Antares and another grouping of stars that I can’t remember the name of… it was a Herculean cluster of sorts? No not, Orion’s belt, though of course we saw that one along with the big and little dipper. It was a truly unique experience. I hadn’t been to a wedding where they had an activity like that.
We drove to Boise this day! After dropping my parents off at the airport first, we grabbed lunch at Boise Fry Co. It was yummy and they had coloring pages and crayons for the twins. We really didn’t do anything else this day except head back to the airport. It was a wonderful trip and we were so glad we made the flight and drive. We love exploring new places especially together with the twins, plus it was great that the twins got to meet more family.
WHERE TO STAY
We didn’t stay a night in Boise, but these looked cute
The Pink Guest House
The Riverside Hotel
WHERE TO EAT
Boise Fry Co.
WHAT TO DO
Check out the capitol building
Visit the Greenbelt walking path (you can kayak, tube, etc the river if you want to)
Walk around downtown (they often have fun little activations going on)
There are several waterfalls that are driving distance (2ish hours one way) from Boise if you have a car and have time (Shoshone Falls, Perrine-Coulee Falls, Pillar Falls, Box Canyon to name a few)
WHERE TO STAY
Knob Hill Inn
Sun Valley Lodge
Airbnb (there are a lot of cute houses and cabins that are reasonably priced)
WHERE TO EAT
Big Belly Deli
WHAT TO DO
Explore Bald Mountain (summer or winter! you can bike, walk, hike, ski, snowboard, etc)
Drive to Redfish Lake (there are several other options close to Redfish, but this is where we went)
Walk around downtown Sun Valley
Meander near the Big Wood River
Hike (we didn’t get to, but considered Carols’, Earl’s, and Adam’s Gulch Trailhead)
It may not seem like much, but we had a marvelous time and are already considering when to go back. It is very much more of a relaxing / enjoy nature trip, and that is what we got out of it, so I think our itinerary was perfect. It was beautiful in summertime and we would like to experience that again, though we also really want to see it in the winter. I may even be inclined to ski even though it isn’t my favorite hobby! I’m more of a sit in the lodge and drink hot chocolate kind of girl. My only negative statement is that it was hot and a lot of places don’t have AC. Not a dealbreaker, it was just hotter than I thought it would be… though I think living SoCal has ruined me in that regard - hah! It cools down in the evening and of course gets FREEZING in the winter, so there is somewhat of a balance. Please share your favorite spots or things to see / do in the area so we can add them to our list. We would also love to visit more surrounding areas like Idaho Falls for waterfalls and such too. Happy traveling!
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