Travel Idaho: Planning an Unforgettable Trip to the Gem State

Get to Know Lake Coeur d’Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho stands out as one of the best lakes in the region. Nestled amid the picturesque mountains of northern Idaho, this expansive lake, often referred to as the “Crown Jewel” of the area, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Stretching over 25 miles and surrounded by lush evergreen forests, the lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal destination for boating, fishing, and water sports. The charming resort town of Coeur d’Alene, situated along its northern shore, adds to the lake’s allure with its lakeside promenade, upscale dining options, and the iconic floating green of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course. Whether it’s exploring secluded bays, enjoying a scenic cruise, or simply relaxing on its pristine shores, Lake Coeur d’Alene captivates visitors with its serene ambiance and postcard-worthy landscapes, making it a top-tier destination for those seeking a quintessential Idahoan lake experience.

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Top 3 Facts about Idaho, USA

01

Potatoes, Potatoes, Potatoes!

Idaho is often referred to as the “Potato State” due to its significant contribution to the U.S. potato production, producing about one-third of the nation’s potatoes.

02

Lewis & Clark

The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through present-day Idaho, and the state preserves several sites and landmarks associated with their journey.

03

The Gem State

Idaho is known as the “Gem State” because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found there, including star garnets, which are only found in Idaho and India.

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Must See Attractions

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Shoshone Falls

Parks & Nature

Located on the Snake River near Twin Falls, this majestic waterfall is often called the “Niagara of the West” and is higher than Niagara Falls.

Perrine Memorial Bridge

Landmark

Spanning the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls, Idaho, this mighty testament to engineering skills and serves as a symbolic connection between natural beauty and human achievement.

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve

Parks & Nature

With its otherworldly volcanic landscapes and expansive lava fields visitors get a captivating glimpse into the earth’s geological history and a unique opportunity to explore an environment reminiscent of the moon’s surface.

Where to Sleep

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Islandview Family Cottage

Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Sq Footage 1,350
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$250.00 / day

Idaho Lakes to Discover

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1. Payette Lake

109 Miles

This lake is a year-round destination for water enthusiasts, with activities including boating, wakeboarding, and canoeing.

2. Redfish Lake

140 Miles

Surrounded by the stunning Sawtooth Mountains, this peaceful lake is a haven for kayakers and anglers.

3. Alturas Lake

157 Miles

Tucked away in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, this lake is suitable for canoeing and kayaking, allowing visitors to explore.

4. Bear Lake

330 Miles

Bear Lake’s waters provide an ideal playground for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for sailing, snorkeling, and jet skiing.

5. Lake Coeur d’Alene

376 Miles

With its pristine waters, this lake has a myriad of water sports for enthusiasts to enjoy, from jet skiing to paddleboarding.

6. Hayden Lake

384 Miles

Hayden Lake is a haven with water activities ranging from water skiing to stand-up paddleboarding amidst its scenic beauty.

7. Pend Oreille Lake

437 Miles

Idaho’s largest lake, is a boater’s paradise, providing opportunities for sailing and water skiing while viewing the Selkirk Mountains.

8. Priest Lake

519 Miles

Priest Lake invites visitors to experience the thrill of jet skiing and tubing on its clear waters, creating a setting for aquatic adventures.

Annual Events and Festivals

Monday, January 1, 2024

Idaho Potato Drop

This innovative and uniquely Idahoan New Year’s Eve celebration in Boise, has become a symbol of the state’s whimsical spirit. As the clock counts down to midnight, crowds gather in the heart of the city to witness the descent of a colossal, brilliantly illuminated potato. Accompanied by live music, entertainment, and a festive atmosphere, the Idaho Potato Drop transforms the downtown area into a lively hub of celebration, drawing residents and visitors alike.

Get tickets
Friday, August 16 – Sunday, August 25, 2024

Western Idaho Fair

The Western Idaho Fair, an eagerly awaited annual event in Boise, captures the essence of Idaho’s agricultural heritage and community spirit. Drawing crowds from across the state, this classic fair offers a sensory feast with its carnival atmosphere. The fairgrounds transform into a showcase of Idaho’s agricultural highlights, featuring livestock exhibits, rodeo events, and competitions highlighting the skills of local farmers and ranchers. Families can enjoy a diverse array of entertainment, from live music performances to mesmerizing circus acts.

Wednesday, October 2 – Sunday, October 6, 2024

Trailing of the Sheep Festival

Held annually in Sun Valley and Ketchum, Idaho, this events is a vibrant tribute to the state’s storied sheep ranching heritage. The highlight of the festival is a spectacular parade, where thousands of sheep gracefully traverse the streets, creating a spectacle that transports attendees to a bygone era. The festival offers a tapestry of cultural events, including traditional music, dance performances, and culinary experiences showcasing the versatility of lamb.

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Top Hiking Trails

Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek Stanley Lake Trail

Iron creek trailhead, Forest Rd 619, Lowman, IDaho 83637

The trailhead, near the pristine Stanley Lake, sets the stage for adventure. Hikers wind their way through dense pine forests, with the sounds of Iron Creek as a constant companion. As the ascent unfolds, the landscape reveals panoramic vistas of jagged peaks and alpine meadows. At 9.5 miles, the trail not only offers a physical challenge but also serves as a conduit to connect with the unspoiled wilderness. The out and back trail takes an average of five hours to complete.

Visit their website for more information

Table Rock Trail

Table Rock Cross Trail Parking, S1012438401, Boise, IDaho 83712

This 3.9 mile loop takes 2 hours to complete. Ascending from the Old Penitentiary, the trail winds its way through the high desert landscape, offering hikers a moderate yet rewarding climb. The highlight of the hike is the iconic Table Rock summit, where a large white cross stands against the backdrop of the foothills.

Visit their website for more information

Adelmann Mine

Adelmann Mine Trailhead, Boise, IDaho 83716

The remnants of this historic mine, dating back to the late 19th century, can be explored via the Adelmann Mine Trail. As hikers traverse the trail, they are greeted by remnants of old mining structures and artifacts, offering glimpses into the challenges and triumphs of the pioneers who sought fortunes in the Idaho wilderness. The out and back trail is 4.7 miles takes 2.5 hours to do.

Visit their website for more information

Best Golf Courses

Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club

5945 S Buckrail Rd, Harrison, IDaho 83833

This course is a premier destination that combines world-class golf with the splendor of Idaho’s natural beauty. This exclusive private club boasts an 18 hole Tom Fazio golf course, offering golf enthusiasts a challenging yet picturesque experience against the backdrop of the lake and surrounding forests.

Visit their website for more information

The Coeur D’Alene Resort Golf Course

900 S. Floating Green Drive, Coeur D’Alene, IDaho 83814

Situated in the picturesque lakeside town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, this course is renowned for its unique Floating Green. The award-winning course rests along the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, offering golfers an extraordinary experience. The 14th hole features a green that is not only challenging to approach but literally floats on the lake, providing a one-of-a-kind golfing encounter. The course, designed by acclaimed architect Scott Miller.

Visit their website for more information

BanBury Golf Course

2626 S Marypost Pl, Eagle, IDaho 83616

BanBury Golf Course beckons both seasoned players and enthusiasts seeking a rewarding and scenic golf experience. This course, crafted by John Harbottle III, showcases 18 holes that wind through lush landscapes, featuring water hazards, strategically placed bunkers, and manicured fairways that challenge players of all skill levels. The signature 13th hole, surrounded by water, exemplifies the course’s strategic layout and visual appeal.

Visit their website for more information

Water Sports

Surf the Boise River Park

River surfing

Idaho river surfing is a distinctive niche in the world of water sports, offering a thrilling and unconventional experience amidst the state’s picturesque river landscapes. The Boise River Park, located in the heart of Boise, is a premier destination for river surfers, featuring a series of engineered waves that draw enthusiasts seeking the rush of freshwater surfing. The park’s adjustable wave system caters to different skill levels, making it an inclusive space for both beginners and experienced surfers.

Visit their website for more information

Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruise

Lake Cruise

The Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruise is an aquatic journey across the pristine waters of one of Idaho’s most stunning lakes. The narrated tour provides insights into the region’s history and ecology, offering passengers a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders that grace the lake’s shores. A highlight of the cruise is the scenic journey to the world’s only Floating Green at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, providing a unique perspective of this renowned golfing destination.

Visit their website for more information

Salmon River Steelhead Drift Boat Fishing

fishing

From the iconic Snake River to the mountain-studded lakes like Coeur d’Alene and Payette, Idaho boasts an abundance of fishing opportunities. Anglers can cast their lines for a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bass, salmon, and sturgeon. The state’s extensive network of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs provides environments suitable for fly fishing, spin casting, and trolling.

Visit their website for more information

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01 / Snowboarding

Blessed with world-class resorts and diverse terrain, Idaho caters to snowboarders of all levels, from novices to seasoned riders seeking thrilling descents. Sun Valley, often hailed as one of the best ski resorts in the world, offers snowboarders perfectly groomed slopes and challenging terrain parks. Meanwhile, the expansive and varied offerings at places like Bogus Basin near Boise and Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint provide an ideal canvas for riders to carve through powder, tackle moguls, or navigate through the trees. For those craving backcountry adventure, the state’s mountainous regions offer untouched snow and a chance to explore the powder-laden landscapes.

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02 / Sleigh Rides

Sleigh rides offer a nostalgic and enchanting way to experience the Idaho winter wonderland. Various destinations such as Sun Valley and McCall provide idyllic settings for this timeless winter activity. Visitors can bundle up in cozy blankets as horse-drawn sleighs glide through snowy meadows and wooded trails. In McCall, the historic town transforms into a snowy fairy tale during the annual Winter Carnival, where sleigh rides become a highlight amid the festivities.

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03 / Snowmobiling

With an extensive network of groomed trails, backcountry terrain, and high-mountain meadows, Idaho stands as a premier destination for snowmobiling enthusiasts. Popular areas like Island Park and McCall offer a playground of trails amid pristine forests and open fields, providing a perfect setting for both novice and experienced riders. Idaho’s mountainous terrain, including the rugged Sawtooth Range, allows snowmobilers to access vistas and untouched powder, creating an immersive experience for those seeking the adrenaline rush of high-speed rides against a backdrop of snow-covered peaks.

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Resorts to Explore in Idaho

The Coeur d’Alene Resort

Recreation, Ecological
115 S 2nd St, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

Talus Rock Retreat

Spa, Luxury
291 Syringa Heights Rd Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Teton Valley Resort

Family friendly, Ecological
1208 ID-31, Victor, Idaho 83455

Tips on renting home on Idaho

Scenic Drives

Idaho offers some of the most scenic drives in the country. Plan a road trip along routes like the Sawtooth Scenic Byway or the drive through Hell’s Canyon for stunning views.

Outdoor Activity

Discover the natural wonders of Idaho by visiting places like Craters of the Moon National Monument, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and the City of Rocks National Reserve.

Varied Weather

Idaho experiences diverse weather conditions, so pack accordingly. Summers can be warm, while winters can bring snow. Check the weather forecast for the specific regions you plan to visit.

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Jet Skiing

Idaho is a gem of a state that offers something for everyone—from pristine lakes and charming small towns to world-class cultural attractions and outdoor adventures. The best way to experience Idaho is by renting a cozy vacation home that suits your needs and preferences.

With over 7,000 vacation rentals available across Idaho, you will find the perfect home-away-from-home. Options range from spacious houses and modern condos to quaint cabins in the mountains or lakeside. Regardless of your preferred accommodations, these rentals provide a comfortable and private space to relax, unwind, and enjoy your Idaho getaway.

Idaho Vacation Rentals Overview

The Gem State Appeal
Idaho, the Gem State, offers diverse vacation rentals amidst stunning landscapes of lakes, rivers, and mountains. Its natural beauty and friendly atmosphere make it an ideal destination for outdoor adventures, with vacation rentals providing a comfortable home away from home during your stay.

Rental Types

There is a wealth of vacation rental options to suit every traveler’s tastes and preferences. Here are some popular choices:

Houses
For those seeking a more spacious and private environment, renting a home provides the perfect setting for a relaxing and memorable vacation. Many places have amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible, such as hot tubs, washer and dryer facilities, and well-equipped kitchens.

Condos
Traveling in a smaller group or looking for a more budget-friendly option? Condos can be an excellent choice, as they often provide a cozy and convenient base to explore Idaho’s many attractions.

Cabins
Ranging from rustic retreats to luxurious accommodations, cabins are perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in Idaho’s stunning nature. By just stepping outside, you’ve got quick access to hiking trails, fishing, and boating, cabins offer a unique experience for nature lovers.

Luxury Properties
If you want to pamper yourself and enjoy the highest level of comfort during your Idaho vacation, luxury properties are the way to go. These exclusive rentals feature top-of-the-line amenities, exquisite decor, and prime locations.

Main Locations for Vacation Rentals

Exploring Boise
Boise, the capital of Idaho, has a wide selection of vacation rentals. Modern condos, charming houses, and even unique tiny homes are available for your stay while you explore this vibrant city. You’ll always have things to do, with attractions such as the Boise River Greenbelt, Idaho State Capitol, and the Old Idaho Penitentiary located nearby. Boise offers plenty of dining and shopping opportunities to enhance your vacation experience.

Sun Valley Escapes
Sun Valley is a beloved destination for skiing enthusiasts and nature lovers. Visitors can choose from various comfortable vacation rentals, ranging from luxurious chalets to more affordable cabins. Whether you want to hit the slopes in the winter or explore the picturesque hiking and biking trails during the warmer months, Sun Valley has something for everyone. The breathtaking mountain scenery makes Sun Valley the perfect place for your next Idaho getaway.

Coeur D’Alene
Coeur D’Alene, a city situated by Lake Coeur D’Alene, is a fantastic destination for a lake retreat. You’ll find plenty of waterfront vacation rentals with amazing views and easy access to water activities. Rent pontoon boats or kayaks from Harrison Pontoons and Rentals to explore the lake at your own pace, or take a relaxing cruise with Lake Coeur D’Alene Cruises. There’s no better way to unwind than spending a vacation in this serene location.

Discovering Mccall
Mccall, a small town in central Idaho, provides a picturesque backdrop for your vacation rental. Choose from various options, like rustic cabins and comfortable condos, while you explore the beauty of the surrounding area. Mccall is known for its proximity to Payette Lake and stunning parks such as Ponderosa State Park and Davis Beach. You’ll enjoy a slower pace of life and a chance to reconnect with nature here.

Choosing the Right Season

Summer Fun
Summer is a perfect time to plan a vacation in Idaho. The sunny days and warm weather provide an excellent opportunity for outdoor activities. You can explore the state’s scenic landscapes by hiking and biking, with more than 2,000 named lakes and vast stretches of wilderness to explore. If you’re looking for a more relaxing activity, you can go fishing in one of Idaho’s numerous rivers and lakes or visit one of the nearby beaches.

Idaho’s Winter Wonderland
If you love skiing and other winter sports, Idaho is the perfect winter vacation destination. The state boasts several world-class skiing resorts where you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding day after day. Whether you are a seasoned skier or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of exciting challenges on Idaho’s slopes.

Spring Delights
Idaho’s spring season welcomes a picturesque view of blooming flowers and scenic gardens. The state transforms into a nature lover’s paradise as winter fades away. You can stroll through vibrant gardens and watch the wildlife return to the forests and parks. Springtime in Idaho is the perfect time to witness the beauty of nature coming back to life, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing vacation.

Amenities and Extras

From spa experiences to guest comfort, these features can transform your trip into a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Spa Experiences

Various Idaho vacation rentals offer spa-like experiences that will help you unwind and relax during your stay. Some rentals feature private hot tubs, while others may be near natural hot springs. Enjoying a soothing soak in a hot tub or hot spring can be a perfect way to spend your evenings after exploring the beautiful Idaho outdoors.

Take advantage of these available spa experiences:

– Private hot tubs
– Access to nearby hot springs
– On-site spa services (available at some vacation rental properties)

Check the property’s listing for specific spa amenities and plan your relaxing getaway accordingly.

Guest Comfort

Ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for you and your guests is essential when booking an Idaho vacation rental. Choose a rental property that provides a clean and inviting atmosphere and all the necessary amenities for a stress-free stay.

Some top guest comfort features might include:

– Clean, well-maintained homes
– Fully-equipped kitchens
– Comfortable bedding and linens
– Washer and dryer
– Fast Wi-Fi connection

By selecting a rental that focuses on guest comfort, you can ensure your stay in Idaho will be cozy and relaxing.

Guest Reviews on Top Rated Rentals

Pelican Point Executive Lodge in Island Park is one of the top-rated vacation rentals in Idaho, with guests praising the luxurious lakefront property and private beach access. The lodge is located within a secure gated community and features six executive-type bedrooms that can accommodate large groups. The exceptional amenities and location have garnered glowing reviews from guests.

Another guest favorite is a beautiful log home along the St. Joe River in North Idaho. The property can sleep up to 7 guests and has four bathrooms. Cozy furnishings and stunning surroundings make guests feel at home and eager to return.

A cabin rental near Silverwood Theme Park and Sandpoint, Idaho, offers plenty of nearby entertainment for families traveling with children. This vacation rental can sleep up to 6 guests and provides all the amenities for a comfortable stay. It has earned stellar reviews and is a popular choice among travelers.

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly option, consider a cozy farmhouse retreat just 10 minutes from Bear Lake. This charming rental can accommodate up to 12 guests and has a welcoming atmosphere that goes beyond its delightful decor. Pets are welcome, and guests have left glowing reviews about their stays in this quaint location.

Booking Tips and Guidelines

When planning a vacation rental, the first thing you need to do is research. Spend time exploring different vacation rental websites to find the perfect place for your stay. Remember to read reviews from previous guests to understand better what to expect from the property and its amenities. Ask yourself what’s most important to you in a rental property. Is it a luxurious space, a rustic cabin vibe, or something else? This will help you narrow down your options.

When you find a rental that you love, make sure to read and understand the cancellation policy. With ever-evolving travel policies and guidelines, knowing the terms and conditions is crucial in case your plans change. Don’t be afraid to ask the host or property manager for clarification if you’re unsure about anything.

Before confirming your booking, take a closer look at the total cost breakdown. Be mindful of any additional fees, such as cleaning or service charges, which may be included in the final price. Remember, Idaho levies a 6% sales tax on short-term rental transactions, so check if this is included in your booking or if you must pay it separately.

Once you’ve settled on your ideal vacation rental, communicate clearly with the host or property manager. Let them know your expected arrival and departure times and any special requirements or requests. An open line of communication can help ensure your stay goes smoothly and you have everything you need to enjoy your Idaho vacation to the fullest.

Lastly, it’s important to be respectful of the property and the local community. Abiding by the rental house rules and treating your temporary home with care will create a pleasant experience for you and demonstrate your consideration for future guests and the property owner.

By following these tips and guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to booking an unforgettable Idaho vacation rental. Enjoy your stay in the beautiful Gem State!

Frequently Asked Questions about Idaho

There are plenty of budget-friendly options for cabin rentals in Idaho. You can find accommodations on platforms such as Lake, Airbnb, Rent By Owner, and VacationRenter. To find the best deals suited to your preferences, consider comparing different listings, read guest reviews, and be flexible with travel dates.

If you’re looking to buy a vacation home in Idaho, real estate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor might be helpful. Browse these websites, filter your preferences (location, size, and budget), and contact local real estate agents to get more detailed information on your preferred properties.

Yes, McCall is a popular destination for cabin rentals in Idaho. It boasts beautiful natural scenery, including Payette Lake and Ponderosa State Park. When searching for cabin rentals, you could look for properties near the lake or within the park for added convenience and access to recreational activities.

For long-term cabin rental options in Idaho, you can explore platforms like Lake that offer monthly or multi-month rental options. Check with property owners regarding minimum rental durations and any special discounts that may apply for more extended stays.

Muskoka is known for its picturesque towns and charming villages. Some popular towns you can visit include Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, and Port Carling. Each town offers its unique attractions, shops, and restaurants, making them perfect stopovers during your exploration of the Muskoka region.

Many cabin rentals in Idaho feature hot tub amenities to enhance your relaxation during your stay. To find such properties, use the filter options on rental platforms like Lake to search specifically for cabins that have hot tubs available.

Yes, you can find last-minute cabin rentals in Idaho. Look for platforms catering to last-minute bookings or contact property owners through websites like Lake. Some listings offer discounted rates for last-minute bookings, but availability may vary depending on the time of year and local events.

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