Escape The City: 5 Relaxing Weekend Getaways in Idaho (2023)
There is a reason why the beautiful state of Idaho is known as the Gem State. This is because it is indeed a hidden gem in the United States. Located in the northwestern region of the US, the state is geographically diverse and known for its rich Native American past. The state’s famous history has ensured that it is steeped in culture even today. Perhaps the biggest attraction of visiting Idaho is for outdoor enthusiasts who would love to explore the miles of natural land full of unspoiled beauty that Idaho is blessed with.
Known as a Rocky Mountain State, Idaho is known for its picturesque landscape, complete with magnificent rolling hills and mountains, dense green forests, and even deserts. If you are an adventure lover, you will feel right at home in Idaho, given the many outdoor activities that you can enjoy.
Booking a weekend getaway in Idaho is a dream come true for everyone. There are so many places in the state that are the perfect weekend getaway that you will spend every weekend exploring these breathing places.
Escape the City: 5 Relaxing Weekend Getaways in Idaho
Let us look at some of the best weekend getaways in Idaho.
If you want to explore the beauty of Idaho but also visit a slightly off-beaten destination, the best bet is to plan a weekend getaway to Sandpoint. This is perfect to have a getaway on a budget, but still with a dash of luxury and leisure that you just wouldn’t want to miss. The beautiful destination of Sandpoint is located on Lake Pend Oreille, making it the perfect getaway for couples, solo travelers, and even families.
Land Pend Oreille is the largest lake in Idaho, and Sandpoint sits on its shores, surrounded by three magnificent mountain ranges, Cabinet, Selkirk, and Bitterroot Ranges. You can very well imagine the beautiful scenery that surrounds this stunning city. And what’s more, Sandpoint is also home to Idaho’s biggest ski resort, the Schweitzer Mountain Resort. It is also part of two National Scenic Byways and the International Selkirk Loop. When you learn all of this, you know you have made the right choice by selecting Sandpoint as your weekend getaway.
In fact, Sandpoint was named as the Most Beautiful Small Town in the US in 2011 by USA Today and Rand McNally. Many people love to head to Sandpoint from Seattle on a road trip because of the scenic roads that lead to this stunning little town.
The delightful natural attractions in Sandpoint make it worth the stay as you wake up every morning with some breathtaking views of the mountains that surround you.
A highlight of this small town is the Silverwood Theme Park, where you can spend the weekend riding over 70 rides and slides. To relax after the thrilling rides, you can head to the Arts and Crafts Fair, or you can even check out the Northwest Wine Fair. For the fitness lover, the town is home to many awe-inspiring biking trails that will get you going.
Sandpoint has activities for all ages, ranging from shopping, hiking, fishing, camping, biking, skiing, glamping, or just museum hopping – there is something for everyone to spend the weekend here.
McCall is the perfect weekend getaway for those who love the mountains. After all, Idaho is known as a Rocky Mountain State. So it is but natural that some of the perfect weekend getaways in the state whisk you away to the mountains. One such beautiful destination is McCall, a mountain resort town that is located in the central part of Idaho.
The mountain town of McCall sits on the banks of the mesmerizing Payette Lake, just next door to many of the top-class ski resorts of the state.
The town is known for being home to some of the most charming boutiques, exquisite food, and many local brewpubs. In fact, when it comes to food, you will be spoilt for choices as McCall treats you to everything from high-end luxury dining to the quick grab-and-go eateries that line the streets and take you right through the heart of the town.
No matter where you dine at, the exquisite taste of food and the local brews will make you want to keep coming back for more.
Visitors from all over the US descend upon McCall in the winter months to enjoy the wide variety of snow activities and to take part in the world-famous ice sculpture festival that is held here every year. This doesn’t mean that your visit in the summertime would be any less exciting. The summer months also bring with them a range of enjoyable activities, including hiking, camping, mountain biking, fishing, and a wide range of watersports.
Wallace is the gem of northern Idaho. And if you feel like you have heard the name of the town before, you are absolutely right since Wallace is known to be the world’s biggest producer of silver. For the last 100-plus years, Wallace has been one of the wealthiest mining towns to be still in existence. Interestingly, Walla is also the last town to be listed entirely on the famous National Register of Historic Places. Now, what better place to visit for the perfect weekend getaway than the charming town of Wallace?
Whether you want to visit Wallace with your partner or with your whole family, you will not regret your decision, as Wallace is the perfect destination for the ideal vacation.
Wallace still continues to be the largest producer of silver in the US. While you are here, don’t be surprised to hear a rumor that the town is the center of the universe. While this rumor is just that, there is nevertheless a manhole cover that celebrates the town being touted as the center of the universe.
Wallace is the perfect place to embark on adventures like taking a dip into the Pulaski Tunnel Trail, taking the Silver Mine Tours, or even indulging yourself in the Silver Streak Zipline. There are many exciting things to be done here, including taking a walkthrough of the Mining Museum or the Oasis Bordello Museum, which is a unique museum that was a famous Wild West brothel that was converted into a museum. This will be one of the most unique tours you will see in Idaho.
If you want an adrenaline rush, the best thing to do in Wallace is The Route of the Hiawatha Scenic Bike Trail. This is a 15-mile-long hiking or mountain biking trail that will take your breath away. This trail will definitely be a highlight of your Wallace trip over the weekend. And fret not if you do not have your own bike. The nearby Lookout Pass Ski Area is well stocked with rental bikes, helmets, safety equipment, snacks, and everything else you would need on the excursion. The trail takes around two and a half hours to complete.
Many visitors to Wallace often find themselves wondering if they have been here before. Well, this is because the 1997 volcano movie Dante’s Peak was filmed here. You can even walk around the town to check out the famous places that were in the movie.
Another beautiful and well-known mountain town in Idaho is Stanley. Stanley is the perfect combination of wildlife, natural beauty, and scenic views that draws thousands of visitors to the town every year. While the town of Stanley is not as developed as McCall and Sun Valley when it comes to luxury lodging, eateries, and amenities, there is still plenty available that will ensure a comfortable and memorable stay for the weekend.
You should plan a weekend getaway to Stanley simply to lay your eyes on some of the most pristine wilderness regions in entire North America. Beautifully located in conjunction with four famous national forests, this is a small town that offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. The town is also surrounded by the Sawtooth Mountain Range and the Frank Church Wilderness area, further enhancing the natural beauty of Stanley.
It is in Stanley that you can truly admire the raw natural beauty of the mountains, beautifully combined with wildlife and scenic views. One of the most popular activities here is hiking to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Being home to over 700 miles of trails that are perfect for all levels of hikers, there are 40 peaks here over 10,000 feet, as well as over 300 alpine lakes. The interlacing of the landscape is so stunning that you cannot help but stop to admire the scenery all around.
Another big draw of the beautiful town of Stanley is the riot of wildflowers that take over the town every year. As soon as the snow begins to melt, the landscape gets covered in wildflowers in every color imaginable. You will find every meadow in the town covered in a wide variety of wildflowers, truly making for an extraordinary sight that you need to capture forever in your camera.
Whitewater rafting is another extremely popular activity in Stanley, and you have tourists coming up here for the weekend just to enjoy this thrilling activity. In fact, unlike what most people believe, whitewater rafting in Stanley can easily be turned into a family-friendly activity as you let the sheer force of the water propel you through the scenic canyons as you come barreling down the Upper Main Salmon River. Safety being of paramount importance, you will get experienced outfitters in every raft, boat, or kayak as you propel yourself down the river. For those who prefer to take in the exotic scenery all around, you can also take a leisurely ride in a kayak and even try your hand at fly fishing while you are here.
With so many thrilling things to do, you might just feel like the weekend is not enough to have your fill of Stanley.
5. Sun Valley
The resort town of Sun Valley is famous for being home to many unique places to stay in as you plan your weekend getaway. Being home to Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain, it is no wonder then that Sun Valley is known for being the best destination to try out all the rugged outdoor adventures you have ever dreamed of.
The town is known for its world-class skiing opportunities, along with a host of other activities like mountain and gravel biking, fly fishing, and even rafting. At the same time, for those who prefer to spend their time indoors, there are some of the best restaurants, art galleries, museums, and many other cultural events that take place in the town throughout the year. Sun Valley also plays host to many outdoor music festivals throughout the year. There are over a dozen famous art galleries in Sun Valley, and you will be surprised to learn that the town has a separate gallery association that hosts up to six free gallery walkabouts in a year.
A lesser-known fact about Sun Valley is that it is actually the US’ first destination ski resort. This historic mountain town is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world, and tourists from all over the country flock here as the first snow of the year covers the mountains.
Sun Valley is also known for being the perfect getaway if you want to reconnect with yourself. From organic food to yoga studies, the town has many experiences that will help you get back in touch with your inner self. The many specialized spas here, like the Zenergy Spa and Sun Valley Salon, offer specialized craniosacral therapy sessions, cupping treatments, and many relaxing massages to soothe away all the stressors of your daily life.
Apart from these magnificent towns, there are many other beautiful options in Idaho that are perfect for a weekend getaway. Explore the state yourself to find out which destination appeals to you the most.