School is wrapping up and families are headed out for summer vacations, epic trips, and expensive experiences—but not all families. Maybe you’re stuck home, or unable to travel. Sometimes it’s hard to afford a vacation away, which is why we’d like to point out that it’s a lot of fun to become a tourist in your own hometown! We challenge you to experience Idaho in all the best way—We love Idaho and everything it has to offer; check out our list for some affordable, family-friendly “vacation” alternatives.
1. Have a Picnic at Shoshone Falls on the Snake River
Picnicking is one of the best summer activities that is super fun as well as cost effective; it’s something your whole family can do on a nice day—especially when the dog days of summer have your kids saying, “I’m bored.” Pack everyone up, grab a cooler, and head to the falls!
Often referred to as the Niagara of the West, Shoshone Falls is a must-see attraction in Twin Falls, Idaho. At 212 feet tall and 900 foot wide, Shoshone Falls is one of the largest natural waterfalls in the United States surpassing the height of the famous Niagara Falls.
2. Go Camping — ANYWHERE!
This one seems like a summer no-brainer, but here’s your reminder: spend some time out in nature! Idaho offers hundreds of beautiful locations to camp. Check out our blog for some great suggestions. Idaho has something for everyone, whether you’re in an RV, a primitive tent, or yurt!
3. Take a Day Trip to McCall
In this resort town, you can do countless activities in the summertime; you can golf, hike, bike, camp, go river rafting, fishing, boating, jet skiing, sunbathing, watch the wildlife, take a dip in the natural hot springs, and visit the beautiful Payette Lake.
4. Soak in the Hot Springs
One of the many natural wonders of Idaho is its bountiful hot springs. Take a relaxing dip at Skinny Dipper Hot Springs, Kirkham Hot Springs, or consult this list for several more locations. As always, make sure to keep the springs clean and be mindful of others as well as preserving the springs for generations to come.
5. Float in the Boise River
Spend a relaxing day with your friends floating peacefully down the Boise River as you soak up some sunshine. Be sure to pack some snacks and don’t forget your sunscreen! There are a few spots you can start your float down the river, but one of the most popular is at Barber Park. Here, you can rent tubes, have a BBQ, or hike. They also offer free air if you need to fill up your own personal floatie!
6. Go to the Capital City Public Market on a Saturday Morning
The Capital City Public Market is an enormous, open-air market packed with veggies, fruits, local goodies, handmade, artisan items for purchase and much more. Grab a coffee and your market basket and get shopping for the perfect dinner ingredients. If you can’t make it to the Capital City Market, check out our blog for some other locations that might be near you!
7. Go To A Drive In Movie
There’s something very nostalgic about seeing a movie at the drive-in. Grab your cutie-pie, some movie snacks, and maybe a blanket as you watch a film under the starry sky. Take a break from Netflix on the couch, and head to Terrace Drive In (Caldwell, ID) Parma Motor Vu (Parma, ID), or The Spud Drive In (Driggs, ID).
8. Go boating at Lucky Peak
Soak up all the sights and sounds of summer by boat! Lucky Peak offers many activities, but the boat launch is located at Spring Shores. You can also rent watercraft vessels here. Be sure to keep your eyes on their event calendar—they host many activities throughout the summer months.
9. Hike Mineral Ridge Loop, Coeur d’Alene
The Mineral Ridge Trail is a shorter hike, being a 3.3-mile loop that offers outstanding views over Beauty and Wolf Lodge bays of Coeur d’Alene Lake, with excellent interpretive signage along the trail. A lot of beautiful hikes in Idaho are much longer, and not accessible for people of all walks of life. This one is a little shorter, but still offers up the boundless beauty that is Idaho.
10. Hike Tablerock and Watch the Sunset
Tablerock is a very popular hike in Boise. From here, you can overlook the entire town of Boise. We suggest hiking up there to catch the city views at sunrise or sunset.
This is just a short list of all the things you can do in and around Boise this summer. What do you have planned? What would you add to our list? We’d love to know!