In this episode of Off the Beaten Path but Not Lost, we talk about things to do in Idaho with your family and where to camp. After spending months in the desert (Utah, Arizona, and Nevada), we were ready for some green trees and water. Idaho delivered. 

Small towns tend to be some of our favorite places to visit, and almost every spot in Idaho we stayed in was a small town. When you stay in small towns, you get to see how that community lives, and the people seem to be friendlier and more willing to share good tips. 

We planned on being in Idaho for a week and 6 weeks later, we left the state. Do not underestimate this great state!

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Places to visit and things to do in Idaho:

Lava Hot Springs

Fun town with hot springs and a water park. Where to stay: Lower Portneuf River access

Idaho Potato Museum 

We stayed through Harvest Hosts. A fun little museum to visit, especially since we are obsessed with potatoes. By the way, one of the most important things to do in Idaho is to eat lots of potatoes. HA! Across from the Potato museum was a candy store called the Candy Jar shop that had fudge and it was amazing. Being from Michigan, we have the right to be fudge snobs – HAHA!

Rexburg

We drove to view the Teton Mountains. It was supposed to be a quick drive to “see” them from an overlook and the next thing we knew, we were driving over them and visiting Jackson Hole. Like most of our road trips, we always get a little sidetracked. We also went to the Whoopee Days Rodeo. Where we stayed: Wind Willows RV Park

Arco

Something to add to your list of things to do in Idaho is Craters of the Moon. (Don’t take your dog) There is a great restaurant called Pickle’s Place Restaurant that has great burgers. Number Hill mountain is also really fun to see, it’s where the senior class paints their graduation year.

Twin Falls

Here you can visit Shoshone Falls and the Perrine Memorial Bridge. Tony wants to make sure you see the Evel Knievel jump site. Where to Stay: Snake River Canyons Park

Glenns Ferry

Make sure you visit the Oregon Trail Center – Three Island Crossing State Park and the Hagerman Fossil Beds National monument is also on the Oregon Trail Byway. You can see wagon ruts from the Oregon trail on this byway.  Where to stay: Trail Break RV park

Caldwell/Wilder

We only stayed here to visit the Boise: State Capitol Building and we also celebrated the 4th of July here for some small-town fireworks. Where to stay: River’s Edge RV Park

After Caldwell, we started getting into the very forested areas of Idaho. It was really gorgeous with gorges carved out by rivers and forests with thick green pines.

Salmon River / Cottonwood

We found the perfect place here to swim. Directions to the Salmon River beach area that we found and spent the day. Our family agrees that one of the things to do in Idaho is swim in one of their rivers or lakes – or both.

Where to stay:

McCall and Big Payette Lake

We found a little cove away from the public beach that was perfect for our family to swim. 

Where to Stay: State Endowment Land

Emida

We stayed at a Harvest Host in Emida with the wonderful Wheaten puppies! We talked all about this Harvest Host on our last podcast – thefaiols.com/8.

Newport, Washington

After Emida, we actually crossed the state line and stayed in Newport, Washington, at Old American Kampground. This is an RPI park that we have through our Thousand Trails memberships. 

Bonners Ferry 

Finally, we stayed in Bonners Ferry at the fairgrounds for free. We drove to Canada and visited the Kootenai Wildlife refuge area

Something else to add to your things to do in Idaho is one of their many scenic byways that you can take for a beautiful road trip. We highly recommend taking one of these to see the state.

Gear Review

In the first Gear Review, we’re talking about the solar setup.