If you are visiting Idaho Falls you may find yourself wondering how best to spend your time. There are so many great things to do in Idaho Falls, places to visit, and restaurants to try that you may feel overwhelmed. If you are only going to be in town a short while you may be worried you are going to miss something important. Luckily, this guide is here to help! This article will cover everything you need to know about Idaho Falls, the best things to do, and the best sights to see so you know you aren’t going to miss a thing.
About Idaho Falls
Idaho Falls is situated in Idaho, shock, this means a few things. Friendly, down to earth, people and beautiful sights. Idaho itself is one of the most interesting states in the country. You may know Idaho as the potato state, but there is so much more to Idaho than that. Idaho is home to some of the most vastly rich gem deposits in the world. There are certain gems in Idaho that can only be found here, and in India. So, yes, they are pretty rare indeed. Heres what you need to know about Idaho Falls specifically:
Idaho Falls, like most cities in the United States, has different weather year-round. In December it may freeze/snow. In the middle of summer, it can be pretty sweltering. That being said, ten out of twelve months of the year the weather is going to be pretty mild. It only rains about 4 days a month so your chances of having your activities rained off are pretty slim.
The people of Idaho Falls are warm, friendly, salt of the earth type folk. They are kind, welcoming and will be more than happy to give you directions or recommendations for anything from dinner to the day’s activities. If you are nervous about visiting a new and strange place. Don’t be. They’ll make you feel right at home in no time at all.
The culture of Idaho is outdoor centric. They are all about fishing, camping, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors. Combined with the great climate and good-natured people there makes this the perfect place to visit. Especially if you are planning on doing some fishing. There are some world-famous fishing spots not far from town that you won’t want to miss.
There are so many beautiful and interesting creatures roaming the Idaho countryside. Make sure to be on the lookout for Moose, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, and Bald Eagles to name a few. If you are an animal lover you won’t want to miss out on some of the amazing nature tours on offer in the surrounding countryside and national parks.
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Where To Eat
If you are only in town for a few days, deciding where to eat is almost as important as deciding what to do. If you are on the fence about where to go you have a few options. First, you can roll the dice on hope the local restaurant isn’t going to disappoint. Or, you could ask a local. As I mentioned above, the locals are super friendly. If you get to talking with someone in the street feel free to ask for a recommendation. Most people will be excited to share their favorite restaurants with you. This is a great way of finding the best food. The locals always know best. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like asking around you won’t go far wrong with either of these two choices.
Jakers Bar and Grill
Jakers Bar and Grill is one of the best places to get a decent steak while you are in town. If you spend the day hiking and exploring the countryside, there isn’t anything better than a steak to regain your strength. Jakers is a great restaurant for a fair price. You will be so busy with all of your activities you don’t want to break the bank too much with dinner.
Address: 851 Lindsay Blvd, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
The SnakeBite Restaurant
If you are looking for a bit more of a laid back meal out, you can’t go far wrong with The SnakeBite Restaurant. This is arguably the best place in town to get a good old fashioned American burger. This is the place to go if you are on vacation as a family. You might not get that vibe from the name, but the SnakeBite is a very kid-friendly establishment.
Address: 401 Park Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
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Things To Do in Idaho Falls
Now, its time to move on to things to do and the places to visit. There are so many things to do and place to see, here is just a selection of some of the best. Feel free to deviate from this list if you like. If a local has a recommendation of something to do or something to see, you would do well to listen to them. Almost all of these sights and activities are possible year-round, it is just that some might be slightly more pleasant in the warmer months. So long as you use your common sense when dressing for the day, the weather won’t be too much of a problem.
Places To Visit
Idaho Falls is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in not just the state but the country as a whole. You are never more than a quick drive away from a unique and interesting natural wonder or national park. None of these locations are more than a few hours of driving from the city center itself so don’t worry, you won’t lose the whole day driving. Here are some of the places you won’t want to miss out on visiting:
1. Snake River Plain
Snake River Plain is a beautiful location that you won’t want to miss out on visiting. The plain is so large it covers almost one-third of Idaho, so you aren’t likely to miss it. It is incredibly flat and incredibly fertile. This is why Idaho has such a good reputation when it comes to agriculture. The reason you should visit this plain for the day is the volcanoes that are situated around it. See, these volcanoes are responsible for the fertile earth that covers the great state of Idaho. Whether you plan to hike these dormant volcanoes up close or are content to admire them from afar, you won’t want to miss out on seeing them in their full glory. If you do plan to visit one, try to time your arrival to coincide with the sunrise or sunset. That way you will witness the volcanoes basking in the sun’s ember glow. Perfect for photographing, or just admiring.
2. Yellow Stone National Park
Yellow Stone National Park may technically be in Wyoming, but you are so close to the border that it truly isn’t that far away at all. If you’ve never been, visiting Yellow Stone should certainly be on your bucket list. Yellow Stone is one of the largest and most incredible mountain ranges/national parks in the world. You could easily spend your entire life exploring it and barely scratch the surface of what it has to offer. Yellow Stone is also home to the Yellow Stone Caldera which is a huge supervolcano. This volcano is so powerful it is believed to be capable of wiping out almost half the country should it erupt. Luckily, it isn’t due to erupt for thousands of years.
3. Balanced Rock Park
Balanced Rock Park is one of the most interesting and exciting natural wonders of Idaho. It is just a few hours of driving from the city of Idaho Falls itself. The rock is incredibly interestingly balanced and precarious-looking, the scenic drive to the park is almost as beautiful as the rock itself. It may look dangerous, like the rock is about to fall right on top of you, but that isn’t the case. It is perfectly safe. So long as you don’t get too close!
Address: Balanced Rock Rd, Buhl, ID 83316
Great For Families
Idaho Falls is a fantastic place to visit on your next family vacation. The reason being there are so many great activities to do as a family. Keeping the kids entertained, and finding activities suitable for everyone, can be pretty tricky. Luckily, this next section is here to help. Any of these activities are fine for anyone but are especially great for families to do together.
4. Idaho Falls Zoo
Idaho Falls zoo is one you, and the kids, certainly won’t want to miss. The zoo is only open from March to October so you might want to coincide your trip with this opening season. When the zoo is open, there are always interesting events going on. There is never a dull day at this zoo. The Idaho Falls zoo is home to not just American animals but those from all over the globe. Some of their main attractions are their regal lions, snow leopards, and cute little penguins. If you are going to be in Idaho Falls for Halloween, you won’t want to miss out on their “Boo at the Zoo” family-oriented event. This is perfect for keeping young kids entertained but is still fun for people of all ages.
Address: 2725 Carnival Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
5. Idaho Falls Wildlife Safari
There are various wildlife safaris on offer throughout the national parks of Idaho and even Yellow Stone national park itself. Guided tours through these national parks are a great way to spend time as a family. Not only do you get to see and experience these national parks in a new way, but you will also learn something too. This can be both fun and educational for you and the kids. If you are looking for a good way to educate your family about the great outdoors, the different animals, plants, and geological formations you won’t want to miss out on booking one of these tours. These can be pretty long in some cases, a young child may not be suitable for a full-day tour. It is a good idea to check with your tour operator before you book anything. Most will be fine, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
6. Russ Freeman Park
If you were looking for something a little closer to home, Russ Freeman Park is in the city itself. Situated on the north side this park is a great place for the kids to run around and explore. The park itself is interesting enough for a short time, after a while though you might start to get a little bored. Luckily, there are 18 holes of disc/frisbee golf to play. This is a great, easy-going, activity that is suitable for people of all ages. This is a super fun way to spend time as a family, or as a couple, if you were looking for a laidback idea for a date. There are also baseball fields, so you might be lucky enough to catch a game. Lastly, you can also find horseshoe pits should you grow tired of disc golf.
Address: 1290 Science Center Dr, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
7. East Idaho Aquarium
Another great way to spend time as a family, and learn about wildlife, is the East Idaho Aquarium. This is perfect for kids because of all their hands-on activities. They can explore interesting eco-systems, touch stingrays, feed birds, and learn about both aquatic and land animals. There is also an ongoing shark exhibit if you were looking for something a little more exciting. There are always events going on at this wonderful aquarium, whether the show is educational or for entertainment changes from week to week. You can feel good about visiting this aquarium as it is a non-profit organization. The aquarium only opened in 2013, so it is still finding its footing. That being said, it still makes a great way to spend the afternoon. And who knows, maybe you will learn something new about these unique marine animals.
Address: 570 E Anderson St, Idaho Falls, ID 83401
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Great For Couples
Idaho Falls isn’t just great for families. All of the above activities are perfect for anyone. These next activities are a great way to spend time as a couple. They are easy-going, relaxing, and can be very romantic. These activities could be done by anyone, they can even be done alone. You just might have more fun doing them with that special someone.
8. Idaho Falls Riverwalk
There are about five miles of the Idaho Falls riverwalk. It is the best way to see the city on foot. The walk can be done in just an hour or two but is better if you pace yourself and take your time. There is so much to see along the way that you might need a few hours to take it all in. The river walk is interestingly the best way to get between many of the other main attractions. If you are planning on walking from place to place, do your best to take the river walk. It is a meticulously maintained walkway so it can be quite busy. Watch out for cyclists and joggers. The riverwalk is great at any time of the year. From the vibrant green summers to the autumnal colors of fall. Maybe you will even be lucky enough to have snow in December!
Address: Broadway and River Park Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
9. Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium
Idaho falls civic auditorium has played host to all sorts of celebrities and famous entertainers over the years. The auditorium is state of the art and always has shows or plays on. Musicians and comedians also frequently visit. The auditorium managers claim that there isn’t a bad seat in the house! That being said, it is a good idea to Google the auditorium before you visit to see if anything interesting going on. If there is, it might be a good idea to book your tickets ahead of time.
Address: 501 S Holmes Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83401
10. Sportsman Park
Sportsman Park is an island park that is easily accessible from the river walk. Sportsman Park is home to a beautiful Japanese friendship garden that would be perfect for visiting on a date. The Japanese friendship garden is very authentic as it is there to commemorate the cities partnership with its sister city in Japan, Tokai-Mura.
Address: Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Great For Everyone
Whether you are on your own, with your family, with your significant other or are going as part of a group; any of these next activities would be great fun. There are a few great museums mentioned in this next section. It is a good idea to check what exhibits they have on before you go, as they can change frequently.
11. Adventures in Idaho Falls
There are plenty of adventures to go on when you base yourself in Idaho Falls. They could vary from safaris to hiking, rock climbing to kayaking, or sky diving. If you are a thrill seeker you will find yourself spoilt for choice. The surrounding national parks are exciting enough on their own, but, sometimes people want to take things to the next level. And that’s okay too.
12. Henry’s Fork Fly-fishing
Henry’s fork is home to some of the best fly fishing in the world. People come from all over the globe to try their hand at some fishing here. The water is crystal clear and the fish are huge. If you are a lover of the great outdoors, you won’t want to miss out on this perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity. If you have never been fly-fishing before, there is no better time to learn.
Address: 3340 N Highway 20, Island Park, ID 83429-5134
13. Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is perfect for anyone, especially families with young children. The admission price is typically pretty low anyway, but on the first Sunday of every month is free. The museum is a cultural icon for the state of Idaho as a whole. There is always a wide array of different galleries and exhibits so it is always fresh and interesting. There is an interactive kid zone so the children won’t be too bored while the adults explore. This art museum offers an interesting and unique insight into the history of the local area. Artists have always found interesting ways to portray the past and their surrounds, this museum is no different.
Address: 300 S Capital Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
14. Museum of Idaho
The Museum of Idaho is truly extraordinary. It is home to more than 25000 artifacts so you will want to allocate the full day if you want to get the full effect. The exhibits and collections are always changing, thanks to the museum’s huge customer base. Over 100k people visit the museum each year so you know its top of the line. This museum has exhibits aimed at children, as well as some more mature exhibits that are for people 21 and above. There truly is something for everyone here.
Address: 200 N Eastern Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
15. Collectors Corner Museum
The Collectors corner museum is co-owned by a married couple (50 years!). They have worked hard to amass a collection of, well, everything. They have every kind of memorabilia you can imagine. If its a collectible, they have something to do with it. This isn’t for everyone, of course, but you might find it interesting to have a look. Let your curiosity get the better of you, see if you can lose yourself in their museum. Maybe you’ll discover something from your childhood that you had completely forgotten. Who knows what weird and wonderful things they have in there.
Address: 900 John Adams Pkwy, Idaho Falls, ID 83401
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Hopefully, you now have a pretty good idea about everything Idaho Falls has to offer. There is just so much to do that you might struggle to find time to fit it all in. It takes about two weeks to do everything on this list if you pace yourself.
That being said, if you are in a rush it can be done faster. If you make your way through the museums quickly and don’t get too caught up in individual exhibits you may be able to do it quicker. If you only have a few days, make sure you do the zoo, the river walk, and a safari of some sort. You certainly won’t regret it.
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