1. Explore Yellowstone National Park
30 Yellowstone Avenue - West Yellowstone Visitor's Center, , 59758
Yellowstone, America’s first national park, is one of the best parks for observing wildlife in natural habitat. There are numerous activities where you can both sightsee & possibly see wildlife include hiking, biking, snow coach tours, rafting, and more. I never saw any bears during my trips to the park, but I did get a chance to see bison up close! It's not at all unusual to see wildlife walking right down the street alongside your car!
One unique event held each year at the park is the “Annual Cycle Days.” This event allows cyclists and pedestrians to have access to Yellowstone when it is closed to road traffic.
2. Drive the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway
Hwy. 47, , 83420
This 28 mile long scenic byway features relaxing natural views for the entire length, as well as several overlooks which are great for taking pictures of the Grand Tetons. There are 2 magnificent waterfalls along the route – the Upper and Lower Falls - both are great for taking pictures. The Upper Falls is the more scenic of the 2. The viewing area amenities includes picnic tables, a short trail, and a Visitor’s/gift shop. Admission is $5 per vehicle.
3. Enjoy recreational activities and year-round events at Harriman State Park
Green Canyon Rd, , 83429
Harriman State Park is located in Island Park and makes for a great side trip on any Yellowstone vacation. Summer is a great time for hiking and biking. Winter is the perfect time for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The cross country trails are well maintained and a lot of fun for both beginners and advanced skiers.
Aside from the endless recreational activities, the park puts on various events throughout the year, including free ranger led snowshoe hikes. Note that there is a small fee to use the trails. Rentals are available at various outfitters in the region.
4. Bike the Boise River Greenbelt
700 S Capitol Blvd, , 83706
The Boise River Greenbelt is a long well maintained multipurpose path for biking, walking, and jogging. It's very flat, making it a great choice for both runners and cyclists. Most of the views consist of pretty views of the river, and the trees lining the side provide much needed shade during the hot summer months.
A few notable attractions along the route include Boise State University, Zoo Boise, and Julia Davis Park. For the scenery, easy access to amenities, and almost year-round mild biking weather, the Boise Greenbelt is one of the best bike paths in the country.
5. Visit Shoshone Falls, the "Niagara of the West"
Falls Ave, 1 1/4 mile north on 3300 East, , 83303
Shoshone Falls is another grand waterfall located in southern Idaho near the small town of Twin Falls. One unique aspect of the Shoshone Falls is that these falls are actually larger than Niagara Falls! Admission is $5 per vehicle. There are plenty of spots for taking photos. Numerous picnic tables are available for a scenic lunch. These falls are not as nice as Mesa Falls, but still worthy of a visit!
6. Spend the day at Julia Davis Park
700 S Capitol Blvd, , 83702
Julia Davis is a beautiful park in downtown Boise. This large park is easily accessible by the Boise Greenbelt. Paddleboat rentals are available during the summer months. Overall, it's just a great place to spend some quality time in nature.
7. Visit Zoo Boise
355 Julia Davis Dr, , 83702
Zoo Boise, is a small zoo, but fun nevertheless. You will still find most of the animals you would see elsewhere such as tigers, lions, and giraffes. I like this zoo because you can just hop on the Greenbelt and bike right over. I felt like I got a more up close personal view of the animals as opposed to zoos in major cities. Tip: Visit on Thursday for special discounted admission rates.
8. Hike the Rexburg “R” mountain
Twin Butte Road Off of 3700 E, , 83402
The North Menan Butte trail in Rexburg isn’t a mainstream tourist attraction, but it should be on everyone's list of things to do in Idaho! This desert hike is a great way to get in an intense uphill workout. Your reward for all that effort is amazing panoramic views of Southern Idaho.
9. Visit The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
300 S Capital Ave, , 83401
Located in Idaho Falls, The Art Museum of Institute of Eastern Idaho, is a small museum which holds an attractive collection of works from local artists. It's a great little place to check out if you ever find yourself in Idaho Falls.
10. Bike or take a scenic walk around the Idaho Falls Greenbelt
420 Memorial Dr, , 83401
Downtown is the place to be in Idaho Falls. There are many beautiful parks to explore. The Idaho Falls Greenbelt is about 2.5 miles long and passes by the Idaho Falls waterfall. If you want a longer workout, you can cross the street and bike the Snake River landing path too. This path is more scenic and less crowded and I often trained for my half marathon here. It can get pretty crowded on the weekends, so visit during weekday afternoons for the least crowds.