Visiting Idaho – and why you should do it…like right now
Potatoes. The Napoleon Dynamite movie. Cows.
What comes to mind when you think of Idaho? What you know about the Gem state? Idaho is apparently known as the most boring state in the country…(according to this site, Idaho is duller than watching potatoes grow and actually the most boring in the union.) The people in Idaho are friendly and the vibes are welcoming.
Boise, Idaho might surprise you.
When I visit a new place, food is at the top of my list. Where’s the most iconic (but non-touristy) place to eat? During my recent trip to New Orleans, food was my priority, and rightly so.
Idaho is known for potatoes and nobody does fries quite like us. When you visit, make sure to add the Boise Fry Company to your list. Boise has a handful of locations scattered across the city and most recently, they opened a Burnside location in Portland, OR. It’s a meat and potatoes kind of place, although vegetarianism and veganism is on the rise.
And as a side note, according to the New York Times, Idaho has welcomed more refugees than much larger metropolitan cities combined. Despite being a very caucasian and conservative state, the warmth and diversity in Boise brings a touch of the Congo, Syria, Bosnia and Iraq (among many other countries). Entrepreneurial refugees have opened up several great ethnic restaurants such as Kibrom’s Ethiopian food and Sofra Bosnian food.
Vogue Magazine (yeah THAT Vogue) recently named Boise as a culinary hotspot.
Besides the food, Boise has a lot to offer such as Freak alley gallery, the rest of the art scene, the music and the epic Treefort indie music festival, the river and mountains, and most of all the warm and wonderful people. It’s been described by visitors as Portland or Seattle 15 years ago. After the ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce conference held at the very cool JUMP Building last summer, the influx of people said, “how come I have never been to Boise?! This is an absolute hidden gem!”
Well my friend…the news it out. This is quite literally the Gem State after all.
Oman, Sri Lanka, Idaho?
But there’s more to Idaho beyond the capitol city of Boise. Vogue even nominated Idaho as one of the top world 10 places to see in 2017. Shall I say that again? In the world. Yeah, not the top 1,000 but the top TEN.
I moved here 14 years ago and I’m giving myself a very hearty pat on the back for being so on trend. I even beat Vogue on this scene.
Vogue is crushin’ something fierce on Idaho right now. And you know? I am too.
Here are a few things within a couple hours drive from the Boise Airport that might surprise you.
- Sun Valley and Ketchum Idaho which is the snowy playground to the stars and celebrities.
- McCall, Idaho (2 1/2 hours from Boise) is a small lake Tahoe-ish like place with a rustics ski resort (Brundage Resort). The only thing I find that McCall lacks is high-end restaurants and a variety of choices. It’s rustic and fun place to stay a few days. McCall shines in both winter and summer. You can ski to a yurt restaurant, or you can ride a snowmobile to a cabin at a hot springs for a romantic (if chilly) weekend getaway.
You’re living’ in your own private Idaho
I moved here from the heart of San Diego 14 years ago. When the CEO of the company I was working for asked me, “Why are you moving to Iowa?” I replied, “I’m not coming to Iowa; I’m moving to Idaho!” “But that’s even worse!” he exclaimed.
14 years ago this was a much different place than it is now. And I love it now and I disliked much of it then. I was just here for the family. My sister married into a deeply rooted Idaho potato farming family and I moved here so we could raise our children together (no regrets). But now, we have a Trader Joe’s and an assortment of ethnic restaurants, so all is well and life is good.
Should you move here? Probably not. Most of California moved here 10 years ago already, myself included (which is undoubtedly how we scored ourselves a Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods). But definitely come spend your vacation here. And I’ll have coffee with you when you come.