The weekend is here yet again, Idaho! If you haven’t quite figured out where you’re going or what you’ll be doing, no worries. We’ve got your back.
While extended road trips over the weekend are always an adventure, sometimes a long excursion isn’t possible. Instead, a quick day trip or outing with the family is calling your name. So instead of obsessively planning, forget about those other complicated vacations and hit the road to enjoy these quick, easy, and inexpensive day trips from nearly every major city. Or, mini-vacays, if you will.
1. Head up to Bogus Basin.
While Bogus has gotten increasingly popular over the last few years, this skiing destination has plenty to do no matter your time limit. At only 45 minutes from downtown Boise, this easy trip up the mountain is worth it just for the spectacular views of the Boise valley. You'll also find a mountain bike shuttle every weekend, dozens of foothills trails to explore, and live music.
2. Drink in the beauty of Idaho wine country.
The Sunnyslope Wine Trail in Southern Idaho is home to many of our state's biggest and best wineries, all within a short distance of one another. Numerous wine tours ranging from basic wine tastings to lavish limo trips will allow you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the region, while also tasting its rich fruits.
3. Hit up Bruneau State Park.
While sand-boarding might be out of the question during the heat of the day, cool summer mornings are the perfect time to hit up the towering dunes that bring visitors flocking to this Southern Idaho park. You can also check out the observatory, picnic near CJ Strike, or enjoy the Bruneau Canyon overlook.
4. Play in McCall
With the perfect location just north of Boise and not too far from the recreation center of Central Idaho, McCall has long been considered an ideal playground come winter. But a summer day here is just as fabulous! Picnic at one of the two city parks nestled along Payette Lake, or make a trip to Ponderosa State Park for some epic scenic views. Or, simply stroll through downtown and enjoy the quaint mountain atmosphere and unique food stops, and keep a keen ear open for live music.
5. Take a historic trip to Silver City.
This historic partial ghost town is a wild west adventure. Sleep in the city's "haunted hotel," explore the historic cemeteries, meet up with the third and fourth generation locals, and immerse yourself in the unique landscape. You'll find more places to photograph and explore than you'll know what to do with!
6. Beach it up at Round Lake State Park.
A true hidden gem, this lakeside park is easily accessible from Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint, or from farther north. Here you'll find relaxing solitude, wildlife viewing opportunities, easy hikes, camping, and so much more. There's also the Bonner County Historical Museum nearby, or for a little more recreation, rent a paddleboat to explore the shaded lake up close.
7. Take a ride on White Pine Drive.
Idaho is home to dozens of beautiful scenic byways, and they all make for ideal day trips, no matter where you're coming from or going, or what type of landscape you want to explore. This 12-mile road in the heart of the Palouse is shaded on either side by beautiful old-growth forest. Explore the entirety of the White Pine Scenic Byway for more lush scenery, or camp and play in historic Laird Park, where remnants of former gold mining still linger. For more loveliness, explore the U of I campus in Moscow -- the brick architecture and hidden gardens will keep you delighted for as long as you wish to remain.