Idaho Attractions May 21, 2017
These 10 Charming Waterfront Towns In Idaho Are Perfect For A Daytrip
If you’re looking for a truly exceptional way to spend a beautiful spring day, these charming towns right on the water are perfect for an in-state escape. Fortunately, waterfront doesn’t have to mean by the ocean, and these towns are proof that Idaho’s scenic rivers, crystalline lakes, and itty-bitty creeks are just as fantastic as any ocean front property.
But while Idaho’s largest waterfront cities often get the most attention – places like Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint, and even Boise – today, we’re focusing on some beautiful places that aren’t quite as well known for their river and lake views. Hear the morning chirps of birds and feel the light breeze upon your face as you stroll down the main streets of these picture-perfect small towns. You’re guaranteed to fall in love!
This small rural community of just over 3,000 residents is nestled in some of the most scenic beauty there is in the mountains of Central Idaho, just shy of the Montana border. While many treasure the town for its idyllic location along the along the famously wild Salmon River, or even for its historic role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition as the birthplace of Sacajawea. But with multiple tributaries and creeks running through and around the city, beautiful family parks, and a bevy of small town charm, this is one waterfront community you can't help but adore.
2. Bonners Ferry
With a region as lush, green, and mesmerizingly beautiful as the Idaho Panhandle, waterfront towns are often tourist hotspots. Bonners Ferry has managed to avoid the lure of unwanted lakefront attention, despite its idyllic setting in the rugged mountainous wilderness near Canada. The international Kootenai (or Kootenay) River bores through town while the Moyie River and its namesake canyon create a jaw-dropping spectacle just outside of city limits.
While not many folks think of Hailey as being a waterfront town, with the Big Wood River forming the heart of the community's nature-loving persona, it definitely fits the bill! The Wood River Land Trust in particular has spent years preserving and maintaining the stunning natural ecosystems formed by the river, including multiple nature areas along the Hailey Greenway, like the Draper Wood Preserve and Croy Creek Wetlands.
4. Horseshoe Bend
All-too-often overlooked by travelers passing through on their way to Cascade and McCall, Horseshoe Bend is actually a phenomenal small community tucked along a magnificent whitewater haven for valley locals: the Payette River.
This itty-bitty community in North-Central Idaho is simple, beautiful, and set near where the 3 most scenic rivers of Idaho's upper region collide. The Lochsa, Selway, and Clearwater converge in this region, making for picturesque waterfront views and dense treescapes no matter which way you turn!
Kamiah may boast a multi-river setting, but Syringa - a tiny unnicorporated community nearby - treasures its setting along the Clearwater.
We wrote about Bayview's
incredible floating city
just a few days ago, but truly, this is an overlooked beauty of a town! Lake Pend Oreille forms the heart and soul of the community, enveloping the rustic town in crisp, idyllic views of Idaho's largest lake.
8. Lava Hot Springs
For many in Southern Idaho, Lava Hot Springs has become synonymousiwth its namesake natural hot pools, which are soothing, restorative, and well worth a trip from any direction. But be sure to catch a float down the relaxing Portneuf River that forms that heart of the city. Rated as one of the Top 10 Most "Floatable" rivers in the country, this gem is the setting of multiple spring, summer, and even winter festivals.
A true wilderness gateway, Riggins is inseparable from its river convergence setting. As the Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers collide, just before the deepest canyon in the country, Riggins is a step back to Idaho's naturally scenic history - as well as the northernmost town in Idaho that is still within the Mountain Time Zone.
Can we have a small towns list with what is -arguably - te most beautiful place on earth? The roaring Salmon River rages through here as well, forming an incredible backdrop against the Sawtooths. Meanwhile, dozens of tiny creeks, hidden hot springs, and pristine alpine lakes dot the mountains and surrounding valley, forming a rugged waterworld that is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Not to mention perfect for spring explorations!
These river towns aren’t the only way you can catch peaceful water views! Check out these
waterfront restaurants in Idaho that are – literally – right on the water.