If there is one thing that Idaho does really well, it is nature. Of course, there are many things that Idaho does really well (Many people are thinking of the potato right now) but I would put nature at the top of that list. While Idaho has some great cities and Boise and the metropolis that surrounds it are chief among those cities, the real reason so many people are drawn to Idaho to find their life is for the boundless reaches of natural beauty that permeate the Gem State. If you are finding yourself trapped by city life and need a way to escape that prisons of your own making and get a little clarity, Idaho is going to be the perfect place for you. I want to give you an idea of some of what you can expect from a visit to Idaho (Or if you are interested in moving to Idaho) and the different things you might be interested in doing while you are in the Gem State, because while there might not be that many gems being mined out of Idaho, the entire state is still a gem.
One of the really cool things about Idaho is that it has a very wide variety of different kinds of terrain. Most states in the country can be pretty monotone when it comes to being hilly or just flat, but Idaho is very different from that trend. Down in the south of Idaho, there are the well-known flats where a lot of the state’s famous agriculture is underway. Potatoes, beets, hops, and all manner of different food products and agricultural exports are grown and harvested during the year and you can see the fields of product going on and on in every direction. Admittedly, there often is not much to see in the region of the state, but once you start going north, you are going to find a lot more eye candy for ocular feasting. But before that, you cannot forget the different kinds of rivers you can see all over Idaho. Probably the coolest and most interesting of those rivers is the Snake River, which runs for a good portion of Idaho’s borders. There is a lot of variety along the Snake and you can have a bunch of different experiences. One of the other remarkable places you can visit during any trip in Idaho is the dunes. That is right, Idaho has its very own set of sand dunes where people go with their dune buggies. It is one of the few places in the country where a dune buggy can actually fulfill its true purpose. As you head north in Idaho, you start seeing a lot less flat country and a lot more bumpy country. First, you get hills, then you get mountains, and then you get some serious mountain ranges. Interspersed through all of this mountainous terrain are some deep and amazing forests, teeming with wildlife good for watching and, if you have the right tags and licenses, hunting. These are the major terrain features you can expect to find in Idaho and if I had one word to describe the state, it would certainly not be monotonous.
Birds of Prey in Idaho
There are a few specific things that I want to recommend you do while visiting or living in Idaho. These locations and events are some of what makes Idaho truly unique among so many different and similar states across the country. Right next to Boise is a particularly interesting landmark, the World Center for Birds of Prey. It is a little bit of a drive from the city, but you can get a strange and interesting insight into an ecosystem that is difficult to see sometimes. There are quite a few species of exotic bird in our country and across the planet that are going through tough times and are marching towards endangerment. The World Center for Birds of Prey exists to counteract that decline by breeding and releasing what birds they can to repopulate different populations. While they do so, they are open to the public so that all who come and visit can learn more about what is going on with the birds they are so invested in and maybe even play a part in helping to save them.
Idaho is also a fantastic place to be if you want to learn about history, particularly the history of the American Old West. The Oregon Trail traveled through a bunch of different states on its way to the coast, but one of the chief places it winded its way through was Idaho. A lot happened in Idaho along the Oregon Trail and there are hundreds, if not thousands of amazing stories of courage and the human experience. Of course, while the American Old West was great for the United States and its citizens, it was not so great for the native populations that called Idaho (And the other states in the area) home. Every stride forward made by the settlers from the east resulted in a proportional stride backward in the native populations who were killed directly by the encroaching settlers and indirectly when they were forced off of the lands they had used to survive and thrive for so long. While it is interesting and important to learn about United States history in Idaho, it might be even more important to remember what was lost and the ramifications of Manifest Destiny.
There are mountains of other things to do and see in Idaho, but hopefully, this has given you a taste for what your options might be. To truly explore and understand Idaho in all its beauty and texture would take more than a single lifetime, but the pursuit of that goal is easily worth doing anyway. Idaho is an incredible place with incredible things going on and if I were you, I would not want to miss any of it. Even if you will never have the good fortune of calling Idaho home, I highly recommend you use it as an escape from the numbness of modern life.