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To all interested vacationers,

After I read E*Trade's latest e-mail promo the other day: "Summer is here, which means many of the old-school Wall Street types are sunning themselves in the Hamptons," I started wondering about where Fools go on vacation. How about Idaho http://www.visitid.org/ as the "signature" Foolish vacation spot? :) What could be more fitting than a Foolish excursion to the home state of eMeringue.com and Larry McCloskey? http://www.fool.com/specials/1999/emeringue/welcome.htm

I live in Idaho and I've collected some links if anyone's interested in learning more about the state.
Yes, our license plates do read , " Famous Potatoes " http://www.idahopotato.com/ but you'll find more than spuds http://www.idahopotatoes.com/ in Idaho. Did you know that Idaho has the largest single structure sand dune in the United States http://www.idoc.state.id.us/Irti/StateParks/SP_guide.html or a waterfall higher than Niagara -- http://www.idoc.state.id.us/irti/Site/4chsho.html?

In the wide open spaces http://www.id.blm.gov/ of the Gem State http://www.nationalgeographic.com/maps/atlas/usstates/sidaho.html theres's world class skiing http://www.sunvalley.com/index.asp, fly-fishing http://www.state.id.us/fishgame/fishgame.html, whitewater adventures http://www.visitid.org/outdoor/rivers/index.html, and rock climbing http://www.hal-pc.org/~reiser/recreation/climbing.html.

(There is a saying in Idaho that people who don't love the outdoors aren't allowed in the state. Boise, http://www.easy-finder.com/states/id/boise/index.htm is the capital and largest city.)

With a rich Native American and pioneer history http://www.rootsweb.com/~idreserv/#idaholinks and with over forty per cent of the state's area comprised of State Parks http://www.idoc.state.id.us/Irti/StateParks/default.html and other unique public lands http://www.halcyon.com/rdpayne/npmi.html, Idaho might become one of your favorite vacation destinations!

I don't work for the Idaho Division of Tourism Development http://www.visitid.org/brochures/info.html, but I do live in South Central Idaho http://www.rideidaho.com/, and I think it's a great place to visit! (In fact I'm traveling to McCall, Idaho http://www.idoc.state.id.us/lasso/attractions/action.lasso this weekend.)

I had lots of fun finding these links http://www.visitid.org/links.html and I hope the info will help anyone who's interested in visiting --and if you come, don't forget to take home a bottle of fine Idaho wine http://www.idahowine.com/! :)

Cheers!
Lydia




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Lydia,

What a great post, but were was it a couple of months ago before we left on vacation!

We just came through Idaho on our way back from spending 3 weeks in the Canadian Rockies. We drove the Sawtooh Scenic Byway and really enjoyed it. The Sawtooth Mountains are magnificent!

We had planned on seeing the Shoshone Falls but it was getting late in the day and we couldn't find any signs telling us how to get there as we traveled down Highway 93. Now that I've seen a picture of them, I'm really sorry we missed them.

Maybe you can answer a burning question we had. We came through Twin Falls on July 20th and there was a big fire to the south east. Do you know which state that fire was in because as we traveled south it looked like it could be in either Idaho, Nevada or Utah.

Thank you for the info, I've copied it for future references.

Utahtea
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Lydia, after providing a fantastic array of Web sites (with appropriate commentary) says:<I don't work for the Idaho Division of Tourism Development >
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Well, Lydia, that Idaho Division of Tourism Development should be a-knockin' at your door. I defy any of their employees to do a better job.

A friend (from NYC) visited Idaho about 20 years ago and raved about the green, the green, the green mountains and vistas. Ever since I heard that description, I've wanted to go to Idaho. Maybe someday.

Thanks again, Lydia.
Judith Ames
TMFJudy
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Lydia gave away the secret that indeed, she might work for Idaho Travel, when she failed to mention northern Idaho in here excellent post. Like California, northern Idaho is a very different place from southern Idaho. Unfortunately, 90% of people who have visited Idaho have been through only Boise or driven along the I-84 freeway in the southern part of the state. Central and northern Idaho are the green, mountainous areas, southern is beautiful only if you enjoy arid landscapes.

One more thing, Idaho has more miles of fast moving river beach than any other state. It holds the best trout-fishing and rafting opportunities available anywhere in the US, although few are aware. This is a nice combination. Idaho also has more wilderness area than all other states in the lower 48. It is indeed an outdoor paradise, where it is still possible and probable to spend days without seeing others.

Rick
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One more thing, Idaho has more miles of fast moving river beach than any other state. It holds the best trout-fishing and rafting opportunities available anywhere in the US, although few are aware.

I have heard that rafting the Selway (which I believe is in Idaho) is one of the great rafting experiences available anywhere in the U.S., with the Grand Canyon being about the only one that's better. They are actually different, so probably more equal.

Trevar.
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Trevar said:
I have heard that rafting the Selway (which I believe is in Idaho) is one of the great rafting experiences available anywhere in the U.S., with the Grand Canyon being about the only one that's better. They are actually different, so probably more equal.

I think they are quite different experiences, with the Selway being very fast and dangerous and the GC being very big. Somewhat similar in that they can both be remote, but the Selway claims a victim or two each year, winning the toss-up for me. It's hard to understand how remote the Selway wilderness is in modern America, unless you have been there. Unspoiled areas do remain.

I've seen most of the rivers of the West, and the good ones in West Virginia and the rest of the south. The Selway remains as my favorite for many reasons. The Selway/Lochsa/Clearwater drainage is a main reason I remain here. It's that special. But watch for rattlesnakes and large bears. They are everywhere.

Rick
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One poster mentioned the fact that northern Idaho is the green part. Mostly true--the Panhandle is incredibly green except when it is white. Things to see in Northern Idaho include Schweitzer Ski Area (still mostly a winter spot); Lake Pend Oreille (Pond Oray)--1500 feet deep in spots, making it home to a US Navy submarine testing facility (over 300,000 sailors trained there during WWII); Priest Lake--incredibly uncrowded even on busy days, and Upper Priest Lake (about 3 miles by 1/2 mile) is completely no-wake; Coeur d'Alene Lake and city--beautiful lake (much more crowded than Priest), golf course with a floating green; dog sled races in winter near Priest Lake, also miles of roads that are closed to cars in winter make for great snowmobiling.

Parts of Southern Idaho are fairly green (especially compared with Carlsbad, NM, where I now live). Lost Trail Pass near Salmon, ID, is beautiful (nice ski area, too--small, mostly locals); the area from Driggs to Island Park (NE corner of Southern Idaho) is quite nice. Near Driggs is Grand Targhee Ski Resort--I haven't been for about 5 years, but always liked it better than Sun Valley--less expensive, longer runs, fewer people. Also like it better than Jackson Hole Ski Area (which is on the other side of the mountains) for the same reasons.

Rick mentioned that "Unspoiled areas do remain." Especially if you're from the East Coast, you'll be amazed at how true this is--some people are even rather uncomfortable with it because it is so foreign to their experience. If you happen to decide to visit Idaho (or any of the surrounding states which also have a great deal to offer), please remember to keep the area unspoiled!!

Kathleen
4 years near Priest River (Panhandle) (parents still there)
12 years in Idaho Falls (SE Idaho)
2 years (and looking at at least 1 more) in Carlsbad, NM--nice people, but too hot for our thick blood!
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Wow!

I haven't seen this thread since August. I did see utahtea's and TMFJudy's posts, but not the others. I am really happy to see some other Idaho people post!

Trick wrote:

Lydia gave away the secret that indeed, she might work for Idaho Travel, when she failed to mention northern Idaho in here excellent post.

kabhaar wrote:

Especially if you're from the East Coast, you'll be amazed at how true this is (referring to the unspoiled areas)

Kathleen/kabhaar has guessed my secret (even though she wasn't trying ;)) I'm from Massachusetts! :)

Trick, thanks for your kind words about my post and I apologize for leaving out the entire northern part of Idaho :)! Not being originally from around here I'm sorry if I stumbled onto a north/south Idaho sore spot...I should have made it clear that I was choosing to write primarily about the southern part (and only part of that) because I lived there and thought it was such an amazing place. I didn't feel qualified to include northern Idaho because I've never been there! (McCall being the furtherst point north)

We've lived here only three years -- and haven't been back East yet -- so it's still new for me, an ex-New Englander (if it's possible to be an ex-New Englander) :) I guess I'm more of a transplanted New Englander!;)

Anyway, I think Idaho, and the West that I've seen so far (parts of Utah, Nevada, California) are tremendous!

Best to all,

Lydia
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