Are you tired of running a company and want to get out of town to relax? Then visit places that are close to nature. Nature has a way of de-stressing and re-energizing us so that we’d be prepared to take on new challenges at work and in life. Northwest Idaho would be a good option for this.
There’s a reason Idaho is named Idaho. Historians believe its origins came from a Shoshone phrase that translates to “gem of the mountains.” And rightly so. The state, nicknamed the Gem State, has one of the biggest unspoiled land areas in the United States, which include close to 4,000 square miles of forests and mountainous or rugged terrain. It also has a distribution of hot springs. These areas were home to most members of the Native American Shoshone tribe until wars with other tribes and the US forces reduced them to a few thousand.
As the “gem of the mountains,” Idaho does not disappoint. If you love nature, the state offers all kinds of sights and activities. But even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, today might be the best time to start being one. With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting close interactions and large assemblies, outdoor entertainment is your best stress-relieving alternative to dining with friends, partying, or watching concerts.
Where Can You Go?
Here are a few Idaho towns and cities where you can get up close and personal with nature:
The lake town is a newly revived vacation place with 12 miles of shoreline. The lake is the highest of the small lakes, elevated at 2,400 feet, offering breathtaking views of the Selkirk Mountains to the north and west. Surrounded by hiking trails, forests, and biking paths, the town is ideal for walking or biking solo or in pairs. The park also has a public beach, a boat dock, and a ramp for those who prefer the water. It’s close to the Twin Lakes and Stoneridge golf courses, too. So if you’re on your way to a golf game there, spend a day or two at Spirit Lake. You’ll understand why this is one of the best places to visit in Idaho.
This mountain town on the south of Payette Lake is a favorite spot of paddle boaters, kayakers, and swimmers. Families who want to have a relaxing lake ride and adventure-seekers who are after the rapids can both enjoy the activities this town offers. With the highest average snowfall in the state, McCall is a wonderful place in the winter. It’s most famous for its Winter Carnival that features a Mardi Gras parade, a music festival, life-sized ice sculptures, and fireworks. Now that such festivities may not be allowed, visitors can still go cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, and huckleberry picking while observing physical distancing measures.
The city of Coeur d’Alene in Idaho’s panhandle is on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The area itself has 55 lakes. It’s one of the state’s best places to live in and worth an investment in a home, even if you have to get a mortgage refinancing on your existing one to grab a sweet deal in this city. You may enjoy the slow pace of lake cruises or the heart-pumping chase of water sports like whitewater rafting and kayaking. Do you like artificial water activities like wave pools, fountains, and waterslides? The city’s Boulder Beach has those. Skiing resorts are open in the winter, so you’ll never lack anything to do whatever the season. Within the Coeur d’Alene area, there’s the National Forest, the Silver Mountain Resort (known for its Longest Gondola Ride), the Centennial Trail, Red Horse Mountain Ranch, and more.
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon is an interesting destination because it offers a unique experience. You get to walk over what’s previously lava and examine an underground lava tube that resulted from molten rock. It’s a natural masterpiece, emerging from eight huge eruptions of thousands of years ago. The landscape tells the story of how “rivers of lava” had flowed from Snake River Plain or the Great Rift. Tourists used to flock here for spelunking, hiking, and free camping (with a permit from the Visitor Center) or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter. During the pandemic, it’s best to consult the Visitor Center for new regulations on touring the place.
North Idaho is an excellent place to visit when you want to get away from it all. These places that host the state’s most popular natural destinations are the best start to a relaxing vacation. Make sure you include them in your next itinerary.