Situated along the banks of the Snake River, Idaho Falls is known for its scenic surroundings as well as for its art, culture, and history.
A popular tourist attraction, it gives its visitors a lot to do. The city abounds in museums, galleries, gardens, and parks and is surrounded by beautiful rivers and waterfalls, making it a great place for sightseeing.
It is also a great adventure spot because of its closeness to places like Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, providing its visitors with lots of opportunities for outdoor recreational activities.
Where to Stay in Idaho Falls for Sightseeing
When in Idaho Falls, you will get lots of options for staying including inns, lodges, lofts, motels, and hotels. Here are a few options for you to explore when in town:
1. Holiday Inn & Suites Idaho Falls
This holiday inn is located near several tourist sites including Bear World, Yellowstone National Park, Lava Hot Spring, and Jackson Hole as well as local places like East Idaho Aquarium, Idaho Falls Zoo, Chinese Garden, Art Gallery, and Museum of Idaho.
It also provides amenities like a 24-hour pool, outdoor hot tub, 24-hour fitness center, and laundry room. They also have a restaurant and offer a shuttle from 6 am to 10 pm.
2. Motel 6 Idaho Falls
The motel is located near sites like Snake River Falls, Idaho State University, Tautphaus Zoo, and Sandy Downs.
It is pet friendly and provides amenities like free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, coin laundry, LCD televisions, and free coffee. It also has a restaurant.
3. Le Ritz Hotel & Suites
With sites like the river walk, Colonial Theatre, and Museum of Idaho close by, the hotel also provides its guests with recreational opportunities such as an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness center.
It also offers wireless Internet access, a fireplace in the lobby, and a picnic area. It is pet friendly and provides buffet breakfasts every day from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM for a fee.
4. Island Park Cabins and Lodges
You can rent cabins here that are only a short driving distance from Yellowstone National Park. The cabins have amenities like gas fireplaces, heated tile floors, hot tubs, grills, and fire pits.
They also have fully equipped kitchens, full bathrooms, private hot tubs, and wi-fi. The cabins are located near one another so it’s easier to get to know other people around you or book more than one for larger groups.
5. Snake River RV Park & Campground
The RV Park remains open throughout the year and is a spacious area. It has 50 & 30-amp electric hook-ups, a propane fill station, a dump station, laundry facilities, free WIFI, and many more facilities.
The campground also has a swimming pool, horseshoes, basketball, and a playground for the kids.
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15 Top-Rated Things to Do in Idaho Falls, ID
1. Idaho Falls River Walk
Over 5 miles long, the Idaho Falls River Walk spreads along the banks of the beautiful Snake river on both sides and is one of the best attractions in Idaho Falls and a wondrous place to visit.
The river walk can be enjoyed on foot or on a bike. It constitutes a stunning landscape including a 600 feet waterfall and parks, museums, stores, and restaurants.
What to do: Stroll along the River Walk or take a bike and enjoy the scenic landscape. Explore the various attractions along the way including the stunning waterfall as well as local shops and restaurants. It is a great place to have a picnic and relax.
Timings: Open 24 hours
2. Japanese Pavilion
Also known as the Japanese Friendship Garden, the pavilion is one of the favorite tourist attractions and is located on an island in the Snake River.
Opened to the public in 2016, it is a scenic place with trees, ponds, and a view of the river. The park stands as a symbol of the great relationship between Idaho Falls and Tokai Mura, its sister city in Japan.
What to do: Admire the beauty of this garden that was built completely by hand. Take a stroll in the park and enjoy nature and wildlife in this perfect getaway from the city. Spend a relaxing time while enjoying the view of the river as well as the waterfall.
Timings: Open 24 hours
3. Idaho Brewing Company
Famous for its award-winning and handcrafted ales and lagers, the Idaho Brewing Company is a great place to enjoy some great beer with a stunning view of the Snake River.
They also have a tasting room and offer detailed tours about the beer-making process. It is a great place to relax with a glass of beer with friends.
They also have outdoor seating with a great view and fresh air which is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and enjoy some live music.
What to do: You can go to their tasting room which has twelve beers on tap, take a tour of the beer-making process and learn more about the different types of beer and how they are made, or just hang out and relax with friends in a wonderful atmosphere and get to drink different types of beer while overlooking the Snake River.
Timings: the tasting room is available on Mondays, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
4. Museum of Idaho
The museum is a great place to visit if you wish to know and understand more about Idaho. The museum has displays related to history, science, and culture, with over 25000 artifacts.
Its exhibits are rotating with a few permanent displays. It also holds educational programs and camps and provides an immersive experience for all.
What to do: Explore the various displays and artifacts related to history and science including the journey of Lewis and Clark.
You can also learn more about the social and environmental history of Idaho, including the earliest groups of people who used to live here. It also has a Discovery Centre for kids where they can crawl through a bear cave or play in a log cabin.
Timings: opens from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.
5. Idaho Falls Zoo
Located in the Tautphaus Park, the Idaho Falls Zoo is one of the best zoos in the States, with over 130 species from all around the world including African lions, penguins, Amur tigers, snow leopards, and wallabies.
Surrounded by greenery, the park also has an amusement park inside which has fun rides and waterslides.
What to do: spend some time in nature, exploring the wildlife. Know more about the exotic species housed here from different parts of the world. You can also take part in seasonal events held at the zoo.
Timings: the seasonal hours of admission are available on their website.
6. Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
Located on the Idaho River Walk, the Art Museum is an important cultural institution that exhibits the works of local and regional artists.
It has five galleries and an area for children where they learn to express themselves through art. The museum also holds events and art classes such as watercolor classes and portrait painting classes for people of all ages.
What to do: This place is a must-visit for art lovers. Check out the amazing art displays by various artists and take an art class with your family and kids and connect with your creative side.
Timings: Tuesday to Friday between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
7. Collectors’ Corner Museum
Opened in 2003, what makes this museum unique is its quirky displays. It is located in a one-story building that used to be a grocery store in the 1950s and is run by a couple, Jim and Nina who have been married since 1960.
The displays here will take you back in time.
Their collections include vintage coins, dolls, stuffed animals, model planes, stamps, tools, model trains, mechanical monkeys, and many other items. More and more stuff is added to their collection every year.
What to do: The collections here include several rare items that are a delight to see. Have an enjoyable experience at the museum exploring the wide range of items displayed in the museum and learning about them from the owners themselves.
Timings: The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 10 am and 5 pm. You can also call to verify the timings before visiting.
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8. Becker Pond Fishing
Also known as Ryker Park Pond, and situated in Bonneville County, the Becker Pond is a fishing pond in Idaho Falls that spreads over 1.4 acres and is a great place to have fun with your friends and family and catch some fish.
The pond has quite a collection of fish including catfish and rainbow trout and is stocked from April to September. A new pond has also been built right next to it and stocked with games.
What to do: Bring your family and kids here and have a very enjoyable experience fishing. This is a great place for beginners to learn fishing or try other casting methods. Its open landscape also makes it a great place for fly fishing.
Timings: open throughout the year from 6 am to 11 pm.
9. East Idaho Aquarium
Founded in 2013, the aquarium aims to educate more people of all ages about water ecosystems from all around the world.
It provides an interactive experience where you can touch, feed, and interact with animals such as stingrays, bearded dragons, and giant fish rivers and get educated about aquatic and nonaquatic ecosystems through the displays.
The aquarium also hosts events such as birthday parties and mermaid shows.
What to do: See various aquatic animals such as sharks up close and get a chance to interact with several sea animals. It is a great place to spend with family and has an exciting experience learning about various fish and their histories and characteristics
Timings: Open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm and on Sunday from 1 to 6 pm.
10. Civic Center for the Performing Arts
Opened to the public in 1952, the Civic Auditorium is an iconic historical and cultural landmark that has had musical talents like Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, and the San Francisco Opera perform here.
The center provides a great musical experience and hosts events like Broadway musicals, concerts, civic events, orchestra performances, ballet recitals, and religious-themed musicals. It is a large space with the capacity to seat almost 2000 people.
What to do: when in Idaho Falls, make sure to catch a show at the Civic Center and experience its great acoustics making a great performance even better.
Timings: the schedule and timings for upcoming shows are available on their website.
11. Yellowstone National Park
It was the world’s first national park and a great place to visit for adventure lovers. The park is full of hiking trails, forests, picnic areas, campsites, and geysers, along with diverse wildlife and plant species.
It is a popular tourist attraction and also famous for having the largest high-altitude lake in North America- Yellowstone Lake and the most famous geyser on the planet, the Old Faithful.
What to do: You can go hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rafting, fly fishing, and camping in the park.
You can also explore the park and its rivers and hot springs, the West Thumb Geyser Basin, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and go snowmobiling and skiing in winter.
Timings: the park remains open throughout the year
12. Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest
Also known as the Eagle Rock Fountain, or The Protector, it is a stunning eagle monument and one of the country’s largest.
The breathtaking site includes a manmade mountain waterfall with two large eagles with their wings spread on the top, with a mountain lion lurking below.
The monument was unveiled in 2006 and depicted the eagles protecting their nest at the top of the Idaho rock thus signifying the fountain as a protector of Idaho and its people.
What to do: The site is not only magnificent to look at but also a source of motivation. Take some time out to appreciate the artwork as well as explore the area around the memorial.
Timings: it remains open to the public throughout the day.
13. Russ Freeman Park
Russ Freeman Park is a great place to spend some time outdoors when in Idaho Falls. Located right by the Snake River, the park is filled with hiking trails, lots of greenery, an 18-hole disc hold course, baseball fields, swing sets, and horseshoe pits.
It is a very simple place that allows you to relax outdoors and can be enjoyed any time of the day with friends and family. It is also a great place to have a picnic or take a relaxing stroll in the park.
What to do: spend some relaxing time outdoors, have a picnic with your friends and family, read a book, take a stroll, or play golf, baseball, or disc throw.
Timings: the park remains open throughout the day
14. Grand Teton National Park
At a distance of 2 hours from Idaho Falls, visiting the Grand Teton National Park is an opportunity you cannot miss when in the city.
The park is known for its magnificent Teton mountain range, which is diverse and has plenty of wildlife including bears, moose, and marmots, pristine lakes, and alpine valleys.
Comprising over two hundred miles of trails, the park is a popular recreation spot that invites hundreds of adventure lovers every year. It is a great place for mountaineering, backcountry camping, hiking, biking, and fishing.
What to do: a park is a great place for adventure sports such as biking, hiking, mountaineering, camping, and fishing. You can also explore the diverse wildlife in the park and go kayaking or canoeing on Jenny Lake.
Timings: the park remains open 24 hours a day, throughout the year.
15. Hell’s Half Acre
Located at a distance of 25 miles from Idaho Falls, Hell’s half an acre is a basaltic lava field lying in the Snake River Plain with an inhabited and desolate landscape but also known as one of the natural and geological wonders of the state.
A designated National Natural Landmark, it was created from several lava flows over the years, centuries ago, and the last volcanic eruption took place thousands of years ago.
Now, the area is filled with wildlife and vegetation which include plenty of wildflowers, cactus, juniper, bitterbrush, ferns, and animals like mule deer, antelope, rabbits, bobcats, coyotes, foxes and rattlesnakes, golden eagles and red-tailed hawks, etc.
What to do: Explore this gorgeous and rough landscape that can be easily accessed through two well-paved hiking trails.
Have a unique experience of hiking on a lava field and learn about the history of the lava flow as well as the ecology of the area and enjoy the scenic beauty of the place, especially during the sunset.
Timings: The trail remains open throughout the year.
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