Things to Check Out on Your Vacation to Northern Idaho


Idaho is a wonderful state with many cool places to visit. It is often underestimated and just seen by many people as "the potato state", but those who are familiar with it have grown to love the ins and outs of its beauty and charm. From sweeping valleys to gorgeous mountain crags, visiting all of Idaho's natural landmarks and locations steeped in history is something that can keep one person enthralled for many vacations and road trip. Hop in the car and follow along with us as we touch on a few special locales to whet the appetite of anyone with the travel bug.

Northern Idaho, also known as the panhandle, is a very interesting place to visit. If your home base is in the Treasure Valley, it may interest you to know that there are no roads through the state that lead straight to the northern lands of beloved Idaho, but instead will take you out of the state and then back into it. This is due to lots of trees and mountainous areas. Never fear, though! It's well worth the journey to take to get to places like Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston. Mining was a huge part of the history of northern Idaho. Kellogg and Wallace both boast of some of the most interesting mines in the state- both locations offering many different museums regarding mining history and tours of the actual mines themselves. The Wallace District Mining Museum is an awesome look into history with a focus on the Big Burn- a fire that tore through three million acres in the year 1910. To learn more about it, make a trip out of visiting the historical town of Wallace, Idaho and take a gander at all of the interesting history that rests there.

If you are an amusement park lover, then make sure to check out Silverwood Theme Park. Located north of Coeur D'Alene, this park features many cool rides including the Corkscrew and the Spin Cycle. Corkscrew first made its appearance at Knott's Berry Farm, and made it's way all the way up to Silverwood. It was the first modern inverting coaster, which is a fancy way to say that you corkscrew around, flipping upside down in the process. Any thrill seeker will be excited to ride this piece of history. As for the Spin Cycle, make sure you don't leave any loose items on your person because this ride is an upside down, spinning thrill ride! This ride takes the rider up and over- over and over again, which can be fun in its own right. But throw the fact that you are strapped in, legs dangling, and being spun three rotations a minute, and you are in for quite the experience. Silverwood has many other cool rides and shows to experience if you aren't into heights and thrill rides. If you are in the area in the warmer months, Silverwood also has a water park called Boulder Beach. It's a great time with giant slides and wave pools that you don't have to pay extra to enjoy - your park ticket to Boulder Beach is included in the price you pay to get into Silverwood. These parks are definitely a must see on your trip to Northern Idaho.

For anyone interested in fishing, hiking, biking, and camping- Priest Lake is a strikingly majestic area to stay and explore. There are many ways to stay near the lake. Resorts, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals are all popular, but if you have an RV, there are RV parks with hookups for you to use. As far as activities go, this place is chock full of beautiful hiking trails that weave through various areas- mountain trails and lakeside trails included. You may find yourself resting on a beach with a spectacular view of the lake, or you could take a trail that leads you to magnificent overlooks up in the mountains. Those who like to fish will be pleased to find that Priest Lake is full of trophy-sized Mackinaw Trout. If you would like to try your hand at wrangling a few, fishing guides are incredibly helpful and are available for hire. Also available for fishing are the streams around the lake and several smaller lakes and ponds tucked away for you to find in the mountains. Priest Lake in the winter offers a different experience as they have a Nordic Sport Center and help to groom the golf course into the perfect location for track skiing. No matter the time of year, Priest Lake is a fantastic choice for a getaway.

Sandpoint, Idaho has one of the coolest theaters in Northern Idaho. The Panida Theater houses many different acts, plays, and performances and has a large draw as a place that showcases entertainers for audiences in the panhandle of Idaho. It's also on the National Register of Historic Places. When you enter the spacious theater, you will notice first the gorgeous interior decor and furnishings. Many design elements were taken from Spanish mission style decoration, and the theater has been restored into beautiful, pristine condition thanks to the help of many with funding and the restoration process. The theater is has played host to many local performers as well as some nationally and internationally famous bands, groups, actors, and singers. Any night you attend the Panida Theater is guaranteed to be a treat, so make sure to check it out if you visit the area.

For those who live in the Treasure Valley, vacationing in Idaho commonly remains in the southern portion of the state. Next time you are planning your trip, consider heading up to visit the cities and towns in the north- they have much to offer and we've only just scratched the surface. From fishing on a pristine lake to attending a concert in an old Vaudeville theater, you will come home with a greater appreciation for the state of Idaho and all of the diversity it has to offer!