Say Idaho and what do you recall? Potatoes perhaps? Located in the ruggest northwest, Idaho does grow the food staple pretty well, but you’re not going to travel to Idaho to eat potatoes most likely (even though there are some delicious new types of potatoes being invented as we speak.) If potatoes are your bag, take time to visit Blackfoot’s Idaho Potato Expo.

The photographs of Idaho landscapes provide dramatic scenes best experienced by visiting. When you stand next to the largest sand dune in North America at Bruneau Dunes State Park (60 minutes from Boise by car), you’ll understand how those pictures do Idaho such an injustice. Humans are dwarfs in this bigger-than-life landscape. And the scenes are so stunning, some people pack up and move to Idaho as it touches something inside you.

Boise is the hub of Idaho. People come in and go out of the state on commercial aircraft primarily from Boise. This city with the “mostest”, Boise is home to theater, arts, culture, golf, sports…you name it. Like California which touts beaches and surfing in the morning, then skiing in the afternoon, Idaho touts a similar routine. You can take in an early game of golf, then hit the slopes for some skiing. Sun Valley is its best known ski resort, attracting skiers from around the globe for decades and is easily accessible from Boise.

Boise is known for its mellow climate, low humidity, scant rain (no more than 12 inchers per year normally), and it’s a surprisingly great vacation. Ideal for those seeking an escape, you can shop, dine, enjoy the arts & entertainment and visit museums such as Basque Museum & Cultural Center or the Idaho Black History Museum, two unique attractions to re-connect with a different type of roots other than potatoes.

While hotels in Idaho are in the affordable and modest ranges with prices you can afford, there are some unique boutique hotels in Boise worth checking out. Gems (Idaho produces 72 types of precious and semi-precious stones and is known as The Gem State,) include Hotel 43 in the heart of downtown Boise. It offers views of the Boise valley. Close to chain restaurants such as PF Changs, it accesses the nearby BoDo District, an entertainment and shopping attraction with boutiques selling some of those gems. Jewelry stores, art galleries and the State Capitol are within walking distance to many of the downtown hotels. Our money’s on Boise for an Idaho visit, or skiing Sun Valley, or both.