As the United States begins to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic and travel starts to open up in many areas, many people are considering how they can safely take a trip at the end of the summer.
Despite international travel restrictions being lifted, Americans are not exactly being welcomed with open arms in a number of destinations so it’s time to rediscover some of the destinations that may have fallen off the ol’ bucket list.
This week, we start with Sun Valley, Idaho. Idaho is in phase 4 of its reopening with most retail, dining and tour establishments open for business in the state.
During a recent visit to the destination, I can confirm that travelers looking to escape to an alpine setting for a relaxing vacation away from the perils of COVID-19 will find their stay blissful.
Visitors will need to bring a mask but they will also find stunning hiking trails, adventure activities galore, al fresco dining, luxury shopping and more.
Travelers have their choice to stay at high-end resorts such as the Sun Valley Lodge or choose from a variety of vacation rentals. The local airport has regularly scheduled flights and Sun Valley is also a convenient drive destination from many places in the Northwest.
Most well-known as a ski destination, lifts do operate in the summer taking guests to the top of the mountain for views of the valley and offering the chance to dine outdoors at the Roundhouse restaurant.
Popular activities in the area include white-water rafting, horseback riding, biking, hiking, fishing—and even ice skating—as well as day trips to places like Shoshone Falls and Redfish Lake.
Visitors to Sun Valley in the summer are sure to discover why this hidden gem is more than a winter skiing hot spot.
Ketchum, Sun Valley skyrocket after slow start to 2020!
Home sales are up in the Wood River Valley as city dwellers looking to relocate to a more sparsely populated place flock to the Sun Valley area, local real estate agents say.
The number of home sales pending in Blaine County in the first three weeks of June was 75 percent higher than it was at the same time last year, data from the Sun Valley Board of Realtors shows, after a drop in sales following COVID-19’s arrival in Idaho. As the number of new cases in Blaine County has flattened and Idaho businesses have reopened, local real estate brokers say they are now seeing an unusually high demand for land and homes, especially in the northern part of the valley.
Ketchum has seen the largest boom, with 34 sales pending between June 1 and June 23—a 277 percent increase from the same timeframe in 2019. Sun Valley saw a 90 percent increase in pending sales, with 19 homes under contract, and Hailey experienced a 36 percent increase from last year.
Sun Valley, known for its spectacular ski resorts, has so much more to offer than downhill. If your ambition is to be one with nature and experience the active Wild West backcountry life, then a visit to Sun Valley needs to be on your travel agenda. In addition to skiing, backcountry fun is what put Sun Valley on the map. Here are some excellent things to do, even if you’re not in the mood for the slopes.
Hiking Trails Bring Nature Front And Center– Sun Valley has hiking trails that will suit anyone’s physical fitness and abilities.
Paragliding For A Bird’s- Eye View-If you have ever wanted to fly like a bird, paragliding is the next best thing.
Casting For Fish–The tug is the drug. It’s the mantra of anglers worldwide.
Garden Walks– Offers wildflower walks throughout the spring and summer months.
On- And Off-Trail Snowmobiling– The exhilarating rush of zipping along a snow-covered trail surrounded by woodland scenery will remind you why you are on vacation.
Sports Target Shooting– Wide-open spaces give you ample room to learn or practice your marksmanship skills.
Birding– Grab your camera and binoculars for a hike.
Zen Spa Treatments-Skiing or no skiing, taking care of yourself is a wonderful gift.
Camp In A Yurt-This is certainly something you can humble-brag about.
Eating In Sun Valley-There are a multitude of options for dining in Sun Valley, and from luxurious fine dining to brewpubs, you will surely find a great spot!
Thursday, February 27th – Saturday, February 29th
A reimagined classical music experience
Experience a transformed performance space in the Argyros, into an intimate setting for classical music complete with:
• Eclectic musical selections
• Unconventional seating
• Unique staging
• Atmospheric lighting
• An ever-shifting soundscape
Evening-length programming, including:
• Three acts, each around 30 minutes
• Two 20-minute intermissions
• An in-theater bar with wine, beer, and light bites available for purchase
What is the Festival’s Winter Season?
A new, reimagined classical music experience…and so much more! Here’s a taste from last year’s season.
While Sun Valley doesn’t quite have the international fame of Aspen, Vail, or Jackson Hole–it should. Those in the know consistently rank Sun Valley as one of the top ski resorts in the country. Sure, it can’t compete with the acreage of Park City or the luxury of Beaver Creek or the epic expert slopes of Jackson Hole, but Sun Valley is worth visiting for reasons that go way beyond skiing.
For a main street with three stoplights, Ketchum has quite the happening creative scene, anchored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, a multimedia space with exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and more.
Fancy and Freaky Festivals
The vibrant arts scene in Sun Valley doesn’t end with fine art. Perhaps the biggest annual happening here is the Sun Valley Festival, a series that brings world-class classical music
Old-School Vibes, Cheap Eats, and Hip Restaurants
Sun Valley has a surprisingly varied dining scene, from authentic street tacos to the steakhouse of your wild west dreams to hip restaurants that wouldn’t be out of place in San Francisco or New York.
A Wilderness Wonderland
Although Sun Valley’s most famous sport is skiing, there are tons of ways for non-skiers to explore this breathtaking scenery. Nordic and cross-country skiers can explore 25 miles of trails.
Hot Tubs and Hot Springs
All that outdoor exertion means that you get to treat yourself at the end of the day with a long soak in hot water.
There are so many reasons to visit Sun Valley that it’s easy to forget the reason this place exists: Sun Valley Ski Resort.
Though Sun Valley is a dream destination for skiers and snowboarders, it’s so much more than that. This little town will surprise and delight you, even if you’ve never put on a pair of skis before.