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A mixture of forested mountains, alpine peaks, wildflower meadows, deep river canyons, and high plains deserts, Idaho is a paradise for golf, skiing, fly fishing, and river rafting. Boise, the capital, is the state's largest city and airline hub. North of Boise are golf, lake, and ski resorts from McCall in the south to Sandpoint and Coeur D'Alene in the north. East of Boise are the ski slopes of Ketchum and Sun Valley. East of Sun Valley are Craters of the Moon National Monument, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and the small town of Island Park just across the border from Yellowstone National Park.
Boise's Basque Museum and Cultural Center reflects having the largest Basque population in the U.S. Reflecting Idaho's diverse heritage, near the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise's Julia Davis Park is the Idaho Black History Museum's chronicle of the slave York who served the Lewis & Clark Expedition. After a family visit to the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey and an outdoor performance at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the next stop after Boise is likely to be an economical vacation rental along Payette Lake in McCall or Sun Valley and Ketchum.
McCall & Northern Idaho
About 100 miles north of Boise, past Cascade Lake, a McCall vacation rental cabin, condo, apartment, or home is a money-saving way to get the family to the shores of Payette Lake. Go golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, waterskiing, sailing, boating, or whitewater river rafting. Ski or snowshoe Brundage Mountain or Tamarack Resorts, as well as Ponderosa State Park in winter. Ice skate year-round at Manchester Ice & Event Centre. About 450 miles north of Boise, there are resort lakes near skiing and golf at Coeur d'Alene, Hayden Lake, and Sandpoint offering vacation rentals, including beachfront and lakefront homes with boat docks.
Sun Valley, Ketchum & Yellowstone
Golf, tennis, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, rafting, and hunting are popular in Sun Valley and Ketchum. Sockeye salmon may no longer do much spawning in Redfish Lake, but the boating and mountain scenery in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area make the short trip north to Stanley worthwhile. When the snows come the whole family will desert their vacation rental for the slopes of Soldier Mountain, Bald Mountain, Dollar Mountain, or the Sun Valley Resort. Island Park vacation rentals are sought after because they are only 15 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park. A tiny forested town of about 250 people, Island Park has a large reservoir with fishing and boating, as well as Henry's Fork of the Snake River for fly fishing. Plus cross country skiing and snowmobiling.