Traveling Newlyweds worked in partnership with Visit Idaho to create this Travel Tip.
When we first told our family and friends that we were planning to road trip from Costa Mesa, CA to Twin Falls and Boise, ID, (with our busy, never-stops-moving one-year-old) they thought we were crazy. Heck, we thought we were crazy. Nevertheless, we packed up our SUV, loaded up the back seat with toys, books, and lots of snacks, and hit the road!
Our trip would take us almost 900 miles and allow us to spend a few days in each of the Idaho stops we were most excited about: Twin Falls and Boise.
Now Downtown Twin Falls is not only historic, it’s absolutely picture-perfect. The streets are like something out of a Hallmark movie—quaint brick buildings lined with local boutiques, restaurants, breweries, and more. Some of our favorite spots that we discovered are Yellow Brick Cafe (get the avocado toast), Koto Brewing (order a cheese board for the table), and Twin Beans Coffee Co. (their blueberry mint mojito cold brew is a must)!
Just outside of Downtown Twin Falls is Snake River Canyon, a canyon that extends for more than fifty miles and features two major waterfalls (hence the name Twin Falls)! We had a blast walking along the Perrine Bridge, where we watched countless BASE jumpers fly down into the canyon. Not going to lie, it was equally thrilling and terrifying! (Fun fact: this is the only location in the U.S. that is legally open to BASE jumping all year-round.)
Venturing into Snake River Canyon is a must. There, you’ll find the iconic Perrine Coulee Falls, a stunning 200-foot waterfall that flows year-round. Our favorite part? There’s an easy trail that takes you behind the waterfall, making for an epic photo opp! Even our one-year-old Jude was mesmerized!
At the bottom of the road that leads into the canyon is Centennial Waterfront Park, where there’s not only breathtaking views of the canyon and the Perrine Bridge, but there are also kayak and water rentals, hiking trails, picnic areas, and a playground (Jude was obsessed!). We’ve gone to a lot of playgrounds, and never before have we been to one with a waterfall casually in the background. Hands down the most picturesque playground ever!
You simply can’t visit Twin Falls without stopping at Shoshone Falls. It’s a dazzling natural waterfall and is even taller than Niagara Falls! The force of the falls, the mist, the surrounding scenery, it was all so serene. We even got to catch Shoshone Falls After Dark, a dazzling light and color show projected onto the falls at night. While the show only lasted for a month, we’re hopeful they’ll bring it back again soon!
Just an easy 2-hour drive from Twin Falls is Boise—the second stop on our Idaho road trip. We’d been to Boise before in the winter, so we were really excited to experience it in the summer. And boy, we weren’t disappointed! Boise is beautiful, clean, walkable, and incredibly family-friendly. (We’d be lying if we said that we didn’t contemplate moving there, it’s a dream!)
We’re big coffee people, and lucky for us, Boise is full of fantastic, locally-owned coffee shops. Just a few of the coffee shops that we frequented (and loved) are Push and Pour, Form and Function, Neckar, and Slow by Slow.
And when it comes to dining, Boise’s culinary scene is on another level. We’d book a trip to Boise just to eat. Start with Certified Kitchen and Bakery, they make some of the best breakfast sandwiches we’ve ever had, and their baked goods are amazing as well. The Basque Market is always a pleasure, as we instantly feel like we’ve been transported to the Basque country, with their authentic menu and delightful ambiance. And The Wylder will forever be our go-to, as they serve the most mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas (get the Honey Badger), and their casual-chic vibe is right up our alley.
We fell in love with the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile tree-lined pathway along the pristine Boise River. On it we discovered the Boise Whitewater Park, one of the top artificial surfing waves in the country! Who knew Boise had surfing?!
We also ventured into the Esther Simplot Park, a 55-acre site with ponds, play areas, and more. Jude had the time of his life running around and exploring, and we couldn’t get over how beautiful it was. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, the parks in Idaho are truly something special. It was an easy walk from our hotel, The Riverside Hotel, which was a plus.
We could have spent all day at Zoo Boise. This charming zoo is thoughtfully designed and wonderfully kept. The goal of Zoo Boise is to educate and increase public awareness of species conservation and the environment, and they do a fantastic job. Part of every admission goes to the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund, which helps support the protection of wild animals in Idaho and around the world. We enjoyed watching some of the big cats (including a lion!), fed giraffes and played in the interactive exhibits.
Most of our evenings in Boise ended at either a brewery or a winery—and sometimes we’d hit up both! Western Collective Beer became an instant favorite of ours, with their impressive collection of beers and their refreshing frosés. Cinder Wines is another must-visit, with grapes sourced from several vineyards in the Snake River Valley. Their wine tasting experience is so much fun, and their Dry Viognier is unbelievable.
Southern Idaho stole our hearts this trip. From the natural beauty, to the charming downtowns, to the friendly locals, to the buzzing culinary scene—Twin Falls and Boise truly have it all! Driving from California with a one year old had its challenges, but our destinations were definitely worth it. 😉 We can’t wait to return!
Feature image credited The Traveling Newlyweds.
Alli and Bobby Talley, AKA The Traveling Newlyweds, are travel and lifestyle writers living in Southern California with their son, Jude and bernedoodle, Sally. Their aim is to inspire families to safely explore the beautiful world we live in, even if that means starting in your own backyard! From road tripping around North America to exploring exotic locations around the globe, they strive to share how traveling is healthy for your family and attainable for anyone. Follow along on their adventures via @Traveling_Newlyweds or on their website.
Published on June 10, 2021