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Why You Must Visit SouthWest Idaho

Peaceful, serenity, calm, non-stressful, laid back, and adventurous are all words I would choose to describe Southwest Idaho.  If you haven't been add it to your travel bucket list right now!

Why You Must Visit SouthWest Idaho. When I was invited to visit Southwest Idaho my husband was so excited but I was lacking in excitement.  I was like what in the world is there in Southwest Idaho? I have always traveled to beaches, amusement parks, resorts, and such for our travel reviews.  I just could not imagine what could possibly be in Southwest Idaho that I would want to see.

BOY WAS I WRONG!  I really believe my time in Southwest Idaho, even though it was only 5 days, changed a lot about me and my life.  It’s laid back appeal and family feel made me realize the things I have faded away from a little.

Why You Must Visit SouthWest Idaho:

Peaceful, serenity, calm, non-stressful, laid back, and adventurous are all words I would choose to describe Southwest Idaho.  I have never been to a place that felt so calm.  We drove around Boise, up to Horseshoe Bend,  then to McCall, and back to Boise over a 5 day period.  I have never seen anything so beautiful.

We went from dessert conditions, to mountains with beautiful trees, to lakes, cities, and it was all in one state.  My favorite things about Southwest Idaho are all the different concepts for food and adventure.  In all that time we only passed one McDonald’s and one Chick-fil-A!  In my eyes, that is heaven in itself!

Boise is a beautiful city and the capital of Idaho.  We visited the state capital building and were amazed we didn’t have to go through security.  We just walked right in and looked around.  The park surrounding the capital was so clean and family oriented.  We visited with the dog walkers and talked to many about why they love Boise.  We found out it is just as it seemed.  People love the laid back life, being in a big city, and without all the hustle.

Modern Hotel and Bar in Boise, Idaho is perfect for the laid back traveler!

Our first night in Boise we stayed at Modern Hotel and Bar.  The front desk staff is always my first key to how my stay is going to be.  I loved the ladies at the desk!  We chatted and they were so informative about everything I asked.  My husband was ready to go explore and I was enjoying chatting it up at the desk. I love the urban but homey feel of the rooms and grounds.

The patio is very nice to have an evening drink on or even a nice dinner.  I noticed a lot of local people on the patio both nights we were there.  It seems like it a nice central meeting place for everyone. Made me want to come home and find little laid back places to visit!

The hotel also provides a really nice breakfast and brunch on the weekends.  If you would like to explore the city, you can do so by bike.  The hotel is so close to everything you can hop on a bike, provided by the hotel, and take off for the day.  The Modern Hotel and Bar is perfect for the laid back traveler!Delicious food options available in Boise, Idaho

I read all over travel sites to get a feel of where we should go to dinner and they all pointed to Fork.  Fork is located in downtown Boise and is located in a fun district of the city.  I love their #localtoloyal concept!  Their commitment to source many of their key ingredients from local Boise & Northwest farmers, ranchers, bakers, distillers, brewers, producers and cheese makers is quite impressive.

This concept is family owned and you can tell.  Everyone takes great pride in the service of great foods and beverages.  We loved Fork so much we did not seek out a new restaurant for our last night, but visited again!

One of the greatest things I noticed at Fork…. no one was on their phone.  I mean no one!  Kids, adults, and service staff were all engaged.  This is a rare thing to see in my part of the country.  It seems like phones, tablets, and electronics in general have taken over our lives.  I did NOT see this in Southwest Idaho anywhere. It truly was a breath of fresh air!

Food Selections:

Asparagus Fries:  An addictive house favorite, with ranch dipper

Cast Iron Queso Dip:  Three cheeses, chipotle spiced, roasted poblano peppers, tomato, onion & house-made tortilla chips

Idaho Rainbow Trout:  Grilled local kale, roasted pepper coulis, balsamic reduction & basil oil drizzle

Sirloin Strip Steak:  Topped with fresh herb compound butter and served with grilled broccolini & white truffle cheddar potatoes

Artichoke Heart & Spinach Ravioli:  Boise’s Ferranti Fresh ravioli pillows, white wine-pesto-cream sauce, sunflower seeds & shaved parmesan

Fork’s Signature Warm Butter Cake:  Our age ol’ recipe topped with local Cloverleaf vanilla ice cream, fresh fruit & Oregon berry coulis

Everything looked and tasted amazing but these were our favorites!  We really appreciate Fork for hosting us on our first visit. If you are looking for a restaurant that will satisfy all tastes and dietary needs this is your restaurant!

There is no better way to start your day in Boise, Idaho than at Waffle Me Up!

Breakfast in Idaho was amazing.  Waffle Me Up was my favorite!  They served the best waffles I have ever had in my life! I had the Waffle Me Banana Banana, cookie butter, whipped cream (pictured in the background.)  The whole time I was eating  I was thinking about the perfect waffle, I thought, I had in Disney.  Yeah well, move over Disney, Waffle Me Up has perfected the waffle! BOB Deluxe (pictured in the forefront) was an amazing waffle also.  With melted Havarti cheese, market fried egg, bacon, syrup, and basil how can you go wrong?

Idaho State Penitentiary Historical Site is a great place to visit while in Boise

One of our last stops in Boise was the Idaho State Penitentiary Historical Site.  I am a history and criminal justice fanatic.  Exploring this establishment was one of the highlights of my adventures.  We had a private guided tour through the prison and she really brought the history alive.  The Old Idaho Penitentiary opened its doors in 1872 to some of the West’s most desperate criminals.

The list ranged from horse thieves to murder. It was an exciting tour with over 100 years of Idaho’s unique prison history with a visit to Solitary Confinement, cell blocks, and the Gallows.  I have to say the Gallows really spooked me.  Through all of my historic tours I have never been in the middle of death row.  Our guide was very knowledgeable about the escapes from Idaho State Penitentiary.  I think the most impressive escape was when an inmate stole the Warden’s horse and just rode off. Neither the horse or the inmate were ever found.

Southwest Idaho was an experience of a lifetime.  I can not wait to go back and I am definitely taking the kids next time.  It is a great vacation full of education, reconnecting with your family, going on adventures, and last but not least AMAZING food! By the time we left my husband was ready to move.  I am excited to go back in the future and stay even longer.  Don’t miss the opportunity to see an amazing part of our country.  People may ask “WHY, Southwest Idaho?”  Just tell them you need to recoup and regroup in life.  Southwest Idaho will help you do just that!

Disclosure: SWITA provided our travel, hotel accommodations, and tour fees however all opinions are 100% our own.  Fork hosted us for dinner one evening and Waffle Me Up for one breakfast however all opinions are 100% our own.

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  1. What an awesome place of the country to visit! I would have never considered a trip Southwest Idaho until reading your review. Now it is on my travel bucket list.

  2. Wow, never knew Southwest Idaho was so interesting! I have seen many travelers speak about their food experience with many restaurants but, from reading your review there is a lot of history to learn. Great post and thanks,

  3. I would have been like you. I would have never considered going there. Your pictures are so beautiful. This is going on our bucket list. My husband loves the outdoors and history. Looks perfect.

  4. When I’m visiting a new place, my number one favorite thing to do is find a local place to eat, I don’t like to eat fast food. I want something I never had before. All this food looks amazing, looks like they put the time and love into each dish, as a chef that makes me happy. I’m a huge history buff when it comes to museum like this you can walk around in and around.

  5. We have been to SouthWest Idaho several times but haven’t taken the time to view it like you did. Maybe because we are the busy ones that don’t take it in. So glad you pointed out to enjoy things. I need to slow down and enjoy life.

  6. Idaho looks like a great place for outdoor types. I see quite a few things I would like to do. Looks like you all had a great time.

  7. That’s a mighty big claim to make about a place, I suppose I have to give it a try. I’ve never even thought about visiting Idaho in all honesty. But it does look like a lovely place to vacation and explore the sites. The historical buildings look worth seeing too!

  8. Idaho looks like the place to be especially for waffles! One day, I want to hit up all the states. Maybe my air stream.

  9. We have family in Idaho, but I’ve never visited. I probably held a lot of the same misconceptions as you. It sounds like the perfect vacation spot for me. I like the idea of a laid back atmosphere, but I still want things to do. Time to call up the family and visit!

  10. I would LOVE to visit Idaho. My boyfriend and I went to the US last year but went to the run-of-the-mill tourist spots in New York and California. I would prefer to go somewhere more down-to-earth. In the future we’re thinking of doing a cross-country drive and I’d like to include Idaho as part of it. We want to see the real America and not just the tourist traps. 🙂

  11. I’ve never been to Idaho. I’ve actually never considered it. The food looks amazing. I’m definitely going to add this destination to our family bucket list. I’m sure the weather is much nicer there than in Florida.

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