I toured Idaho Falls early last summer and it was an amazing experience. The topography of the area offers a little bit of everything, and the city has a quaint small-town feel. But despite its small-town feel, this charming city offers top-notch dining, arts and culture, outdoor recreation, and much more. I was able to pack a lot into my trip, and here are the 12 Best Things to Do in Idaho Falls that I recommend.
Things to Do in Idaho Falls
1. Idaho Falls River Walk & Greenbelt
The River Walk & Greenbelt is the perfect place to start your exploration of Idaho Falls. This is a beautiful pathway that follows the Snake River for 5 miles through the heart of the city. It is a great place to get some exercise, relax in nature, and take in the sights and sounds of Idaho Falls. In addition, this is a popular spot for runners, cyclists, and rollerbladers.
I started my walk from downtown Idaho Falls under Pancheri Bridge. Along the way, I passed by several attractions in Idaho Falls, including the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park, Sportsman Park, Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest, Idaho Falls Temple, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, and many more. I also got a great view of the Snake River and the bridges crossing it.
Eventually, I made our way to Freeman Park, which is a great spot for picnicking and sporting. There is also a playground here if you have kids. After a break at the park, I started my walk back to downtown Idaho Falls.
Overall, the River Walk & Greenbelt is a great place to get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of Idaho Falls. Guided walking and biking tours are also available if you’re new or want to learn more about the history and ecology of the area.
2. Visit Shoshone Falls
I can’t talk about the best things to do in Idaho Falls without mentioning Shoshone Falls. This is one of the top natural attractions in the state, and it’s just a short drive from Idaho Falls.
Often called the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is actually taller than Niagara Falls. And while it doesn’t have the flow of water that Niagara does, it is still an impressive sight. The falls are 212 feet high and 900 feet wide.
During the spring and early summer, the Snake River is swollen with snowmelt from the mountains, and the falls are at their peak. This is the best time to visit if you want to see them at their fullest.
There are several ways to view Shoshone Falls. You can take a short hike to an overlook or take a longer hike down to the base of the falls. I recommend doing both if you have the time. The views from the top are stunning, but there is nothing quite like standing at the base of the falls and feeling the mist on your face.
Overall, Shoshone Falls is a great place to relax, take some photos, and enjoy the beauty of nature. It’s also a popular spot for picnicking, so be sure to bring a lunch to enjoy.
3. Yellowstone National Park
Of course, no visit to Idaho Falls would be complete without a trip to Yellowstone National Park. This world-famous park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and for a good reason. Yellowstone is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. From its geothermal features to its majestic mountains and waterfalls, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy.
In addition to its natural beauty, Yellowstone is also home to a wide variety of wildlife. Visitors can see bison, elk, bears, wolves, and many other animals in their natural habitat. There are a wide variety of things to do in Yellowstone National Park. Some popular activities include hiking, camping, fishing, sightseeing, and wildlife watching.
No matter what time of year you visit, Yellowstone National Park is sure to impress. It is one of the top Idaho Falls attractions that will definitely provide you with a lifetime of memories.
4. Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is another top Idaho Falls attraction that should definitely be on your list. This museum is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts. It features a wide variety of rotating exhibits, as well as a permanent collection.
The museum’s permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs by regional, national, and international artists. The museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. In addition to its art collections, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho also offers a variety of educational programs for all ages. These programs include art classes, workshops, lectures, and family-friendly events.
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for fun things to do in Idaho Falls that are both educational and fun. Plus, admission to the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho is very reasonable. But if you don’t want to spend any money, the first Saturday of every month is “Free First Saturday,” and you can enjoy all the museum has to offer without spending a dime.
5. Idaho Potato Museum
Idaho is famous for its potatoes. And the Idaho Potato Museum is a must-see for any potato lover (like me). This museum chronicles the history of the Idaho potato industry. It features interactive exhibits, a gift shop, and a cafe serving delicious potato dishes.
Some of the interactive exhibits at the museum include a 1,500-year-old Peruvian container made specifically to store potatoes and the largest potato chip in the world that you can take photos with. You can also learn about the science of growing potatoes and the different types of potatoes that are grown in Idaho.
The museum also has a large collection of vintage potato sacks and other potato-related memorabilia. My favorite part of the museum, though, was the cafe. They serve all sorts of delicious potato dishes, including Idaho Potato Soup, Baked Potato Pizza, and even potato chips dipped in chocolate.
This is a great place to learn about the history and culture of Idaho. And, the potato dishes at the cafe are not to be missed.
6. Russ Freeman Park
You’ll agree with me when I say that Russ Freeman Park is one of the top Idaho Falls attractions. After all, it was voted the Best Place to Picnic by the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce. This beautiful park is located on the Snake River and features a wide variety of activities and amenities. This includes a playground, picnic tables, grills, a walking/jogging path, and a scenic overlook of the Snake River.
The park also has a large amphitheater that is perfect for picnics, concerts, and other special events. Plus, the park also has an 18-hole disc golf course that is perfect for a game with friends or family. In addition to the many activities available at Russ Freeman Park, it is also a beautiful place to take a walk and enjoy the scenery. The park is located on the banks of the Snake River and features a variety of trees, flowers, and other plant life.
All in all, if you’re looking for a top-notch park with plenty of things to do, be sure to add Russ Freeman Park to your list of things to do in Idaho Falls.
7. Soar over Idaho Falls in a Hot Air Balloon
For a truly unique experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over Idaho Falls. This is something I always wanted to do in Idaho, and I finally had the chance.
I went above the clouds with Idaho Balloon Adventures. They offer both sunrise and sunset rides, so you can choose the time that works best for you. I went on the sunset ride, and it was absolutely incredible. I was picked up at my hotel, and then we drove to the launch site.
After watching the balloon get inflated, we climbed into the basket and took off. For the next hour, we floated peacefully over Idaho Falls and the surrounding area. We got some amazing views of the city, the Snake River, and the surrounding mountains. It was a peaceful and serene experience, and I would highly recommend it.
After our balloon ride, we had a champagne toast to celebrate our achievement. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
8. Visit the Museum of Idaho
Another top thing to do in Idaho Falls is to visit the Museum of Idaho. This museum is chock-full of interesting and interactive exhibits that are perfect for people of all ages. It features over 25,000 artifacts and specimens that tell the story of Idaho’s natural and cultural history.
There are several exhibits at the museum, but the Genghis Kahn exhibit was my favorite. This exhibit chronicles the life and times of one of history’s most feared military leaders. It includes artifacts, weapons, armor, and other items that were used by Kahn and his armies.
Another great exhibit is the one on the Lewis and Clark expedition. This exhibit tells the story of their journey westward and includes some of the items they used on their expedition. And, it’s not just a bunch of old stuffy displays. The museum also offers a variety of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. For example, you can also learn about the science of archaeology through fun, hands-on activities.
The museum also hosts a variety of special events and programs throughout the year. So, even if you’ve been before, there’s always something new to see and do. I suggest giving yourself at least 2-3 hours to explore the Museum of Idaho. And, if you’re visiting with kids, be sure to check out the museum’s website in advance to see what special events and activities are scheduled during your visit.
9. Whitewater Rafting on the Snake River
If you’re looking for a little adventure while in Idaho Falls, I suggest trying whitewater rafting on the Snake River. There are a number of companies in Idaho Falls that offer half-day and full-day trips.
I went on a half-day trip with Jackson Hole Whitewater Rafting. Our group met at their office in downtown Idaho Falls and then drove to the put-in spot near Rigby. After a brief safety lesson, we were on our way.
Our rafting trip took us through some gentle rapids at first. But, as we got further down the river, the rapids got bigger and more intense. By the end, we were laughing and cheering as we bounced our way through the waves. It was a fun and exhilarating experience, and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for the best things to do in Idaho Falls.
After our rafting trip, we were given a delicious lunch of sandwiches, chips, and fruit. We then had some time to relax before being shuttled back to our cars in Idaho Falls.
10. Hell’s Half Acre
When I first heard about Hell’s Half Acre, I was eager to check it out. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it would be interesting. So I set out on a little road trip to find this place.
Hell’s Half Acre is a geological oddity located 25 miles from Idaho Falls. It is an area of land of hard Lava flows that have been weathered and eroded over time. The result is a strange and otherworldly landscape that looks like something you would see on Mars.
The best way to experience Hell’s Half Acre is on a hike. There are two hiking trails that wind through the area and provide great views of the lava flows. One of the trails takes a day to complete, while the other is a shorter loop that can be done in a few hours. And since the paths are flat and paved, they are suitable for all levels of hikers.
I took the short Lava trail, which took us through some of the most impressive lava formations. I even hiked to a nearby hill for an even more panoramic view of Hell’s Half Acre. And truly, words cannot describe how strange and beautiful this place is. You have to see it for yourself.
11. Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest
Next on my list of top things to do in Idaho Falls is to visit the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest. This is a man-made waterfall located in a roundabout intersection near the Walmart Supercenter. It was created in 2006 by artist Vic Payne.
The waterfall is 26 feet tall and made of concrete, steel, and rebar. It features two giant eagle sculptures with their wings outstretched, tending to their nest atop native Idaho rocks. A mountain lion is also sculpted into the side of the waterfall.
The Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest is a popular spot for photos and has become a bit of an icon for the city of Idaho Falls. It’s a great place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing and just enjoy the beauty of nature. It’s also a popular spot for weddings and other special events.
I suggest visiting the Giant Eagle Waterfall Nest in the afternoon when the sun is shining. It’s a beautiful spot any time of year, but it’s especially pretty when the sun is shining on the water. I enjoyed my time here admiring the waterfall and taking in the peaceful atmosphere.
12. Explore Downtown Idaho Falls
After exploring the natural wonders of Idaho Falls, be sure to spend some time downtown. This is a great place to stroll around, do some shopping, and grab a bite.
One of the best things about downtown Idaho Falls is the variety of shops and restaurants. There are several boutique shops selling everything from clothing to home decor. You’ll also find several great places to eat, including cafes, bakeries, pizzerias, and more.
In addition, you’ll find a few museums downtown, including the Bonneville Museum and the Idaho Museum of Natural History. And, if you’re looking for some entertainment, there are several live music venues and theaters. I also recommend checking the calendar of events for the Idaho Falls Civic Auditorium, which hosts a variety of concerts and shows throughout the year.
Downtown Idaho Falls is a great place to spend an afternoon or evening. There’s something for everyone here, and you’re sure to find something that you’ll enjoy.
These are just a few of the top things to do in Idaho Falls. There is so much to see and do in this city, and you could easily spend a week here and still not see everything. But, these are some of the highlights that you won’t want to miss. So, when you’re planning your trip, be sure to add these top attractions to your list. And, if you’re looking for places to stay in Idaho Falls, be on the lookout for my next article, which will feature the top hotels in Idaho Falls.