Idaho is a relatively unknown state. It has a lot to offer, but not many people know about it because they just haven’t taken the time to learn about it. Whenever Idaho comes up in conversations, there are some questions that are always asked, and some not asked but people really want to know.
What is Idaho known for?
Idaho is known for a lot of things, some are well-known, and some may be surprising. Obviously, the first thing people think of when you mention Idaho is the potatoes. Idaho does lead the country in potato production, but there are several more things that Idaho is known for. Idaho is known for its huge culture of winter sports. There are dozens of resorts and locations for skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing. Idaho is also known for having the only blue football field in America. It is housed at Boise State University, in the Albertson’s Stadium. Because of the turf, Boise State Broncos have an amazing home field advantage. The players are used to playing on the blue, and visitors are not. Idaho is also known as the Gem State. The state has over 70 natural gems, stones, and metals that are mined and used.
Are there really that many potatoes?
Yes. Boise has ideal soil and environment for growing potatoes. In fact, Idaho produces about 1/3 of all of the United States’ potatoes. The J.R. Simplot Company was one of the first companies in the state to produce potatoes, and they grew to be nationally recognized very quickly. They also were able to successfully produce the first viable frozen French Fry, and at one point was the sole provider of French Fries for McDonald's restaurants. In Blackfoot, ID, on the eastern edge of the state, there is even a potato museum. It takes you through the history of the potato in the state of Idaho. While there’s a lot more than just these starchy tubers about Idaho, the connection with the potato is still something to be proud of.
Besides just potatoes, Idaho also grows over 180 other varieties of produce. The huge variety of land in the state makes for great conditions for all kinds of fruits and vegetables. You can find some kind of Idaho-grown produce in stores or farmers markets all year long.
Do people actually move to Idaho?
According to a recent Forbes article, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes!”. Boise, and the surrounding metropolitan area was listed in the article as the number one fastest growing city in the nation. Part of that is due to the technology world. There are other technology hubs on this side of the country in San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver, but the intense increase of cost of living in those places is driving people in the technology world away from those cities and toward Boise.
What is there to do in Idaho?
There is so much to do in Idaho. If you like sports, there are plenty of options. In the winter there are places scattered all over the state ideal for downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, or snowshoeing. The most popular in the Boise area in Bogus Basin. It is about a 30-minute drive from the city, so it makes for a quick afternoon trip to get your fix of that fresh white powder. Another popular place for winter sports is Sun Valley, in northern Idaho. Sun Valley has been open since 1936 and has been considered one of the most beautiful skiing locations in the world.
Boise itself has a lot to do. There are lots of shopping options. There are multiple museums right next to each other near Julia Davis Park. If you want to take it easy while exploring the city, the Greenbelt path right along the Boise River is a great scenic path that cuts through the whole city. It also passes right by the zoo if you want to spend some time there. Boise also offers a big nightlife scene with dozens of clubs, lounges, and bars to get to know. There is also a lot of hiking options just outside the city.
Also, in Idaho, there is a huge theme park called Silverwood Theme Park. It is a great amusement park with rides, attractions, and dining for people of all ages. There is even an adjoining water park if you’re wanting to cool down in a hot Idaho summer.
In the center of the state, there is a national park called the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Reserve. The park gets its name Craters of the Moon because that’s what the land looks like. 2,000 to 4,000 years ago there was a lot of volcanic activity creating a vast landscape of lava flows that have distorted the land, so you feel like you’re on the moon itself. It is a weird thing, but definitely worth checking out.
Why is Idaho called the “Gem State”?
The land in Idaho plays host to over 70 natural resources like gems and stones. Before Idaho even became a territory, gold was found in the land drawing thousands of people to the area. This was a major factor in Idaho becoming a territory, and later gaining statehood in the Union. The state is most known for producing opal and garnet, but you can also find good amounts of jade, zircon, topaz, agate, and jasper. Gold and silver are still mined heavily in Idaho. In fact, Idaho is the number one state for silver output in the United States. Over 40% of new silver in the country comes from Idaho mines.
So, as you can see, there is a lot to learn about Idaho and a lot to do when you get here. Because the state remains rather elusive today not many people know a lot about Idaho, but hopefully some of your questions have now been answered! Idaho is an amazing place to live and visit.