Top Ten Places To Visit In Idaho

The 10 Gems Everyone In Idaho Needs to Visit

Forget the Idaho Botanical Gardens! Let's go somewhere new.

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Besides focusing on the potatoes, our 19th-century attire, the buffaloes that wander around downtown Boise, and lack of Wal-Marts my grandmother was so worried about when my family first moved out here, what can someone possibly do to entertain themselves besides shucking corn after the harvest in Idaho?

Despite being as technologically modern as the next state, Idaho is often overlooked—or thought to still be living in the gun-slinging west. While that's definitely not true, we are admittedly small; we may be the eleventh largest state by landmass, but we're the sixth smallest by population density! What does this mean? Well, we have a lot of space for a lot of great stuff.

1. Table Rock

Table Rock is one of those weird attractions that every state has—you either know it or you don't. Perfect for hiking, biking, or spending time with friends, it may be best known by the general public for the cliff that overlooks Boise.

2. Craters Of The Moon National Park

Located in Arco, Idaho, Craters of the Moon is preparing NASA astronauts for their space walks on Mars. The Shoshone Native Americans crossed the lava fields of Craters of the Moon every year, so this is a perfect spot for both science- and history-lovers alike!

3. The Snake River

Winding its way through southern Idaho, the Snake River Is a favorite for floating, kayaking, and fishing.

4. Hell's Canyon

Hell's Canyon is North America's deepest river gorge split between Oregon and Clark Valley, Idaho. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders would all enjoy the experience Hell's Canyon has to offer.

5. The Old Idaho Penitentiary

The Old Idaho Penitentiary was home to some of the worst criminals in the western United States for over 100 years. It's said to be haunted and was even investigated on Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures! If you need a good scare, this is the place for you.

6. The Sawtooth Mountains

Perfect for those seeking a true camping experience, the Sawtooth Mountains offer over 700 miles of trails and most any recreational activity one can imagine! Do be careful though; animals such as mountain lions, grey wolves, lynx, and bears do roam these areas.

7. Salmon River

Unlike the calmer Snake River, the Salmon River has been dubbed "The River of No Return" for its intense rapids. Any experienced white water rafters would most definitely love what the Salmon River has to offer.

8. The Goldbug Hot Springs

While difficult to access, the Goldbug Hot Springs is a favorite location for any who can put up with the treacherous hike. Rarely crowded and always calming, anyone adventurous enough to hike (and climb) those two miles will not regret it.

9. Yellowstone National Park

Best known for its Grand Prismatic Spring and geysers, a small section of Yellowstone spills over into Idaho. This is also known as the infamous "Zone of Death," but we'd rather you enjoy the buffalo rather than test that Zone of Death theory out.

10. The Idaho Potato Museum

Come on, it's Idaho. Everyone needs to visit Blackfoot's Idaho Potato Museum at least once.

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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14 Kentucky Destinations To Visit This Summer

I'm in love with the history and beauty encompassing my old Kentucky home.

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Kentucky has got to be one of the most notable states in the U.S. While it is most known for bourbon, horse races, and basketball, you can't deny the beauty of the history and nature that surrounds the state.

Kentucky natives often take for granted the importance of the locations that surround them. These destinations are easily accessible and should be noted a 'must visit' on your next day off.

For those who are travelers and are looking to tour the land of the "Bluegrass state," you won't regret making these KY places your next summer vacation destination.

1. Mammoth Cave National Park

mammoth cave

This park is open year-round with guided tours through the world's longest cave system. This cave is filled with tremendous caverns which are super cool to see, but the stories that are told about the cave through the tour make it an even more interesting experience.

Even if you decided to skip out on the cave tour, this national park is filled with other things to do. There are trails for hiking and biking, and they even have areas for various water activities.

2. Keeneland

keeneland racetrack

Keeneland is beautifully landscaped and located in the horse capital of the world.

While the best time to go is during racing season, I'd still recommend a tour of this famous horseracing arena.

3. Red River Gorge

red river gorge

Red River Gorge is home of the sandstone rock bridge known as the 'Natural Bridge,' and is also the perfect site for a camping experience. At the gorge, you are able to hike, bike, ride, and partake in a variety of other activities.

4. National Corvette Museum

corvette museum

Home to more than 80 models of America's sports car: the Corvette.

5. Cumberland Falls

Cumberland Falls

A huge waterfall that falls 60-feet before tumbling over sandstone bedding. It is truly a sight to see.

6. Ark Encounter

noah's ark

Located in Williamstown, KY is the massive, life-size ship made to resemble Noah's Ark. It is 3-stories tall with interactive exhibits to illustrate the biblical tale.

7. Louisville Slugger Baseball Museum

louisville slugger museum

Baseball, also known as America's favorite pastime.

Kentucky, also home of the Lousiville Slugger Baseball Museum and Factory.

8. Lincoln's childhood home

abraham lincoln's childhood home

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th U.S. president. He was an important figure for many reasons, but most remembered for his Emancipation Proclamation speech that helped push toward the end of slavery, and his leadership of our nation through the Civil War.

9. Churchill Downs

churchill downs

Churchill Downs is another thoroughbred racetrack in Kentucky, most famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby. Tours are conducted by the Kentucky Derby Museum.

10.  Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

bernheim forest

Every year, Kentucky loses 50,000 acres due to land development. There are estimated to be over 3 million trees in Bernheim Forest, all of which are protected from development.

Today, Bernheim Forest is over 16,000 acres and will soon be celebrating its 90th "birthday" by revealing a new exhibit entitled "Forest Giants in a Giant Forest." These three massive sculptures, made of recycled wood are expected to withstand for at least 3 years.

11.  Berea Pinnacles

berea pinnacles

A hiking trail with a variety of difficulty levels, and a beautiful view at the end no matter how far you decided to travel.

12.  Woodford Reserve Distillery

woodford reserve distillery

Kentucky is famous for bourbon. So, why not take a tour of the oldest and smallest distillery in the state?

13.  The Kentucky State Capitol

ky state capitol

The KY state capitol is located in Frankfort, KY and is open to visitors/tours. Observe the areas where our chamber of the senate and house of representatives come together for the legislative process.

14.  My Old Kentucky Home State Park

federal hill mansion

Stephen Collins Foster wrote the famous composition 'My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night!' which is now known as our state song. Foster's imagery throughout the song was inspired by the house and the land surrounding what was once known as "Federal Hill." It was referred to as "My Old Kentucky Home" once the U.S. entered the Civil War.

Today, you can tour the home that was host to many famous individuals (Stephen Collins Foster, Henry Clay, Aaron Burr, and more) and the inspiration to a monumental tribute to Kentucky history.

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