Sun Valley, Idaho is a great place for making potato-based jokes, but it’s also that sort of jaw-dropping beautiful that leaves a lasting impression. I’ll admit, I spent a lot of time in the warmth of my Airbnb, but I was still able to pick up some tips about Sun Valley along the way during a Thursday-Sunday trip.
First off, some words of wisdom regarding travel into Sun Valley: It’s sort of a bitch, especially if you are coming from the East coast. There is a Sun Valley airport which has flights from Denver, San Francisco and Park City. The airport is very conveniently located to Ketchum/Sun Valley (the two main areas you’ll be hanging in) BUT there’s a caveat. Depending on weather conditions, your plane may be re-routed to Twin Falls, ID at which point you have to take a 1.5 hour bus ride to the Sun Valley airport. It’s boring, a pain, and when you are leaving SV you’ll have to get to the airport 3+ hours early to catch the bus. Long story short, you may just want to fly into Boise and then rent a car to get to Sun Valley. PHEW OK, now that that’s out of the way you can start having some fun.
I was in SV in February, so I can only speak to it’s Winter Beauty, but I imagine the summer is a great time for hiking, fishing, etc.
First off, for lodging, I think an Airbnb in Ketchum is a great choice. Ours was about a 10-15 minute walk into downtown Ketchum and to the Bald Mountain for skiing. These are the two main places you’ll probably hang out. Our friends stayed at the Best Western downtown, and that was a super central, convenient location. Book far in advance, because I think these fill up fast during ski season.
For a fun, grungy bar scene late at night hit up Casino. Whiskey Jacques is also a cool scene.
For huge day time mimosas/beer/whatever your heart desires, Grumpy’s is a must. It’s divey and local and everything you could want in a bar.
Warfield is great for a fancy cocktail and more low-key ambiance.
The episcopal church held the wedding I attended and has unreal views and the Sun Valley Club was a gorgeous reception location.
As for skiing, Sun Valley is SPENCY. The lift tickets for a whole day (unless bought in advance) are $150 and rental of skis, boots and helmet works out to about $80. If you go after noon, the lift ticket drops to $105. I suck at skiing, and if you do too, maybe just buy a gondola ticket because the views are STUNNING on a clear day and worth the money. The first picture in this post is from about half-way up on the gondola.
It’s a little off the beaten path, but if you get the chance to go to Sun Valley, take it!!
PS: Don’t count on ubers/lyft, because I swear there are only like 2 in the whole town. Bring your snow boots and prepare to walk.