Where To Eat Sleep and Explore
Ketchum & Sun Valley
I drove from Idaho to Montana and unbeknownst to me took one of the most scenic drives of my entire life. I drove alongside the Salmon River and followed it all the way into Montana. With the sound of the river following next to me, birds chirping above me and mountains protruding into the sky I felt like I was in a dream. With each turn I took it was like I was driving further into heaven. I remember saying to myself several times, “wow this is amazing”. It felt so surreal and I am so glad that I took the time to drive along this beautiful route which I would have never in a million years have decided to do if I was just visiting for a long weekend.
When you head to Ketchum you will hear about a famous restaurant which has become a staple of the area. It’s famous for it’s western theme and even has a gun previously owned by Ernest Hemingway. Not only is this placed filled with history and wildly thematic but it serves DELICIOUS food. It’s primarily known for it’s steaks and features some of the best prime rib around. Make sure that you also add a side of a baked potato. You are in Idaho after all!
Johnny G’s Subshack:
Johnny G’s is known for having the best subs in all of Idaho and I will have to agree. Growing up in New Jersey and living in New York for years I can be pretty judge mental when it comes to hero sandwiches. They were delicious and perfect for an afternoon lunch. You can order them to go or stay and even enjoy a seat outside on the picnic benches.
Hotel Ketchum is centrally located in Ketchum and about a 5 minute drive to Sun Valley. It almost looks like an old fashion 1970’s motel from the outside but once you enter the rooms they are modern, lovely and hugely spacious. They even have cute doormats outside which have arrow which say things like bike this way and bed that way. It is a hotel that supports adventures! They even have a gear garage where you can rent what you need! Everyone who works there is very knowledge about the area as well as being enormously friendly. They will give you some insider tips if you ask them for any. I was fortunate enough to have the window in my bedroom facing the mountains. I could drink my morning coffee and gaze into the sunlight. I would highly suggest to anyone coming to Ketchum to stay here!
Sawtooth National Forest:
The Sawtooth National Forest is a gigantic National Forest in the heart of Idaho. It covers more then 2,110,408 acres. There are endless possibilities of where you can hike. My only regret was not having enough time to explore more. I hear that the rock climbing in the Sawtooth is pretty epic as well!
Ernest Hemingway’s Grave:
Ernest Hemingway is buried at the Ketchum Cemetery. It’s a very small cemetery which is centrally located. It’s pretty easy to find his grave since it’s next to a tree and has change and alcohol bottles on it. Visitors show their respect by leaving these bottles for Mr. Hemingway. He was buried in the place that he loved and the place that inspired him and his writing.
The Hemingway Memorial is located right off Sun Valley Road and a couple of minutes North past The Sun Valley Lodge. You can park your car in the lot near the “Hemingway Memorial” sign. Follow it a little bit inwards and you will see monument about a stream. It’s a pretty little area to sit down and enjoy as well.
Sun Valley Lodge:
Is extremely well known and has been around for nearly 80 years. It is considered one of America’s first destination ski lodges. It has 108 new guest rooms which are spacious and renovated. Surrounding this amazing lodge are stores, restaurants, bike rental shops, and much much more. This lodge also has two ice skating rinks! Yes two! One indoors and one outside. You are free to take a walk around and watch the ice skaters practicing. Make sure you take some time to check this place out and walk around inside the lodge as well as outside. It’s a beautiful piece of history!
The Proctor Loop is a hike that is easily accessible to reach in Sun Valley. You are able to park and take follow the trail up from there. It’s a moderate hike but due to Sun Valley having an elevation of 5,945 feet it makes it a bit trickier. You will follow the trail (which does have switchbacks) all the way up. At the top you will be rewarded with a view of the first ski lift ever made in 1936 which operated until the 1950’s on Proctor Mountain. Make sure to take your time on this hike so you can take in some sweeping views from not only the top but also the bottom.
Big Lake is located right behind a church as well as the Guy Coles Skate Park. It’s the perfect swimming hole to cool off on a nice hot summer day. I definitely needed this cool down after hiking Proctor Mountain. Even when I headed over here in the middle of the day it was empty. I felt like it was this secret little place that not many people knew about which made it feel even a bit more special.