When most people think about the state of Idaho, they probably think of potatoes. But, as you may not know, Idaho has a lot more to offer than just agriculture.

Located in the northwestern part of the United States, Idaho is known for being one of the Rocky Mountain States. As home to hundreds of mountains and amazing lakes, the northern part of the state is particularly idyllic. What’s more amazing about Idaho though is that its landscapes are full of gems. They also have a large variety of gemstones that are mined to make precious jewelry. If you want to find out more about what the state has to offer, you’ll find out exactly why people go to Idaho. 

The scenery in Stanley, Idaho is truly amazing

1. Our Idaho Potatoes

It would be incorrect to talk about Idaho’s most famous features without mentioning its agriculture. Many crops are grown in this state but it’s perfect for cultivating potatoes.

They produce about a third of the potato yield in the United States. What makes this fun for tourists and visitors alike though is that the state celebrates this vegetable in several ways.

From the famous Ice Cream Potato to the Idaho Potato Museum, there’s a great deal to learn and appreciate about root vegetables. 

2. Gem Stones

Idaho’s official nickname is the gem state and they have both precious and semi-precious stones, and is the state where the most gemstones have been found.

One of the states’ founders thought that Idaho stood for gemstone and suggested this as the state name. Although this was not accurate, it ended up being the name of the state regardless. 

Idaho is well-known for its gemstones. You can find jade, opal, garnets, and zircon here. Their state gem is the star garnet which can only be found in Idaho and India.

Many locals and visitors will scour the rivers and forests in search of precious stones. If not interested in searching out your jewels, local jewelry stores boast lovely collections with these gems as well. 

3. Fishing in the Scenic Rivers

Idaho is known for having amazing fishing. They have native species such as rainbow, steelhead, and bull trout. They’re the key supplier of trout in the United States and attract anglers from around the country.

The multiple rivers here along with the amazing scenery make it a serene place to head for some fishing. The Teton River is known for having a range of trout while Henry’s Lake is most well-known for Rainbow trout.

Even people who aren’t able to fish while in the state can still enjoy locally caught fish at one of the many restaurants that serve it. 

4. Scenic Mountains

The Sawtooth Range is just one of the many mountain ranges in Idaho

Just like you would expect from a Rocky Mountain state, one of the features that make Idaho landscapes so impressive are their mountains. Idaho is home to thousands of mountains including part of the Rocky Mountains.

Outdoor enthusiasts interested in hiking, climbing, and skiing all flock here to enjoy some outdoor recreation. 

The state’s highest mountain is Borah Peak with an elevation of 12,654 feet. It also goes by the names of Beauty Peak and Mount Borah.

While an amazing feat to climb, it’s surprisingly the only glacier in the state. In the winter, avalanches can be treacherous so always be careful.

Despite the potential danger though, there are several climbing routes to reach the summit or other hikes on the surrounding slopes. 

The Sawtooth mountain range is one of the best known in Idaho. It has lakes, flowing rivers, and a range of trails for all ages and abilities.

Most people stay in the nearby town of Stanley and spend their days exploring the mighty peaks. For outdoor enthusiasts, Idaho has a little something to offer everyone but it’s especially popular in the spring and fall months.

5. Idaho’s National Parks

Idaho is also home to several national parks, including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Idaho National Laboratory. Idaho is a popular tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world.

Every year, Idaho’s national parks attract millions of visitors. Idaho’s national parks are known for their scenic beauty, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. Idaho’s national parks offer something for everyone, from hiking and camping to fishing and rafting.

So whether you’re looking for an adventurous vacation or a relaxing getaway, be sure to add Idaho’s national parks to your list!

6. Idaho has all four seasons to enjoy

The road up to Schweitzer Mountain in Northern Idaho is a great example of our winters

While some parts of the country experienced only two seasons – winter and summer – Idahoans are fortunate enough to enjoy all four. In the fall, the leaves change color and the air becomes crisp.

Steam rises from boiling pots of homemade soup, and weekends are spent hiking in search of the perfect pumpkin. Winter brings powdery snow that begs to be turned into snowmen, snowball fights, and sledding hills.

Spring sees flowers blooming and trees leafing out, as the days gradually become warmer and longer. Finally, summer brings lazy days spent floating down rivers, and picnicking in wildflower meadows.

—Keep Reading Below—


About the Author: Austin Kern is a Real Estate Agent in Idaho with RE/MAX in Action. If you are looking to buy or sell your home or property, give him a call with the information below!

Not in North Idaho? Austin would also be happy to find an expert for you in your area of Idaho.

  • Phone: (208) 920-9313
  • Office: (208) 265-7362
  • Email: austin@idahofaq.com
  • Address: RE/MAX in Action – 113 N First Ave, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Each Office Independently Owned and Operated


7. The state has many railroads

Idaho is known for many things: its potatoes, its namesake Idahoans, and of course, its railroads. Idaho’s love affair with railroads began in the late 19th century when the state was still largely undeveloped.

The first rail lines were built to connect the Idaho Territory with the rest of the country, and soon Idaho was crisscrossed with steel rails.

Today, Idaho’s railroads are a vital part of the state’s economy, transporting goods and passengers across the state. And while Idaho may be best known for its potatoes, it’s clear that its railroads are close behind it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Idaho so popular?

Idaho is often thought of as a hidden gem, but more and more people are discovering its many charms. Idaho is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, with towering mountains, pristine lakes, and verdant forests. It’s also a great place to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. And Idaho isn’t just for nature lovers; it also boasts a thriving arts scene, vibrant nightlife, and delicious dining. In short, there’s something for everyone in Idaho. It’s no wonder that Idaho is rapidly becoming one of the most popular states in the country.

What is life like in Idaho?

Idaho is a great place to live if you enjoy being outdoors. The state is full of beautiful mountains, forests, and rivers, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and fishing. Idaho is also home to several small towns with their unique charms. In general, Idahoans are friendly and down-to-earth, and the state has a low cost of living. If you’re looking for a place to raise a family or retire, Idaho is worth considering.

Visiting Idaho

Locals in Idaho already know why their state is famous but visitors may not always understand what the state has to offer.

With so many hidden treasures, there are certainly plenty of things to do whether coming for a weekend or a longer visit.

If going to the state of Idaho, even for a short period, make sure to take note of what it has to offer and check out some of the food, features, and other attractions in the area.