Date of Trip: November 2002
A great place to live, but also a nice place to visit. There are lots of festivals and activities that keep the locals entertained year-round, and we are only 1 1/2 hours from Jackson, Wyoming, and about 2 hours from Yellowstone.
The river that runs through town, with a great Greenbelt that goes around it. The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration on the 4th of July. The newly renovated Museum featuring Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Feb-May 2003.
Bike or walk around the greenbelt. The rest of the town will require a car.
Nothing beats a tower room at the Westcoast. This round structure cannot be missed if you are anywhere near the river. It rises seven stories all with balconies; you’ll definitely want to ask for a room that overlooks the river. In the winter all of the trees around the river are lit up and it is a beautiful sight. Rooms are spacious with a fridge. They don’t have a pool, but they do have a weight room and a hot tub that is open 24 hours. There is a restaurant that serves typical American cuisine downstairs.
Idaho Falls Street Fest:
This street festival is usually held the third or fourth Saturday in June; check with the Chamber of Commerce (208/523-1010) at Idaho Falls Chamber. The entire downtown area between Broadway and F Street is turned into one big party place, with tons of local bands scattered around and playing all day long, and usually one headlining band at night. All of the events are free and sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Assoc. Almost every major restaurant in town sets up a booth with their special cuisine; our favorite is the crawdads and gumbo from BJ’s Bayou.
There is always a beer garden set up next to one of the main stages; we recommend getting beer from the local brewery, Dr. Hops.
This is a family festival with something for everyone. Head on down after 10am and stay all day.
Sue, the most complete T-Rex ever found, will be visiting the all-new Bonneville Museum for its grand opening February 8, 2003. In addition to Sue, there will be other dinosaur exhibits as well as the regular Bonneville Museum exhibits of local Idaho history. They offer discount rates for groups, and for families on Monday nights.
Tautphaus Park Zoo:
See endangered snow leopards, tigers, African penguins, primates, giant tortoises, zebras, camels, flamingoes, and more. “Boo at the Zoo,” held each Halloween, is a highlight for this zoo. Get there early so you don’t miss out — I have seen the line wrap around the whole complex. The kids (and adults) come dressed in costume and “trick or treat” their way around the zoo. They always leave with a bag full of candy. In addition, there are face painting, crafts, costume and jack-o-lantern contests, and more.
Visit the Idaho Falls Zoo site for all of the special days as well as other useful information. Open daily May through September, plus weekends in October, November, and April.
Jaliscos Mexican Restaurant
By far the best authentic Mexican restaurant around. Their seafood dishes are amazing and, of course, the portions are hearty. The decor is bright and friendly, and don’t miss a trip to the bathrooms–they are amazing!
Jaliscos is kid-friendly and the wonderful staff is willing to go the extra distance for you.