It is August – the last official month of summer. Whether it’s your 6th summer together as a family, or your 14th, there is still plenty of time to make it a memorable one. We’ve been sharing vacation ideas over the last two months, covering bike trails, hot springs, whitewater rafting, jet boating, unique geological attractions, cool museums and interesting trivia about some of our most popular sites. This month we will add theme parks, water parks, zip lines and lake recreation to our list of summer memory makers.
Theme Parks/Water Parks
Idaho’s only theme park and the largest in the northwest, Silverwood Theme Park has over 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions, including four roller coasters, Boulder Beach Water Park, a steam engine train, live entertainment, restaurants and more. A Silverwood pass also gives you access to Boulder Beach Water Park, where kids from age one to 100 can cool off on crazy slides, a lazy river or toddler friendly splash zones. Located just north of Coeur d’Alene guests can take advantage of hotel lodging and ticket packages, simply buy your tickets online and save $4.00 each.
Triple Play is another family fun park located in northern Idaho near Coeur d’Alene. Triple Play has activities such as laser tag, arcade games, bumper boats, bowling go karts and more. Raptor Reef is an indoor water park with a wave pool and children’s lagoon with a 2-story play structure complete with slides, water guns and a tipping bucket. Guests can ride one of the three amazing slides, one banking in at over 390 feet, or just lean back and relax in the indoor/outdoor Jacuzzi while the kids play. Triple Play is conveniently connected to the Holiday Inn Express where stay & play packages are available. Some area hotels also offer discounted tickets.
Idaho has more fun parks sprinkled around the state, including Lava Hot Springs, and Roaring Springs and Wahooz Family Fun Zone in Boise. Guests at Silver Mountain’s Morning Star Lodge will enjoy the indoor Silver Rapids water park year-round.
Looking to enjoy water in a more natural setting? Head to one of Idaho’s many lakes. We have too many to list them all, but here are some of the more popular spots to enjoy the cooling waters.
Redfish Lake, Stanley – Swim at the beach, or the marina has paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and a few different types of boats to rent. Lake cruises and shuttle rides to the main trailhead for the Redfish Lake Drainage are also available.
Payette Lake, McCall – Swim at the Beach, or rent jet skis, kayaks, paddle- boards and boats at Mile High Marina. Enjoy an afternoon or evening scenic cruise with McCall Lake Cruises, or head to Ponderosa State Park for swimming, fishing, boating and camping with lake views.
Lake Cascade, Cascade – Swim at the Beach, take a water sport boat tour or rent, jet skis, waverunners, boats and anything you might need for water skiing/boarding/tubing at Invert Sports. Tamarack Resort overlooks the lake, and rents kayaks and paddleboards from the golf shop. Lake Cascade State Park is situated on the southwestern side of the lake and offers lake view camping, swimming and much more.
Priest Lake, north of Sandpoint – Way up in northern Idaho, Priest Lake is a hidden gem. Some of the lodging properties along the lake are beachfront, making swimming fun and relaxing super-easy! Blue Diamond Marina offers rentals, including canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and a variety of power boats. Priest Lake State Park also offers excellent day use areas with large sandy beaches with designated swimming areas. Learn about more access points here.
Lake Coeur d’Alene, at Coeur d’Alene – There are more than 55 lakes within easy driving distance of Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho, but none more scenic and full of activities than Lake Coeur d’Alene itself. There is plenty to do: swimming, lake cruises, kayaking, boating, paddleboarding, sea plane tours and lakeside dining. Want a real thrill? Try the Jetovator!
Lake Pend Oreille, Sandpoint – Lake Pend Oreille is a deep water lake and home to a U.S. Navy submarine research center. Its miles of shoreline are dotted with rental cabins and resorts and Farragut State Park offers public beach access and spectacular lake views. Sandpoint’s City Beach is a local favorite for swimming or launching a kayak. There are many marinas around the lake offering a variety of rentals and services or take a narrated lake cruise aboard the Shawnodese.
Bear Lake, near Montpelier – Bear Lake spans the border of Idaho and Utah in Idaho’s southeastern corner. Often called the “Caribbean of the Rockies” for its intense turquoise blue water, the lake is best known for its waterskiing, swimming, sailing, jet skiing and fishing. Paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, and watercraft of all sorts can be rented at Bear Lake area shops and marinas.
Zip Line Tours
There are so many fun things to do in Idaho! Moving on to ziplines…Idaho has seven to delight and entertain. There are often weight requirements, so check with the zip tour company to make sure you little ones aren’t too little or to see if they can ride tandem with an adult.
Silver Streak Zipline Tours - Located near the historic town of Wallace in northern Idaho, segments on both courses of this platform-based zip course allow riders to fly like superman. Zippers will travel about 300 feet above ground with beautiful views of Wallace and the surrounding mountains.
Zip the Snake offers an educational tour of the Snake River Canyon near Twin Falls. Riders will learn about the history, geology, and wildlife in the Snake River Plain as they travel the lines.
Schweitzer Mountain Zip Line stretches over 700 feet, beginning at the resort village and running towards Lake Pend Oreille, offering spectacular mountain and lake views year-round.
Zip Idaho in Horseshoe Bend provides a unique eco-adventure that combines Idaho’s longest zip lines with tree based canopy-tour style zip lines. The course offers seven lines, ranging from 200 to 2,030 feet in length, and beautiful mountain views.
Tamarack Canopy Zip Line Tour, located near Donnelly in the southwest Idaho mountains, promises a thrilling, action packed mountain tour experience. Eight zip lines range in length from 250-800 feet, whisking zippers above 4,425 feet of rugged, scenic terrain with a 1,700 change in elevation.
Heise Hot Springs Zip Line in Ririe in southeast Idaho has seven zip lines covering nearly a mile of terrain. During the 2-hour tour, riders learn the history of Heise Hot Springs while enjoying the beautiful mountains and the valley and river below.
Lava Zip Line Adventures near Lava Hot Springs in southeast Idaho, features a course with three lines of 800,1000 and 1500 feet in length. The two and one half hour tour travels through a scenic canyon with views of the Portneuf River, Petticoat Peak and Haystack Mountain.
Go to www.visitidaho.org for lodging options and more travel ideas.