The railroad helped settle the West. Idaho Falls was one of the stops that grew as a division of the Northern Railroad where workers could stop and recreate before going to back to work. It became a prosperous town throughout these endeavors and still has many of the historical buildings in Downtown remain down by the Snake River. It is reported to be one of the faster growing cities in Idaho and many people travel here to take part in the unique shops, dining venues and museums.
Friday, 3pm-Time To Explore
The Museum of Idaho (200 N Eastern Ave, $10-12 per person), was once the public library and became a museum from the support of the Bonneville County Historical Society. Bringing some culture to a frontier town, the main exhibit changes every 6-8 months and the museum offers thousands of artifacts detailing the culture of Idaho Falls before today. The Exhibit now is Darwin and the Dinosaurs. It looks at artifacts from Charles Darwin's life as well as details from his scientific voyage. There are also historical exhibits like The Anderson Brothers, which has been there for over 20 years and chronicles the history of the city.
Friday, 5pm-Celtic Life Indeed
Down the street from the Museum of Idaho is the Celt (398 W. Broadway, $3-$30). This Pub and Grill offers wares like fish and chips, beer (from local breweries) and home brewed Root Beer. Local bands come to play for the patrons and the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. The basket of fries and root beer puts one in the mood to window shop for antiques and clothing.
Friday, 8pm-Get D’railed
Working for a railroad being derailed is not considered a good thing, but the owners of D’railed (468 N. Eastern Ave, $4-$30) are thrilled to fill you with their scrumptious meal of local wares. They have steaks from naturally raised beef, as well as locally grown produce. Their casual eatery is right across the street from the railroad tracks and many times patrons can see the trains passing by. The Gluten Free bread for the D’railed cheeseburger was rich and filling. The blu cheese steak isn’t half bad either. Their house made dressings (the Caesar vinaigrette and Ranch) and seasonings make this hole in the wall diner, a place to eat any time! They are family friendly as well as support the local nightlife with entertainment of musicians and comedians.
Saturday 9am-Coffee Coffee Coffee
The Villa Coffeehouse (344 Park Ave, $2-$10) smells amazing with its java and fresh baked goods. Their coffee is roasted by a local company, Steve and Harry’s Coffee, which roasts a special blend just for Villa. The Carmelo Mocha was delectable (Carmel and Toasted Marshmallow) and the Honey Bee (croissant, cream cheese, honey, cinnamon and sugar) was a great start to the morning.
Saturday 11am-Belting the Japanese Pavilion
Work off that caffeine energy by the Greenbelt, which leads to the Japanese Pavilion just off the bridge on West Broadway near the Key Bank. The Sister Cities program is a special part of Idaho Falls History as delegations visit Tokai for a few weeks. The historical city has stone architecture which was sent back to Idaho Falls. A stone lantern is recognizable from Japan and has graced the park near the falls. It took 4 years for the Pavilion and gardens to be completed by numerous individuals. The sound of the falls crashing nearby helps drown out the cars crossing the bridge. The historical structure and friendship garden is a peaceful place to rest during a walk along the Greenbelt. It is completely free to the public and sometimes one might see a couple tying the knot under the eaves of the Pavilion.
Dixies Diner (2150 Channing Way, $5-$20), is a 50’s style diner with delicious comfort foods like chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. Their Idaho Nachos are deserving of the title. The waffle fries and nacho fixings mixed with an ice cold Mountain Dew can satiate even the most cranky adult to toddler. They offer a line of milkshakes served in the tin carafe and there are many people who are regulars, even for a cup of coffee and conversation.
Saturday 5pm-The Mall
The Grand Teton Mall has been very successful where other malls have failed. They have a wide variety of shops catering to the public including gaming, clothing, children’s toys, LDS goods, and books. Even if you just want to walk around the mall has relaxing music and an aura of openness so you don’t feel cramped. They even have a Barnes and Noble for those book enthusiasts who were angry when Hastings closed down the street.
Saturday 8pm-Dinner and dancing
The Roadhouse Saloon (1680 Lyndsey Blvd, $5-$20) is designed in the classic style of an old west saloon, full of classic pictures on the wall, street signs, and there is even old license plates on the wall. The bar has delicious eats, like burgers and fries as well as cold beers and their award winning Bloody Marys. They do host a few motorcycle friends but overall the atmosphere is fun and inviting. The waitresses are incredibly nice and easy to talk to.
Kool Beanz Café (901 Pier View Dr, $5-$16) is a morning and midday eatery and coffee shop where people come to socialize. The smell of brewing coffee adds to the small town feel of the coffee shop. They have local roasters who make special blends for their shop as well as drive through shops all over South East Idaho. Their staff was very friendly and helpful when trying out different types of coffee, if you find you like regular lattes and yet want to expand your horizon’s to mochas or cappuccino or that ever delightful green tea blender, they know how to pick something for you to try. I am usually a latte drinker but they talked me into a peach green tea blender, which was light with just a little sweetness, and it still gave me the caffeine kick I wanted.
Sunday 11am-Shadows and stuff
The Shaddow Domain (341 W. Broadway, $10-$50) has some curious things. Their shop is eclectic with old school medical devices and pictures from an old traveling circus. The walls are filled with gifts like purses and clothing. They also have a pagan corner, which has items for practicing pagans in the city. They have one of the larger varieties of incense, crystals, and bumper stickers. The entire staff is extremely helpful and if they don’t have a specific specialty item they are more than willing to order it for you.
Idaho Falls is less than 2 miles away from the local airport and about 3 hours away from Salt Lake’s International Airport. Their hotel options are numerous. The Destinations Inn (295 W. Broadway, $130-$230 a night) is one of the more eclectically designed options for rooms in Idaho Falls. Most hotels have the same flooring and wall hangings, not the Destinations Inn. They have different locales in which you can spend the night including Paris and Morocco. They are very luxurious, though pricey, yet it is worth the extra money.
The Best Western Driftwood Inn (575 River Parkway, $50-$75) is another more cost efficient option for travelers. They have continental breakfast and the staff is very knowledgeable of the area. Overall a great place to stay as well as a beautiful area overlooking the Snake River.