Wait, you didn’t see the movie Twin Falls back in 1999? That’s ok - we found it kind of (maybe very) disturbing. For most people who know about it, Twin is either a stop off on 84 as you drive up to Seattle or the airport you fly into when the one in Sun Valley, an hour and a half north of here, is closed. We admit that we used to fall into the second camp, viewing Twin as the place with a Costco where we could stock up on supplies so that we didn’t have to pay resort prices for everything. Then we got a local’s tour, and it opened our eyes.
For starters, no place can be all bad if Evel Knievel tried to jump a canyon there - drive over the Snake River Gorge and you’ll get a sense of what it really means to be a daredevil (sorry, Travis Pastrana, we love you, but you’re not nearly as crazy as Evel, which is probably good). Since we’re not really into risking our lives for the camera, we prefer to go down into the gorge, where there’s an excellent golf course at Canyon Springs - we think that this is one of the most beautiful courses in the entire Pacific Northwest. Also, Twin Falls has fairly mild weather, so don’t be surprised if you can play into the winter and early in the spring.
If you’d rather spend some time hiking, you’re in for a treat. Besides the beautiful hiking in the canyon, Shoshone Falls is a five minute drive from town, and has waterfalls that are higher than Niagara. Be careful on the hikes in this area (as on all hikes), as Idaho is high desert country, which means that the sun is going to dehydrate you pretty quickly.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be surprised by the breadth of the food available (and yes, we’re aware that most of what you’ll see is fast food). First, there’s the local Idaho chain coffee shop, Java, which started in Ketchum, but now has outlets throughout the southern portion of the state (we like their bagels with cream cheese and cracked pepper). If you’re looking for a heartier breakfast, head over to the Buffalo Cafe for biscuits and gravy (and definitely make sure you work out later on). There’s a strong Asian community in Twin, and so there’s a great New York-style Chinese take out (Peking Restaurant) as well as excellent sushi at Sushi Tokyo (well, excellent considering how far you are from any oceans). If you want a great view more than great food, head to Elevation 486.
If you’re in town during late summer, you have to go to the County Fair and Rodeo. If you’re looking for rodeos outside of the fair, look them up on Rodeoz, which (you guessed it) lists rodeos throughout the country. You can find one most weekends during the spring and summer.
The only thing we haven’t found much of in Twin is unique shopping - it’s a mecca for big box chain stores and car dealerships, but we’re still looking for the cool local places that have things we can’t find anywhere else. If you’ve got one, let us know!