Visitor interest pours on the city of Idaho Falls for many reasons, aside from its being the county seat of Bonneville County on the eastern side of the state of Idaho.
The Snake River cuts across the city, featuring a trail system linked with parks and the city’s trademark waterfall.
Idaho Falls was founded in 1864 and was incorporated in 1891, creating a colorful history and various points of interest for tourism over the years.
Railway construction during the late 1890s was largely responsible for the early development of the city and its attractions, plus those in the Upper Snake River Valley area.
In later years, the city became host to the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, further growing its appeal to visitors.
Consequently, the city now serves as the cultural and commercial hub for Eastern Idaho, a status easily affirmed by the following list of things to do in Idaho Falls.
Tour the Museum of Idaho
This museum, located on North Eastern Avenue corner Elm Street, features several sections.
These local-history exhibits include the museum’s flagship display called “Way Out West.”
Here, visitors are immersed in the environmental and human history of the Idaho region and the West.
It has seven themed galleries featuring fun interactive elements and artifacts about the Idaho area’s early inhabitants up to today.
The Museum of Idaho, founded in 2003, also features exhibits on science and boasts a Columbian mammoth specimen.
A re-created 1800s town and relics believed from the famous Lewis and Clark expedition are also among the museum’s crowd-drawers.
The museum also hosts major traveling exhibits like those displaying remnants of the Titanic, fossilized dinosaurs, and Gutenberg Bibles.
Stop for a Snapshot at Eagle Rock Fountain
Ask Siri for directions to the roundabout on South Utah Avenue in Idaho Falls, as this rotunda offers a great photo opportunity in its centerpiece bronze sculpture.
Vic Payne Studio of Wyoming masterfully created this huge art piece titled “The Protector,” more popularly known as Eagle Rock Fountain.
Its water feature stands 26 feet high and was crafted using handpicked rocks from the local area.
The monument portrays a perched mother eagle feeding her two eaglets with a salmon clasped in her great talons.
The father eagle is rendered circling in flight to protect the birds’ nest.
The adult eagles were created thrice their life-size with a wingspan of 21 feet to add a dramatic perspective to this symbol and landmark of Idaho Falls’ history.
Explore the Idaho Falls Greenbelt
The Idaho Falls Greenbelt is a paved walkway covering five miles on both banks of the Snake River stretch that meanders through the city.
The trail will let you appreciate the city’s 600-foot wide waterfall spanning the river as you approach from the south the bridge on West Broadway Street.
The Greenbelt walkway also passes through the downtown area of Idaho Falls, enabling easy access to its shops, restaurants, parks, and galleries.
Through this trail, which is accessible to pedestrians and bikers, you can likewise access several parks in the city that offer plenty of recreational facilities.
Watch Free Movies at the Russel Freeman Park
This park, accessible via the Greenbelt walkway, is located on Science Center Drive just south of the Idaho Falls campus of the Idaho State University.
The Russel Freeman Park hosts free outdoor movies, one of the most popular summer events in Idaho Falls.
This 61-acre park also offers several outdoor recreational facilities, including a disc golf course and fields for baseball and softball.
The park, likewise site of the city’s Vietnam War Veterans Memorial, also provides a band shelter, picnic areas, restrooms, and a playground.
The hills of this park are also popular for sledding during winter.
Relax at the Japanese Friendship Garden
This garden is a small riverside park developed on a historically important rocky island on the Snake River.
This island was the site of the first span bridging the Snake River in Eastern Idaho.
The island site of the Japanese Friendship Garden is accessible via the Idaho Falls Greenbelt trail.
This island garden is just south of the Broadway Street Bridge, where the nearby 600-foot-wide waterfall further enhances the little park’s serene setting.
Idaho Falls developed the Japanese Friendship Garden in 2011 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its sister-city relationship with Tokai-Mura City of Japan.
The garden, adorned with a traditional Japanese garden gate, flaunts a viewing platform and a deck.
It also boasts a large Japanese lantern from Tokai-Mura and several water features, including a "Dragon’s Path" across a pond.
Check Out the Zoo of Tautphaus Park
At nearly 85 acres, this park on South Boulevard is one of the largest parks in Idaho Falls.
Many visitors troop to Tautphaus Park to visit its zoo with a collection of more than 300 animals from six continents across the world.
On the Sunken Diamond Drive of the park complex, kinds have much to enjoy at the long-standing amusement center Funland with video games and rides.
The other facilities in Tautphaus Park include five baseball diamonds, tennis courts, a basketball court, and horseshoe pits.
It also provides visitors with four shelters, a skate park, all-access playground equipment, and an ice arena during the winter months.
Visit the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
This artists’ haven is eastern Idaho’s lone art museum, advocating visual arts development in the region since 2002.
The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho (TAM), located on South Capital Avenue and accessible via the Greenbelt walkway, focuses on educational art programs and hosts stimulating and innovative exhibits.
TAM boasts five galleries, an art workshop and classroom, a children’s interactive art learning area, and an eclectic gift shop.
Many local and emerging artists hold their exhibits and meet in this contemporary, family-friendly art museum.
A nearby, quiet public space, South Capital Park, provides a fitting side trip for TAM visitors.
Also called War Mother's Park and Memorial Park, this 7.8-acre park nestles within a lush woodland and features a playground, a shelter, picnic areas, and restrooms.
Hunt for Best Buys at Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art
This gallery entices shopping for affordable artworks within its more than 2,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Eagle Rock Gallery Fine Art is located on River Parkway and just a short distance from the Greenbelt walkway along Snake River.
This art gallery gathers the works of artists recognized nationally and internationally for masterpieces in varying mediums.
In this gallery, you can browse over oil and watercolor paintings, art photography, stone carvings, bronzes, and fine jewelry.
The gallery sells these items "artist direct," allowing the most ideal buying experience for art collectors.
Book a Seat at Willard Arts Center
Check the calendar of events for cultural shows at the Willard Arts Center (WAC) on A Street corner North Capital Avenue.
This cultural hub in Idaho Falls is owned and managed by the Idaho Falls Arts Council (IFAC).
Each season, the council presents between 10 and 16 mainstage shows, mostly at the WAC’s historic Colonial Theater established in 1919.
The WAC is also home to the Paramount Theater, as well as the Hall Gallery and Carr Gallery, where eight visual art exhibits are held annually to highlight local and national talents.
The IFAC also holds every August on the Snake River Greenbelt, a free three-day art festival called Roaring Youth Jam.
This festival gathers youth and families for them to enjoy live performing arts and interact in creative media.
During summer, the council offers ARTitorium on Broadway, where kids can use technology on hands-on art projects.
See Barbie at Collectors Corner Museum
This unique private museum on John Adams Parkway was opened in 2003 by the couple Jim and Nida Gyorfy, with just 125 toy collections on exhibit.
The Collectors Corner Museum now has ballooned to include not only toys but also memorabilia items such as coins, antiques, postcards, and military items.
One of the museum’s most striking displays is an entire room devoted to 400 examples of Barbie dolls made onward from 1959.
All told, the museum features permanent exhibits on 115 different themes, including Disney’s Pixar, Mattel designer fashion dolls, and PEZ Candy collections.
Teach the Kids How to Fish at Ryder Park
This park near the corner of Ryder Park Road and Pioneer Road is the ideal place for you to go fishing with the family in tow.
Ryder Park features two ponds that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game stocks all summer long.
This park is also just steps away from the Snake River Greenbelt walkway, where fishing access is also convenient.
There is also a kid-friendly, five-acre fishing pond on the Snake River’s east side about a quarter mile down the Gem State Power Plant.
Fishing in this pond is open for eight and a half months of the year for kids 14 years old and under.
The pond is closed between March 1 and June 15 so that waterfowl can nest in the area.
Shop at Idaho Falls Farmers' Market
The stretch of Memorial Drive between A Street and D Street is home to the Idaho Falls Farmers’ Market starting the first Saturday of May up to the last Saturday of October.
With this schedule, city shoppers can purchase in-season produce during spring, summer, and fall.
The outdoor farmers’ market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine.
Besides stalls of fruits and vegetables, the Idaho Falls Farmers Market also has vendors selling baked goods, handicraft, art pieces, apparel, repurposed fabric, and breakfast/lunch items.
Dine Italian at Mama Fla
Mama Fla is an authentic Italian restaurant that started selling handmade pasta at the Idaho Falls Farmers Market.
With its warm reception from diners, it opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant on River Parkway adjacent to the Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce building.
Mama Fla offers a casual dining experience, offering a wide variety of pasta dishes made from fresh ingredients daily.
Some picks in this restaurant include linguine, fettuccine, and rigatoni with different kinds of sauces.
Risotto is also on its menu, which is a northern Italian rice meal broth-cooked for creamy consistency and with servings of sausage, mushrooms, and bacon.
Pick a Beer at Idaho Brewing Company
This brewery on South Capital Avenue has offered plenty of choices in its tasting room, entertaining patrons since 2009.
The Idaho Brewing Company brews its beers on a 10-barrel system and has a fermentation capacity of more than 200 barrels.
It uses a variety of malts, hops, and yeast ingredients to brew 20 different styles of lagers and ales.
Eight of these batches are available year-round and include Deep Creek Ale, Red Warrior IRA, and Idaho Pale Ale.
For the seasonal beers, the choices which you may encounter are Foxy Blond Lager, Idaho Premium Lager, and Raspberry Oatmeal Stout.
Idaho Brewing Company accommodates tours and also hosts live music events in its tasting room.
Play Indoor Golf at Bob’s
Beat the weather and hit the greens and fairways even in the dead of winter or if it’s raining cats and dogs.
This you can do by booking a tee time at Bob’s Indoor Golf on East 17th Street, the only virtual golf simulator setup in Idaho Falls.
In this unique facility, you can pick from one of Bob’s four Pro Golf Simulators featuring some of the most famous tracks in professional golf, like PGA National, Pebble Beach, and Royal Melbourne.
As an add-on, Bob’s Indoor Golf likewise offers a 9-hole putting course within a 1,800-square-foot indoor space.
Each Thursday evening, Bob’s also hosts an indoor cornhole competition open to the public.
Special events are also accommodated at Bob’s 500-square-foot party/conference room.
In addition, food and drinks are available in Bob’s Indoor Golf which has reserved areas where its patrons can sit, dine, drink, and relax while watching a major sports event on big TV screens.
Don’t pass on any chance which may arise to visit Idaho Falls, as a tour of this city would be truly worthwhile.
Even confining your visit to the city’s downtown areas covered by the Snake River Walkway could be more than enough to have your fill of the many wonderful things to do in Idaho Falls.