Sun Valley Travel Guide

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Sun Valley Travel Guide

Sun Valley Local History

It all began in 1935, when Count Felix Schaffgtosch, set out in search of the perfect spot for a grand American resort. The count spent months searching the mountains of the west and surveying many areas, but none of them met his strict criteria. Ready to abandon the search, the Count heard locals talking about Ketchum, an old mining town in central Idaho. The Count postponed his return home and set out for the Ketchum area. Upon reaching the Ketchum valley, Count Felix Schaffgtosch was overwhelmed by the area, and within days purchased 4,300 acres of what was soon to become Sun Valley.

Determined to build Sun Valley into a resort worthy of its breathtaking and majestic setting, construction began. After just seven months of construction, Sun Valley opened to the public in the winter of 1936. The resort was an instant success. Local wildlife was seen sharing the mountain with European nobility and Hollywood royalty. Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Claudette Colbert, Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper were all regulars in the lodge, while world champions including Don and Gretchen Fraser, Gracie Carter Lindley and Andy Hennig used the mountain for Olympic training.

Unlike the Shangri-La of legend, Sun Valley welcomes visitors back year after year. The tradition of beauty and service, has become the tradition for families across the globe. It's all part of the magic and mystique that has made Sun Valley the American Shangri-La.

Sun Valley Attractions

Sun Valley Shopping

Ex Libris Bookstore - Sun Valley's independent bookseller for over 30 years. Complete with the largest children's book section in the Wood River Valley, the bookstore has something for everyone in the family, and the friendly, well-read staff is eager to help you find the perfect book. Ask for a recommendation. Located in Sun Valley Village. Tel: 208-622-8174.

The Choclate Foundry - A great place for kids and adults of all ages. This old fashion candy store offers items that adults will remember having when they were children and that will allow the young to make memories of their own. You can watch the staff make candy on the marble, while you shop. The Foundry offers homemade truffles, clusters, fudge and much more, as well as yogurt. They also offer a large selection of Jelly Bellies, gummi items, licorice, and chocolate from all over the world, and will even comply with special orders from their customers. Located in Sun Valley Village. Tel: 208-622-2147.

Sun Valley Lodge Gift Shop - The shop offers gifts from the heart for everyone. Offers include a fine selection of gifts, from Waterford crystal to special Limoges porcelain boxes, and custom design jewelry. There is some very intersting hand painted ceramics for sale, that will melt your heart. Also available are men's, women's and children's logo wear and accessories. The Sun Valley Lodge Gift Shop is located in the lobby of the Sun Valley Lodge. Tel: 208-622-2063.

Sun Valley Activities

There is plenty to do in Sun Valley, especially if you are young, or young at heart. Almost anything you could ask for is available, from paragliding to skeet shooting.

Blaine County Recreation District - Trail systems around Ketchum offer miles of paved and unpaved trails for biking, hiking, skating, or walking. Information is available from the Recreation District (Tel: 208/788-2117) or at the Ketchum Visitor Center.

Sun Valley Restaurants and Bars

California is blessed with a bountiful supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and sea foods in all seasons. It also has a diverse ethnic population, leading to a development of a refreshingly healthy cuisine that utilizes fresh ingredients flavoured with unusual combinations of spices. Fresh green salads topped with avocados and citrus fruits may be served with Asian spiced peanut sauce.

Fish can be lightly grilled in salsa and served with Chinese vegetables and Native American fry bread. Almost any combination of ethnic food styles can be combined in California cooking. This is the home of avant-garde, experimental cuisine. In California, the full-bodied, San Francisco-brewed Anchor Steam beer is available all over, while the rarer Red Sail Ale is among the finest brews in the country.

Sun Valley Restaurants

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Sun Valley Bars & Clubs

The Boiler Room - This sports bar caters for the young and up-coming. It offers a bar dedicated to local beverages and brews. Big-screen televisions broadcast the latest events and crowds gather to cheer their favourite team. Snacks are readily available and their is a selection of pub lunches and dinners on the daily menu. The burgers and pizzas are generous and filling, and there is a wide variety of grilled sandwiches to choose from. Located at the Sun Valley Resort. Tel: 208-622-2148.

Duchin Room - The sophisticated establishment caters for serious sports fans. Besides gigantic screens and live broadcasts of games, there is also a pool room and various games on offer. High quality sound systems enhance the feeling of attending the broadcasts in person. This is also the venue of numerous live music performances during the holiday season. Regional and local favourite cuisines grace the menu, and the prices of beverages and food, are quite reasonable. Situated at the Sun Valley Lodge. Tel: 208-622-4111.

Whiskey Jacques - This very popular venue is famous for its whiskey and malts. It is a very good choice when it comes to relaxing after a long day of enjoying the attractions of Sun Valley. There is snacks and lunches available and the service is excellent. Located at 206 N Main St. Tel: 208/726-3200.

Sun Valley children's activities

There is plenty to do in Sun Valley, especially if you are young, or young at heart. Almost anything you could ask for is available, from paragliding to skeet shooting.

Blaine County Recreation District - Trail systems around Ketchum offer miles of paved and unpaved trails for biking, hiking, skating, or walking. Information is available from the Recreation District (Tel: 208/788-2117) or at the Ketchum Visitor Center.

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