When anyone in Ireland asks where they should go in the States, I immediately say out west: skip New York City, avoid Los Angeles, go straight to Idaho. It’s unlike anywhere in Europe, with a wide openness that can be unnerving for Europeans not used to long stretches of prairies and layers of mountains for days.
There’s a picture perfect-ness to Idaho that can’t be described in words, from the almost translucent blue sky, the alpine lakes that are beyond crystal clear, the sound of the river rushing through a canyon, and the wind making itself known in the aspen leaves.
Located exactly in the center of Idaho, Blaine County is made up of several small towns–Ketchum and Hailey are the most notable–with a total population of just over 20,000 in 2,661 square miles. Made famous by Ernest Hemingway, the area is both high-class and down-to-earth, where movie stars and billionaires rub shoulders with everyday people.
North of Ketchum is Stanley, Idaho and the Sawtooth Wilderness, which holds some of the most beautiful and secluded areas in the United States. The recreation area is an outdoor lover’s dream. It has miles of trails, rivers, streams, and lakes. You can hike, bike, fish, raft, canoe, hunt, rock climb, drive, boat, ride horseback, camp, ski, snowmobile, and observe the flora and fauna in all its glory.