Idaho gained American statehood shortly after the population grew rapidly due to the discovery of gold. While finding gold is no longer the reason most travelers rush to Idaho, the state’s beauty and charm are more than enough to thrill fun-seeking and sightseeing aficionados alike.

Idaho’s wild spectacle of snow-capped mountains, placid lakes, and pristine forests make way for culture-laden cities offering shopping, award-winning restaurants, and exhilarating nightlife. These three cities in Idaho should make any globetrotter’s must-see list.

Legendary Lewiston

Lewiston lies at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers near the Washington border in scenic Lewis Clark Valley. Named after the captains of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, it’s known as the Banana Belt of the Pacific Northwest. The valley enjoys warmer weather than much of Idaho, allowing visitors to partake in many year-round outdoor activities. In the valley, you can go golfing, bicycling, fishing, hunting, hiking, backpacking, and horseback riding. You can even enjoy water sports and tour Hells Canyon.

Top-Notch Twin Falls

Twin Falls is located in Magic Valley on the Snake River Plain that covers about a quarter of Idaho. In the early 1900s, dams and irrigation canals constructed on the Snake River converted land once thought to be uninhabitable into this verdant agricultural region.

Here, sightseers can view the gorgeous and majestic Shoshone Falls, one of the America’s largest natural waterfalls. Known as the Niagara of the West, it’s 45 feet higher than Niagara. Thrill-seekers can BASE jump off the 486-foot Perrine Bridge into Snake River Canyon, the only place in the U.S. where parachuting without a permit is allowed at any time. Vacationers can find golfing, fishing, fine dining, and lots of family-friendly activities.

Breathtaking Boise

Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise is the capital of Idaho and home to Boise State University. Multifaceted Boise offers something for everyone. Devotees of hiking, biking, and backpacking can roam miles of well-maintained trails through the city and surrounding foothills. The rivers that run through the city are perfect for kayaking and watercraft enthusiasts, and these bodies of water are renowned for their fly-fishing. Climbers can find lofty places just outside the city or state-of-the-art indoor climbing within it.

Downtown, stroll through the Greenbelt, shops and markets, Boise Art Museum, the impressive sandstone Idaho State Capitol Building, and Old Idaho Penitentiary. When the sun sets, this seemingly peaceful college town lights up at music and entertainment venues, dance clubs, and over 80 dining and drinking spots.

When you’re ready to hit the hay, enjoy the amenities in Boise’s four-star hotels, including the Inn at 500 Capitol, Hotel 43, and Courtyard by Marriott in Downtown Boise. You can also save your spending money and stay at Idaho’s best budget-friendly hotels, such as the Safari Inn Downtown, Modern Hotel and Bar, and Inn America.

Idaho may be known for growing potatoes, but without a doubt, you’ll fall in love with the Gem State and want to discover everything it has to offer. Truly, Idaho is all that and a bag of chips. And who doesn’t love potatoes?