Planning a Family Vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho

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Whilst Sun Valley in Idaho is perhaps best known as a top destination ski resort, it has plenty to offer all year round. From miles of hiking trails and a scenic mountain lake to luxurious accommodation and family-friendly activities, there are many reasons to visit this beautiful part of Idaho. If you are looking for somewhere special to take your family this year, we have put together a guide to why Sun Valley is an amazing destination. We will cover everything you need to know, from accommodation and family-friendly restaurants to activities and special events. Read on to find out more!

Choosing the Right Accommodation


There is no shortage of accommodation options in Sun Valley, so you should be able to find something to suit your budget. For those looking for an upmarket place to stay, Sun Valley, Idaho rentals tick a lot of boxes. Select a luxury mountain lodge in Sun Valley village or a lakeside villa. It is the perfect option if you want the freedom to come and go as you please, or you like the idea of inviting your parents along for a true family vacation.

There are also plenty of hotels that welcome families. The Sun Valley Lodge is a popular choice – the service and amenities are excellent. For those with more money to spend, the Knob Hill Inn is a 4* hotel described as ‘upscale’. There are, of course, many more hotels at both ends of the price spectrum, ranging from budget motels to more upmarket resort hotels.

Travel to Sun Valley


The nearest airport is Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport. This is a modest 14 miles from Sun Valley, so catch a taxi or take advantage of any courtesy transport offered by your accommodation.

There are regular flights from Chicago, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. United Express, Delta Connection, and Alaska Airlines all serve Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport. Some airlines have special winter deals where your flights include ski passes, so watch out for these if you are booking a ski vacation.

If flying isn’t an option or you would rather take the scenic route, you can always drive there. The roads into Sun Valley are very easy to navigate and the scenery is amazing. There are also daily shuttles from nearby Boise.

Getting Around in Sun Valley


Sun Valley is one of those magical places where you don’t need a car, although you are free to rent one if you decide to explore the wider area. The local transportation is excellent. There are free buses between Sun Valley and Ketchum, with four routes in the summer and six routes in the winter. The buses can handle your skis and bikes, so don’t worry about being left standing at the stop.

There is also a bike share system in operation if you would rather use two-wheels to get around. Use the Mountain Rides app to reserve a bike for you and the kids.

Alternatively, if you would rather catch a taxi, no problem. Two local taxi companies operate in Sun Valley. There is also a limited Uber service, but it is harder to find a driver late at night, so bear this in mind if you go out for a late dinner.

Family-Friendly Activities


You will find no shortage of things to do in Sun Valley, whether you visit in the winter season or decide to book a summer vacation there.

In winter, Sun Valley is famous for its winter sports. It is one of the oldest ski resorts in the US, dating back to 1936. If you want to take the kids to a winter wonderland, Sun Valley is the place to be. There are tons of family-friendly activities for kids of all ages, even the little ones who are too young to ski.

Skiing is a popular activity, of course. If your kids are not experienced skiers, book them in for some lessons while you hit the slopes. There are some fun adventure trails for kids on Bald Mountain, as well as slalom and snowboardingterrain. Dollar Mountain is more suited to beginners and less experienced skiers.

Don’t forget to go sledding too! There are loads of fun slopes to go sledding, but Sledding Hill near Sun Valley Stables is a popular spot. Nordic Skiing is less frenetic than downhill skiing and may suit older kids. Little ones will enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride followed by a piping hot mug of hot chocolate.

In the summer, the snow disappears, and Sun Valley transforms into a warmand welcoming mountain resort. With miles of trails to explore, take the kidsmountain biking or horseback riding. It may be summer, but you can still visit the Ice Rink in Ketchum. Skates, helmets, and anything else you need isall available to hire.

Head over to Sun Valley Lake and hire a paddle boat. Spend a pleasant afternoon out on the water, swimming, flyfishing, or just soaking up the sun. If you don’t want to swim in the lake, the BCRD Aquatic Centre has an outdoor pool. The Rain Maker Splash Park is ideal on a hot day. The park is surrounded by shady trees, so mom and dad can relax while the kids play.

Creative kids will love a trip to the Boulder Mountain Clayworks. There are classes available for adults and kids, so you can spend a few hours working clay and making your own mementos.

Family-Friendly Dining in Sun Valley


No matter how picky your kids are, there are plenty of dining options in Sun Valley. You will find everything from pizza, tacos, andsandwiches to Austrian-style breakfast and gourmet beverages. Let the kids gorge on burritos at KBs while mom and dad enjoy a cheeky margarita.

Perry’s Restaurant is a great place to go if you want a traditional breakfast or hot soup for lunch. And if they have a sweet tooth, the A La Mode sweet shop lets them build their own dessert.

We think Sun Valley is a top family vacation destination. Let us know if you’ve been there!