Visit Sun Valley: Where the American Ski Vacation Was Born
Nestled in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, of central Idaho, sits Sun Valley. There are a lot of ski resorts in the country, but none has the history of Sun Valley. This is the place where the American ski vacation was born back in 1936. The resort was the first destination ski resort with the world’s first chairlifts. Having skied the Alps as a child, Sun Valley creator W. Arivell Harriman decided North America needed a luxurious resort in the style of St. Moritz.
Sun Valley quickly became the hotspot for VIPs, celebrities and the world’s best skiers and later snowboarders. Eighty years later, it still retains its distinctive character that sets its apart from every other ski resort in the country.
While the resort still attracts wealthy regulars, A-list celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake and longtime Ketchum homeowner, Bruce Willis, it is no Aspen. There is no glitz, but rather an understated rural ambiance. Sun Valley offers activities galore! Check out the following:
Skiing and Snowboarding – With two mountains, 3,400 vertical feet, and over 2,000 acres of terrain, you will probably get in more quality skiing before lunch than you would in an entire vacation at any other resort.
Heli and Backcountry Skiing – Known as the birthplace of heli in the lower 48, Sun Valley has a long tradition of flying vacationers to a snow paradise at the top of the Rockies. Most of the skiing takes place at 7,000 to 10,000 foot mountain ranges that encompass Sun Valley. In one of the most remote regions in the west, there is almost limitless backcountry ski terrain. There is a network of well-equipped huts scattered through the mountains that offer a cozy shelter after backcountry skiing.
Shopping – Sun Valley’s shopping district is a mixture of Main Street USA mixed with classic mountain town topped with European style flair. A rare first edition signed Ernest Hemingway book? A baobab candle? An “Eat More Lamb” shirt? In a place like Sun Valley, you might acquire conversation starters, not just your typical souvenirs.
There are around 50 restaurants and nightspots to fuel up your tank and fire up your adventure!
Art and Culture – Sun Valley is one of America’s top small towns for art. With over a dozen galleries, two theater companies, a Writer’s Conference and the Sun Valley Film Festival, the town packs an enormous cultural punch for its size. Consider attending a meet-the-artist gallery tour where you can hobnob with artists and meander alongside fellow art appreciators and patrons.