Twin Falls: Scenic City

GO

From annual festivals to the activities available year round, there’s always something happening in Twin Falls. As the only bridge in the United States where one can legally parachute without a permit, hundreds of daredevils BASE-jump off Twin Falls’ Perrine Bridge into the depths of the Snake River Canyon some 500 feet below. Each September, the annual Perrine Bridge Festival celebrates this unique attraction while also serving as a fundraiser for children with special medical needs. Other Twin Falls events include farmers markets; outdoor concerts; theatrical performances and concerts held at the College of Southern Idaho; and Art in the Park, a celebration
of artists held in the summer for more than 50 years.

PLAY

Take a hike on the scenic walking trail that winds its way along the floor of Rock Creek Canyon or the 10-mile Snake River Canyon Rim Trail, an easy way to take in the scenery and wildlife along the spectacular gorge. On the north edge of Twin Falls, the canyon offers golfing, as well as fishing and swimming attractions at Dierkes Lake. Of course, many come just to see the 212-foot-high Shoshone Falls, which is 52 feet higher than Niagara Falls. “It is absolutely beautiful all year round,” says Dennis Bowyer, the city’s parks and recreation director. “Even without high flows, the area is breathtaking.

We have the trail that takes you out of the canyon, with a couple of great overlooks of the falls, then the trail takes you to within 200 feet of the famous Evel Knievel jump site.” In fact, Knievel’s 1974 attempt to jump the quarter-mile-wide canyon helped to earn Twin Falls the title of the country’s most death-defying city on Livability.com.

In addition to all of the natural attractions on land and water, visitors to Twin Falls can also enjoy the cosmopolitan nature of the community. “Twin Falls is the retail and services hub of south-central Idaho and northern Nevada, reaching a market of 250,000 people,” says Shawn Barigar, director of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. Find your favorite retailers at shopping centers and the Magic Valley Mall, or browse the independent shops, antique stores and specialty boutiques of the city’s historic downtown district. Twin Falls also serves as the regional health care hub, home to a new $250 million hospital and medical campus opened by St. Luke’s Magic Valley in 2011.

Other attractions include the new Twin Falls Center for the Arts, a venue operated by the Magic Valley Arts Council that opened on the Snake River Canyon rim in 2010, and the Herrett Center for Arts & Science, a museum and planetarium located on the College of Southern Idaho campus.

STAY

The majority of lodging properties are located on the north end of Blue Lakes Boulevard, with convenient access to shopping, restaurants and recreation at the Snake River Canyon. Additional places to stay are available along the main thoroughfares into the city. For a complete listing of hotels, visit the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce website at Twinfallschamber.com.

EAT

A couple of Twin Falls eateries offer dinner with a gorgeous view. “Canyon Crest Dining & Event Center and Elevation 486 offer the greatest opportunities to experience fantastic cuisine and the natural beauty of the Snake River Canyon,” Barigar says. Canyon Crest’s mouthwatering menu ranges from eggplant lasagna to elk strip loin, while Elevation 486 serves up fire-grilled steelhead trout and a natural-beef porterhouse. Locavores will also love Cucina Gemelli, which sources its ingredients locally for dishes such as deviled duck eggs, cornbread-stuffed tomatoes, and lamb from farms in nearby Shoshone and Carey. This Italian restaurant even offers gluten-free pastas and entrees. And Twin Falls is also home to all your familiar favorites, such as Applebee’s and Chili’s.