Family Fun in Blackfoot and Idaho Falls
After leaving Twin Falls, we drove two hours to the town of Blackfoot, in southeastern Idaho. We were there for one reason: the Idaho Potato Museum. The first order of business was taking a selfie in front of the giant baked potato.
A local Scout built this selfie stand as an Eagle project. It worked like a charm and allowed us to all be in the photo together.
The building that houses the Idaho Potato Museum was originally a railroad depot, completed in 1913.
We actually started our visit at the Potato Station Cafe. Every item they sell (except soda) is made of potatoes. We shared their amazing potato soup, french fries, and huckleberry potato ice cream. All were fantastic! We devoured half of everything before I got a photo.
Inside the museum itself, we learned everything there is to know about potatoes, from the equipment used to plant and harvest them...
... to the tools used to prepare them...
... to dishes used to serve them.
There are potato comic strips and action figures...
... a potato signed by Dan Quayle after he famously misspelled it "potatoe"...
... and my two favorites: the world's largest potato chip and a display of postage stamps from around the world featuring potatoes.
Do not miss the singing potato family in the cellar. The potato song is very catchy!
Upstairs, the discovery area has toys, science experiments, games, and more.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Idaho Potato Museum and highly recommend it!
From Blackfoot, we had a 30 minute drive to Idaho Falls. We checked into the Tru by Hilton Hotel, which I also highly recommend. It's a new hotel in a great location at an affordable price.
We had a fantastic view from our room. That's a canal in the foreground and the Snake River in the background, with the LDS temple toward the left.
After putting our stuff in our room, we headed out to explore the city and its namesake falls via the Idaho Falls Greenbelt Trail. It follows the Snake River most of the way through town.
The Greenbelt Trail is beautifully landscaped with a lot of public art. Specifically, Art You Can Sit On.
This is Eagle Rock Fountain, a huge, stunning sculpture in the center of a roundabout.
It was gorgeous, but I could hardly appreciate it. It was over 100°F outside, and I was way too hot and definitely dehydrated. Fortunately, relief was just ahead. We'd planned to stop for a refreshing beverage at Pick Me Up Drinks, where we could enjoy 15 minutes or so of air conditioning before continuing our walk to dinner. Unfortunately, only the drive-thru was open. Undeterred, we got in line with the cars and placed our order.
I got Fanta with raspberry puree and it was so refreshing. While air conditioning would have been nice, we sat in the shade with our drinks along the river.
Next stop: dinner. I'd gotten a lot of recommendations for great places to eat in Idaho Falls and was excited about the one I'd chosen. But it was not to be. I'd failed to notice on their website that they are closed on Sundays. We checked the other recommended places. Closed. Apparently 95% of Idaho Falls is completely closed on Sundays. Even most of the fast food places are closed on Sundays. We did eventually find an open restaurant within walking distance, Mackenzie River Pizza, a Montana chain with locations in a few other states (but not California).
The food was very good, but the wait time was long. Part of that was due to limited staff and part due to the fact that everyone who wanted to eat in a restaurant on a Sunday was there. They were sold out of entire categories on the menu. I'd eat there again, but not on a Sunday. For that matter, I strongly recommend avoiding Idaho Falls entirely on Sundays.
The only good thing about waiting so long for dinner was that the we could wait in the air conditioned lobby. And by the time we got our food and finished eating, the temperature outside had dropped significantly. The evening walk back to the hotel was much more pleasant than the afternoon walk had been, temperature-wise. Idaho Falls is a beautiful city.
We had a restful night's sleep and enjoyed the hotel's breakfast the next morning before checking out. Tomorrow I'll tell you about the rest of our time in Idaho Falls and where we headed from there.