Curbside Attractions in Idaho’s Yellowstone-Teton Territory

From TV inventors to root beer floats, you’ll find great Americana in eastern Idaho. Visit the Spud Drive-Inn, Yellowstone Bear World, and a summer music scene.
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From TV inventors to root beer floats, you’ll find great Americana in eastern Idaho. Visit the Spud Drive-Inn, Yellowstone Bear World, and a summer music scene.
Spud Drive-In Theatre in Driggs Idaho. Photo by Nick Cote

Spud Drive-In Theatre in Driggs Idaho. Photo by Nick Cote

They say genius has no boundaries, and to prove it, you’ll discover the Philo Farnsworth TV & Pioneer Museum in Rigby, Idaho.

As a student in the early 1920s, Philo Farnsworth used several blackboards to show his Rigby High School teacher his plans to develop the world’s first working all-electronic TV system. His concepts ended up paving the way for the first electronic TV sets, some of which you can see at the museum.

You’ll discover more Americana like this in an area spanning six eastern Idaho counties. Down the road from Rigby, stop by the Idaho Centennial Carousel, one of the nation’s few remaining wooden carousels dating back to the 1920s. Farther north eight miles west of St. Anthony, play on sand dunes that reach up to 400 feet above the valley floor. Afterwards, empty the sand from your shoes and head to the Frostop Drive-In in Ashton for 1950s-style curbside service and an incredible root beer float.

Mesa Falls on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho.

Mesa Falls on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho.

If nature is still calling, continue north on the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway to stroll on wooden boardwalks to see Upper Mesa Falls, a striking 10-story cascade, in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest or head to Harriman State Park where trumpeter swans, moose and fantastic fly fishing await.

Victor Emporium in Victor, Idaho. Photo by Nick Cote

Victor Emporium in Victor, Idaho. Photo by Nick Cote

Across the valley, tune into the summer music scene Thursday evenings at Victor’s “Music on the Main” and get a taste for a local favorite, a huckleberry shake, at the Victor Emporium. As night falls, watch a movie at the legendary Spud Drive-In Theatre. Look for a giant potato in a 1946 red Chevy flatbed truck. Visit the theatre at 2175 South Highway 33 in Driggs or go to spuddrivein.com.

“We never talk about “vacation,” says Tom Walsh, chairman of Yellowstone Teton Territory, a nonprofit tourism organization. “We talk about 'experience' and 'adventure.' Your eyes are shutters and lenses to a lifetime of memories.”

Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg

Drive through Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg. Courtesy photo

Drive through Yellowstone Bear World in Rexburg. Courtesy photo

See grizzly and black bears, along with other animals like bison and moose, when you visit Yellowstone Bear World. Drive your personal vehicle through the park and be surrounded by free-roaming wildlife. Or go on a “curator tour” in the park's safari truck. There is even a petting zoo and amusement rides.

Open seven days a week starting mid-May, it’s just five miles from Rexburg, Idaho, and 80 miles south of West Yellowstone, Mont., which is the gateway town to Yellowstone's west side.

Visit this attraction at 6010 S. Bear World Rd. or go to yellowstonebearworld.com.

Fishing the Snake River

Fishing in southeast Idaho. Photo courtesy Yellowstone Teton Territory

Fishing in southeast Idaho. Photo courtesy Yellowstone Teton Territory

Fly-fishing the South Fork of the Snake River, one of North America’s premier dry-fly fisheries, provides anglers opportunities to land trophy-size native Yellowstone cutthroat, rainbow, and brown trout in a pristine setting. The season runs from June to September.

Harriman State Park

Harriman State Park in Idaho. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Harriman State Park in Idaho. Photo by Grant Ordelheide

Located just west of Island Park, Idaho, Harriman State Park lies within a 16,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Moose, elk, and sandhill cranes are common, as are North America’s largest waterfowl, the trumpeter swan.

Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg

The Legacy Flight Museum offers tremendous insight into the history of flight, particularly war planes. At least 10 World War II, Korean War, and Cold War airplanes and memorabilia are displayed. These real, working planes include such models as the P-63 King Cobra (one of only three in the world that still fly), the P-51 Staggerwing Beech (two planes), the Sky Raider, and the L-39, among many others. Step into history and get a firsthand look at this amazing exhibit.

Idaho Dance Festival

Romanian dancers at Summerfest in Rexburg, Idaho. Courtesy photo

Romanian dancers at Summerfest in Rexburg, Idaho. Courtesy photo

For more than 25 years, citizens of the world have come to Idaho to dance. Each summer in Rexburg and Burley, Idaho, folk dancers and musicians gather at the Idaho International Dance and Music Festival. More than 300 dancers perform in various venues, from the opening ceremonies to the parade, street festival, youth culture classes, performances, and other ceremonies. It’s also not unusual to see dancing and singing in the streets. In the past, performers have come from countries like China, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Senegal and the U.S.; check the website below for this summer’s schedule. The Festival is presented by the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce. idahosummerfest.com

For more information:
(208) 356-5700 or (800) 634-3246
yellowstoneteton.org

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