Putt-ing Away the Afternoon

Dateline: Sun Valley, Idaho. Saturday afternoon, 4 p.m.
Challenge: Kids ‘bored’. Hours until dinner.
Solution: Putting!

If you ever find yourself in a situation like the one above or something similar (you want a fresh idea for a date, the in-laws are visiting and no one is hiking-ready, or even if you just really want to practice your putting to improve your short game) make your way to the Sawtooth Putting Course at the Sun Valley Club.

The Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the whole family.

The Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the whole family.

Located just beyond the terrace of this wonderful Lodge are a full 18 putting holes that provide surprisingly pretty views of the Trail Creek Golf Course, burbling Trail Creek, Baldy and Dollar Mountain and beyond.

We took to the green with three complete golfing novices, one seasoned player and quite a bit of resistance (“we don’t like golf!”). After Tate fixed us in the Golf Pro Shop with putters, balls and the all-important score card (no golfing shoes or attire required), we made our way to the first hole.

The putting course is scenic and good for all ages.

The putting course is scenic and good for all ages.

The Sawtooth Putting Course consists of par three holes with varying elevations, curvature and difficulty. (I am definitely one of the novice golfers listed above, so if the nomenclature isn’t correct, please forgive me!). On the first hole, we all did pretty poorly, with everyone but the golfer among us taking about six strokes to find the hole if we found it at all. But even with those first putts, the mood of the group began to shift.

Soon, no one was ‘bored.’ As we progressed through the course, everyone was laughing and cheering each other on. When one of us made the occasional good shot, it was cause for celebration. My daughter ran ‘color commentary’ in the background as we each stepped up to the tee. All in all, it was great fun.

My form may be terrible (with a score to match!) but we had a great afternoon in Sun Valley.

My form may be terrible (with a score to match!) but we had a great afternoon in Sun Valley.

An hour spent on the Sawtooth Putting Course is an affordable, accessible and truly enjoyable way to enjoy time with family or friends. The full service bar at the Sun Valley Club is available if a libation is needed to improve your game or if the kids are thirsty and want a lemonade. The atmosphere on the course is light and I’d put pressure to perform at about a rating of zero.

Our group that Saturday consisted of two adults, a nine-year-old and a 13-year-old, which were great ages for the game. There is certainly no reason younger children can’t putt the afternoon away, though, as the holes are short, the flags easy to spot and even when you take a terrible shot (which we did many times), you can totally get it back together.

The lovely, full-service Sun Valley Club is just steps away in case you need a beverage to improve your game!

The lovely, full-service Sun Valley Club is just steps away in case you need a beverage to improve your game!

I see many more afternoons at the Sawtooth Putting Course in my family’s future this summer. When you have an empty hour (which is hard in Sun Valley, but it does happen), or you are heading for a wonderful dinner at Trail Creek Cabin, the Ram, Gretchen’s, Bald Mountain Pizza or other Resort restaurants, it’s a great pre-dinner experience. Enjoying lunch at the Sun Valley Club and then going out for a round works, too.

According to my son, the whole experience would have been perfect if we had been allowed to take a golf cart as part of the package. Maybe we have a golfer in the family after all!

See you on the green!

–RES

Next time we have to hit the Trail Creek Course to satisfy the request for a golf cart!

Next time we have to hit the Trail Creek Course to satisfy the request for a golf cart!

Sun Valley Named Most Idyllic Resort by Architectural Digest

These two photos of Sun Valley Lodge are featured in Architectural Digest's piece "The Most Idyllic Resorts in the United States."

 

Respected interior design magazine Architectural Digest labels Sun Valley as one of the most idyllic resorts in America in an article on the front page of its website today.  In its ten picks for grand, historic resorts to visit this summer, which it labels “American Classics,” Sun Valley is singled out as a superlative destination for more than just winter sports: 

“Golf, fly-fishing, horseback riding, rafting, gondola rides, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony draw crowds in warmer months,” writes associate editor Alyssa Bird, confirming a truth all locals know: You come to Sun Valley for the winter, but you stay for the summer.

With its inclusion in the article titled “The Most Idyllic Resorts in the United States” Sun Valley is in some great company. Among the ten hotels mentioned are such Grand Dames of the hotel world as Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, California, built in 1923; The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, opened in 1914; and Yosemite’s Ahwahnee, designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in 1927 – just before he worked on Sun Valley Lodge.

Read the full list of “American Classics” and find out what Architectural Digest has to say about these grand, historic resorts by clicking here www.architecturaldigest.com.

Jennifer Tuohy

Reinvent Father’s Day

Let’s face it. Typical Father’s Day gifts and activities can be, well, typical. My guess is that the gift of a standard necktie and stereotype of dad as grill chef on Father’s Day only became jokes because they are so common.

Well, in Sun Valley, Father’s Day, celebrated this year on Sunday, June 15, can be anything but average.  Add the many activities your dad will love, to all the gear he needs and throw in a new outfit or two to accompany said activity in style, and you’ll have a Father’s Day to remember.

Stop by Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village to demo a bike on Father's Day

Stop by Pete Lane's in the Sun Valley Village to demo a bike on Father's Day

Start Sunday with a stop at Pete Lane’s Mountain Sports in the Sun Valley Village. There will be free bike demos all day from Cervelo, Turner, Norco and Kona. Terrific mountain bike trails await just across the street in the White Clouds and road biking possibilities stretch in every direction.

Next stop? The Sun Valley Club for a wonderful, relaxing lunch at the restaurant. Whether he wants to tuck into a hearty meal following his biking adventure or wishes to keep it light for afternoon activities, there is something for everyone on the locally-sourced, super fresh menu.

A few hours on the Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the entire family.

A few hours on the Sawtooth Putting Course is fun for the entire family.

Following lunch, dad may want to simply relax on the patio and take in the view, or if he is a golfer, there are numerous choices to consider. One is to take the whole family to the Sawtooth Putting Course for 18 holes of fun for every skill level and age. Playing the front or back nine at the storied Trail Creek or White Clouds courses would also make many men very happy.

Dad not a golfer or a biker? How about a scenic trail ride on horseback from the Horsemen’s Center. These gentle rides last up to an hour-and-a-half and offer never-ending vistas and views from atop Dollar Mountain. Then head down to the Konditorei at the Sun Valley Village for the finest coffee drinks, pastries, hearty breakfasts and fabulous lunches. This time of year, dining on the Konditorei deck cannot be beat.

Local trails are convenient and great for hiking or mountain biking.

Local trails are convenient and great for hiking or mountain biking.

Or how about a family hike up nearby Proctor Mountain with a picnic lunch up top? The Short Line Deli in the Sun Valley Village will prepare made-to-order sandwiches and offers chips, drinks, desserts and salads to round out the meal.

Maybe the best Father's Day for dad is some alone time with mom. Book a creekside table at Trail Creek Cabin to enjoy great food or a drink.

Maybe the best Father's Day for dad is some alone time with mom. Book a creekside table at Trail Creek Cabin to enjoy great food or a drink.

Maybe a romantic dinner is in order for the man in your life. Book a babysitter and make a reservation on the deck at Trail Creek Cabin or at the Ram patio in the Sun Valley Village. Both offer fine dining in a beautiful atmosphere. Please call restaurant reservations at 208.622.2391 to book your table.

Treat dad to the latest in mountain lifestyle fashion from Brass Ranch.

Treat dad to the latest in mountain lifestyle fashion from Brass Ranch.

As far as gifts go, every store will offer endless ideas. Pop into Pete Lane’s for the latest and greatest bike and hiking gear; the Pro Shop at the Sun Valley Club sells only the best names in golfing hardware as well as the latest styles for the game; Brass Ranch will help any man achieve the look of the mountain lifestyle. Before Father’s Day, take a few hours to shop the Village stores. Dad will be stunned by your thoughtfulness at finding the perfect gift.

There is really so much to do, perhaps you should make a weekend of it. That would allow for fly fishing, as well. There may not be a more relaxing activity for the man who does so much for so many than to wander hip deep into one of the area’s glorious rivers to unplug and unwind.

No matter how you celebrate Father’s Day, be sure to acknowledge the great fathers you know. They deserve a day to remember.

–RES

For my dad (pictured here with an amazing steelhead caught near Stanley this spring), nothing says Father's Day like time on the river. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

For my dad (pictured here with an amazing steelhead caught near Stanley this spring), nothing says Father's Day like time on the river. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

 

 

Sun Valley On Ice Presents: Evan Lysacek. August 30th, 2014.

On August 30th, 2014, make sure to head to Sun Valley to watch Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135

Sun Valley On Ice Presents: 2014 Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. August 23rd, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23rd, 2014. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Johnny Weir and Nathan Chen. August 16th, 2014.

On August 16th, make sure to check out World Bronze Medalist and 3X US Gold Medalist Johnny Weir. Also, on the 16th, 2014 Jr. World Bronze Medalist and 2014 US Jr. Gold Medalist Nathan Chen. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Ashley Wagner and Nathan Chen. August 9th, 2014.

Be sure to catch 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Ashley Wagner and 2014 Jr. World Bronze Medalist Nathan Chen on August 9th, 2014. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Alissa Czisny and Josh Farris. July 26th, 2014.

On July 26th, come join 2x US Gold Medalist Alissa Czisny and 2013 World Jr. Gold Medalist Josh Farris. For tickets and additional information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Sun Valley On Ice Presents Mirai Nagasu and Max Aaron. Saturday, July 19th.

On July 19th, be sure to check out US Olympic Competitor and 2X US Bronze Medalist Mirai Nagasu. Also that night is 2014 US Bronze Medalist and 2013 US Gold Medalist Max Aaron. For tickets and more information please visit http://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/iceshows/ or call 208.622.2135.

Along the Banks of Trail Creek

As our server Shauna approached the table to take a drink order with her signature smile, the business of the day began to evaporate into the tumbling water of Trail Creek as it raced just feet from where we sat. The wide wooden deck, perched inches away from the burbling stream, was set with umbrellaed tables and offered a full bar, complete with comfortable bar stools and festooned with twinkling lights.

The deck at beautiful Trail Creek Cabin awaits to make your dining dreams come true!

The deck at beautiful Trail Creek Cabin awaits to make your dining dreams come true!

Welcome to summer at Trail Creek Cabin, Sun Valley’s historic restaurant located 1.5 miles east of the Sun Valley Lodge. This romantic hideaway in the Idaho hills was originally built in 1937 as a hunting lodge and now offers a first-class dining experience featuring a menu filled with the freshest, most local, most seasonal choices available.

There is no better place this summer to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail (pictured is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan) and delicious, locally-sourced food.

There is no better place this summer to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail (pictured is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan) and delicious, locally-sourced food.

This summer, creekside dining is a must-do. Though the restaurant normally offers al fresco dining on the lawn adjacent to the restaurant, there is something really special about descending the steps onto the deck. The slight mineral smell of the creek and the sounds it makes as it bounces over rocks and around bends ensure a one-of-a-kind experience.

Through June 21, the menu at Trail Creek Cabin includes a nightly “deck” special, that for $15.95, is a can’t-miss. This week, the special included a grilled New York Steak with crushed red potatoes and seasonal vegetables accompanied by a glass of red wine and ending with homemade cinnamon ice cream.

The daily 'deck special' hit the spot.

The daily 'deck special' hit the spot.

The rest of the menu this summer, under the direction of Chef Wendy Little, is full of delicious details and fan favorites. Small plates include House Smoked Rainbow Trout with potato and watercress salad, a Charcuterie Plate and Ground Elk-Buffalo Sliders. A complement of salads provide a light interlude and rely on locally grown, in-season ingredients. Large plates range from Grilled Eggplant for the vegetarian to a Bone-In Cowboy Rib Eye for those who crave a taste of the wide-open range. Of course, wonderful fish dishes like Cedar Planked Alaskan King Salmon and Potato Wrapped Idaho Sturgeon with sublime sides are also available.

Trail Creek Cabin is also known for it’s hand-crafted cocktails and extensive wine list. Bartender Richard carefully prepares Basil Lemondrops using fresh basil that is still growing behind the bar. Another favorite is a Huckleberry Mojito, full of the flavor of fresh local huckleberries. My favorite is the Hawaiian Cosmopolitan made with fresh pineapple. It’s a trip to the beach without ever having to leave the beautiful Idaho mountains.

My chicken was juicy and flavorful, perfect for a summer's evening.

My chicken was juicy and flavorful, perfect for a summer's evening.

Save room for dessert as Trail Creek Cabin’s enormous “Mile High” Mud Pie is something you have to taste to believe. They also serve local ice creams, a wonderful chocolate lava cake and specialties featuring in-season berries and fruit.

For dinner one night recently, our party of four enjoyed a relaxing dinner on the deck and ordered a wide selection from the menu. I sampled the night’s Market Salad that was comprised of the freshest local asparagus, crumbled egg, a bit of breadcrumb and hazelnuts. It was accompanied by a wild mushroom strudel and was absolutely perfect. Our large plates ranged from the Bone-In Cowboy Rib Eye (with the best buttermilk onion rings ever), the deck special, Brick Red Organic Rotisserie Chicken and the Slow Cooked Heritage Pork Ribs. Delicious!

Bring your friends and enjoy a memorable meal along the banks of Trail Creek.

Bring your friends and enjoy a memorable meal along the banks of Trail Creek.

To make a special night even more special, book a round-trip carriage ride to Trail Creek Cabin from the Resort. This approximately half-hour journey includes beautiful scenery and the chance to take life at a slighter slower pace. For details on this memorable option and to ask about the Mountain Romance package, please call 208.622.2387.

Reservations for dinner are available by calling 208.622.2097 and dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.

Dinner on the deck beside Trail Creek – it really feels, and tastes, like summer!

–RES