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.
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.
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.
Growing up on the East Coast, my early perceptions of the west largely consisted of visions of horses and wide open plains – images from books and films. This reality was reinforced by trips to ‘dude ranches’ in Wyoming as a child. I mostly remember scratchy straw cowboy hats, stiff leather cowboy boots and saddle sores from vacations spent on horseback. But I also remember the gorgeous scenery and excitement of learning riding basics.
Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.
Though Sun Valley isn’t the Wild West, horseback trail riding is certainly still part of our western culture. And no trip to a dude ranch is required to get some quality time in a saddle.
The Sun Valley Horsemen’s Center, located within easy walking or biking distance of the Lodge and Inn, provides a genuine trail riding experience that is fun, scenic and great for all ability levels. During the summer, stop by the Stables, or call 208.622.2387, and book a guided one or one-and-a-half hour ride up scenic Dollar Mountain. Rides are also available by appointment.
Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.
Chana, the assistant manager at the Horsemen’s Center (who looks the part in her flannel shirt, cowboy boots with spurs and broad smile), said both rides are beautiful. The California native turned Sun Valley wrangler said the longer ride dips down the Elkhorn side of the mountain, while the shorter ride offers fantastic views of Ketchum and beyond.
“During the high season that really heats up in mid-June, we offer trail rides seven days a week,” Chana said. “The first ride goes out at 9 a.m. and the last ride at 4 p.m. Reservations are required and we can take up to eight people at one time. We cater to the ‘never-ever’, the experienced horse person and everyone in between.”
Participants must be at least eight years old, 52 inches tall and accompanied by an adult. Riders are asked to arrive at the Stables 20 minutes before their set-out time for an orientation. A one-hour ride costs $46 and the longer ride runs $59. Tax is not included.
Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.
If you don’t want to ride a horse, you can still visit with some of Sun Valley’s most popular residents. The wide pasture along Sun Valley Road is populated by some of the Resort’s gentle horses that are more often than not up for a scratch on the nose or a carrot treat.
Another way to get a taste of the western experience is to book a summer wagon ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner. Please call 208.622.2387 for the details on this memorable mode of transportation. Currently, wagon rides are being offered on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The cost is $28 for guests 13 years and older and $18 for ages 2 – 12. This does not include dinner.
Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!
Rustic takes a turn to the romantic when the horse drawn carriage ride is part of a special package in Sun Valley. First, you will be welcomed with chocolates in your well-appointed and elegant room. Then, step back in time as you board a carriage that will carry you to, and from, the sublime Trail Creek Cabin. There, a table for two awaits, either outdoors on the patio or inside in the one-of-a-kind dining room. This romantic special is $237 per person double occupancy and includes one night’s lodging and the carriage ride. It does not include dinner. For reservations please call (866) 616-8224.
Get your giddy up on!
A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride.
There is nothing more memorable on a warm summer Sun Valley night than live music in the mountains. This pastime has been elevated in recent years with top acts and bands performing under the sail of the outdoor Sun Valley Pavilion. As the sun dips behind the hills and evening’s shadows creep in, the acoustics in this theater transport the audience to a place far removed from life’s hustle and bustle and busy schedule.
Close your eyes and you'll swear it's John, George, Paul and Ringo when the Fab Four take the stage at the Sun Valley Pavilion July 5
If you’re a Beatles fan, be sure to mark your calendar (and get your tickets) for the July 5 show by the highly acclaimed Fab Four. This event, presented by the Sun Valley Opera, dares you not to sing along (in your head!) to some of the biggest hits of all time. The group, dubbed the ultimate Beatles tribute band is known for their precise attention to detail. Close your eyes. Enjoy the spot-on note-for-note renditions of the Beatles’ lasting hits, and you will truly believe you are listening to John, George, Ringo, and Paul.
The California-based Fab Four was founded in 1997 by John Lennon impersonator Ron McNeil. Today the group covers almost the entire Beatles songbook, as well as solo material. They have performed throughout California, Las Vegas, and around the world in Japan, Malaysia, France, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil. Next stop? Idaho!
Other performances planned at the Pavilion this summer include a just-announced appearance by the one-and-only Los Lobos. This world famous band will rock the Pavilion on July 13. Known for No. 1 hits like La Bamba, this summer, the band celebrates the 20th anniversary re-release of their landmark Kiko album by Shout! Factory. Due for release on August 21, the album offers amazing new bonus tracks and a live DVD recording in addition to the original album. This legendary American quintet will surely rock the house.
The glorious Pavilion is home to the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, but is also a perfect venue for great concerts like the Fab Four, Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers
On August 20, as part of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, benefiting leukemia and cancer research, the well-loved sounds of the Doobie Brothers will provide the sweetest summer soundtrack for a night at the Pavilion. These four-time Grammy Award winners have recorded some of the most enduring sounds of a generation – or two! They are still writing and recording new music, but promise to play their favorites in Sun Valley. Oh! Listen to the music!
Tickets to the Fab Four, as well as Los Lobos and the Doobie Brothers, are going fast so be sure to click HERE and get yours before they’re gone. All three shows promise to be anything but a Hard Day’s Night…
Enough bad song title puns … just be sure to get your tickets and plan on spending some of the best nights of the season surrounded by good friends, spectacular scenery and some pretty great music.
The magic happens beneath the sail of the Pavilion, but the views are still pretty magical -- even from inside
“With the exception of U2, no other band has stayed on top of its game as long as Los Lobos…But while U2 constantly reinvent themselves and compete with new generations of bands, these East L.A. vets just keep on making the same golden blend of blues, R&B, cumbia and barrio rock & roll that they first laid down when Jimmy Carter was president.” For tickets and more information please visit http://sunvalley.ticketfly.com/event/588573-los-lobos-sun-valley/
When it’s hot outside (and it is definitely already getting there) there is no cooler place to be than Sun Valley’s iconic outdoor skating rink. The largest year-round outdoor rink in the country, it is also one of the prettiest. Views extend over Dollar and Bald Mountains and to the historic Sun Valley Lodge.
Everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley and no summer stay here is complete without taking in the magical Sun Valley On Ice Saturday night shows
There is a well-known saying here that “everyone who is anyone has skated in Sun Valley,” and in the world of world-class figure skating, that is true, indeed. The legendary Saturday night Sun Valley On Ice Shows have drawn Olympic and world champions, top professional talent and up-and-comers for decades. No visit to Sun Valley is complete without taking in an ice show under the stars. This year’s high voltage lineup includes Sochi Olympic gold medal winners in ice dance, the magical Meryl Davis and Charlie White on August 23. The beautiful Gracie Gold, Olympic bronze medalist, kicks off the season on July 4 and fellow Olympic team member, 2013 US National Champion Ashley Wagner, will take center ice August 9. From Sochi to Sun Valley: It doesn’t get much better than that! Crowd favorite and Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek returns to Sun Valley August 30. Ryan Bradley and Johnny Weir are also among the featured skaters this summer making for quite a lineup. The talented and always-entertaining core skater favorites include Craig Heath, Ashley Clark, Darlin Baker, Jozef Sabovcik, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, Anita Hartshorn, Natalia Zaitseva and Jonathan Hunt, Ryan Bradley, Erin Reed and Jason Graetz.
The venue is intimate and there are few places where you can get so close to your favorite skaters. The athletes all say they love to skate in Sun Valley because they can see and hear the audience and the energy is amazing. Many of the stars stay after the show to greet fans and even sign autographs if they have time. Get your tickets early (they go on sale May 15), be sure to bring blankets to sit on (if you get bleacher seats) and layers to add as the evening temperature drops and come out and enjoy this amazing ice show.
Gracious figure skating stars like Sasha Cohen often take time to talk with, and pose with fans, following a show
But you don’t need to be the best of the best to skate in Sun Valley. Throughout the summer, there are sessions available to everyone – from a first timer to a competitive skater. Children love to skate and take to it quickly. To make those first turns as enjoyable as possible, you might consider booking a group or private lesson for your child (or yourself!). Group lessons that teach basic skills are offered at the outdoor rink from mid-June to mid-August. This drop-in format teaches figure skating building blocks like stroking, skating forward, skating backward and that all-important skill, stopping. Classes are instructive, fun and affordable. With the help of a professional, you will see improvement in your scratch spins, swizzles, maybe even Salchow jumps!
Pros like Ashley Clark will wow you every Saturday night in Sun Valley On Ice and then are often available to give lessons.
For even more opportunities to improve, semi-private lessons are given for up to four skaters of similar level. Popular clinics are also offered throughout the summer season. The Sun Valley Skating School offers up to 20 classes a day on both the beautiful outdoor rink and the full-size indoor rink that is equipped with a ballet studio and a jumping harness. Clinics begin at 8:30 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m. They include classes on spinning, jumping, stroking, performance, spirals, ice dance and more. Students can pre-register for the whole summer or pay by the week. Walk-ons are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For full information on available classes, pricing and registration, please click HERE.
If you don’t want a lesson, but just want to enjoy a spin around the rink, visit the skate house and select a package that includes ice time, skate rentals, even a helmet. Please call 208-622-2194 for a current schedule.
Skating is fun for the whole family. Rent some skates and try it!
For my family, summer and skating are synonymous. My two daughters, who now skate competitively, first laced up skates as toddlers during our summer vacations in Sun Valley. I’m not sure if it was the great teachers, pretty dresses or beautiful setting, but they caught the skating bug and have committed to this sport for 10 years now. As members of the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club (celebrating 75 years this summer), they spend hours and hours each summer at the rink, participating in classes, working on skills, selling snacks at Sun Valley On Ice and being generally inspired by all the talented and enthusiastic skaters at the rink. It is a wonderful way to spend the warm weather months.
Come join us this summer to take part in a great Sun Valley tradition that is now nearly 80 years old. Skating is fun, it’s super exercise and it is a wonderful way to glide away an afternoon or evening.
And so it begins... my daughter Blake and her friend Alex, two future National Showcase Champions