Buhl has a lovely downtown, an epic view of the Snake River, and enough charm to wow even the most cynical traveler. This picturesque little town on the Oregon Trail was named for water investor Frank Buhl of Pennsylvania. More than 100 years later, water is still a huge source of pride and economic development here. (And the ice cream is pretty great, too.) Here are our top ideas for fun in Buhl.
1. Enjoy some of the best ice cream in the state.
Bold claim, right? But Cloverleaf Creamery fans swear by the rich, handmade ice cream at the creamery’s storefront on Broadway Avenue. The milk comes from Cloverleaf’s pampered cows, and the operation still employs old-fashioned techniques to bottle the rich milk and cream that they provide. You can stock up at the store while you wait for your hand-packed scoop.
2. Stop at the Buhl Visitor Center.
The experts at the visitor center can give you locals-only advice on some of the best places to see in the area. Get a crash course in the history of the town by visiting the center on scenic Highway 30.
3. Fish the Trout Capital of the World.
Yep, you read that right — Buhl is the certified trout capital of the world. In fact, most of America’s trout comes from this small section of the Snake! Take a tour at Clear Springs Foods or get fresh fish (everything from trout to shellfish like oysters to shrimp) at First Ascent Fish Farm.
4. Tee off at Clear Lake Country Club.
Founded in 1929, this venerable course isn’t just home to great golf — you can also fly-fish year-round in the club’s lake. Clear Lake is spread out over rolling terrain and features beautiful views from its vantage point in the upper Hagerman Valley. Take your RV and make a weekend of it — the club offers full hookups for overnight visitors.
5. Pick nature’s bounty.
The microclimate in Buhl is ideal for fruit, and in the summer and fall anyone can try their hand at harvesting it. Stop by Kelley’s Canyon Orchard for peaches and nectarines in August or Northview Orchard for pears and apples in the fall.
6. Have a beer and a bite at Magic Valley Brewing.
This brewery and taproom opened in 2016, but already it’s changing the craft beer game in Southern Idaho. You’ll find handcrafted beers with names inspired by the Magic Valley’s unique landscape, including Basalt Stout, Shoshone Paintbrush, and El Diablo Corral JPA. Of course, all that beer tasting is bound to make you hungry — which is why you’ll find home-cooked dishes like creamy macaroni and cheese on the menu.
7. Hike next to the Snake.
Hike among ancient melon boulders and see gorgeous waterfalls while hiking along the Snake River. The Thousand Springs Scenic Byway offers plenty of opportunities to get off the road and onto the trail.
8. Journey to Balanced Rock.
South of Buhl in the Salmon Falls Creek Canyon stands the famous Balanced Rock. Over 48 feet tall and 40 tons, the wind-carved rock balances precariously on a pedestal only 3 feet by 17 inches. Nearby Balanced Rock Park is an excellent spot for a picnic. Don’t forget to take your picture — it’s an Idaho bucket list experience!
9. Browse the shops.
Downtown Buhl is home to some great antique shops, including Parlor Antiques and River’s Edge Antiques on Broadway, Buhl Winkles on Main, and The Nehemian on E 4000 N. The latter is housed in one of the county’s most historic barns. Or check out cute boutiques like The Farm Girl on Broadway and Mimi’s Flowers and Gifts on Clear Lakes.
10. Relive the Old West at Sagebrush Days.
Every Independence Day, Buhl Sagebrush Days offers up an authentic, old-time American celebration that’s worth experiencing just to feel the down-home country charm. Highlights include a trout feed, parade, pancake breakfast, fun run, and — of course — fireworks.
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