At some point in our lives, I think we all take for granted the place we call home. I am lucky enough to live a short 90 minute drive from gorgeous views of mountains, lakes and being surrounded by pine trees. My family from Louisiana and Mississippi came to visit, and we rented a house for a week away in Island Park, Idaho. Known for its gorgeous vacation cabins, hunting, fishing, razor riding, hiking and a peaceful escape from regular busy life.
We found this gorgeous cabin on VRBO that slept all 13 of us (8 adults, 3 kids, 2 babies) comfortably. Out the back, was a 180+ degrees view of the Island Park reservoir. The massive wrap around deck allowed for so much space to relax and enjoy the gorgeous views. Usually, bugs are a huge problem, but thankfully we got lucky going earlier in the summer.
A short drive away is West Yellowstone and one of the entrances to Yellowstone National Park. I have visited many times, but as I get older, it always looks a little different and I appreciate the beauty even more. Before you enter the park, there is a bear and wolf reserve. Other members of my family have been before, but this was my first time. It was so interesting! Wolves right in front of you. They are massive! And huge bears that are so curious and actually were wrestling in the water while we were there. It also had many others animals, including white horned owls and bald eagles (WOAH!). EAch animal had a unique story of how they ended up at the reserve.
Once entering Yellowstone National Park, you are welcomed with lots of buffalo. It’s kind of fun for this first few miles, but when the road is completely blocked by these huge beasts, you can’t really do anything but laugh at the chaos. I am sure you have seen the crazy videos of people trying to pet or take selfies with these massive animals. Yup, that is not far from my hometown. One buffalo did walk right down the middle of the road and almost brushed my car. It was terrifying! There are many other animals in the park including deer, moose, elk, and bears. There numbers aren’t as large so it makes it even more interesting when actually seen.
Along the drive is different pull out spots for different geysers and hot pads. You drive through luscious forest and then all of a sudden it’s these crazy hot spots full of colors, rotten egg smells and end of the world type vibes. The main attraction is the Ole Faithful geyser, first found in 1870. The eruptions are somewhat predictable, being every hour or so on average, and shoots water anywhere from 100-180 feet in the air.
Back in Island Park, there is lots of options to occupy your time, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, fishing, seasonal hunting, endless riding trails, floating the river, and boating. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter how much there is to do when you go on vacation, it’s the people that make the trip so memorable.
Family is incredibly important to me. Unfortunately, because we live so far apart, we only are able to see each other every few years, but everytime we are together, its memories that last a lifetime. It’s not where you are, its who you are with that makes everything unforgettable.
Where is your next family vacation destination?