TDestination: Sun Valley, Idaho

Posted by Thomas Dean & Co. on

Ketchum and Sun Valley

Photo credits:  Halsey Pierce

Sun Valley, created by New York railroad scion Averill Harriman and winter playground for names like Hanks and Eastwood, is known for its 300+ days of sunshine, best groomed runs anywhere, and loads of great restaurants.  We've curated this guide to Sun Valley so you too can visit like a Hollywood insider. 

Warm Springs
Sun Valley is actually three different areas:  Sun Valley where the actual resort is located, the residential area Elkhorn, and the main town of Ketchum at the base of the ski hill, which has a River Run side and a Warm Springs side.   

Getting Around: Ride the bus whenever possible.  It’s free, convenient, and Uber hasn’t fully caught on yet.  If you stay in Elkhorn or Warm Springs you’ll need to pay attention to the routes/times late at night.  

Pro Tip:  The airport weather is notoriously fickle.  On the day you fly out call early to see if you’re getting bused to Boise.  Pack a book / load a movie on your iPad/laptop just in case.  Headphones are a must.

Cristina Restaurant

Breakfast: Christina’s or the Kneadery.  Christina’s takes reservations for both breakfast and lunch.  The Kneadery is very popular but can have a wait.

Pro Tip: Reservations can be life saving during busy weeks.  Call at least two weeks in advance and show up on time.

Coffee:  Starbucks is in the center of Ketchum.  If you want local flavor there’s Java, Lizzie’s, Leadville Espresso, and one in the Iconoclast book store.

Lunch:  Averill’s at the Roundhouse for fondue.   

Pro Tip: Go early as everyone tends to linger and enjoy the view.  Non-skiers can ride the gondola up to the restaurant.  If you’re spending the day in town go to Christina’s or Rasberry’s.


River Run Apres Ski

Apres ski: There’s generally a livelier scene on the River Run side.   Hank’s at Warm Springs is popular with locals.  

Pro Tip: Check to see if there’s a band playing at River Run or Warm Springs.  That’s where the crowd will be.

Sun Valley Wine Co

Drinks before dinner:  Sun Valley Wine Company has a cozy feel and a great staff.  The Limelight is the newest hotel in town and the seating in the lobby is huge.  The Duchin Room in the Sun Valley Lodge is a classic – be sure to check out the collection of Hollywood photos that line the hallways.


Rickshaw and Pioneer

Dinner:  Rickshaw for Asian fusion.  Put your name on the board and then sit at the firepit with a drink.  Vintage is small and intimate.  Enoteca, Town Square Tavern, and Knob Hill Inn are also good. The Pioneer for prime rib is a classic but the wait can be staggering.  

Pro Tip:  If the "Pio" is your pick for dinner, send one or two from your party to wait in the bar.  Ask the staff nicely to give you a ten-minute heads before your table is ready.

Whiskey Jacques

Night Life:  There are many, many places in Ketchum good for grabbing a couple of cocktails after dinner.  Whiskey’s if there’s a good band in town, the Cellar if you’re looking for the under 30 crowd.  Lefty’s for watching sports,  Grumpy’s for schooners of beer and a jukebox.

That's your guide to winter in Sun Valley.  Don't even get us started on Sun Valley summers!



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