Welcome to Sun Valley

j.mcalughlin sun valley

Dating back to its founding in 1935 by W. Averell Harriman, president of Union Pacific Railroad, Sun Valley is “America’s First Destination Ski Resort.” He built the Sun Valley Lodge in 1936 and hosted the likes of Gregory Peck, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and Ernest Hemmingway. In fact, Hemmingway enjoyed the area so much that he bought a home and spent his final years living there. He is buried at the Ketchum Cemetery and his memorial continues to be a top spot for guests to visit.

sun valley lodge

The Sun Valley Lodge continues to be the town’s optimal lodging option. It recently underwent a complete renovation in 2015 and offers just about everything a visitor could want without having to leave the property, from indoor and outdoor activities to dining and shopping (including our recent J.McLaughlin location just down the street from the Sun Valley Center for the Arts).

While the lodge’s original restaurant, The Ram, is still a popular spot for guests, the town is home to multiple other places to dine. Fill up for the activity-filled day ahead with brioche French toast and other breakfast items at local favorite the Kneadery. After hiking to Pioneer Cabin or mountain-biking the over 400 miles of trails, enjoy a well-earned lunch on the patio at Bigwood Bread or stop by Grumpy’s for what locals call the best burger in town.

pioneer cabin

(Insider Tip: For great views of the Pioneer Mountains, take Lane’s Trail and stop at the picnic table overlook.)

Spend the rest of the afternoon taking in local art at the Friesen Gallery, Aurobora, or Stone. Peruse jewelry, soaps, candles, and gifts at Ketchum Flower Co. or go antiquing at Antique Alley. If you’re still in the mood to enjoy the outdoors, go fly fishing at the Silver Creek Preserve or Big Wood River.

Call Raspberrys in the morning to place an order for a picnic box and then stake out a spot on the lawn of the Sun Valley Resort Pavilion. For a more upscale dinner, make a reservation at CK’s Real Food and feast on New American dishes featuring local and regional ingredients. If you still have an appetite, don’t miss out on the huckleberry milkshake at a la Mode. Take advantage of Smiley Creek Lodge being open for summer, another place known for its delicious shakes.

sun valley smores

Be sure to attend a talk led by literary giants during the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference or listen to the who’s who of Philharmonic musicians at the acclaimed Sun Valley Symphony, which opens in mid to late July. End your night stargazing on the roof of the Warfield Distillery & Brewery or sip on a margarita at the Pioneer Saloon. For the ultimate local dive bar experience, head to The Casino.