Destination Overview

Sun Valley is a honeymoon destination for adventurous couples, with all kinds of outdoor sports, in the winter and summer alike. Tucked into the Rocky Mountains in central Idaho, it has world-class ski slopes, ice skating, and nordic skiing in the winter, and hiking, swimming, white water rafting and fishing in the summer in the nearby Sawtooth Wilderness Area. For those who want to get really close to nature, there are plenty of camping and RVing options as well.

Sun Valley was billed as ‘America’s First Destination Ski Resort’ when the slopes opened in 1936, and attracted stars like Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper. Ernest Hemingway made his home here. The glamour endures, and for visitors that means world class shopping, accommodations, dining and entertainment. You can choose a cozy cabin stay or live it up in European-style luxury ski lodges.

For the foodies, there are a wide range of culinary choices, from fondue for two to Asian fusion, steak and (Idaho) potatoes, and creative offerings from chefs who draw upon local, organic and sustainable foods. There’s a lively arts and music scene with galleries, concerts, film and lectures throughout the year. The clear night skies are perfect for star-gazing and night sky photography, adding the crowning touch to your romantic getaway.


About Sun Valley

  • Location: Sun Valley is located in the Rocky Mountains of central Idaho at an altitude of 5,920 feet above sea level.
  • The slopes. The Sun Valley Resort has two major ski areas. Dollar Mountain has gentle slopes for beginners and Bald Mountain has steep and challenging slopes that attract expert skiers and snowboarders.
  • Sawtooth Wilderness Area surrounds Sun Valley and and offers 200,000 acres of stunning mountain scenery for hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, swimming and more.
  • Arts and culture. A year-round calendar of festivals and events enjoyed by residents and visitors alike includes art studio tours, film festivals, opera and symphonic performances, and a cheerful Oktoberfest. The Trailing of the Sheep festival in the fall celebrates local traditions of ranching and herding.
  • For the motor car enthusiasts, there’s the excitement of the Sun Valley Tour de Force weekend in July with vintage, exotic and high-speed cars. The event raises funds for local charities.
  • The night sky in the Sun Valley area is perfect for celestial viewing and night sky photography. As part of the designated Idaho Dark Sky Reserve area, it offers the silent, majestic nightly spectacle of the Milky Way, stars and galaxies, shooting stars and meteorites.
  • Chapter One bookstore is a great stop for the daily paper, books on local history and culture, and works by Idaho and Sun Valley authors, including Hemingway classics. You can also get tickets for most events in town here.

Honeymoon Hints

  • Getting there: The nearest airport is the Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) in Hailey, 15 miles away, with daily non-stop flights from Seattle, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City during ski season. The state capital Boise, is 150 miles to the southwest, an easy and scenic drive.
  • Local transportation. A free local bus service connects the towns of Warm Springs, Ketchum, Elkhorn, Dollar and River Run, and another loop runs between Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley.
  • Make reservations. With so many visitors, reservations are essential for lodgings and dining. Also, be aware that there are not too many late dining establishments, and most places close around 9 pm.
  • Apres beers. For an Idaho twist on the high life, check out the local breweries and craft beers.
  • Catch up on local history at the Ketchum/Sun Valley Heritage and Ski Museum. Special features include exhibits on the history of skiing and on Ernest Hemingway’s life here.
  • Mindfulness in the mountains. That’s the local motto and also excellent advice when venturing into a wilderness area. Always check the weather, avalanche and road conditions before heading out. Locals and visitors are also encouraged to practice environmental stewardship and leave wilderness areas clean and pristine.

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