Payette Idaho is a great spot to visit, whether you’re a resident who wants to explore the local area or you’re a tourist who wants to see the best of the area. In Payette, there are tons to see and enjoy, including Payette Lake, where you can boat, fish, swim, or take a tour of its scenic waters. Once you’ve spent some time on the lake, you can head to the town of McCall, where you can explore the local shops.
This tiny town is a great destination for a quiet vacation on the Salmon River. Situated just a few miles away from the river itself, Payette is a nice place to stop for a couple of days if you are making your way to Hell’s Canyon. You can enjoy the beach, hike, bike, or go fishing in this little town.
Here is the list of things you can do in Payette.
1. Kiwanis Park
If you’re looking for a place to spend some time in Payette, Idaho, Kiwanis Park is a great option to consider. The park is set close to the Payette River. Whether you arrive by boat or not, the scenery is just as breathtaking. A variety of birds call the river home and you’ll see them flying across.
The jewel of Payette, Idaho, Kiwanis Park is a family-friendly destination for travelers to explore. The park includes 6 miles of paved walking and biking trails, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, a swimming pool, and a low-cost recreation center that features a weight room, basketball courts, and racquetball courts. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Kiwanis Museum, which is full of artifacts from the city’s early days.
2. Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum
When people think of Idaho, they don’t typically think of a museum, but if you’re looking for something with a little more culture than usual, the Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum is a great option. The center is housed in an old restored elementary school that now serves as an arts center for the community. The center boasts a growing collection of art from local artists, as well as traveling exhibits.
Sometimes, the quickest way to learn about a new place is to just walk around and immerse yourself in its culture. Fortunately, Payette’s Four Rivers Cultural Center & Museum does just that. The Center, which opened in June 2015, is located near downtown Payette, Idaho, (also known as the “Mormon River Valley”), on the banks of the Payette River. From the outside, it looks like a giant steel box; you wouldn’t even know there’s a museum inside if it weren’t for the sign.
Address: 676 SW 5th Ave, Ontario, OR 97914
3. Payette County Museum
Located in the heart of downtown Cascade, the Payette County Museum is a great place to learn more about the history of Payette County. The museum was first opened in 1977 and hosts a wide range of exhibits ranging from the geology of the area to the history of the area’s native tribes.
Many of Payette County’s museums are located in historic buildings built long before the 20th century. (You can find them in the ‘Historic Sites & Museums’ category of our website.) If you’re interested in visiting any of them, this list will help you find the one you are looking for.
Address: 90 S 9th St, Payette, ID 83661
Tours & Things to do hand-picked by our insiders
4. Centennial Park
Centennial Park is a great place to take the kids during the summer months, between the months of June and August. It offers a full-service playground, free concerts, a pool, a splash zone, picnic areas, and more. The concerts that take place at the park are free, and they include performers from all different genres.
This summer, you can enjoy the company of great local bands like The Bobby Bare Band, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Bands, and more. When the city of Boise set out to build a 100th birthday present for itself, the goal was to create a riverfront park that would provide a central recreational space for Boiseans. The city set aside an old landfill, which was filled with dirt and debris to create the land for Centennial Park.
Fittingly, the park is now home to the centerpiece of the city’s riverfront trail system and is a favorite place for locals and visitors to get together during the summer months to enjoy the river and each other.
5. Scotch Pines Golf Course
Payette, Idaho is little known as a top golf destination, but once you’ve tried Scotch Pines Golf Course, you’ll be hooked. The course is a great mix of length and technicality, and the views of the surrounding Payette National Forest are breathtaking.
A lot of the holes also have great views of the Payette River, which runs alongside the course. The signature hole is the par-three 14th, which offers golfers a beautiful view of Lake Cascade. The hole is extremely long—over 400 yards so many golfers don’t even attempt to reach the green in one shot, instead opting to hit a wedge for a short par three.
Scottsdale is part of the greater Payette area, so it makes sense that its residents would have a love of golf. After all, Scottsdale is home to more than 200 golf courses! One of those golf courses in the Scotch Pines Golf Course, located just off Greenway-Hayden Loop Road in Scottsdale. Its 18 holes host players of all skill levels, and its beautiful scenery and well-kept greens are a treat for the eyes as well as the golfers.
Address: 10610 Scotch Pines Rd, Payette, ID 83661
6. Payette Municipal Swimming Pool
In the middle of the Payette National Forest, the Payette Municipal Swimming Pool is a great way to cool off on a hot Idaho day. The outdoor pool is open from the end of June to early September, and fees to enter the park, which includes the pool, are $1 per person, per day, with a maximum of $10 per vehicle.
There are plenty of parking spaces, and the pool offers a variety of opportunities for fun, including a slide, a diving board, and a shallow area for small children. While swimming in the pool is free, attendees should bring their own towels.
Take a dip in Payette Municipal Pool, the oldest outdoor swimming pool in the United States. Built-in 1910 and originally called Lake Minnewaska, it was constructed using labor provided by local residents.
The lake was drained in the 1950s and converted into a pool. Today, it’s the centerpiece of a larger park offering a variety of activities for the whole family, with a playground, tennis courts, and picnic facilities.
Address: 400 S 6th St, Payette, ID 83661
7. Weiser River National Recreation Trail
The 85-mile rail trail between Weiser and New Meadows passes through desert canyons, evergreen forests, alpine meadows, and small towns. Highlights of the trail are the historic trestles and abundant wildlife. – americantrails.org
The Weiser River National Recreation Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Payette area, and for good reason. It’s a short, beautiful hike that offers several areas where you can picnic, swim, or just soak up the sun with a good book, and the water is always refreshingly cool. The trailhead is found at the end of Falls Way in Weiser, with a parking area at the end of the road, and the GPS coordinates are N* 45′ 38.06″, W* 116′ 0.38″.
Weiser River is one of Idaho’s most popular tourist destinations, and the river-based pastime is a big reason why. The city is home to the Weiser River National Recreation Trail, which winds for more than 40 miles along the Payette River and its tributaries. The trail is popular with locals and visitors alike, boasting a wide range of activities, from kayaking to canoeing to picnicking and swimming.
8. Payette River Greenbelt
The Payette River Greenbelt is a popular destination in the summer, not only because of its ridiculously beautiful valley but also because of the opportunities, it presents for a variety of activities. The first time I visited, I paid for a rafting trip down the Payette, and it was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. (If you’re into kayaking, they have a lot of that here, too.)
When you think of Payette Idaho, you might only imagine the outskirts of this small town: a long stretch of open highway that leads to the beautiful Payette Lake, which is a haven for water sports like skiing, boating, and water skiing. However, once you’re in Payette, don’t forget about the Payette River Greenbelt, which has miles of trails and picnic areas to enjoy!
9. Farewell Bend State Recreation Area
When it was first formed in 1938, the Payette National Forest stretched across more than a million acres of land in southwestern Idaho, with swaths of protected land in Salmon, Valley, and Owyhee counties. As the years have passed, the Forest Service has handed off portions of its holdings to other entities, and as a result, the Forest has shrunk to just over 400,000 acres.
Most of the land that was transferred out of Forest Service control was either already protected or had no public access. This summer, the town of Donnelly, Idaho was home to the 20th annual Robert W. Donnelly Memoirs. The tenth year of this annual event coincided with the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Bend State Recreation Area, making this a particularly special year. In 1912, Bend State Recreation Area was established by the Federal Government to preserve the natural habitats of the area for the enjoyment of future generations.
A decade later, the town of Donnelly was created through the intention of the Federal Government to encourage development in the area. Both the Bend State Recreation Area and the town of Donnelly are intertwined in the history of Payette Idaho.
Address: 23751 Old Hwy 30, Huntington, OR 97907
10. Keeney Pass Interpretive Site
Payette National Forest is home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including a giant colony of tundra swarming with bees. These beautiful insects can only be found in the Payette National Forest. The bees like the north-facing slopes of the mountains and can be seen between the months of July and September.
This one-mile loop offers a great opportunity to view the beautiful wooded landscape and the wilderness that people once had to traverse as they moved from place to place on foot. The hike is very easy, but in order to get to the trailhead, you need to drive about six miles of gravel road.
11. Stone House Museum
Located just northeast of Payette, Idaho, this unique outdoor museum features artifacts that reflect the history of the region. The Stone House Museum is a collection of buildings made of native stone. There are three buildings: a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith, and a store.
The schoolhouse and the blacksmith were built in the early 20th century. The museum is open to the public from mid-May to September. The museum is only 10 miles from Payette Lake and is surrounded by wilderness, which makes it a natural place to hike and spend a day in nature. Payette Idaho has a lot of museums to visit, but none are as unique as the Stone House. The Stone House is a museum that holds over 4000 stone artifacts and the history of Payette.
The museum is also home to the Stone House Theater, which is a place to watch performances and lectures on any subject. Due to its wooden roof, it was not uncommon for snow to fall in the theater, but not to worry, the roof has now been upgraded to metal. The Stone House is a great place to visit if you are looking to learn about Payette.
Address: 336 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
12. Ontario State Recreation Area
The Ontario State Recreation Area is a great place for a family getaway. While there are not many activities for teens, parents will enjoy the scenic drives and activities for all ages. Ontario is just an hour from Boise and is a great place to spend a weekend with family.
Travel is a lot more fun when you know you’re going to have a place to stay at the end of the day. A nice hotel is often the way to go if you don’t mind the cost, and if you do mind the cost, you can always camp.
If you’re willing to rough it a bit, you might want to check out the Ontario State Recreation Area, which offers 86 sites that can accommodate both RVs and tents. That’s not to say you’ll be roughing it terribly—the park has running water, bathrooms, and even fire pits.
Address: 2534 Olds Ferry-Ontario Hwy, Ontario, OR 97914
13. Payette County Fair
The Payette County Fair is the oldest county fair in the state of Idaho. The fair is held in mid-July in the city of Payette, Idaho. Events include a parade, rodeos, livestock shows, the annual Miss Payette pageant, live music, and a human-powered musical bicycle contest.
If you are looking for a great family vacation destination, look no further than the Payette County Fair. The fair is one of the largest events in the Payette area, complete with spectacular fireworks, live musical acts, games, and lots of delicious food. And of course, there is the typical fair fun: rides, games, food, and all of the sights and sounds that make a fair so great.
14. Cruise Night and Car Show
If you’re a fan of cruises, you’re gonna love this week’s cruise night and car show. On Wednesday, August 10th, Cruise night in Payette Idaho will be held at the Lakeview Resort and Marina from 6 to 9 pm. This is a great time for those who love cruises to get together and showcase their beloved vehicles.
A lot of us live in a small town and have never seen the inside of a cruise ship. For some, it’s like going to Disneyland, for others it’s like living in a fishbowl. Cruise ships are great for those who want to travel but don’t want to do a lot of work to get there.
15. AC&D Farms
Located on 6525 Highway 95, Fruitland in Payette, the air-conditioned and heated Boise Payette County Historical Museum is a must-see for anyone who enjoys learning about Idaho’s history. Exhibits include a large collection of old farm equipment, a blacksmith shop, a schoolhouse, a railroad display, and many other displays. For a small fee, you can also see a movie in the museum’s theater and explore the outside grounds, which include an old log cabin and a working replica of a steam train.
AC&D Farms grows and sells local produce and USA-grown produce. We open mid-April with fresh-cut asparagus, spinach, radishes, and other spring crops. Summer is filled with the season’s freshest beets, carrots, cucumbers, berries, cherries, sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, and watermelons to name a few. Locally baked bread, honey, jams and jellies, peaches, squash corn maze through Haloween!
Address: 6525 US-95, Fruitland, ID 83619
16. Apple Blossom Pre Festival
Every spring, Payette, Idaho welcomes thousands of people to the Apple Blossom Festival, which has been held in the same location since 1903. It is a true family festival, with a petting zoo, pony rides, and an amazing variety of games and food at the carnival. There are plenty of rides for teenagers, food stands for adults, and a large variety of art for everyone. The Apple Blossom Festival raises money for a specific charity every year, and many people attend for the cause as well as the entertainment.
What do you get when you combine the traditional grills, games, and small-town community of an annual county fair with a beautiful outdoor setting (and a pretty good selection of craft beers)? That’s right—Payette’s annual Apple Blossom Festival. The festival, which takes place every June, is a celebration of the blossoming of the local apple trees and the area’s agricultural heritage.
Thursday, May 6, 2022 at 7:00pm
Apple Blossom Festival
Payette High School
1500 6th Avenue South
Payette, ID 83661
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