From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.
Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.
While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:
More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.
Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.
Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.
Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.
More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.
Rexburg is a small city located within Idaho in Madison County. Known to residents as “America's family community,” the region is home to many urban and state parks, as well as family-friendly attractions such as museums, learning centers, galleries, and more.
Even those who have lived in the city for a decade would agree they haven’t experienced all that Rexburg has to offer, while for those new to the region – well, they’ve got a lot to look forward to as well.
Ready to discover the best of Rexburg, Idaho? Let’s get started!
*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.
Rexburg isn’t all hustle and bustle! There are also plenty of state parks and national parks both within and surrounding the area, all of which provide a tranquil escape for those looking to surround themselves by nature.
Just a 45-minute drive from Rexburg will take you to the picturesque and peaceful Harriman State Park. It’s situated within a 16,000-acre wildlife refuge in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and offers activities and attractions for visitors year-round. Enjoy fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and historic Railroad Ranch tours during the summer months, while winter offers over 24-miles of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, and fat bike riding.
A little further north is Henrys Lake State Park, which is home to one of Idaho's greatest high mountain lakes. It’s a fishing enthusiast’s heaven here and is considered to be one of the finest trout fisheries in the West. Other outdoor activities on offer include boating, camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. If you fancy taking part in a program, you’re in luck. This state park also offers a Junior Ranger program, campfire programs, and guided hikes.
A 1.5-hour drive will take you to Massacre Rocks State Park, which despite its ominous name, is an idyllic place to spend a day or weekend. It’s situated on the Snake River is filled with year-round recreational activities, including camping, picnicking, hiking, disc golf, mountain biking, fishing, boating, birding, boating, and basketball. Be on the lookout for wildlife such as coyotes, beavers, muskrat, bald eagles, and more.
The Caribou-Targhee National Forest occupies over 3 million acres and is just under a 1.5-hour drive from Rexburg. With its grizzly bear habitat, karst limestone formations, and numerous caves, the forest is a vast and intriguing place. Here, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as camping, canoeing, hiking, fishing, swimming, and hunting, while in the winter, snowfall allows skijoring, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
Still need to get your nature fix? If you’re craving seeing even more of the beautiful scenery that surrounds Rexburg, then there are also plenty of hiking and walking trails for you and your family to enjoy.
The Ashton to Tetonia trail is an extremely popular 29.6-mile trail that follows the abandoned railroad grade of the Teton Valley Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad from the towns of Ashton to Tetonia. It is used for activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding, while snowfall allows for snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Packsaddle Lake is a hidden gem within this region. You’ll find it up in the mountains, just a short drive from the city itself (head to Packsaddle Lake Rd). After driving up to the mountain trail, you simply hike down to the lake below, enjoying spectacular views the entire way, whether of the lake or beautiful woodland scenery. It’s rated as easy and is perfect during the warmer months when you can take a dip in the lake to cool off!
Located in the center of the city, this beautiful park with towering trees has something for everyone! Its spacious grass area is perfect for picnics, settling down with a good book, noon-day naps, and sports games. With so much open space, there are hammocks galore! It has all your playground necessities and more, including tennis courts, basketball courts, a splash pad, and a stunning carousel to make it that much better. Many musicians take to the amphitheater stage throughout the summer months, and in the fall, an annual Chalk Festival is held. Beautiful in both the sunshine and the snow, Porter Park is certainly the town favorite.
Rexburg is home to a bustling and trendy dining scene, so there’s sure to be a restaurant, café, or diner to satisfy your cravings. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a long hike, or simply feel like treating yourself to a delicacy, then you’re in luck. Here are our top restaurant recommendations!
At Da Pineapple Grill, you can enjoy a delectable taste from the islands. They’ve been serving Rexburg since 2005, offering a unique and delicious blend of Hawaiian and Asian infused cuisine. You’ll find specialties such as coconut shrimp, sushi, and fried bananas. It might sound strange, but trust us, this recipe is a must-visit while in the region!
At Fresco Kitchen & Grill, they believe in serving only “fresh, high quality food that is sourced locally whenever possible”. Here, you’ll find artisan pizzas, salads, sandwiches and entrees, all prepared in an open kitchen. Locals flock here for mouth-watering menu items such as cheese bread, a unique fig and prosciutto pizza, grilled salmon, and so much more.
Blister’s BBQ is a Carolina style BBQ restaurant located in Rexburg. Perhaps what everyone loves the most about this restaurant, however, is the fact that they hand prepare every piece of BBQ with their special sauces and rubs, then slow cook them throughout the night. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, let us name just some of their incredible burgers: chicken bacon and ranch, pulled pork, brisket, tri-rip – the list goes on. Better yet, why not taste their deliciousness for yourself?
Craving some authentic Chinese cuisine while wandering around Rexburg? Look no further than New Fong’s, which has been serving the local area since 2006. They specialize in both Northern and Southern Chinese dishes, so you can enjoy traditional favorites such as Sweet and Sour Chicken, Orange Chicken, and Broccoli Beef.
If your tastebuds are screaming out for something a little sweeter, then a visit to K-Lani’s Desserts is in order. They’ve been rated number one in Rexburg for treats such as frozen custard, gelati, and flavored sodas, so you certainly won’t be disappointed. Don’t miss their dole whips and riptides, which come in a variety of fresh and fruity flavors!
Perfect for every sweet tooth, Czech Crispy Cones offers the cinnamon sugar goodness you didn’t know you were missing! Based out of an eye-catching Airstream trailer, this dessert company has revolutionized the European treat. With Eastern Idaho’s ever-changing weather, Crispy Cones has you covered with the option of a hot fruit cone or cool ice cream cone, all inside a cinnamon sugar churro. Choose your spread, filling, toppings, and sauce, and you will find your tastebuds dancing! Even better? Each Friday offers the chance to enjoy your treat with a live music performance.
After feasting and enjoying all that the hiking trails and state parks have to offer, you may be wondering: “what next?” Well, when it comes to Rexburg’s attractions and activities, you’re only just getting started. Here are some of the most fun things on offer in and around the city!
Looking to entertain some little ones? Or perhaps you’ve got some teenagers in-tow who are starting to get a little bored? Either way, these attractions will entertain both children, teens, and adults alike!
If you and your family are looking for a fun place to visit during the warmer months, then you just can’t go past Rexburg Rapids. This popular waterpark is one of the most loved attractions within the region and offers exciting features including an over-pool rock climbing wall, waterslides as high as three storeys, a lazy river, three-lane lap pool, swimming lessons, and so much more.
While you’re in the home of Yellowstone National Park, you just can’t pass up a trip to Yellowstone Bear World, a drive-thru wildlife park showcasing free-roaming wildlife native to North America. Look out for American Black Bear and Grizzly Bear, as well as species such as Rocky Mountain Elk, Bison, White-tail Deer, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Goats, and Moose. Both kids and adults love it here!
What should you do in Rexburg once the sun goes down? We’re glad you asked! Here are our suggested night-time attractions.
Never tried axe throwing before? Now is the time! At Heber Hatchets Axe Throwing, you can unleash your inner lumberjack or jill! Axe throwing simply involves throwing a real axe into a wood target to score points. Don’t fear though – you’ll be shown everything you need to be able to do it safely! They’re open until late every night of the week.
Is there anything more fun or relaxing than a post-dinner movie at the local drive-in theatre? Aside from playing the latest and greatest movies, as well as old favorites, Teton Vu Drive In also has a mouth-watering menu featuring everything from burgers, corn dogs, and salads, to popcorn, jalapeno poppers, ice cream, and more!
What can you do in or around Rexburg that won’t cost anything more than a few dollars? The answer: plenty! Here are just two of our favorite attractions within the area that can be enjoyed on the cheap.
Want to see some of the aircraft that United States Military Veterans flew during the war? At Legacy Flight Museum, you can see everything from a Mormon Mustang, SNB-5 Beechcraft, and Duplex-Cyclone Engine, to a Boeing Stearman, Grumman S-2 Tracker, and so much more! Get up-close with these incredible aircraft for no more than $8 per adult.
You’ll find the Museum of Rexburg located in the basement of the Tabernacle houses in the Upper Snake River Valley Historical Society Museum. Due to its extensive collections of flood memorabilia, locals also refer to this as the Teton Flood Museum. Here, you’ll find pioneer relics depicting the lives of early pioneers, as well as an Idaho opal and agate collection, a North American animal head collection, World War I and II items, and so much more!
Looking to get the most out of your time spent within the city of Rexburg? Whether you want a fun way to waste away a Sunday afternoon or a date idea that won’t break the budget – here are our most recommended things to do in Rexburg that won’t cost you a cent.
In case you missed it up top, we wanted to list this gem again! Established back in 1919, Porter Park is Rexburg’s oldest municipal park and has been used for community gatherings for several decades now. Here, you can enjoy fun facilities such as the Idaho Centennial Carousel (open during the summer months), the Rexburg Splash Pad, and the Beehive Federal Credit Union Pavilion, as well as tennis courts, picnic shelters, children’s play grounds, sports fields, and more. Come along for a fantastic (and free) day out with family or friends!
You can’t enter Rexburg without ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful white temple on the hill. This building of worship, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, stands as a beacon of light, love, and testimony to millions around the world. Regardless of your religion, if you’re in town, you certainly won’t want to miss getting a closer look – its intricate architecture and landscaping will leave you speechless. With benches, paths, and grassy hills all around, it is a beautiful place to reflect and find peace. Because it stands at the top of the city, sunset is the perfect time to visit! The city lights and colorful Idaho sunset will never look better than they do from this vantage point.
Alright, by now you’ve probably been on your feet all day exploring the sights and delights that Rexburg has to offer. If you’re craving some rest and relaxation, or even a bit of pampering, these are two of the best spas in the region.
Feeling stressed and fatigued? Find your balance at Sage Day Spa, which is one of the most popular spas within the region. They offer services such as massages, including hot stone, couple’s, and more, as well as reflexology, body treatments, facials, and many more. In fact, it’s one your one-stop shop for all things health, beauty, and wellness.
Cure Touch was voted the Statewide Winner for Best Massage Therapy, plus they were voted Best Massage Therapy for Eastern Idaho, so you know you’re in good hands! They believe in the healing touch of massage, particularly the way it reduces stress, alleviates pain, increases blood flow, enhances immunity, and releases endorphins. Looking to reap all of those benefits and more? Treat yourself to a post-hike massage here and you won’t regret it!
If rejuvenation for you is less about deep relaxation and more about sweating it out, then you’re in luck. Rexburg is home to some of the highest-rated gyms and yoga studios within the region.
With the motto, “self defense and fitness for the real world”, you know you’re in for the real deal here at the Payne Athletic Company. They offer classes such as Krav Maga, Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Muay Thai, yoga , and personal training. There are several classes on offer each day too, so no matter how busy your schedule is, you don’t have to miss out!
Bodifi offers world-class whole-body health and wellness facilities, right here in Rexburg! You can access amenities such as unlimited cardio, free weights, red light therapy, spin classes, free WiFi (for members), personal coaching, and more. They offer free passes to try out the facility or a Twilight membership costs just $9.99 per month.
Looking to fulfill your wanderlust by heading outside of the region for a day? You could spend decades within Rexburg without barely scratching the surface of all there is to do in this city, but consider these day trips next time you fancy a new adventure.
Just over a 2.5-hour drive from the city is the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, which was the very first National Park ever formed in the U.S. The national park sits on top of a dormant volcano and is home to more geysers and hot springs than anywhere else on earth. Along with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, you can also enjoy plentiful wildlife, such as black bears, mountain lions, wolves, moose, bison, elk, and more. Park activities include hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and biking.
Time spent within Idaho just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the state’s capital and most populous city – Boise. Not only is the region home to plenty of state parks, but you can also enjoy attractions such as the Discovery Center of Idaho, Aquarium of Boise, Idaho Botanical Garden, Capital City Public Market, and so much more. You’ll never run out of things to do in Boise!
As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Rexburg that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Rexburg? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.