IDAHO: From Iconic Authors to Blockbuster Films, Idaho is Host to Inspiration 


Idaho is a refuge for the rich and famous, most notably Ernest Hemingway. The acclaimed Nobel Prize-winning author frequented Sun Valley and Ketchum for 20 years before buying his Ketchum home in 1959.


For a taste of Hemingway’s Idaho experience, visit the Sawtooth Club for a craft cocktail and stop by the Sun Valley Lodge for the atmosphere that fueled his writing and editing of “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Pay your respects at Hemingway’s grave at the Ketchum Cemetery.


Wondering which season is best to visit? Take a page from Hemingway himself and travel in autumn. As the Hemingway Memorial inscription reads, “Best of all he loved the fall, the leaves yellow on the cottonwoods. Leaves floating on the trout streams and above the hills.”


Movie lovers may recognize the charming, historic town of Wallace as the setting of the 1997 natural disaster film “Dante’s Peak.” The small-town USA main street and tree-lined mountains provided an idyllic backdrop for the movie about the eruption of a dormant volcano. When visiting Wallace, be sure to take a guided silver mine tour and see the city’s “Center of the Universe” declaration – proudly displayed on a manhole cover downtown.

For more information on Idaho, visit

[Photo: Downtown Wallace CREDIT Visit Idaho.jpg]

[Photo: Ernest Hemingway Memorial CREDIT Visit Idaho.jpg]


Boise’s Old Idaho Penitentiary Hosted “Dynamite Assassin”


Boise, the capital city of Idaho, isn’t just known for one or two legendary Wild West stories. The Old Idaho Penitentiary, a working prison until 1973, is located against the beautiful backdrop of the Boise Foothills and is known for its many stories, including Wild West tales and those of the ghost kind. It has held some of the West’s meanest and most daring criminals since its doors opened in 1872.


One of those criminals was Harry Orchard, who is known to have killed Governor Frank Steunenberg by dynamite slaying in Caldwell, Idaho on December 30, 1905. Before the assassination of the governor, Orchard had occasionally admitted to killing two other men by dynamite due to violence led by industrial disputes with the Western Federation of Miners. A convert to Christianity during his imprisonment, Orchard molded into a model inmate. He died in the prison in 1954 at the age of 88 and is buried at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise.


For more information on Boise, visit

[Photo: Old Penitentiary past CREDIT Visit Boise.jpg]



MONTANA: Singer Jimmy Buffett’s Montana Connections


Popular American singer Jimmy Buffett, best known for songs “Margaritaville,” “Come Monday” and “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” (with Alan Jackson), includes Montana locations in several of his songs.


In “Come Monday,” he sings about missing his girlfriend in Montana: “Remember that night in Montana when we said there’d be no room for doubt.” He refers to her “enjoying the scenery, I know that it’s pretty up there.”


Buffett has also written songs about the small town of Livingston because of his visits to family there. His sister married Livingston author Thomas McGuane, who asked him to write the music for his 1975 film “Rancho Deluxe.” Buffett performed the song “Livingston Saturday Night” in the film. It’s chorus includes “rocking and a rolling on a Livingston Saturday night“ and refers to this town’s wild bar scene.


Many believe “Cheeseburger in Paradise” refers to a small burger restaurant called The Pop Stand just south of Livingston near Paradise Valley. Mark’s In & Out Burgers, an iconic Livingston drive-in (still in existence), also might have been an inspiration.


Other Montana references include “Ringling,” about a small town of that name located north of Livingston, and Missoula in his song “Miss You So Badly.”


For more information on Montana, visit VISITMT.COM.

[Photo: Livingston CREDIT Montana Office of Tourism.jpg]



Billings Has Served As A Set For Hollywood Films


You wouldn’t ordinarily think of a historic railroad station as a source of fame for a destination, but in Billings, that’s precisely where Montana’s largest city made major appearances on the big screen.


In 1993, renowned producer Ron Howard filmed portions of “Far and Away” at the Historic Billings Depot. The film, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is a story about Irish immigrants seeking fortune in 1890s America.


Then in 2013, Hollywood returned to the Historic Billings Depot for the filming of “Nebraska,” a comedy-drama starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk of “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul.” The black and white picture follows an elderly Montana man and his son on a journey to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize.


While the Billings Depot has served as the set of major motion pictures, visitors today can enjoy classic and contemporary Hollywood hits at other historic locations in the city. The ArtHouse Cinema showcases movies every week in a quaint setting, and the Babcock Theatre – built in 1906 to address the high demand for entertainment resulting from the mining boom and an influx of rail travelers – is a unique venue that offers a modern take on a Western treasure.

For more information on Billings, visit

[Photo: Babcock Theatre 1 CREDIT Visit Billings.jpg]


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