Home to World-Class Wineries and a World-class Rodeo

Things to Do in Caldwell

Caldwell is a town in transition, from a small frontier settlement to a burgeoning bedroom community that just so happens to produce some of Idaho’s best food and wine.

It’s known for world-class destination wineries and a world-class rodeo. But it’s also home to rural backroads, a revitalized downtown core, and so much more.

Here’s a list of our favorite spots to help you get started exploring this dynamic part of Southwest Idaho.

Sunnyslope Wine Trail

Winding through sweeping vistas of patchwork farmland in the Snake River valley, the Sunnyslope Wine Trail cuts through the heart of Idaho wine country.

Start your visit at Huston Vineyards. Legend has it that a farmer in the small town of Huston persuaded a governor to repair his potholed road with a very delicious chicken dinner. Today, that road is named Chicken Dinner Road, and it’s now home to Huston Vineyards and the namesake of their award-winning table wines.

Before you finish your wine-tasting journey, be sure to make a stop at Indian Creek Winery, where winemaking is a family business. Be on the lookout for upcoming events hosted by the Stowe family, including arts and craft nights, yoga classes and obstacle course races, all paired with a good glass (or two) of wine.

Need a break from a long day on the road wine tasting? Be sure to check out Orchard House. Located just off the Sunnyslope Wine Trail, Orchard House features a homey atmosphere, local wines and classic American fare, a perfect stop while touring Idaho’s wine country.

Caldwell Night Rodeo

Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

See real professional cowboys in action: bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and more.

For 84 years running, the Caldwell Night Rodeo has been an important stop along the annual professional rodeo tour across the country. The shows all take place during one week in mid-August, in the height of rodeo season.

Indian Creek Plaza

Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

Think of Indian Creek Plaza as downtown Caldwell’s front porch. It’s an outdoor venue right in the center of the city’s dining, retail and entertainment scenes, filled with shady trees, bubbling fountains, a small creek and an amphitheater.

Each season brings something new to experience and celebrate: live concerts, outdoor movies, exercise classes, cornhole competitions, ice skating and holiday lights. Check out their online calendar for upcoming events.

Local’s tip: While you’re exploring downtown Caldwell, be sure to check out Avalon Antiques, a quirky antique store with one of the best vinyl record collections in Southwest Idaho. You’ll never know what you might find here.

Downtown Caldwell Restaurants

A juicy, fire-grilled steak from Indian Creek Steakhouse. Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

Being so close to the farms and vineyards of the Snake River Valley, you’ll find some great eats in Downtown Caldwell.

Here’s a list to help you get started:

  • Indian Creek Steakhouse
  • Papusas A&J
  • Burnt Lemon
  • Mi Pueblito Mexican Cafe
  • Orphan Annie’s
  • Flying M Coffee

Lake Lowell

Originally built as part of a major irrigation project, Lake Lowell is one of the largest reservoirs in Idaho and arguably one of the best fishing spots near Caldwell. As part of the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge, the still, blue waters are filled with bass, catfish, bluegill and more.

Local’s tip: This is also a fantastic place for birdwatching. More than 200 different species call this place home, including the western osprey. You can get a great view from the observatory on the property and learn more at the visitor learning center.

Whittenberger Planetarium

Photo courtesy of College of Idaho

Immerse yourself in the depths of space and listen to the age-old stories of the constellations. Hosted by the College of Idaho and located on their 125-year-old campus in Caldwell, the Whittenberger Planetarium has been inspiring Idahoans to keep their eyes on the stars since 1970. The facility hosts monthly public shows and tickets typically cost less than $10.

Caldwell Ice Ribbon

Each winter, Caldwell’s Indian Creek Plaza becomes home to Idaho’s first and only ice skating trail. Think of it as a frozen stream you can use to ice skate through town, meandering along city streets and parks.

Caldwell Farmers Market

Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

From early May to late September, local farmers, craftsmen and artisans meet in downtown Caldwell to sell their homegrown goods. On a typical Saturday morning, you can find baskets full of freshly-picked fruit, homemade soaps, and more, along with local musicians strumming a guitar. (If you’re lucky, you might even catch the mayor singing a tune or two!)

Peaceful Belly Farm

Farmers Clay and Josie Erskine believe that “real peace starts with a full belly of healthy food.” Their belief is what inspired them to start Peaceful Belly, a sustainable farm that handraises over 180 different types of vegetables along with flowers, herbs and berries.

During the summer and fall months, enjoy a 5-course meal under the stars with their Farm-to-Fork Supper Club. In the spring, check out their Freaks of the Garden sale, where you can take home seeds from more than 80 different types of tomatoes, squash, peppers and more!

Peaceful Belly is open seven days a week, from noon until 6 p.m.

Caldwell Train Depot

Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

Experience Caldwell’s past at this old restored train depot building. The brick walls of this historic place have been standing since that city was established, and the depot was a crucial development for the growth of the larger Boise area. Now a museum, the Caldwell Train Depot is home to a vast collection of memorabilia and antiques where visitors can get a sense of what life used to be like in the Treasure Valley.

Winter Wonderland

Photo courtesy of Destination Caldwell

Every winter, downtown Caldwell is transformed into a winter wonderland. Over 1 million LED christmas lights decorate the city, painting its streets in glowing reds, purples and blues. The season kicks off the Friday evening before Thanksgiving with a city-wide holiday celebration where you’ll find carolers, hot chocolate, bonfires, hayrides and Santa himself.

 

From bustling plazas, lush vineyards, rodeos and more, Caldwell is truly a hidden gem in the Gem State. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to stay a while.

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