Once in the heart of a stretch on the Oregon Trail best known for its inhospitable environment, Twin Falls was founded in 1904 as a planned community after irrigation projects on the Snake River made large-scale agriculture in the area practical for the first time. Twin Falls is the principal city of the Magic Valley region of Idaho, so named because said irrigation projects "magically" transformed the harsh landscape into productive farmland. While agriculture remains one of the city's primary industries, its proximity to outdoor activities as well as to casino gaming in nearby Nevada give it a regional tourist flair. Twin Falls is home to over 40,000 residents, making it one of Idaho's principal cities outside the Boise metro area.
Although English is the primary language in Twin Falls, a significant Hispanic community as well as refugees brought in by the local community college give the city an added multicultural element. It is not at all unusual to hear Spanish, Bosnian and Russian - among other languages - spoken in the city. That said, don't expect too much linguistic diversity; as in the rest of Idaho, English is still by far your best bet with Spanish a distant second.
address: 492 Airport LoopIs served by regular flights from Salt Lake City on SkyWest Airlines.
- Twin Falls can be accessed by car via US Highway 93. Interstate 84 runs approximately 5 miles (8 km) north of the city in Jerome County and intersects US-93. Unless you are coming from Nevada, you will cross the bridge over the Snake River Canyon.
- Due to both geographical and political realities, passenger rail service is utterly non-existent in the area. The closest Amtrak stop is in Elko, Nevada, some away. In short, driving or flying are the only practical methods to get here.
- Greyhound Bus provides service between Boise and Twin Falls. The trip takes about two hours and fifteen minutes.
Rudimentary taxi service is available in the city if needed, but it's no Manhattan. Don't expect to hail a cab even on busy streets. You'll most likely have to call a service to get a ride, even if at the airport. Check the Yellow Pages.
Snake River CanyonLocated immediately north of Twin Falls, the Snake River Canyon is perhaps best known for Evel Knievel's failed 1974 attempt to jump it in a rocket-powered motorcycle. In more recent times the canyon has become a destination for BASE jumpers, as Perrine Bridge spanning the canyon is the only man-made structure in the United States where BASE jumping is allowed year round without a permit (although bungee jumping is not; you will attract unwanted attention from local authorities if you attempt it). Golf is available on the canyon floor at the public Canyon Springs Golf Course and the private Blue Lakes Country Club.
phone: +1 208 733-9554address: 315 Falls AveKnown locally as CSI, the College of Southern Idaho in the northwestern part of the city often features many cultural performances. The school's nationally recognized community college men's basketball program is a big draw during the winter months. Home games are always well-attended.
phone: +1 208 736-2265address: 4155 Shoshone Falls Grade RdThe self-proclaimed "Niagara of the West." Shoshone Falls is a waterfall on the Snake River east of the city. Indeed, the waterfall has a higher drop than its famed New York/Canada rival but is considerably narrower. Shoshone Falls is best viewed in the spring. By summer hydroelectric and irrigation demands on the Snake River often bring the flow down to a trickle, exposing the white bedrock underneath. Check website for current flow rates.
phone: +1 208 733-2964address: 201 Fourth Avenue EastNotable features include the statue "Flights of Learning" by Bryce Pettit and the Idaho and Pacific Northwest History Room, or the Idaho Room for short.
phone: +1 208 733-3000address: 1485 Pole Line Rd ELocated a stone's throw from the Snake River Canyon and Perrine Bridge, the Magic Valley Mall features pretty much everything one would expect from a smaller American mall. Anchor stores include JC Penney, Barnes & Noble, and Hobby Lobby.
Downtown Twin FallsLocated in the heart of the original 1904 townsite, Downtown Twin Falls features a plethora of eclectic businesses, including several antique stores.
phone: +1 208 736-6728address: 1236 Blue Lakes Blvd NToy store.
phone: +1 208 326-4396Held the week before Labor Day in nearby Filer, the Twin Falls County Fair is one of the largest in the state.
address: 4155 Shoshone Falls GradeAn oxbow lake near Shoshone Falls, Dierkes Lake is a well-known summer recreation destination among locals.
Beckmon's Gaming Paradisephone: +1 208 733-3901address: 1037 Blue Lakes Blvd N
phone: +1 208 733-0369address: 220 Eastland Drive
Twin Falls isn't exactly a destination for foodies. Apart from the expected assortment of chain restaurants (i.e. Chili's, Outback, the usual complement of fast-food joints, et al.) the fare is a bit lacking. That said, Twin Falls does feature several Thai restaurants and family-oriented establishments.
Mexican cuisine is your best bet in the city. Try:
phone: +1 208 736-7408address: 645 Filer Ave
phone: +1 208 734-0685address: 1288 Blue Lakes Blvd N
Approximately 45 minutes away in Hagerman, the Snake River Grill comes highly recommended by the locals, who often say it's worth the drive. Be sure to try the alligator. Phone: (208) 837-6227
Bars in Twin Falls close at 1AM sharp, no excuses. Liquor by the drink on Sundays is a relatively recent innovation as well.
Twin Falls has experienced something of a hotel building boom. Many of the hotels along Blue Lakes Boulevard and Pole Line Road were constructed after 2007, so there are plenty of new and comfortable rooms to choose from.
phone: +1 208 736-9600address: 539 Pole Line Rd
phone: +1 208 734-7494address: 1910 Fillmore Ave N
phone: +1 208 734-2233address: 1658 Fillmore Ave N
phone: +1 208 733-8500address: 1741 Harrison St N
phone: +1 208 732-6001address: 1554 Fillmore St
phone: +1 208 734-3993address: 1472 Blue Lakes Blvd N
phone: +1 208 734-5000address: 1357 Blue Lakes Blvd N
phone: +1 208 933-2123address: 952 Blue Lakes Blvd NDesignated rooms for dogs are offered based on availability, with a $35 Pet Fee applied at check in; only two (2) dogs maximum per room.
address: 102 Fillmore StreetA bricken Tudor bed and breakfast. Only guests age ten (10) and over are allowed, and pets are not.
Cell phone service is consistent and reliable in Twin Falls proper as well as in the surrounding communities. However, if you travel further south than Jackpot, Nevada, on US Highway 93, expect to have an intermittent signal at best until you approach Wells or Ely.
Public WiFi access is available at most larger hotels, as well as at some coffee shops.
Given that much of the city's commercial and tourist infrastructure is concentrated around the intersection of Blue Lakes Boulevard and Poleline Road, as well as the fact nearby Perrine Bridge is effectively the only way in and out of Twin Falls from the north, traffic in the immediate area can be as heavy as anywhere in a much larger population center such as Boise. Stay alert if driving or walking through here.
- Twin Falls is approximately halfway between Boise and Pocatello, about a two-hour drive from each. Salt Lake City is approximately three hours away by car, or a 45 minutes by air.
- Jackpot - Located approximately 45 miles (75 km) south of Twin Falls just over the Nevada border, the small town of Jackpot offers casino gaming and routinely draws crowds from all over the area. Collectively the Jackpot casinos employ more people from Twin Falls than any employer in Twin Falls itself.
- Sun Valley - As in most of Idaho, the first day of ski season in November is eagerly anticipated in the Magic Valley. If the highbrow atmosphere (and corresponding prices) of Sun Valley aren't for you, try the more wallet-friendly Pomerelle resort south of Declo. Both locations are approximately an hour's drive from Twin Falls.