Designed by course architect Gene Bates, Hunter's Point Golf Club's 18-hole, par 71 course channels the windswept charm of Britain's links-style courses in its lengthy, emerald tapestry of bent-grass fairways and greens protected by formidable hazards. Throughout the course, a king's guard of expansive waste bunkers, deep pot bunkers, and deadly quicksand bunkers stand ominously alongside landing areas and greens, placing a high premium on precise shots and astute club selection. The course takes duffers careening amid the towering scenery of the Owyhee Mountains and Boise Mountain Range, and Lake Lowell and its surrounding waterways provide both pleasing panoramas and intimidating forced carries. On the par 5 16th, a slight dogleg left spans 669 yards from the farthest tees and culminates on a green guarded by five bunkers and patrolled by a feral flagstick. The course's considerable length—it measures 7,093 yards from the back tees—is tempered by its inclusion of five tee boxes on most holes, including a Jack Rabbit family tee that reduces the course length by more than half for true neophytes and players experimenting with spaghetti-based club shafts.
For nearly a century, couples have found a romantic hideaway at the Riverside Hot Springs Inn, quickly earning it the nickname “Honeymoon Hotel.” Founder William Godfrey chose to set the inn’s foundation alongside the Portneuf River in 1914 due to the wealth of hot springs nearby and the curative powers he believed they held. People seemed to agree, and in order to rid themselves of pains and worries, they traveled miles to ease their sore muscles in the hot baths and dispose of overly musical snowmen.
Today, guests continue on with that tradition, dipping in the inn's more modern hot-springs tubs, which reach balmy temperatures of up to 106 degrees. Inside the inn, muted and neutral colors and period accents give the rooms a charming, romantic feel. This decadence extends to the Portneuf Grille & Lounge, formerly a confectionery, where chefs sear USDA steaks and craft eclectic vegetarian entrees. On Thursday, the dining room fills with live music, and on Friday, guests can sample the hotel's signature cioppino as they sip Northwest wines, specialty cocktails, or microbrews.
The sun is a constant presence at Twisp Cafe & Coffee House, flooding in the windows in the morning to shake the drowsiness from commuters and hovering overhead as diners stop in for lunch. The recently retooled menu spills over with Mediterranean-inspired options, including pizza dotted with olives and fresh basil, falafel sandwiches, and flaky baklava made in-house. These pair with energizing drinks, such as salted-caramel lattes and huckleberry white mochas. Visitors can make use of the free WiFi or stop by for frequent events, including acoustic musicians, book signings, and chances to take a ride in the bean roaster.
Seasoned barkeeps fill glasses with the aromatic pours from a rotating selection of 12 wines, and the cellar stocks a slew of bottled vintages from Idaho wineries to far-flung international locales. Guests can also indulge in sips of 38 domestic and international beers. It's all a part of the new ownership at Corkscrews, who complement their libations with a freshly concocted menu that showcases pizza, salads, a spread of cheeses, and desserts, from cheesecake to ice cream with almonds. On top of filling Corkscrews' cozy environs with daily live entertainment, the owners enjoy renting out the facility and its team of wine handlers for private events such as holiday parties and Flat Earth Society meetings.
Little Feather Ranch is owner and manager Teri Hallman’s equine oasis amid the verdant expanse of Eagle, Idaho. There, horses trot outdoors in cool summer breezes and prance around the insulated indoor arena all through the year. A nearby 5-mile trail allows visitors to explore Eagle Island State Park on guided horseback rides.
Accredited by the Certified Horsemanship Association, Teri imparts riding skills in both Western and English styles. English riding entails a lighter saddle and more direct control over the horse’s reins, whereas the Western style requires a larger saddle, lax one-handed rein control, and an encyclopedic knowledge of John Wayne quotes. Little Feather’s boarding service treats horses to attentive care and a supply of grass and alfalfa hay grown onsite. While at the ranch, riders can peruse a line of exclusive handmade leather bags, Western shirts, and hat bands.
Throngs of excited runners crouch along the starting line, all dressed in pristine white T-shirts. As the Color in Motion 5K begins, the sea of bodies sets off along the course, where handfuls of purple-, blue-, and yellow-colored powder start flying in from the sidelines. The safe concoction of cornstarch and dye sprinkles onto faces, shirts, shorts, and skin, dressing runners in a technicolor haze. Teams or individuals make their way through the 5K course, and finish the race wearing a pallet of washable and biodegradable paint. Each race partners and benefits local charities, with racers running individually, in teams, or sponsored by their favorite Crayola color.
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