Trophy bass are nothing unusual to the licensed fishing guides at Mountain River Outfitters. Armed with more than 15 years of experience, they lead trips through local waters—including the Salmon and Snake Rivers—in search of prize catches such as bass, salmon, steelhead, and sturgeon. Mountain River Outfitters also has expert guides that lead whitewater-rafting trips, horseback rides, and camping and hiking trips in local canyons and mountains.
Throughout the year, Promote Idaho’s staff oversees expos that showcase local vendors that cater to events such as weddings and holiday parties. In the spring, the business partners with the U.S. Army to host the Treasure Valley Man Show, where guests listen to live music and mingle among muscle cars before entering duck, goose, and turkey-calling competitions.
Ponderosa Aero Club has sent Boise residents skyward for more than 35 years and acquaints aspiring pilots to the blue beyond with discovery flight lessons. A licensed flight instructor first debriefs students on the fundamentals of taking off, maneuvering, landing, and using radio equipment to order a frisbee-tossed pizza. Attendees then approach the club's fleet of Cessna and Piper Cherokee Archer aircrafts for a preflight inspection. As guests climb into the cockpit alongside their aerodynamics mentor, they can enlist the help of a camera to keep midair memories intact. Planes soar over Boise during a 30- or 60-minute scenic flight, the latter of which includes a tour of Snake River, Swan Falls, and Lake Lowell before a complimentary lower view of a cloud's reproductive system. Patrons can shoot postflight pictures upon their return to earth while staff members award them a logbook and certificate of completion.
Preserving memories and masterpieces since 1986, Perfection Framing provides a wide range of services for an even wider range of occasions. Through the use of archival museum-quality materials, UV-protected glass, and distinct moldings, a team of artistically inclined framers collaborates with customers to complete static narratives. Perfection Framing also transfers prints to canvas, coating each piece for popping contrast and pure saturation while reducing high-gloss glare and lowbrow scoffing from art-school dropouts. Though custom framing rates vary as much as the visuals contained within, complete works start as low as $49 for an 8"x10" with basic mat, glass, and backing; average orders run between $100–$300.
Newly built with a fleet of educational exhibits, the nonprofit Idaho Public Aquarium brims with underwater wildlife that scuttles, swims, and frolics, overseen by staff members and dedicated volunteers. Families peruse exhibits that give insight into a slice of aquatic life and emphasize its continuance, such as stingray touch tank and the shark nursery, where guests can witness baby sharks peeking out of their eggs while crooning peaceful lullabies or playing peekaboo. Added to the list are new exhibits, such as the 17,000-gallon sea turtle tank and the North Pacific cold water tank. Sea-resident enthusiasts can also participate in birthday parties with private tours and a nighttime animal feeding.
If one word had to describe Coeur d’Alene Cellars’ attitude toward winemaking, it would probably be "meticulous." During each stage of creation, from vineyard selection and harvest to bottling, winemakers carefully supervise and adjust conditions to suit their visions. They hand-harvest fruit from their eastern Washington vineyards only on days that fit specific temperature conditions. Between pickings, the vines are pruned for low yields that concentrate flavor and quality. And their syrah and viognier grapes are both hand-sorted the night of harvest before they’re pressed and fermented.
That process is carefully controlled as well. Syrah blends first ferment in open-top vessels, allowing for closer management of color and tannins. Only later do they age inside French and American oak barrels, like former daredevils bent on reliving their trip over Niagara Falls. Viognier blends, on the other hand, spend both fermentation and aging periods in small oak barrels.
The resulting well-balanced wines can claim myriad accolades from publications such as Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Their 2004 Sarah’s cuvée viognier, for instance, earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which praised its "good balance" of "peach, apricot, sour lemon candy and even a bit of cinnamon." Current vintages include the 2007 Alder Ridge Vineyard syrah, whose smooth body supports flavors of berries, vanilla, and cinnamon that conclude in a lingering finish.
These and other wines are poured at Coeur d'Alene's onsite wine bar, Barrel Room No. 6. Inside, sleek red walls help create an upscale vibe. Glasses perch beneath pendant lighting on the bar or glitter on top of old wine barrels repurposed as tables. As customers sip, knowledgeable wait staff can suggest ways to bring out the wines' subtle flavors by nibbling aromatic cheese pairings or the hem of a neighbor’s freshly laundered shirt.
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