Mountainside Inn near Historic Downtown and Backcountry Adventures
The center of the universe is located in the small town of Wallace, Idaho. You might miss it if you aren’t looking, though—the spot is marked by an embossed seal that looks like a manhole cover. It may not literally be the center of the universe, but as a mayor once declared, if it can’t be disproven, it must be true. If you like your town landmarks to have a verifiable paper trail, Wallace has another distinction: all 38 buildings in its downtown area are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The recently renovated Wallace Inn sits only seven blocks from the center of the universe downtown and near the historic district, but is designed with all comforts of a modern hotel.
Backed by the Bitterroot Mountains, Wallace Inn has no shortage of stunning views. There are floor-to-ceiling windows in its indoor pool area and in all of its 59 rooms that look out to the scenery.
You can also peer at the mountains while sitting in a booth at the hotel’s restaurant Molly’s at the Inn, which serves farm-fresh fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For drinks, head to the full bar area at the onsite lounge, or just half a mile up the road to Wallace Brewing, which offers two-for-one drinks to Groupon customers.
Wallace, Idaho: Historic Mining Town at the Foot of the Bitterroot Mountains
The old mining town of Wallace has survived two major fires: The first, in 1890, wiped out most of the wooden buildings downtown, prompting residents to rebuild with brick, stone, and masonry foundations that have survived to today. The layouts range in style from art deco to Victorian; one of them was a brothel that didn’t close its doors until 1988. It’s this assortment of architectural styles that landed Wallace on the National Register of Historic Places, the last whole town to earn this distinction.
Local history is alive and well at many museums in the area. The Northern Pacific Depot Railroad museum is located in a brick-and-stucco chateau-style building that was used by the railroad for more than 100 years. Through the museum’s exhibits and historic photographs, you can see how the railroads helped the growth of Wallace, the surrounding area, and flattened pennies.