SUN VALLEY’S A MAGNET: Even when you leave, you always feel the pull to come back — back to the unparalleled outdoor activities, back to the safety of the valley walls, back to the incredible experiences that come so easily here.

There’s such a strong sense of community in town. Really, it’s the people that make up Sun Valley’s DNA — that’s what makes it such an amazing place to be.

Newcomers, you’ve stumbled into a secret that should have been shared long ago: Sun Valley’s the most underrated town in America. Here’s why.

1

Escape into the mountains or stay put in town—either way it's all good.

Sun Valley is ringed by incredible mountain ranges, and all the potential for year-round adventure held within that spectacular terrain. At the same time, there's so much going on in town—from annual events to spontaneous outdoor parties, incredible restaurants and bars to legit biking and fishing right on the outskirts—that you don't really need to ever leave...
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

2

Lake days—a favorite among locals and backpackers.

Fancy a morning bike ride followed with a day on the water? Totally possible in Sun Valley. Grab your friends, some fried chicken, sunscreen, and some boat keys if you’re lucky. Chilling at an alpine lake on a sunny day…there’s nothing better.
Photo: Ray J. Gadd

3

Clean eating is accessible and the norm.

The valley’s full of traveled foodies, and we all get to reap the benefits, with weekly farmers’ markets and wellness festivals helping to create a welcoming and healthy place to live or visit. I love having easy access to locally grown produce at the grocery store and buying a dozen eggs from my coworker.
Photo: Caroline Woodham

See more of our series on Sun Valley: How to fall in love with Sun Valley in 11 easy steps
4

The outdoor concerts run all year.

Concerts spring up everywhere: at the base of Baldy, in the local bars, parks, baseball fields, backyards...even parking lots become the stage for amazing live music. Truly, there are few things better than seeing Gregg Allman play and knowing you’re within a 10-minute walk home.
Photo: Ray J. Gadd

5

You never need to go to the gym to get your exercise.

Just pick a trail and go. Bonus: You get views like this at the top. Sure beats the elliptical.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

6

The holiday celebrations here can't be beat.

Take the Fourth of July—I can always expect an influx of old friends coming to town to celebrate the US, Sun Valley style: free fireworks shows, BBQ hopping, cowboy boots as far as the eye can see. That’s how we do it. And that's just one holiday on the calendar.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

7

There are so many ways to fish, and it's all world class.

If you’re in Sun Valley, you’ll get a taste of the fishing community in one way or another. When I was little, my dad would take me fishing at a mellow spot on the Big Wood River. When I was older, a good friend took my brother and me onto Magic Reservoir for our first attempt at ice fishing. Fly fishing is next on my radar.
Photo: Tory Taglio

8

Year-round trails are round every corner.

Our trail systems are some of the best in the nation—they’re maintained for everyone come sun or snow, and they’re easily accessed throughout North and South Valley.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

9

There's art everywhere.

Ketchum is home to some amazing galleries and offers opportunities for artists both visiting and local. Art and antique festivals fill the summer, drawing visitors from around the world.
Photo: Ray J. Gadd

10

Entrepreneurship runs rampant.

Although this place is small, there are pockets of people with amazingly inventive entrepreneurial drive. I’m constantly surprised by the types of businesses that spring up and give new life to the valley. It's an energy you can feel, whether you're a long-time local or are just passing through.
Photo: Big Wood Ski

11

There’s practically always a rad community event going on.

From town bike races to the yearly putt-putt tournament, pop-up slosh ball games (think kickball with a beer in hand) to the ridiculously fun open-air Halloween party on Ketchum’s Main Street, it’s all going on in Sun Valley.
Photo: Dev Khalsa

12

We’ve got natural hot springs.

The valley’s dozen or so bathable hot springs are a quick drive and a relaxing experience away from the bustle of town. People take great pride in our local springs, and spend time building rock walls and comfortable soaking pools for a mellow summer evening or après-ski soak. Visit Sun Valley has a sick list of springs worth checking out.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

13

Fresh skies and clean air are all we know.

Sunrises, sunsets, bluebird days, or moody storm systems...it doesn’t matter. You’re in the mountains, your lungs are full of fresh, clean mountain air, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

14

And then of course there's the mountain.

When the snow starts falling, Baldy truly is a sight to behold. North America's first destination ski resort is still killing it, and if you're visiting in winter...well, I've got a good reason why.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

15

It's the kind of place you want to raise your kids.

It’s hard to find an event in Sun Valley that isn’t kid friendly, and new schools are opening all the time with different educational scopes and tones to fit any family’s style. From luxurious comforts found on the valley floor, to the peaks surrounding you on a hike to Pioneer Cabin, I’m proud to call this place home, and excited to see what’s next and new for our sunny valley. Hope to see you here.
Photo: Tessa Sheehan

This post is proudly produced in partnership with Visit Sun Valley.