Winter in Sun Valley
The former playground of Ernest Hemingway, Gregory Peck and Marilyn Monroe, Sun Valley offers a relaxed mountain-town vibe while boasting some of the best slopes the U.S. has to offer. At the base of Bald Mountain, during après-ski, a sea of beanies flood the River Run Lodge as skiers clink glasses toasting to a successful day on the slopes.
Then there's the après après-ski... From "the Pio" to Grumpy's - the bar/restaurant scene is made up of age-old institutions that double as museums and trophy rooms featuring walls lined in Prohibition signs, mounted game, period firearms and old b+w photos.
In the past, visitors either a. stayed at the SV Lodge b. owned a house or c. knew someone with one. With limited flights into Hailey and the next major airport being over 2 hours away in Boise, Sun Valley has always been relatively hard to get to - unless flying private, of course. However, more flights are becoming available with each passing season and luxury boutique hotel brands are buying dirt.
One thing I love about this town is that everyone (still) wears fur. SV is a constant runway of fur coats. I scored this vintage mink coat at a consignment store downtown SV. Shopping guide below.
Traveling is a major source of inspiration and has never failed to fuel my creativity. I was lucky enough to stumble upon the brilliant work of a local Idaho artist. These are real steer skulls treated, painted and then meticulously decorated with lace, silk flowers, crystals and leather.
A town's history is evident inside the walls of a good antique store. We came across this one selling old fishing rods, 1930's snow shoes, cow skulls, vintage beer mugs and just about everything you think you'd find (and wouldn't find) in a mountain town.
Celebrity sightings don't only happen on walls. Sun Valley has served as a hideaway for A-Listers since the late 1930's. While the gallery walls at the SV Lodge pay homage to the town's star-studded history - today you may spot Clint Eastwood dining with his daughters at the Pio or Drew Barrymore trying to snag a seat in the lively Duchin Lounge.
eat, sleep & après
- PIONEER SALOON | Probably my new favorite place. Ever. The Pioneer Saloon, aka "The Pio" is known for long wait times (part of it's charm), celeb sightings and baked potatoes. Dig into homemade chips & salsa and a killer martini (or two) while you wait for a table.
- GRUMPY'S | A Sun Valley classic known for it's big beer goblets and delicious elk burgers.
- DUCHIN LOUNGE | Located in the lobby of the Sun Valley Lodge. Slightly strong drinks and live music call for fun at all hours.
- CELLAR PUB | Intimate and lively. Serves killer pub food and good drinks.
- WHISKEY JACQUES | Where all the cool kids are going these days. Games & live music.
- ENOTECA | Slightly more upscale than it's neighbors - features wood-fired pizza and a great wine list.
- THE KNEADERY | Open 8 AM - 2 PM. Great for breakfast. Features a cozy dining room with the usual perfectly overdone SV "mountain" decor.
- SV LODGE | This legendary hotel originally opened in 1936 as America's first ski resort. Features a spa, bowling alley and ice rink and the Duchin Lounge. Fun fact: Ernest Hemingway wrote part of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” in room 206.
- LIMELIGHT HOTEL | Trendy new hotel in the heart of Ketchum.
- HOT WATER INN | A 9 bedroom hostel at the base of Warm Springs run on Baldy featuring a living room that doubles as a lobby, bar and live music venue. Slightly run down but affordable.
- AIRBNB | From "ski lockers" to million-dollar homes, there are countless options available for groups large and small.
- HUCK & PADDLE | (above) Beautifully styled shop featuring eclectic gifts and unique finds, from coffee table books and blankets to barware and candles.
- GOLDMINE CONSIGNMENT | I went in for the fur (which an entire wall is lined with) and left with a gorgeous mink coat and a vintage Ferragamo blazer. Score!
- ANTIQUE ALLEY | What looks like a giant yard sale leads to a maze of vintage treasures and ancient finds. If only I had brought an extra suitcase....
- PANACHE | The Intermix of Sun Valley. Features contemporary designer clothes for women.