The men's magazine Esquire published an article this week called, Charming American Towns You Haven't Heard of But Should Visit ASAP. The list of 50 towns doesn't include any from the Gem State of Idaho, but five of these towns are easy drives from Boise and could make for a nice weekend getaway. The list isn't ranked in any particular order, so I will list them from farthest to closest.
1.) Hood River, Oregon - Less than 6 hours from Boise
Hood River is a town of just over 7,000 people. It is surrounded by orchards, vineyards, and Mount Hood. CNN recently called it one of America's great riverfront towns and is known for great kayaking, windsurfing, and mountain biking.
2.) Leavenworth, Washington - Less than 8 hours from Boise
Not to be confused with Leavenworth, Kansas, home to one of the country's most notorious prisons. Leavenworth, Washington, is a town of fewer than 2,000 residents. The town center resembles a Bavarian village. The city lives on tourist revenue, and they have festivals nearly every month of the year. It's known for skiing, wineries, german beer, and nutcrackers!
3.) Astoria, Oregon - Less than 9 hours from Boise
For a town of fewer than 10,000 people, Astoria has become famous for being the setting for two major Hollywood blockbusters. It was here that Steven Speilberg set The Goonies and where Arnold Schwartzenegger went undercover in Kindergarten Cop. The town has fantastic views, an iconic bridge, and an excellent maritime museum. It is on the Columbia River near the Pacific Ocean.
4.) Cottage Grove, Oregon - Less than 9 hours from Boise
Cottage Grove is a town of fewer than 10,000 people rich with vineyards and rivers. There are covered bridges and beautiful waterfalls. Like Astoria, Hollywood has been to Cottage Grove on more than one occasion. You can check out filming locations from the movies Animal House and Stand By Me.
5.) Springdale, Utah - Less than 10 hours from Boise
Springdale is a town of fewer than 600 people, located just outside of Zion National Park. There is something for you in Springdale if you're into hiking, biking, running, music, or art. Events and festivals happen year-round.