Vanish To: The Limelight Hotel in Ketchum, Idaho

Sun Valley is just one of those most magical places. Especially if you are into escaping into the outdoors, fly fishing, riding bikes, star gazing, skiing, shooting, the stuff dream vacations are made of, you have to put this spot — and this hotel — on your list. Or maybe you are already a fan.

Sun Valley is also known as “America’s first ski destination,” nestled beneath the peaks of Bald Mountain (9,150 feet) and Dollar Mountain (6,638 feet), according to Powder magazine. The resort itself also boasts the “longest lift-served downhill bike trails in the U.S.,” and I found the gravel biking to be spectacular as well.

Either way, we highly recommend a stay at the highly reliable and convenient Limelight Hotel, a small chain that got it’s start in Aspen, Colorado, yet feels more accessible than you might at first think. They offer everything you might possibly need during a visit summer or winter.

The greater Sun Valley region has been and continues to be a sought-after destination for a variety of travelers looking for the authentic mountain town vibe, core outdoor activity offerings, and well-rounded arts, culture, and dining amenities.

On paper, Sun Valley can seem like any other American mountain town. If you haven’t been here before you’ll see a slew of outdoor activities, beautiful scenery, western mining and ranching touches, and a breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

For those that have been here before, there is a feeling that there just might be something in the water that makes it special. The people and businesses that have chosen the Wood River Valley as their home or vacation spot of choice provide some reasoning for what differentiates Sun Valley from other similar destinations.

Sun Valley and Ketchum also holds a shocking number of outdoor-focused brands, including:

• Wild Rye – women’s specific mountain biking apparel and mountain lifestyle apparel
• Club Ride – mountain biking and mountain lifestyle apparel
• Chums – sunglasses and lifestyle accessories
• Reflex – ski poles
• First Lite – technical hunting apparel
• Decked – pickup truck bed organization systems and accessories
• Hempitecture – hemp-based insulation

Yes Sun Valley is famed for its snowfall, sunny days, steep alpine skiing and Nordic skiing opportunities, but this is far from your average ski town. In addition to the three ski hills, unique recreation opportunities include Central Idaho Dark Sky Viewing, Craters of the Moon geological volcanic landscape and national monument, Silver Creek Preserve for world-class fly fishing and wildlife viewing, Ruud Mountain/Proctor Mountain (home of the world’s first chairlift), and more rivers, ranges and other lakes and reservoirs than you can take in in one visit.

The Limelight makes the perfect launch point for any adventure or work-cation, with a wonderful free breakfast, shared spaces, reliable high speed wi-fi, shuttles, and a bike/ski shop adjacent. I’ve stayed at the Limelight in Aspen and have been a fan for years, so I was stoked to get to check out this location in this iconic ski town and mountain community, and I can’t wait to return.

–Author Aaron H. Bible is an award-winning writer and multimedia producer with three decades of experience working as a content specialist, creative director, and journalist. Follow him @DefinitelyWild. Action photos above by Ray Gadd and Mike Schirf.