Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of south-central Idaho lies Ketchum, an outdoors-obsessed metropolis and residential to America’s first vacation spot ski resort, Sun Valley. At 9,150 toes, Bald Mountain, referred to as Baldy, presides over Ketchum with 12 lifts, 105 trails, a classy snow-making operation and impeccably groomed runs. While new resorts (Limelight Hotel on the south finish, Hotel Ketchum on the north) bookend Main Street, the half-mile stretch nonetheless exudes loads of the old-time appeal from Ketchum’s mining and sheep ranching heyday with cabin-style outlets and historic brick buildings. Professional big-mountain skier and native Alexis “Lexi” du Pont describes Ketchum as “classy Western.” She says the realm provides a substantial amount of historical past and a European affect from Sun Valley resort, which opened in the 1930s, “but at the same time it’s Wild West Idaho.” Here are 5 of her favourite locations.
1. The Covey
In December, Ms. du Pont’s childhood pals Jane and Jesse Sheue opened their first restaurant, meting out New American meals in a constructing resembling a small purple barn. The cozy restaurant is centered round a giant colonial-style fireside and options housemade pastas and meats like pheasant and elk, grilled on apple wooden. “It’s cool to see a local chef who was born and raised here” on the helm of a restaurant with such high-quality dishes, Ms. du Pont stated. With 24 faucets and 30 wines by the glass, visitors can pair drinks with meals and keep some time to take pleasure in what Ms. du Pont calls “cool vibes” and a rotating artwork assortment, courtesy of a neighborhood gallery, Lipton Fine Arts, that features unique works by Alexander Calder, Keith Haring and Marc Chagall.
520 Washington Ave; thecovey.com
2. Maude’s Coffee & Clothes
Opened in 2017, this store sells regionally roasted natural espresso, pastries, jewellery and modern and classic clothes. Tara Frehling, who owns the shop along with her husband, Jacob, stated she is happy about this season’s hand-knit sweaters by French designer V de Vinster ($300-350). Where else can you score vintage American-made denim jackets ($60-250) with an order of avocado toast with hard-boiled egg and local microgreens ($8.50)? “I love the combination of thrift store and the best coffee in town,” Ms. du Pont said.
391 Walnut Ave N; maudesinketchum.com
3. Johnny G’s Subshack
Family-operated since 1998, this spot sells satisfying Chicago-style subs to those hungry after outdoor adventures. Ms. du Pont’s go-to sandwich (of 21 options, all $7 for 6-inch; $11 for foot-long) is the Sammis Camas (roast beef, ham and barbecue sauce) named after the local ski legend Brett Sammis, who died in a ski accident in 1997. “This is a local watering hole,” Ms. du Pont said. “It’s filled with ski posters signed by local shredders.” On top of that, the co-owner, Johnny Gorham, who runs the popular place with his wife, Gretchen, has a knack for remembering everyone’s name.
371 Washington Ave; johnnygsubshack.com
4. Apple’s Bar & Grill
For 30 years, Apple’s has been a popular spot for lunch and après-ski. At the base of Baldy near the Warm Springs Lodge, Apple’s, decorated with local ski memorabilia, is known for its burgers, ahi tuna salad and TVs that blast ski videos. “It’s probably my favorite spot in all of Sun Valley,” said Ms. du Pont, 29, who grew up going to Apple’s for after-school snacks before practice (the ski team office is directly above).
215 Picabo Street; facebook.com/applesbarandgrill