Pocatello is more like a mystical place called found in the state of Idaho.
It is the largest city in Bannock County; Pocatello boasts a variety of attractions that will satisfy all your travel needs and give you the experience of a lifetime.
This city is a very quiet, clean, and historic place with a small population of about 50,000 people.
Covering a significant portion of Bannock County with such a small population, this city is an ideal destination for people who love visiting small towns with quiet little places or want to explore new cities.
From fascinating museums and a thriving downtown to scenic hiking trails and beautiful lakes, this charming city has so much for tourists to see and experience.
These are the best things to do in Pocatello:
Fun Things to Do in Pocatello
1. Fish at Edson Fichter Nature Area
This is a beautiful place to fish, take a leisurely walk, run or just relax.
The beautiful views, especially the sunsets, are the most fascinating thing about this natural area.
You can take a walk, drive around the area, or fish in the pond.
The lake freezes during the winter, and visitors can experience what it’s like to walk on ice. It’s also a great place for ice skating.
The views at the Edson Fichter Nature Area are truly mesmerizing and a must-visit place if you love beautiful scenery.
2. Check Out Bannock County Historical Museum
The Bannock County Historical Museum is unlike any museum you’ve ever been to or heard of.
It’s a museum made only of donated exhibits – great, right?
Located right next to the old Fort Hall replica, the museum exhibits are fascinating enough to make you stop and stare.
It is well maintained, polished, and a great place to visit with friends and family.
The Bannock County Historical Museum paves a great way to learn about Bannock County history and educate your children.
This place is really a must if you want to experience something exotic and traditional.
3. Catch Some Fun at Ammon Park
If you’re in Pocatello and looking for a place to picnic on a sunny afternoon, Ammon Park has you covered.
This beautiful park in the middle of Pocatello is not only a green land park but is home to various hills.
In winter, there are ice blocks where you can slide, cool off, and have fun.
It’s a great place to picnic, relax, walk the dog or ride a bike.
You can enjoy some chilled drinks or even make time for meditation, journaling, painting, or photography.
The park is clean, quiet, well maintained, and a great place to connect with nature.
Things to Do in Pocatello at Night
1. Grab a Drink at Bannock Peak Casino
Thought Pocatello was all about parks, museums, history, and culture? If so, you’re not entirely right, but you’re not wrong either.
Bannock Peak Casino in Pocatello is the place to party, gamble, and drink away your sorrows.
This place is known for serving the best coffee and conversation, so don’t worry if you go alone.
At Bannock Peak Casino, it is almost impossible to get bored.
2. Check Out Tough Guy Bowling Lanes
Tough Guy Bowling Lanes feature 24 spacious auto-scoring lanes that allow players of all skill levels to have a great time.
They modified the lanes with bumpers and a dinosaur ball slide for kids to give them extra support while on the tracks.
This family-friendly establishment also offers delicious food, drinks, and ice-cold beer.
Tough Guy Bowling Lanes boasts a beautiful atmosphere.
For sure, it is a great place to bring your family, have a date with your significant other, host parties and team-building sessions, or just relax and enjoy.
3. Hangout With Friends at Portneuf Valley Brewing
On the record, Portneuf Valley Brewing first opened to the public in Pocatello, Idaho, in 1996, but however, Brew Mistress and owner Penny Pink had been brewing her own great beers for friends and family for years before the brewery officially opened.
She set up her first brewery in Dudley’s Sports Bar, where her beers soon gained a loyal following.
Open for beer samples and pints and occasional live entertainment, Portneuf Valley Brewing is a fun place to visit.
Things to Do in Pocatello For Couples
1. Visit the Pocatello Model Railroad and Historical Society
You must have realized by now that Pocatello is a land of history and culture.
The Pocatello Model Railroad and Historical Society is one of the city’s most notable historical sites.
It is a museum adjacent to PR Union Pacific and has an extravagant collection based on modern railroading on display.
The museum is a great place to stop and check out some of the trains. Also includes train memorabilia from 1900 to the present.
This place is great if you take your kids and show them all the trains.
The Pocatello Model Railroad and Historical Society is a must for those who love trains.
2. Test Each Other’s Skills at Outback Golf Park
Outback Golf Park on the other side of Interstate 15 is a destination for dates, families, and anyone just looking to brush up their game.
For casual players, the Outback Golf Park is a big draw with 18 holes of miniature golf with carved stones and also water features too.
The holes could be just fun enough for kids but technical enough for serious putters to work on their short game.
The driving range has plenty of space, all on one level, with mats in good condition and affordable prices for both small, medium, and large buckets.
3. Eat at Butter Burrs Restaurant
A locally owned and operated neighborhood restaurant in Pocatello, Butter Burrs Restaurant has been providing quality home-cooked meals to the local community for over thirty years.
The menu at Butter Burrs includes real homemade mashed potatoes, a variety of specialty sandwiches, omelets, Butterburgers, homemade soups, pies, loaves of bread, and many iconic “rolls” that are made fresh every day, all day long.
Dinner entrees include many classic favorites such as chicken fried steak and a seven-hour roast.
The Butter Burrs restaurant is open seven days a week, from eight in the morning to nine in the evening.
Things to Do in Pocatello For Kids
1. Let Them Admire Cute Animals at Zoo Idaho
The Idaho Zoo is home to a significant number of plant and animal species.
Here, wildlife is free to roam the park for people to observe.
This zoo is home to species that are native to Idaho, and most of them are rescue animals, making it the most attractive zoo in Idaho.
It’s a great place to interact with animals up close.
This zoo is great for getting a first-hand experience with wildlife; you can come here and relax, look at the beauty of nature and support the local wildlife.
2. Have a Good Time at Ross Park Aquatic Complex
Ross Park Water Complex is a great place to visit with family or friends, relax, play and have fun on the slides and jumping on the lily pads.
It offers entertainment to visitors of all ages. You can get into the water pool and swim.
The Lazy River is usually crowded and is a popular place to wander, have a little picnic, or just relax.
It is a clean and well-maintained garden and also ensures all safety standards.
The lazy river is definitely a must-visit, and the beauty of this place will make you come back in the future.
3. Let Them Catch Some Fun at Outer Limits Fun Zone
This game parlor in Pocatello is a large indoor recreation center with a wide variety of games such as laser tag, mini-games, mini golf, mini arcade, and more.
The Outer Limits Fun Zone has a built-in food station to satisfy your hungry needs and is widely known for its pizza and chicken snacks, so be sure to check it out while there.
Outer Limits Fun Zone is a great place to take your kids with you and enjoy some quality time.
The whole atmosphere of this place is really fascinating. Neon lighting adds atmosphere and makes it even more fun.
This place is really a must-visit if you love games, action, adventure, and fun.
Indoor Activities to Do in Pocatello For Adults (Indoor Activities)
1. Go Back in Time at the Idaho Museum of Natural History
Idaho’s beautiful Natural History Museum holds the country’s secrets and history within its walls.
It preserves the culture and customs of the city and is a must-visit, especially for people interested in biology and zoology.
It displays an extensive collection of different exhibits that include animals, skulls, paintings, sculptures, and even 3D printers and lots of other things.
The Idaho Museum of Natural History is undoubtedly a great place to visit with family and children.
The museum’s gift shop offers souvenir-worthy items for sale, including things like rings, bracelets, statues, and much more.
The fascinating thing about the Idaho Museum of Natural History is that its exhibits rotate, so each visit is quite different from the last; isn’t that just intriguing?
2. Check Out the Quirky Museum of Clean
“Museum of Clean” – sounds weird, doesn’t it?
Well, this museum has put in a lot of effort to make this place an attraction to remember.
The Museum of Clean is basically the home of all things clean – from clean habits to clean speech and clean design, this museum has it all.
It features an extensive collection of unique cleaning equipment such as early vacuum cleaners, cleaning supplies such as brooms, and other related equipment from around the world.
It also has a great display of waxworks, paintings, strange sculptures, and art.
The cleanliness of this place is impressive and a must-visit if you are in Pocatello, especially if you consider yourself a clean freak.
3. Take a Tour of the Mysterious Standrod House
The Standrod House, a historic landmark in Pocatello, features beautiful architecture.
People often visit to witness its magnificence.
Different people have different interesting opinions about the construction of this house.
The Standrod house was built in the castle architectural style. It really is a must-visit if you are into exotic and mysterious buildings.
Romantic Things to Do in Pocatello
1. Take a Trip to Fort Hall Replica
This old fort hall replicates a trading fort along the Oregon Trail.
In the original hall of the fort, you could find clothing, provisions, ammunition, spare cattle and horses, and other equipment.
While you won’t find these things in the Fort Hall Replica, it still gives off the same vibes.
This place is a must-visit if you are interested in learning about Native American history, as it will give you a great experience of their history.
The adjacent museum has a great display of various historical equipment and art and is definitely worth a visit.
2. Visit the Popcorn Shop
This cute shop at 460 East Oak Street was founded in 2003 by a local pastor and teacher couple.
The Popcorn Shop makes gourmet popcorn in over 30 flavors, from simple classics like caramel and homemade salted to all kinds of wild creations like huckleberry cheesecake and root beer float, white cheddar garlic parmesan, and cotton candy.
The Popcorn Shop also produces a range of tempting sweet treats such as fudge, caramel, peanut brittle, chocolate caramel chunks, and chocolate-covered pretzels, perfect for an indulgent snack or gift.
3. Spend Some Time at Lava Hot Springs
Just as the name suggests, Lava Hot Springs is blessed with many hot springs that attract bathers throughout the year.
Having its water temperatures between 102°F and 112°F, winter is the perfect time to swim in the world-famous mineral pools, while summer is an activity best left to the early mornings and late evenings.
You can go tubing in the warmer months through town on the Portneuf River and relax or go for a run at the Olympic Swimming Pool & Waterpark, which has both indoor and outdoor pools.
The area’s mountainous geography makes Lava Hot Springs the closest settlement to the fascinating ghost town of Chesterfield, 23 miles to the north.
It was founded by Mormon settlers in 1881 and was last inhabited in the 1970s.
Free Things to Do in Pocatello
1. Hike Along the Gibson Jack Trail
The Gibson Jack Trail is a stunning trail in the heart of Pocatello.
It’s a great place to take a walk alone or with your dog and just generally relax.
The view of the mountains at the Gibson Jack Trail is truly mesmerizing and makes the trail great for photography.
You can ride bikes, ride horses, and watch the moonlight on this well-maintained and inviting trail.
The trail has small streams full of beautiful big flowers along the path.
It is fully covered in snow in the winter and a must-visit if you are in Pocatello.
2. Take a Walk Along the Historic Downtown Pocatello
Historic Downtown Pocatello is a source of culture and heritage and is full of art and history.
The vintage shops here have a great collection of different antique dresses and shoes.
Downtown Pocatello is a must-visit if you are a shopaholic.
The environment and structure of the market provide an old-school experience.
The heart of a 90s child will truly be filled with joy in this place as it breeds positivity, history, and happiness.
The farmer’s market in this location is best known for its delicious homemade food and is a great way to support local businesses.
3. Stroll Along Cherry Springs Nature Area
Ever imagined walking in the middle of beautiful cherry blossoms while being constantly showered with little cherry petals?
Cherry Springs Natural Area in Pocatello is your dream come true.
It is another park where you can reconnect with nature, go for a walk, or run in the middle of the cherry blossoms.
The trails are well groomed, well maintained, and clean to walk on.
The overall scenery and colors of the place make it more pleasant for people all the way.
If you want some really good photos of yourself in Pocatello, this is the best place to go.
Cheap Things to Do in Pocatello
1. Watch a Game at Holt Arena
Holt Arena has been the site of hundreds of graduations, championship football games, and rodeos for more than half a century.
The iconic Idaho State University facility is the nation’s oldest indoor football field and is easily Idaho’s most popular landmark.
Milton “Dubby” Holt proposed building a giant indoor multi-purpose athletics stadium in Idaho, but everyone around him rejected it because they thought it was cowardly.
However, Holt did not give up on his signature idea and instead brought it to life through ingenuity, grit, and determination.
Now, 50 years later, standing tall in honor of Holt Arena is a testament to the bravery, hard work, and dedication of the college rugby team playing host game after game.
Holt Arena stands at nearly 4,600 feet.
The building is often home to college teams such as the Idaho State Bengals of the Big Sky Conference.
2. Grab a Meal at Sumisu
Sumisu aims to be the leading provider of Japanese fusion cuisine and sushi in the Pocatello area.
The restaurant also prides itself on inspiring its employees to strive to live a better life while having a “heart of service” for their customers and the community.
Sumisu prides itself on using traditional Japanese techniques when it comes to preparing the dishes it serves, as well as using its own flair to showcase Asian-inspired flavors.
Featuring fresh fish flown in from the coast, Sumisu offers a “greatest hits” menu from Asia, including familiar fusion-influenced dishes and fresh sushi.
3. Visit Massacre Rocks State Park
Massacre Rocks State Park is a wonderful recreation destination filled with fun, adventure, and history, don’t let the name of this state park scare you.
Located along the banks of the mighty Snake River, the park offers miles of fantastic hiking trails filled with information boards about the history of the Oregon Trail, the many geological wonders along the way, and maps and species of birds that call the park home.
At Massacre Rocks State Park visitors can also engage in activities such as boating, camping, mountain climbing, cycling, fishing, and many more.
The Junior Rangers also run activities in the park as well as a First Time Adventure program to help families enjoy the outdoors together.
Cool Places to Visit in Pocatello
1. Swore Farms
In the fall, this family farm a few miles north of Pocatello opens its doors to the public for pumpkin season.
This tends to start sometime in early October with lots of family fun at the same time, including a huge corn maze, tractor rides, a giant wheat sandbox, and a playground for the little ones.
Naturally, the main event is the pumpkins, and you can pick one yourself on the patch while the smaller family members learn valuable details about farming and farm life.
2. Buddy’s Italian Restaurant
This is a family-owned restaurant serving Italian cuisine in Pocatello, Idaho.
The restaurant, which first opened its doors to the public in 1961, has served the local community with ravioli, pizza, specialty sauces, a variety of sandwiches, and homemade “Famous Buddy’s Salad Dressing” for over fifty years, making this Italian restaurant one of the oldest and best.
Buddy’s Italian Restaurant menu includes salads, soups, pizzas, many pasta dishes, and both regular and open sandwiches.
3. East Mink Creek Nordic Center
Just outside of Pocatello, the East Mink Creek Nordic Center is a fantastic recreation facility managed by the City of Pocatello in joint partnership with the Pocatello Cross-Country Ski Foundation and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Perfect for visitors looking to get their fix on winter sports, the resort offers endless miles of well-maintained skating and skiing.
Just so no one is left out, sledding hills are also available for youngsters, while Catamount, Jackson, Inman, and Skyline Yurts are available for rent to visitors who want to experience yurt life.
Enjoy spectacular views of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest as you meander and traverse beautiful cross-country trails.
If you’ve never been to Idaho, then make sure you visit Pocatello at least once in your life.
There are plenty of opportunities in Pocatello to relax and rejuvenate while taking in some new scenery.
It is a beautiful city with all kinds of exciting attractions and amazing entertainment.
Be sure to check out this list of the best things to see and do in Pocatello when you come to this thriving city.