Ketchum and Sun Valley, Idaho

Leaving Hailey heading north on Highway 75 you'll find yourself in Ketchum, Idaho. Equally posh, if not more so, Ketchum offers its visitors a variety of newly constructed business centers and streets lined with shops resembling mountain cabins. We gladly filled an afternoon with window shopping, real shopping at Gold Mine thrift shop, and a visit to the Ketchum Ore Wagon Museum.

With its spot-on name, I nearly squeaked with joy at my fantastic finds at the thrift shop, which DJ explained is where all the rich people dump their unwanted goods. I found never-worn genuine Spanish espadrilles for $12 (sticker still attached indicated $115 retail price). Maybe this was an impulse buy and the previous owner of these sandals realized she couldn't get sea foam green to work with her wardrobe -- not a problem for me! (Did I mention sea foam green was my favorite color in the third grade?) Next, I found a like-new Diane von Furstenburg 100% silk jersey short scarf, which can double as a head band -- plus it's reversible! Skinny scarves like this, but double the length, retail for around $100, but I found my prize for $3. Indeed, rich people's trash is this person's treasure.

The museum, which is only viewable through the large windows surrounding the building, features ore wagons dating back to the late 1800s when Ketchum's economy basked in the heyday of the mining boom. The wagons are removed from the museum once per year during Ketchum's Wagon Days parade and festivities (every Labor Day weekend).

No stop in Ketchum would be complete without a small detour to Sun Valley, which experienced its own heyday as a ski resort and still attracts celebrities such as Robin Williams during the winter months. In fact, Hemingway completed For Whom the Bell Tolls while staying at the Sun Valley Lodge. In the photo below, you'll see the grounds surrounding the lodge look much like an Austrian village (complete with German street names), which we can attribute to the resort's founding ski school instructors, eight Austrians.

For your Rolodex:

The Gold Mine Thrift Shop * 331 N. Walnut Avenue * Ketchum, ID 83340 * (208) 726-3465


  1. Great thrift finds! Sea foam green, definitely a great colour.

  2. Oh I love Ketchum. My family has been going there since the '50s (starting with my grandfather). The changes since the mid-90s have been crazy so much money has poured into town. It wasn't always like that, and I miss the old town.

  3. Juanita - thanks! It's a good thing I don't like my clothes to be all matchy matchy because I don't own any other sea foam green items!

    Jen - thrift stores are the best guilt-free shopping, especially if you actually wear the stuff (have been wearing them both all week)

    Jennifer - I wish I would have known what the old town was like...


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