Tired Stereotypes

When Idaho comes to mind, a lot of Americans think potatoes, farms, ski resorts, and a dozen other tired stereotypes. Ask any local, and they'll tell you Idaho's coolness and way of living has flown under the radar since we joined the Union in 1890.

Think I'm kidding? Two years ago someone asked me if Idaho had WiFi yet. And that's just the tip of the spear when it comes to the really weird and wrong ideas outsiders have about Idaho.

Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash
Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Idaho Gems & Geography

Everyone thinks we're the Potato State, but we're not! Idaho's official nickname is the "Gem State" because of our 1,567 active mines and 28 active dredge and placer operations, our 200+ natural minerals, and the 60+ rare gemstones you can find here.

On the geography front, we're no slouches either. Idaho is home to Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve—one of the most beautiful and unique national parks in the country—forged by a volcanic eruption along the Snake River plain. On top of that, our stunning Sawtooth mountain range has over 50 crystal clear lakes envied and explored by adventurists from around the world.

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash
Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash

Big Tech

Idaho is a hotbed for big tech and startups. It's also known for its small business and entrepreneurial incentives.

With more affordable living costs, Boise is drawing tech workers who want a blend of nature, city life, and work-life balance alongside stability and opportunity. -Wired

It's no wonder that in 2022 Wired magazine reported Idaho was the second-fastest growing state in the American tech sector.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Big Ag

As for our local ag scene, there's no denying Idaho's affection for potatoes, but there's more to our farmland than most realize.

In addition to sugarbeets, mint, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, pluots, and table grapes, Idaho farmers also produce incredible wine. With over 50 local wineries, Idaho grape varieties include Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. If you're interested in Idaho-made wine and local wine events, check out the Idaho Wine Commission.

I could go on for days about what sets the Gem State apart from the pack, but I'd rather tackle a quick list of 9 things outsiders get wrong about us.

9 Really Weird & Wrong Ideas Outsiders Have About Idaho

Do you ever get the feeling that America thinks Idaho was born yesterday? Or that we're nothing more than a giant field of potatoes? Do you ever get a little tired of the same old warn-out stereotypes?

Rather than complain, we decided to address nine of them and have a little fun along the way!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antionette Valenzuela

26 Funniest Idaho Mentions in Urban Dictionary

It was 1999 when Aaron Peckham, a then-freshman at Cal Tech, launched Urban Dictionary to index student slang spoken on college campuses across the country.

Despite its comedic origins, Peckham's parody forum quickly evolved into a series of unconstrained mini conversations that checked stuffy academic writing at the door; 26 of which are featured in the gallery.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Antoinette Valenzuela

7 Things People Say When They Hear You're From Idaho

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

Weird Stuff You Need to Know Before You Date Someone In Idaho

Gallery Credit: Stephanie Gull

10 Interesting & Cool Potato Facts No One Talks About!

10 interesting and cool spud facts every potato-lover should know!

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

Horses Need Turn Signals: 7 of Idaho's Strangest Traffic Laws

If you're new to Idaho, welcome!

Before you buckle up and hit the road, make sure you're aware of the Gem State's strangest road rules! From school bus concerns to how to handle horses in traffic, scroll for a list of helpful things to know behind the wheel in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: Ryan Valenzuela

Get our free mobile app

More From Mix 106