Sun Valley, Idaho has a great pedigree as a community. Railroad magnet Averill Harriman sent Count Schaffgotsch on a yearlong trip to the west in pursuit of the perfect vacation destination to create passenger traffic for his railroad. The Count found Sun Valley and was immediately hooked on the beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains. The Sun Valley area encompasses the famous 5 star Sun Valley resort that has long drawn in celebrities and the world’s wealthy. It also includes Ketchum, ID, former home of Ernest Hemingway, and current location of Mt. Baldy - one of the world’s top ski mountains. Ketchum, low-key but decidedly prosperous, is in turn about 12 miles from Hailey, the region’s business center and nearest airport. Boise, Idaho (pop. 150K), the state capital, is about 2 1/2 hours away.
Movies set in this gorgeous locale include “Bus Stop” and “Sun Valley Serenade”. Less wealthy settlers include the shepherding Basques who came to tend the numerous flocks of sheep that summer here. Ski bums and outdoorsy types also abound, along with wealthy owners of second homes and retirees. It makes an ideal retirement community for active adults 55+ who enjoy the outdoors. Skiing, golf, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are superb here. The air is dry and summers are pleasant, winters are warm for a ski resort.