Moscow, Idaho, is a beautiful little college town about an hour south of Spokane, Washington, nestled in the mountains of west-central Idaho. With a college town energy and the friendliest of people, it’s no wonder Livability.com ranked Moscow, Idaho as one of the best college towns in America.
This lively city is easy to get around by foot or bike and is an outdoor mecca for those itching for some adventure. You’ll find no shortage of great things to do from terrific food and live music to the arts or one of Moscow’s festivals.
Located in the middle of the state Moscow is the perfect layover between North and South travel or while discovering one of Idaho’s many Scenic Byways.
Let’s have a look at some of the best things to do in Moscow Idaho.
1. Walk The University of Idaho Campus
📍Directions: 875 Perimeter Dr, Moscow, ID 83844
If you’re wondering what to do in Moscow Idaho it only makes sense to start with a walk through the University of Idaho. Founded in 1889, it stands as a beacon of knowledge and progress in the state.
The University of Idaho is full of green space perfect for a relaxing walk. You’ll find all sorts of paths which meander through the historic brick buildings of the university.
Don’t forget about the iconic greek row located just off campus.
2. Appaloosa Museum and Heritage Center
📍Directions: 2720 Pullman Rd, Moscow, ID 83843
Located on Pullman Road in Moscow, the Appaloosa Museum is the home of the Appaloosa horse breed. In the free museum, you can learn the history of the Appaloosa horse and view artifacts from the horse breed’s early years to recent items, such as the bird’s nest made nearly entirely of horsehair.
The museum includes:
- A section with hands-on activities
- A library
- A theater
- A gift shop
An educational program is available for groups including 4H, scouts, schools, and homeschool groups. Programs are free, and donations are appreciated.
3. Bill Chipman Palouse Trail
The Bill Chipman Palouse Trail is an eight-mile-long path that used to be a railroad line. It has many historical plaques along the way, labeling significant locations from Pullman to Moscow.
The paved trail is level, and its width of ten feet makes it convenient for people of all ages and abilities. Visitors can walk or ride on it anytime from dawn till dusk daily, year-round.
It was the perfect path for us in the mornings for a quick job.
Here are the latest events in Moscow Idaho. This is always the first place we check before visiting to discover all the fun stuff that’s happening.
4. BookPeople of Moscow
📍Directions: 521 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
This independent bookstore is owned and operated by members of the community. The store contains both nonfiction and fiction for everyone from new readers on up. In addition you’ll find journals, puzzles, greeting cards, calendars, and other fun items all of which make great gifts.
It is located in the downtown area and provides a place to browse and purchase both new and used books.
5. Bucer’s Coffeehouse Pub
📍Directions: 201 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
when it comes to cool places in Moscow Idaho this checks all the boxes.
Bucer’s Coffeehouse & Pub, located in Moscow, Idaho, has been a cherished establishment for over two decades. Not only do they roast their own exquisite coffee, but they also serve delectable espresso, freshly baked pastries, hearty sandwiches, and offer a selection of local draught beers and fine wines.
The atmosphere was what we liked the most. The dark wood shelving lined with books and warm atmosphere of a historic building just felt like a classic college town hangout.
Check Out These Other Idaho Hot Spots!
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- 10 Unforgettable Fire Lookout Rentals in Idaho
- Majestic Idaho Scenic Byways For Your Next Road Trip
5. Tapped Taphouse & Kitchen Gastropub
📍Directions: 210 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
Located along main street Tapped Taphouse was a great place to stop for a snack and has a plentiful selection of craft beers on tap.
The atmosphere is buzzing and has that cool historic feel from the old brick building with just the right amount of modern touches.
We would highly recommend their wings as they were truly massive.
6. Ghormley Park
📍Directions: 400 Home St, Moscow, ID 83843
Ghormley Park, the second oldest park in Moscow, sits on the corner of Home Street and Third Street. The park offers all kinds of activities for the whole family.
Here you’ll find:
- Horseshoe pits
- BBQ grills and covered picnic areas
- Baseball field
- Tennis courts
- Restrooms and drinking fountains
All of this plus plenty of green open space for a game of frisbee or just a place to chill.
7. Hamilton-Lowe Aquatics Center
📍Directions: 830 N Mountain View Rd, Moscow, ID 83843
The Hamilton-Lowe Aquatics Center offers all sorts water-related fun such as tube slides, a pool with a diving board, water basketball, and tumble buckets. Making this one of the best fun things to do in Moscow Idaho with kids.
It also has concessions, picnic tables and grills, lounge chairs, and shade umbrellas. Wireless internet is also available at no charge.
8. Slice Taphouse & Pizzeria
📍Directions: 125 Second St, Moscow, ID 83843
The Slice Pizzeria has the perfect patio area for gathering and hanging with friends. We were lucky enough to catch some live music while there and enjoyed some great pizza and local brews.
This popular spot has a diverse crowd of students and local’s making for a unique mix that in my opinion is what makes college towns so great.
9. Colter’s Creek Winery
📍Directions: 215 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
The rolling Palouse hills of Moscow have everything needed to make great wine. So much so that in 2016 Lewis and Clark Valley gained the official AVA(American Viticultural Area) designation.
To start your wine experience here in Moscow there’s no better place than Colter’s Creek tasting room in the historic 1890 Hattabaugh building in downtown Moscow. Locally grown grape varieties run the gamut from Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon and are well respected amongst wine aficionados.
This historic building alone is worth a visit. They have outdoor seating out front along main street which is perfect for people watching or a more secluded courtyard area in the back.
We really enjoyed their GSM(Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blend which was fantastic.
10. Latah Trail
Following the historic corridor of the Moscow-Arrow railroad, the Latah Trail is a ten-foot-wide, flat paved path that is great for walking and biking on up to 28 miles of trail. The trail runs from Moscow to Troy, through Bear Creek Canyon amongst the lush pine forest.
11. Hunga Dunga Brewing Company
📍Directions: 333 N Jackson St, Moscow, ID 83843
If you’ve followed our travels even a little you know how much we enjoy exploring breweries from all over the country. And Moscow Idaho is no different.
The Hunga Dunga Brewing Co. housed in this amazing agricultural building is a must visit place in Moscow.
In addition to all sorts of great beer they have a couple food trucks out front to keep your bellies full.
Inside you’ll find a modern vibe with a bit of a rustic feel. The bar seating is where we typically end up but they have lots of seating including a large area where bands will crank out tunes.
Last time we were there they even had a private wedding in the back half which looked like an absolute blast.
12. Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre
📍Directions: 508 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in downtown Moscow opened in 1926 and is proud to be on the National Register of Historic Places. The center is dedicated to hosting and providing high quality arts experience from movies to live Broadway shows such as West Side Story.
13. McConnell Mansion
📍Directions: 110 S Adams St, Moscow, ID 83843
The McConnell Mansion is a two-story historic house with elegant parlors and a kitchen restored to 1930s grandeur that offers guided tours of the rooms. Upstairs, two areas rehearse historical events in the vicinity and highlight people and places important to Latah County.
The McConnell Mansion once belonged to William J. McConnell. Before settling in Moscow in 1878 at 40 years old, he had diverse roles including being a gold miner, farmer, rancher, educator, and a member of the Oregon Legislature. In Moscow, he started a general store and later ventured into agricultural businesses like grain warehouses. In 1
886, he constructed this magnificent residence for his family who had remained in Yamhill, Oregon. A leading Idaho Republican, McConnell served as a state senator in 1890 and became governor in 1893. He played a pivotal role in establishing the university and making Moscow the county seat.
However, the 1893 national depression led to the collapse of his businesses, and he lost his mansion. In 1966, Latah County received the mansion as a donation. Today, it’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
14. Moscow Artwalk
Since it started in 2004, the Moscow Artwalk has celebrated a variety of art on the third Thursday of each month from October each year until the season finale in June.
From performance and visual artists to culinary and literary there really is something for everyone here. Businesses and nonprofits from around the area participate turning Main Street into an artistic mecca of performance, food, and music.
15. Hike and Bike Moscow Mountain
📍Directions: 3443 Foothill Rd, Moscow, ID 83843
If you’re itching for a hike or mountain bike ride Moscow Mountain about 25 minutes from town is the place to go. We’ve mountain biked here many times and their network of trails has something for everyone.
For hiking we’d recommend the Headwaters trail which is just under 4 miles. For biking we head a bit more east and hit Switchblade and Moose Marbles.
The trails are moderate and most have great views of the valley making for a rather scenic outing that’s close to downtown Moscow.
16. Moscow Farmers’ Market
Since 1976 the Moscow Farmers’ Market has been a valuable part of the community. The downtown market is open Every Saturday from May to October. Here you’ll find fresh produce, plants, homemade baked items, flowers, and handmade crafts.
In addition, the market is a great place to relax and listen to live music at the stage and grab a bite to eat.
17. Palouse Ice Rink
📍Directions: 2019 S Main St, Moscow, ID 83843
The Palouse Ice Rink offers public skating, hockey, private rentals, curling, and ice skating lessons. If skating isn’t your thing you can always catch a hockey game featuring one of the local or regional leagues.
The Rink also offers a Science on Ice class that combines ice skating and science lessons.
18. The University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden
📍Directions: Johnson Cutoff Rd, Moscow, ID 83843
An outdoor museum showcasing a collection of plants both native and introduced to the Pacific Northwest, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit. You’ll find recreational and educational experiences that introduce the horticulture, botany, and related sciences and research.
Summer displays include lilies, butterfly bushes, and a variety of flowers. In the fall, ornamental grasses and colorful leaves abound. Winter even has some beautiful views of trees such as ash, pine, weeping willow, and cedar within the snow that is common to the region.
We had the pleasure of visiting in fall and the fall colors were amazing!
Wrap Up Our Visit To Moscow Idaho
We’ve spent a lot of time in Moscow and every time we visit we like it even more. The lively college town vibe brings a wealth of activities, food, and sites to see for a memorable experience.
A bucket list spot to see in Idaho and conveniently located about halfway between northern and southern Idaho making it an ideal stop. Be sure to check out the surrounding Idaho scenic byways for a truly unforgettable Idaho road trip.
How far is moscow Idaho to Boise?
Moscow is about 300 miles or 5.5 hours from Boise.
What to do in Moscow Idaho?
Moscow Idaho thanks to the University has a ton of fun things to do. The diverse college community coupled with a loyal local crowd has brought so many great things to Moscow. The lively downtown is home to terrific restaurants, art galleries, wineries, and breweries. If the outdoors is your thing there are plenty of trails nearby ranging from paved paths to more advanced mountain bike trails.