Blackfoot, Idaho: Five Things We Love

The self-proclaimed Potato Capital of the World offers more than just taters: see traditional Sioux teepees, Hell's Half Acre, and a trove of glass beads.

Martha's Girl in Blackfoot Idaho, image

Martha's Girl, a 17-foot-tall fiberglass statue, looms over the road outside Martha’s Cafe in Blackfoot, Idaho.

Deep agricultural roots aren’t all that define the self-proclaimed Potato Capital of the World, which abounds in recreation options and friendly shops rich with small-town charm. Area code is 208.

  • The world’s largest potato crisp, which measures 25 inches across, sits encased in glass, like a precious jewel, at the Idaho Potato Museum amid exhibits on the state’s most famous crop. Show your AAA card to get 50 cents off the $3 admission fee. 785-2517, idahopotatomuseum.com.
  • Traditional Sioux tepees, painstakingly stitched by Kimberley Moore-Huffaker at Blackfoot Canvas Company, stand among zippered chaps, cowboy bedrolls, and other rugged Western gear turned out at this family-run workshop. 785-1303, blackfootcanvas.com.
  • Martha’s Girl, a 17-foot-tall fiberglass statue, looms over the road outside Martha’s Cafe wearing a more modest outfit than the bikini she modeled when she marked the entrance of a nearby gas station and was known to locals as the Uniroyal Gal. 785-4199.
  • Millions of vintage glass beads, kaleidoscopic in their colors, some barely bigger than grains of sand, fill shelves and drawers at Wilma Mangum’s Beader’s Paradise, an aptly named trove that could occupy a treasure hunter for hours, even days. 604-1841.
  • Hell’s Half Acre, an ancient lava plain five miles north of the city, is an arresting, stark landscape where sagebrush and juniper spring from the unforgiving rock, and coyotes and pronghorn can be seen wandering like interlopers from another world. 523-1012, visitidaho.org.

Photography by Melissa Barnes

This article was first published in November 2012. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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