Earlier this month, Country Living Magazine posted a list titled “40 of the Prettiest American Towns to Visit During the Winter.” We fully expected one or more Idaho cities to appear on the list, but we were pretty shocked that THIS was the one that got picked!
In a brief introduction to the list, Country Living mentioned some factors that make a city a perfect place for a winter getaway: light dustings of snow, historic architecture, dramatic landscapes, ski resorts, holiday festivities and cozy cabins. That sounds like many of the “5 Most Charming Christmas Towns in Idaho” that we shared with you last November, doesn’t it?
We were expecting one of those cities to end up on the list, but Country Living chose Nampa instead. Coming in at #20, Country Living said the following about Nampa:
“Nampa, a suburb of Boise, is renowned for its residents' Christmas light displays. It's not necessarily an organized event—the residents simply feel the festive spirit. There are, however, organized tours hosted by the town that take visitors to the most impressive displays.”
Nothing they said about Nampa is incorrect. Nampa had 13 incredible home displays and their gorgeous Downtown Nampa Christmas tree on the Boise Christmas Lights map in 2021. And yes, Nampa Parks and Recreation does have a bus tour that departs from the Harward Rec Center and takes you to see must-see houses and neighborhoods in their city. In fact, they already have registration open for the 2022 tours.
Why are we scratching our heads about Nampa being on the list if that information is accurate? Well, mainly because the image they used sure looks a lot like Caldwell’s Winter Wonderland Display along Indian Creek! Just to make sure we weren’t crazy, we looked up this particular photographer’s images on Getty and sure enough, the entire collection is full of images from Winter Wonderland…incorrectly labeled “Nampa, Idaho, United States.”
Each year, the City of Caldwell’s Streets Department spends countless hours stringing over 1,000,000 lights and arranging cute displays like penguin island, the teddy bear swing and fire breathing dragon. Indian Creek Plaza’s incredible Ice Ribbon is at the heart of it all. Crews are working on getting it installed for the 2022 season right now.
So, did Country Living mean to choose Nampa or Caldwell as one of the prettiest cities to visit in the winter? We’re not entirely sure, but the overarching message is that winter in the 2C is a special experience!