Tiny, but mighty.
This tiny town of just under 800 residents will knock your socks off (and in some cases, that's literally happened).
This is one of those places that you have to see and experience for yourself. Get a glimpse of what silver and mining means to this community, the strength it takes to rebuild after Mother Nature tried numerous times to burn it down, how Wallace was the focus of one of the biggest FBI raids in history, and the tenacity to fight for what is right for the community proves that tiny towns like Wallace should never be underestimated.
You may not realize it but Wallace plays a huge part in our every day lives. Are you reading this on your smartphone? Did you drive a car today? Look around you. Wallace is everywhere. Having earned the title of "Silver Capital of the World", Wallace produces an enormous amount of the world's silver and has deep roots in the region's mining legacy that continues today.
The first activity on your list should definitely be one of the museums in town. Learn everything about Wallace in just a few short blocks. After visiting the Wallace District Mining Museum on Bank Street, it's just a quick stroll around the corner to the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum on 6th Street. Don't forget to take a selfie at the Center of the Universe on the way! Leave yourself enough time for the Sierra Silver Mine Tour over on 5th Street. They supply the hard hats, you just have to arrive ready for a good time. If you're feeling a little cheeky, swing by the Oasis Bordello Museum on Cedar Street and be sure to ask why it was important for women to be aware what side of the street to walk on. You can't leave these museums without having a deeper appreciation for everything the town and its residents have endured through the years.
Looking for an adrenaline-inducing adventure high above the earth's surace? A must-do while you're in town is the Silver Streak Zipline Tour.
Brush up on Wallace before you hit the road:
History of Wallace (Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce)
The Big Burn (PBS documentary)
Gambling Raid Angers Mining Town (New York Times article)
Danny Wallace and the Centre of the Universe (Book)
Views of Wallace (Video)
Wallace works hard, but they also know how to play and have a darn good time. Music, cars, huckleberries, and the holidays are all celebrated throughout the year.
The flagship event every July is the Wallace Blues Festival. Filled with exceptional talent like Curtis Selgado, Samantha Fish, and the Harlis Sweetwater Band, this festival is guaranteed to have you up and dancing next to fellow Blues fans from all over the country. Grab a delicious huckleberry milkshake any time but if you want to experience huckleberry heaven, book your trip to Wallace in August for the Huckleberry Festival. The event also includes a 5K Walk/Run so load up on those huckleberry treats...you deserve it! Start a new family tradition and bundle up for the Yuletide Lighting Festival every December. You'll feel like a kid again.
There's something for everyone so check out the full calendar of events here.
Whether you're in town to Ride the Hiawatha, attend the Depot Days Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, or you're just looking for a quiet weekend away, Wallace has a place for everyone to lay their heads for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Find links to accommodation options in the show notes.
If you love the snow, make Wallace your home base in the winter. Located in between Lookout Pass and Silver Mountain, you can wake up each morning and decide which ski area has the best powder that day. A quick note that Lookout Pass also hosts the Famous Free Ski School so if you have kids that want to learn how to shred some flakes, don't miss out on registering for this fantastic program.
Juicy burgers, smoky BBQ platters, and craft brews are just some of the mouth-watering treats waiting for your tastebuds to arrive. French onion soup will warm you from the inside out after a day in the snow, or enjoy a tender filet with roasted peppercorn and balsamic reduction for a delicious end to a delightful day. For something a little unexpected, book an afternoon tea service after hunting down eclectic antiques at the Price Tag Antiques and Silver Team Room.
It doesn't matter why you go to Wallace, just go. Get off the Interstate, you won't be disappointed. This is what small town USA used to be...and for those lucky enough to live in Wallace, what it continues to be today.
We love Wallace and we think you will too. Send your tales and photos of Wallace to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share with other tiny town travelers.
Special thanks to Wallace Prime Minster Rick Shaffer, Dave Copelan, Tammy Copelan, Shauna Hillman, Anita Price, Bakin' Phat, John R Darrington (hero and blog images), and Lizzie Keitel (additional gallery images).
From explosive mining wars and devastating fires like The Big Burn in 1910, to the world's oldest profession, Wallace's century-plus timeline will leave you wide-eyed and wondering how so much can happen in such a tiny town that is still standing. Hollywood and TV have come knocking on Wallace's door and you should too.
Sights and Activities
Biking (Ride the Hiawatha Trail)
Hiking (Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails; Pulaski Tunnel Trail)
Downtown Wallace Walking Tour (map)
Northern Pacific Depot Museum
Oasis Bordello Museum
Sierra Silver Mine Tours
Silver Streak Zipline Tours
Orehouse Tasting Room
Wallace District Mining Museum
Don't forget to stand at the Center of the Universe (located on the corner of 6th and Bank Streets).
The Prime Minister of Wallace, Rick Shaffer, gave us the green light to share his contact information. You now have a direct line to the Prime Minister so don't hesitate to call him at 208.691.9169 and he'll whip up a custom itinerary that will guarantee an unforgettable visit.
Also contact the Historic Wallace Chamber of Commerce at 208.753.7151 or stop by their location at 10 River Street.
Depot Days Classic Car & Motorcycle Show
Gyro Days & Lead Creek Derby
Statehood Day Parade
Wallace Blues Festival
Huckleberry Festival & 5K Walk/Run
Under the Freeway Flea Market
Fall for History
Yuletide Lighting Festival
Spreadsheet crunching, powdered cheeze eating-coffee drinking all around tech-dad.