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Moscow (Idaho)

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Moscow (Idaho)

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Moscow [2] is a city in North Central Idaho with a population of around 22,000 people, an agricultural center and the home of the University of Idaho. The surrounding area is generally referred to as the Moscow-Pullman area -- Pullman is a city in Washington, that is fairly symbiotic with Moscow. They are 8 miles apart.


Unlike the larger Idaho cities of Boise and Pocatello, which also have public universities but also characters distinct from their respective schools, you won't confuse Moscow for being anything other than a hard-core college town. Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the single dominant institution in the city in just about every respect. The presence of Washington State University in similarly college culture-intensive Pullman less than 10 miles (16 km) away only adds to that feel.

Moscow is in the heart of a region known as the Palouse, noted for its rolling hills. Once outside the city and the university's sphere of influence, agriculture becomes the driving force in daily life.

Get in

The closest airport is the Moscow/Pullman Regional Airport (PUW), 5 miles away. 33 miles away is the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport (LWS). 90 miles away is the Spokane International Airport (GEG). Cheapest in/out flights are often through the Spokane airport, which is served by more airlines and larger planes than Lewiston or Moscow/Pullman Regional Airports. Horizon/Alaska Air serve all three airports and sometimes you can find comparable rates to fly into the smaller airports and avoid the one and a half hour drive from Spokane.

US-95 and Highway 8 both cross through Moscow.

Get around

Bus travel used to be limited, but with a growing population of students and eco-friendly residents, it has grown to be a lot better. Bus services are run by the Wheatland Express with many stops on and off campus, which also features a shuttle between Moscow and Pullman. Cars are not required to get around Moscow, the town is fairly small and if you're willing to bike or walk, you can get almost anything done here. If you do need a car, there are car rental services available at the Airport, Budget (509)332-3511 and Hertz (509)332-4485, and in town (Ambassador Auto, 1-800-422-0297). Enterprise Car Rental (208-746-2878) is available if you fly into Lewiston.

There is a bike trail between Moscow and Pullman. Bicycles are a common mode of travel in summer, but not in winter, due to the colder, wet weather. In the summer, it is very common for residents to bike-commute back and forth to work between Moscow and Pullman. There is also a bike trail between Moscow and Troy, to the East.

There are, at any given time, two to three taxi services in Moscow. There is significant turnover as they go out of business.


Moscow is a pleasant town where a great deal of the population is made up of full-time or half-time students rather than full-time or half-time workers. Thusly most of the businesses in the area are adapted to cater to the students, or other visitors. It has a few points of interest.

  • University of Idaho,[3] The most notable landmark, the University of Idaho has a large campus that takes up a considerable portion of the town.
  • Appaloosa Horse Museum, 2720 W. Pullman Rd., Phone: 882-5578 x-279 Fax:882-8150; E-mail: [email protected] Monday-Friday 10 AM to 5 PM and Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM. [4] A museum dedicated to the spotted Appaloosa horses. Free but suggested donation is $2 per person or $4 per family.
  • NRS, a premier river rafting clothing and equipment company is in Moscow.
  • McConnell Mansion Musium, a mansion built in 1886, which is now a museum run by the Latah County Historical Society.


Moscow is fairly well located for outdoor activities.

  • Hiking - There are various national forests within easy driving distance; including places like the Hoodoo mountains and Saint Joe national(?) forest. Hikers would be advised to be wary of the roads, as not all of them are easy to navigate for all vehicles (or even any vehicles). Forestry Service roads are often easier hikes than actual hiking trails. Be well prepared whenever hiking in Idaho.
  • Skiing - Also available.
  • Farmer's Market - During the summer months, a few parking lots near the town square are blocked off and reserved for use by locals who sign up to have a tent or stand there. Usually available are many kinds of produce, jams and honey, small crafts (including pottery, textiles, and jewelry), and chalk (for children to draw on the sidewalk with). There is also usually live music performed in the square. The exact selection varies.
  • Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest [5] - A local music festival.
  • Mountain Biking - Moscow Mountain has a wide variety of mountain biking/hiking trails for a wide range of skill levels.
  • Rails-to-Trails - The 9-mile paved Chipman Trail connects Moscow and Pullman, and is a favorite with bikers, joggers and roller bladers. The 13-mile (11+ paved, 1.6 gravel) Latah Trail connects Moscow and Troy, and snakes through wheat fields and pine groves.


There are various Vandal (University of Idaho local sports team) souvenirs available, as well as a good number of other goods. Some local stores sell gems at reasonable prices, for a more unique souvenir.

There are stores with hiking, biking, and other gear for outdoor activities; if you shop around.


There are a variety of restaurants, but many are chain stores. Restaurants serving food other than American, Mexican, Italian, or Chinese are harder to come by.

  • Nectar Wine Bar and Restaurant, 6th & Main St, 208-882-5914. Dinner: M-Su. Features fresh local ingredients, long wine lists, some great artisan pizzas, an upscale take on mac n' cheese, and a very popular bacon-wrapped meatloaf. F-Sa are crowded nights, and you should RSVP.
  • Sangria Grille - Located on the Moscow-Pullman Highway in a free standing building at the Palouse Mall (208)882-2693.

Great Food, Great Service, Great Atmosphere. Chef owned and operated, Sangria Grille features a diverse menu described as "Contemporary American fusion cuisine, with influences from South American, Asian, and Mediterranean" comprised of Aged Steaks, Fresh Seafood, House Specialties, Pastas, Gourmet Salads, Burgers and hand crafted desserts. The amazing flavors, warm knowledgeable staff and artfully designed interior, have made Sangria one of the most popular restaurants in the region.

  • LOCO GRINDZ - Located on Main Street in Moscow across from CJ's, traditional Hawaiian plate lunch. Hands down the best food in the entire area! Closed Sunday/Monday
  • Mikey's Gyros - Located on Main Street in downtown, Mikey's serves mainly Greek Gyros with many options. You can get other things like soups,salads, nachos and bakliva, but don't expect a hamburger. A local staple.
  • Super China Buffet - Located in the Palouse Empire Mall. Good mostly-Chinese and American food, all you can eat. They also have very affordable take-out by the pound.
  • Pizza - Smoky Mountain Pizza & Pasta; Papa Johns; Pizza Hut; Dominos; Papa Murphy's Take-N-Bake; Pizza Perfection (offers 2 for 1 pizza deal on take-out orders!)....
  • Basilios - Located in Pullman on Main Street with reasonably priced Italian food. Acoustically bright.
  • The Breakfast Club - Downtown, Main Street. Excellent, filling, and affordable breakfast starting at 6AM.
  • Patty's Mexican Kitchen - On 6th Street by the U of I. Great order-at-the-counter Mexican food. Try the unbelievably spicy Barbed Wire Burrito and the Fish Tacos. The only place in town where you can get vegetarian tamales. Great cheap food! They also do catering.
  • Wingers - Right on HWY 8 in front of Winco, Wingers serves the best wings in Moscow/Pullman as well as having a full menu and a bar.
  • Tucci's - Heading east through Moscow towards Troy, Tucci's is next to HWY 8 near Safeway and the Wells Fargo bank. It is an Italian restaurant that is a common place for college students to take their dates and offers a good staff and affordable food.
  • La Casa Lopez - Mexican food and full bar in a great atmosphere. Located in downtown Moscow on Main St. heading south from HWY 8.
  • San Miguel's Family Mexican Restaurant - Located on North Main Street, next to the Moscow Clinic. Delicious, attractively prepared, plentiful, reasonably priced, authentic (not Tex-Mex) Mexican food prepared any way you like. Especially remarkable are their 5 or 6 different homemade salsas. The tomatilla salsa is flavorful, the cabbage salsa is tasty and unique. Their Ranchero Salsa, made from several kinds of chillis they grow themselves, is the strongest, but the delightful flavors come through well, and are not overwhelmed by the heat. They have several Mexican beers on tap, and offer a variety of Mexican non-alcoholic beverages. Be sure to try their freshly made Horchata, a sweet, non-alcoholic traditional beverage, made of ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley or tigernuts.


Moscow has quite a variety of bars that cater primarily to the college students. Most of the bars are located downtown.

-The Corner Club: Featured in the February 2005 edition of Sports Illustrated as one of the best sports bars in the country. The Corner Club is one of Moscow's unofficial historic landmarks. They feature free peanut night on Wednesday and have excellent popcorn throughout the week. Beers are purchased in 32oz 'tubs' and are incredibly cheap. The Club, as it is referred to by most, has a shuffleboard table and outdoor seating for warm weather. It is most frequented by the Greek student population from the University of Idaho.

-Mingles: This is a billiard bar with lots of tables by the hour and two pay by the game ($.50). It also has a large screen tv and a couple smaller ones with seating areas. This bar was in the top 100 college bars in a special college issue of Playboy magazine. On Sundays they have penny pool (one cent per minute...$.60/hour), and Thursdays ladies get free pool (can be a group of guys and girls, as long as a girl pays). This bar is frequented more by the off-campus students, so less annoying than some of the others.

-John's Alley: Often referred to as "The Alley", it is located at 114 E 6th St. It features live music, pool, and a definitive, "Idaho atmosphere."

  • West of Paris (Gourmet French Cuisine), 403 S. Main Street (Friendship Square downtown), 208-882-4279, [1]. This lovely restaurant on Friendship Square offers authentic French cuisine. The atmosphere is quiet, classy European. The chef, Francis Foucachon, is sure to greet you at your table during the evening. The entrees, cheeses, wines and desserts are all exquisite.


  • Best Western University Inn 1516 Pullman Road, Moscow, Idaho 83843, 208-882-0550 / 800-325-8765.[6] Excellent accommodations. Has a pool. Only one I've stayed in.
  • La Quinta Inn 185 Warbonnet Dr, Moscow, Idaho 83843, 208-882-5365.[7]

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