Boise, Idaho’s capital city, is as unexpected as it is beautiful. It’s a rare blend of urban and outdoors with hundreds of restaurants, hundreds of miles of trails, a mountain-fed river running through the center of town – and the nicest people you will ever meet.
The city has a lively downtown scene, full of unique sites and attractions. The Basque Block is a street that houses museums, restaurants and historical landmarks that nod to the city’s rich Basque heritage. Seasonally on Saturdays, the Capital City Public Market brings the streets alive while offering fresh produce and many one-of-a-kind artisanal goods. At the heart of downtown, 8th Street is coined “Restaurant Row,” lined for many blocks with multiple local dining establishments and bustling with patio dining throughout the summer months. Right off 8th Street is Freak Alley, the northwest’s largest outdoor art gallery consisting of an ever-changing collection of multiple artists’ murals. The Idaho State Capitol is open for tours and has a beautiful interior to explore while learning the history of the state – and it’s the only geothermal-heated state capitol in the United States.
Locals and visitors alike treasure the green spaces in the city. The Greenbelt, a 25-mile-long, tree-lined pathway, gives pedestrian access along the Boise River – this path connects the “Ribbon of Jewels,” which consists of a handful of treasured parks. Julia Davis Park, one of the “Jewels,” is home to Zoo Boise, the Boise Art Museum, the Idaho State Museum, the Black History Museum and an extensive rose garden. The most recent addition to the city parks is the Cherie Buckner-Webb Park, an urban downtown park with a towering pink tree sculpture, quickly becoming an iconic piece of Boise.
Exciting adventures are always close by when visiting Boise. Less than one hour away from the city are thrilling whitewater rafting excursions in Cascade, Idaho, on the Payette River. Bogus Basin, the local mountain recreation area just a short drive from the city, offers snow sports in the winter and mountain biking, a mountain coaster and hiking in the summer. Closer to town, the foothills of Boise have over 190 miles of trails to bike or hike in the Ridge to Rivers trail system. A local favorite hike is Table Rock Trail, with a 994-foot gain in elevation – it’s a steep hike yet still family-friendly, and the view at the top of this 3.4-mile trail is well worth it. The Whitewater Park, featuring a wave-maker for kayaks and surfboards, is located off the Greenbelt and is another exhilarating experience to either experience or observe.
Boise is the perfect combination of refined culture and rugged adventure. Whether you’re hiking in the Military Reserve or on a food or urban wine tour, a trip to Boise will be full of exploration.
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