Boise, ID is rightfully taking its place as one of the best places to visit and live in the US. With its rich culture, robust economy, and gorgeous natural features, the city is the perfect mix of active outdoor living, small town charm, and cosmopolitan chic. No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find amazing activities to do here in Boise, Idaho.
With wide sidewalks and bike lanes everywhere, you can cycle your way to practically any destination in Boise. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one from Boise Green Bike for a day, month, or year.
For a truly tranquil and scenic ride, the best place to go is Boise River Greenbelt. Stretching 25 miles along the Boise River, this paved tree-lined trail is open to cyclists, walkers, runners, and pets on leash. It winds through the city’s best known parks, where you can also enter the trail. For added fun, there’s a 10-mile stretch that features a scavenger hunt with clues related to the city’s history.
With acres of preserves and natural parks, Boise is a wonderful place for hiking, birding, and wildlife watching. Boise River Greenbelt offers plenty of excellent spots to see various bird species, including raptors, shorebirds, songbirds, and more. A portion of the Idaho Birding Trail traverses the greenbelt.
The Bethine Church River Trail is also part of the Boise River Greenbelt. This 1.6 mile pathway is home to riparian vegetation, nesting spots for various wildlife, and irrigation streams that have been turned into fish habitats.
Boise is not only a wonderful outdoor destination in the summer. It offers plenty of winter activities as well. The Boise National Forest features a variety of trail options for alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. There’s also a great opportunity for ice fishing here. Part of the popular Bogus Basin Ski Area is also found in the forest.
Experience the local culture
The Boise culture is a mix of music, theater, art, and history. Experience the soul of the city at these events and attractions:
- Idaho Shakespeare Festival
Every year from June to September, this regional repertory theater presents five plays, including Shakespeare productions, and contemporary and classical plays. These are staged at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater and Habitat Reserve, a stunning 770-seat natural amphitheater on the banks of the Boise River.
- Basque Block
Boise has one of the largest Basque communities outside of the Basque region in Spain. The community’s more than 16,000 members have kept the Basque tradition alive in the city with The Basque Block in the downtown area.
Here, you’ll find the only Basque museum in the US, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which features fascinating exhibits about the culture and history of this European ethnic group, as well as the origins of the local community.
Other Basque landmarks and attractions are also found around the block, including historic buildings, restaurants, bars, and the Basque Mural.
- Hyde Park Historic District
Listed on the National Historic Register, Hyde Park features some of the city’s earliest buildings, now housing specialty shops, restaurants, bars, and offices. As the trail end of the Boise foothill trails, the district is also known today as the unofficial headquarters of cyclists and mountain bikers in Treasure Valley.
- Idaho Botanical Garden
A private non-profit, the Idaho Botanical Garden spans 15 acres of what was once the Old Idaho State Penitentiary Farm. It features 12 gardens, including the English Garden, Herb Garden, Idaho Native Plant Garden, and Western Waterwise Garden. One of the first botanical gardens in the state, the Idaho Botanical Garden is certainly one of the top sites to see in Boise, Idaho
- Explore Downtown Boise
The city’s central business district is also the best place to learn about everything Boise. It’s home to some of the region’s major attractions like the Idaho State Capitol Building, Boise Art Museum, and the Idaho State Museum. Zoo Boise and Albertsons Stadium, the home of the Boise State Broncos football team, are just minutes away. At the heart of downtown is Boise Center, Idaho’s largest convention center, with over 80,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Downtown is where you’ll find many of the city’s amazing restaurants, which feature some of the best farm to table cuisine in the country. The neighborhood also hosts two popular Saturday markets – Boise Farmers Market and Capital City Public Market.