Boise has found a balance between being a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and a welcoming home for artisans, making it an ideal stop for travelers. Idaho’s capital and largest city (214,237 residents) has something for everyone. Catch a Boise State Broncos game on the “Smurf Turf” of Albertsons Stadium, or go bird watching at the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Winters bring an average snowfall of nearly 19 inches annually, and the area becomes a haven for snowmobilers and skiers. Summertime in Boise features temperatures in the mid-80’s and opportunities to enjoy local farmers markets and outdoor festivals.
Eagle Island State Park is the ideal location for a fun-filled day outdoors. It’s located eight miles west of downtown Boise and covers 545 acres, plenty of room for activities including fishing, swimming, disc golf, hiking, horseback riding, and more. The park also features a zip line course with six lines that stretch through the forest canopy and a quick jump that simulates jumping off a 60-foot tower.
Visitors looking to learn more about local plants in a relaxing and beautiful environment should plan a trip to the Idaho Botanical Garden. The park is located on 15 acres in the East End, on the grounds of the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site. Here you’ll find several small gardens, each with a unique theme including Meditation, Children’s Adventure, English, Heirloom Rose, and more.
Kathryn Albertson Park is located right in the heart of Boise and features fountains, ponds, and plenty of mature trees. It’s a haven for wildlife giving travelers a chance to see a cross-section of the region's wildlife. Visitors are also able to rent gazebos in the park for group gatherings, restrooms, paved walking paths, and more.
Locations to Know
Capitol City Public Market has been a staple in the community since it began in 1994 as a way for local farmers, artisans, and other producers to gather and sell or trade their goods with others from the community. The market has grown into a great family-friendly experience complete with seasonal events, tastings, and a kids club. It’s held each Saturday, from April to December, at the corner of W Bannock St. and N 8th St.
Table Rock is an iconic natural rock formation located just southeast of the downtown area. It’s the best place to get a bird's eye view of the city and Treasure Valley, outside of Boise’s 267-foot tall US Bank Building. Table Rock features trails which are ideal for hiking and mountain biking, as well as ample locations for photography.
Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area offers visitors a variety of year-round activities. During the winter, the area serves as the Boise’s go-to skiing destination, with 2,600 acres of skiable terrain, multiple chairlifts, an equipment/repair shop, and 78 named runs. Summer brings a different set of activities to the Basin including hiking, mountain biking, and disc golf. The main facilities aren't open during the summer, but the activities are free.
The Idaho Military Museum was established to preserve and showcase Idaho’s military history and artifacts. It’s located on the grounds of the Boise Airport, right next to the Idaho Air National Guard Base. The recently remodeled facility features a full timeline of Idaho military history and different pieces of military equipment including airplanes, tanks, uniforms, weapons and more.
Boise Art Museum was established in 1932 to create a visual art experience that would inspire people to learn more about the arts. The museum was first housed in the Carnegie Public Library in the 1930’s, and currently operates in a beautiful 48,000 square-foot downtown facility. Visitors can see a variety of different displays and exhibitions that highlight a variety of different art mediums. The museum also offers a spectrum of educational classes and programs for any inquiring artistic minds.
Discovery Centre of Idaho is an interactive science center that aims to raise interest in various fields of science. It uses over 150 unique and engaging exhibitions, as well as a variety of educational programming, to teach visitors of all ages. The Centre’s permanent collection is full of fun exhibits that cover subjects like gravity, wind speed, centrifugal force, and more. It’s located on the scenic grounds of Julia Davis Park, which is in the heart of downtown.