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Boise Travel Guide

Your one-stop destination for discovering the best of Boise.
Last Updated
:
February 17, 2024
by
Editorial Staff
Boise cityscape at night with traffic light
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Listen up, folks. We’re gonna let you in on a little secret: Boise is freaking awesome. We know, we know – when you think of Idaho, potatoes and wide-open spaces probably come to mind. Well, let us tell ya, Boise is so much more than that. This city has it all going on. We’re talking epic mountains just begging to be hiked and biked with some of the most insane views around.

A river that’s like nature’s waterpark winding through downtown just calling our names to go rafting. More parks and trails than we can shake sticks at. And there’s the field, art, music, and indoor mini golf. We mean, come on! And the people here? Forget about it. They’re like the friendliest folks we ever met who actually say hi to strangers and hold the door and let you cut in line at the grocery store.

Half the time we’re like “What planet is this?” We’re telling ya, Boiseans are good people—which probably explains why this city keeps getting all kinds of shiny “best of” awards left and right from magazines we never even heard of. So listen, if you still think Idaho is lame, you better get to Boise quick and prepare to ditch those potato assumptions, baby. This city needs to be on your radar stat.

Bring your hiking boots and thirst for adventure because in Boise we play as hard as we work. And we’re gonna let you experience the Boise magic first-hand with our personal guide to all our favorite hot spots that’ll have you feeling like a local in no time. Get ready for some new favorite memories!

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About Boise

Boise, Idaho downtown skyline
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Located in the state of Idaho, the capital city of Boise offers many places to explore. The Boise River Greenbelt is a network of parks and trails hugging the water, and the Boise Art Museum is an art deco building with an outdoor sculpture garden. You can also visit the Idaho State Capitol Building, which is within walking distance. While you’re here, you can also explore the Old Idaho Penitentiary, a 19th-century prison with a military museum and historic military weaponry.

The climate is pleasant in Boise, with an average of 200 days of sunshine. Its average temperature is 71°F in the summer and 32°F in the winter. Boise boasts a wide range of restaurants and stores. Its population of more than 220,000 is growing rapidly, and the economy is booming.

In the early 20th century, the Boise Irrigation Project constructed multiple dams on the Boise River, providing water for irrigation and recreational facilities. The city’s population quickly doubled, and many suburban areas were developed, making Boise a desirable location for people who want to live in a city with four seasons. The city’s favorable climate also provides a wealth of job opportunities.

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Why Go to Boise

Boise, Idaho
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If you’re a lover of outdoor activities, Boise is the perfect place to visit. With nearly 300 miles of trails, you’ll find something to suit everyone. You can hike, bike, or even go fishing. It’s also home to some great restaurants. The city’s outdoor amphitheater is an excellent location for concerts. If you’re more into the theater, Boise has a world-renowned ballet company.

While you’re in town, don’t miss the Idaho State Penitentiary. This historic facility offers guided tours and can answer any questions you have about the prison’s history. In addition, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center gives you a glimpse of Basque culture in Idaho. The museum is the only one of its kind in the U.S., and admission includes a tour of the Cyrus Jacobs/Uberuaga House and Fronton Building. It takes about an hour to walk through the museum.

Another reason people are moving to Boise is because of the low cost of living. Most houses in the city cost about a tenth of what they would cost in other cities. Food prices are also lower because the region is known for its agricultural resources. In addition to lower prices, grocery stores in Boise also have high-quality products.

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Best Time to Go

Local depot with clock tower and pond waterfall
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If you’re looking for the best time to go to Boise, Idaho, you’ve come to the right place. While the city has a pleasant climate, it can be a bit cold in the winter. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities available during these months. However, the best time to go to Boise depends on what you want to do and how much time you have to spend outdoors.

The best time to visit Boise is during the months of March to May, when the temperatures are comfortable for outdoor activities. Temperatures can range from 15°F to 20°F, which is perfect for those who love to ski. The winter months of December to February are colder, but temperatures rarely drop below 10°F and rarely reach 101°F. The summer months are also popular in Boise, as the high temperatures are pleasant and water activities are popular. The fall season, between September and November, is also a popular time to visit the city, when temperatures are high and the sun stays up the longest.

The autumn months are also an ideal time to visit Boise. The city is filled with beautiful foliage and many festivals in its parks. You can also take part in the annual art festival in September. If you’re visiting during these months, you’ll find that hotel rates are more affordable. Although temperatures in the winter can be cold, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied and entertained.

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How to Get Around

Boise
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When planning your trip to Boise, it can be helpful to know how to get around town. Taxis are an affordable and convenient way to travel around town. Depending on how far you need to go, a taxi can cost as little as $2.40 per mile, and waiting time can cost up to $0.40 per minute. There are also car-hailing services, such as Uber, that are far cheaper than taxis.

Public transportation is also an affordable and convenient option for getting around town. There are several bus lines in Boise, including ValleyRide. These services cover major roads and tourist attractions. However, riders should know that they must adhere to strict timetables. It is best to plan your trip accordingly, or else you may be stuck in traffic for several hours.

There are numerous hiking trails in Boise that are free to explore. You can also check out Boise’s many parks. They are a great way to get in some exercise and enjoy nature. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes when exploring the city. In addition, museums in Boise usually charge an admission fee of around $5 to $10.

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Best Restaurants

Best Restaurants in Boise
Chandlers

For a fancy meal, visit one of the Best Restaurants in Boise, Idaho. Chandlers is one of the city’s most upscale restaurants, offering fine steak and cocktails. Tupelo Honey is another local favorite, serving a killer brunch. It also has an excellent Happy Hour.

Boise is renowned for its farm-to-table approach to cooking, meaning the emphasis is on using quality ingredients. You won’t leave feeling sluggish after eating here, and the chefs love to be creative and experimental, making dining out an exciting experience. There are plenty of top-notch restaurants in the area, so you’re sure to find a place that suits your taste buds.

Chandler’s Steakhouse has an excellent wine list and is half a level above the street. The ambiance is comfortable and warm, and the service is top-notch. The food is complemented by an award-winning wine list and a full dinner menu.

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Things to Do

Idaho State Capitol in Boise, ID
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There are many free activities to do in Boise, Idaho. One of the top options is a trip to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, which has been presenting plays in the state capital for over a century. The festival is a popular choice for people who want to spend a night out.

The Boise Art Museum features twelve to sixteen exhibitions a year. The museum’s staff is always on hand to answer questions about the exhibits. You can also check out the Idaho State Museum, which features art from Idaho’s past. The museum also includes activities and interactive displays.

Families can also enjoy the many family attractions in Boise. The city is home to several zoos and aquariums. There’s even a center dedicated to birds of prey. You can also check out some great local food at the Capital City Public Market, which is located in downtown Boise. This market has been a Boise highlight for 25 years.

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Neighborhoods to Know

VIew of Boise neighborhood in spring
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If you are visiting the capital city of Idaho, you might want to explore the neighborhoods that surround the city center. The Boise River Greenbelt, which hugs the water, offers a beautiful trail and park system. Nearby is the Boise Art Museum, a beautiful art deco building that features contemporary art and an outdoor sculpture garden. The Idaho State Capitol Building is also nearby, as is the Old Idaho Penitentiary, which has 19th century prison cells and historic military weaponry.

East End: Boise’s East End neighborhood is peaceful and close to downtown. This residential area is ideal for families who want to live near nature, while still enjoying the amenities of the city. This area is home to MK Nature Center, Kristin Armstrong Park, the Old Idaho Penitentiary, and the Idaho Botanical Garden.

Boise’s diverse neighborhoods provide a mix of urban convenience and a relaxed lifestyle. Boise neighborhoods are great for making friends and establishing a way of life.

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Weather

Boise, Idaho, Capital Sun
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The average temperature in Boise is 38°F in January and March and reaches a low of 28°F in February. The city receives a relatively high number of sunny days throughout the year, with more than two hundred and fifty in January and August. While the city experiences cold winters, they are generally mild, making it a great destination for winter activities.

The best time to visit Boise is between March and May when temperatures are moderate and pleasant. The temperatures are ideal for skiing and other outdoor activities. The winter months, which typically last from December to February, are also pleasant. However, summers are also a great time to enjoy water activities, such as white-water rafting, which are particularly popular in this season. Fall, on the other hand, brings spectacular foliage and high temperatures in the low 80s and nineties.

The average amount of precipitation in Boise is five to seven inches, and it can come in a variety of forms. The most common form of precipitation in Boise is rain. However, if you’re looking to enjoy hot weather activities, you should visit during mid-July or August.

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