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Your guide to Boise
All About Boise
Boise, known as the City of Trees thanks to its abundance of native cottonwoods, is Idaho’s capital and largest city. Nestled beside the Boise Foothills, a low mountain ridge that separates the valley from the Boise Mountains, the city offers you the chance to get lost in nature without straying too far from urban comforts. The nearby Bogus Basin, a mountain recreation center and ski resort, offers a wide range of outdoor activities, like hiking, climbing, and skiing and snowboarding during the snowy winter months.
Downtown Boise hugs the banks of the Boise River and is home to historical buildings, colorful street art, botanical gardens, restaurants, and more than a dozen craft breweries. The Basque Block celebrates the area’s Spanish culture, and the beloved Hyde Park neighborhood houses shops selling locally made goods surrounded by Queen Anne Victorian homes.
Outside the city, you’ll find the Snake River Wine Valley, home to nearly two dozen wineries. You can enjoy wine tastings here or eat alfresco meals with picture-perfect mountain views and experience live music during the warmer months.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Boise
Boise’s semi-arid climate has four distinct seasons, and there’s never a shortage of natural beauty to enjoy. Summer temperatures can climb quite high, but a lack of humidity brings cool evenings, so it’s best to pack a jacket even in July. One of the biggest summer events is a big music festival that takes place in late June. Over Labor Day weekend, you can attend the art museum’s annual Art in the Park festival, where more than 250 artists and vendors set up booths to sell jewelry, paintings, and other handmade goods. Autumn brings comfortable and breezy weather, golden foliage, and the opportunity to attend September’s Hyde Park Street Fair in the historic North End. Winters are cold and relatively snowy, and you can try snowshoeing in the local parks or check out the indoor holiday markets. Spring brings warm days and beautiful blooms at the Idaho Botanical Garden.
Top things to do in Boise
Boise Art Museum
Boise Art Museum’s permanent collection features around 4,000 works of art, including paintings, photographs, sculptures, textiles, drawings, and video. In the ARTexperience Gallery, you’ll find nontraditional media, such as electronic parts, styrofoam, buttons, or bones. The museum is located at Julia Davis Park, the city’s oldest park, which also houses the Idaho Historical Museum and a rose garden.
Camel’s Back Park & Reserve
Camel’s Back Park puts the beauty of the Boise foothills squarely within reach. The park spans 11 acres, and an additional reserve connected to it covers 63 acres. You can hop on one of the well-maintained trails to go hiking or mountain biking, or take advantage of the tennis courts, beach volleyball courts, playground, or soccer fields. Many of Boise’s events, including the Hyde Park Street Fair, take place at the park.
Immigrants from Spain’s Basque region have called this area home since the early 1800s. In the Basque Block, you’ll find a cultural center, specialty restaurants that serve chorizo, paella, or traditional pintxos (Basque tapas), and the Basque Mural that features lively Oinkari Basque Dancers in traditional garb of long red skirts and arbarka lace shoes. Boise hosts one of the largest Basque festivals here every five years.