Situated in the state’s southwest along the Boise River, Idaho’s capitol and the largest city got its name from the French boisé, meaning “wooded.” Boise is an exciting blend of culture and modern life! It is a regional centre for jazz, theatre, and indie music but it also has many options for nature lovers with its extensive hiking and biking trails. It is the ideal fusion of the lively city vibe with the lovely outdoor setting. Adventurous, energetic, active, and hip, Boise is a fantastic place to visit and when it comes to places to see in Boise, you will have options no matter what type of traveller you are!
All of the seasons offer something unique. You can enjoy the wonderful colours of fall in the autumn or the water activities in the summer. However, the best time to visit Boise is in the spring from March to May to experience the city outdoors when the city’s many parks and gardens are in full bloom.The famous Treefort Festival happens in March – If you’re planning a trip to Boise, you won’t regret scheduling it around Treefort. The winter season from December to February is fantastic for the nearby ski slopes in the city.
- National Geographic named Boise the best adventure city in the entire United States
- Boise makes the most of its state’s reputation for potatoes – Boise welcomes the New Year by dropping an enormous Idaho potato
- Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul is from Boise, Idaho
- Due to the most career prospects, best music scene, best outdoor activities, and best small business environment Boise is named the happiest city in the US
Even if you only have a limited amount of time, use this guide to make the most of your vacation in Boise. These are the top attractions and activities for your 24 hours in Boise, Idaho.
Chef’s Hut! Blueberry pancakes are going to be the perfect start to your one day in Boise. Fresh cinnamon rolls, and crisp coffee – just enough to get you started. While it is located outside of Boise downtown, it is worth the trip. However, if you are limited on time try one of the tasty breakfast places closer to the city centre. Rembrandt’s, Capri, Sunshine Café, Blue Bench Brunchette, Eddie’s Diner, Addie’s Diner. After your delicious breakfast, you can check in to a downtown hotel such as Home2 Suites By Hilton.
The Idaho State Capitol in Boise is the home of the government of the U.S. state of Idaho. One of the best places to see in Boise for all history lovers! The grounds outside are beautifully maintained, and the interior is lovely. Visitors are welcome to tour the Capitol at their leisure but should be aware that some parts may be off-limits because of official activities during the legislative session at other times. When the House and Senate meet for business, photography is not permitted. The museum’s displays are meticulously curated and every interactive component functions. There is a fantastic kids’ area on the lower floor, and the parking is free!
The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit organization that seeks to conserve birds of prey all around the world, has its home at the World Center for Birds of Prey. You can interact closely with eagles, owls, vultures, hawks, and falcons! Throughout the day, there are also live raptor presentations.
Ask when the next presentation is as you are picking up your tickets. You can get a close-up look at a raptor during the presentation, learn more about them, and ask the presenter any questions you may have. This is a must-do activity in Boise, so check it out!
Boise has the largest Basque community in the United States and the third largest in the world (after Spain and Argentina). They are the offspring of rural Idaho’s early 20th-century immigrants, mostly miners and herders. At the basque block, you can buy Iberian products like olives and ventresca tuna as well as warm seafood paella and pintxos. Traditional music, an exact reproduction of a sheep wagon, and genealogical data are all available at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center.
Exploring the Boise Greenbelt is one of the fun things to do in Boise The 25-mile-long Greenbelt runs through the centre of Boise. The Boise River, wildlife, and several of the city’s riverside parks may all be found along the Greenbelt. There is a lot to see whether you cycle, skate, or walk.
The Anne Frank Memorial, Boise River Park, and Ann Morrison Memorial Park are a few of the attractions found along the Greenbelt. The tree-lined route of the Greenbelt is a wonderful place to spend some time outside! After your walk try the famous Idaho potatoes at Boise Fry Company!
Spend the afternoon In the centre of Downtown, Zoo Boise is a fantastic destination to spend a fun but educational afternoon. There are several unique features, from a seasonal butterfly exhibit to an animal-feeding farm. Bring cash with you if you want to ride the carousel and buy supplies to feed the pets at the zoo. It’s a great activity for the whole family. Zoo Boise is open year-round and if your one day in Boise happens to be a Thursday – you can get your tickets at discounted prices. All admission prices include a $.75 conservation fee.
Boise’s Freak Alley is a free, all-year-round outdoor gallery that is accessible to the general public. Local artists have created some stunning murals, public art, and graffiti. In 2002, Freak Alley only had a single entryway; today, it spreads into a gravel parking lot from the alley itself.
Every two years, fresh artwork is hung on the walls. Visit this location to look at the artwork and while you are there, take a few fantastic photos to remember your 24 hours in Boise! Once you’re exhausted from your day in Boise, have dinner in Brickyard – great for comfort food and if you go on a Saturday night they have a live piano show!
Start at 11th and Main downtown and work your way to 5th and Main. Visit each pub and take a look around. We love Mulligans because of their fascinating characters and great music, but it’s not for everyone! Another popular club is Balcony – a popular LGBTQ spot. StrangeLove is as intriguing as it sounds, with unusual textures, original artwork, and unexpected nuances everywhere you look. But just start at 11th and Main and you’ll find something for yourself!
Where to Stay In Boise, Idaho
Home2 Suites By Hilton
202 South 6th Street, Downtown Boise, Boise, ID 83702
The Home2 Suites by Hilton Boise Downtown is a charmingly located hotel in the Downtown Boise neighbourhood of Boise. It is 1.8 km from ExtraMile Arena, 300 m from CenturyLink Arena Boise, and 400 m from Boise Centre. A kitchen, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, and a private toilet area amenities are included in every room. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, free WiFi, and an indoor pool. The Home2 Suites by Hilton Boise Downtown offers a complimentary breakfast to its visitors, laundry facilities and a business centre.
1314 West Grove Street, Downtown Boise, Boise, ID 83702
Downtown Boise’s Linen District is home to the Modern Hotel, which has a contemporary bar. On all guest TVs, The Modern Hotel presents its own independent cinema festival. iPod docking stations are available in every room, and there are stone fire pits on the outdoor terrace. At the Modern Hotel, each chic room has a flat-screen HDTV with cable and HBO as well as complimentary WiFi. A minibar and a Japanese soaking tub are features of certain studios. Every room has a glass-enclosed shower and luxury bath supplies. The on-site restaurant serves regional food from a constantly changing menu.
1314 West Grove Street, Downtown Boise, Boise, ID 83702
The Oxford Suites Boise has an indoor pool and a complete business centre with meeting spaces. Each of the hotel’s guest rooms has a tub, cable TV, and a luxury bedding set that is unique to Oxford Suites. Air conditioning, a microwave, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, WiFi, and wired internet access are additional features. On-site amenities include a fitness centre and a gift shop open 24/7. A quick 5-minute stroll will take you to the Edwards Boise Stadium 22 & IMAX as well as a multitude of shopping options.
Day Trips From Boise, Idaho
Nampa, the second-largest city in Idaho after Boise, is only 20 miles away and a convenient choice if you’re seeking for activities to do in the area of Boise in a day. Founded as a railroad when the east-west tracks were built throughout the nation, Nampa is one of the most populated communities in the state and a cultural and history hub with plenty of green space. It also boasts beautiful 19th-century architecture and is a sanctuary for artists. Explore Nampa’s historic old town, which is home to many historical structures and the best sites to find antiquarian goods. The centrepiece of the Nampa Train Depot Museum and a reminder of the city’s modest beginnings is the elegant, 1903 train depot, which you should not miss seeing.
The old state capitol is just an hour away. Idaho is recognized for its mining heritage, wild west vibes, and allure for adventurers seeking to enter the Sawtooth Mountains wilderness. During the 1800s gold rush, it served as the focal point and largest metropolis in the Pacific Northwest. Around 10,000 people lived in Idaho, which was a thriving metropolis with hundreds of business establishments, theatres, the state’s first Catholic Church, and a county jail that housed some of the most notorious outlaws from the Old West!
The village of Meridian is among the greatest tourist destinations close to Boise. This charming small village is conveniently accessible in just 20 minutes, but that is not the only reason to go. If you are taking a foodie along with your children on your trip, Meridian is a fantastic Boise day trip suggestion. Start by taking a stroll through the downtown area, which is home to eateries selling mouthwatering fare and beer as well as old-style structures. Plan your next trip based on whether you want to visit a water park or a land park. You should take your kids to Roaring Springs Water Park for water play and excitement. There are a ton of excellent waterslides, pools, and lazy rivers at this largest waterpark in Southwest Idaho!
- The ice cream potato from Boise is renowned for its melt-in-your-mouth smooth, creamy quality. In Idaho, it is the best-frozen treat to eat.
- If you have time go to a Boise State Football game and see the smurf turf—the blue football field.
- Take advantage of the Boise Trolley Tours in an old-fashioned trolley. These rides are available every hour and the trolley will take you to exciting sites and popular places in Boise!
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.
Romi is a llama coach from Split, Croatia. This sounds made up but it’s true. She lived in Toronto, Canada for about ten years, give or take, but she wasn’t working with llamas. She was working in PR, restaurants, daycares, one yoga clothing store. She doesn't know how she got that job as she has never done yoga at that point. She taught English in Colombia and Vietnam. Traveled the world for two years. Then she got into writing. Actually, she was always writing, but then someone paid her to write. Then more people paid because they saw she was making them money. Then it became a thing she does for a living. And here we are now. Specializing in travel, real estate, and digital nomad guides, familiar with SEO, and always ready to learn something new so she can branch out and take over the world.