Last updated: 09:48 AM ET, Mon August 08 2022
City of trees Boise Idaho with fall colors (Photo via knowlesgallery / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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Located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boise, Idaho, is a fantastic city filled with both traditional and non-traditional sights and attractions.  As the capital of Idaho, Boise is the most populous city in the state, as well as being named the number one safest city to live in 2006.  The things to do are limitless, from outdoor activities such as skiing, snow boarding, hiking, river rafting and fishing, to visiting the city’s one-of-a-kind museums, galleries and cultural centers.

Take a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills and mountain peaks to really see why Boise is called “The City of Trees.”  The Boise River flows through the city, where along with boating and other water sports, there are greenbelt trails for hiking, biking and jogging right on the river’s edge.  Other outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and white water rafting are abundant throughout the area. 

Mixed nicely with the natural and outdoor attractions is the arts and cosmopolitan culture of Boise.  It is the regional hub for jazz and theater with the Gene Harris Jazz Festival each spring and the many Boise theater companies and performances.  These attractions, including several art galleries and museums, as well as the philharmonic orchestra, ballet and opera, are all well-loved by both locals and tourists.  Galleries, shops, restaurants and clubs all radiate throughout the central Grove Plaza, which also hosts free concerts and holiday celebrations. The Union Block and 8th Street Marketplace offer a variety of dining experiences and unique shopping, while Boise’s downtown holds “First Thursdays,” when local businesses stay open late and offer numerous promotions.

Using sustainable, farm fresh ingredients, Boise cuisine is a melting pot of tastes and cultures. With the largest concentration of Basque people in the world outside of the Pyrenees, Boise hosts several unique Basque markets and restaurants. Leku Ona is considered Basque fine dining at its best. House specialties include Txirlak Arrantzale (fresh clams in a green sauce), Arkume Hanka (lamb shank) and Izokina Plantaxan (grilled salmon). For other top international restaurants in Boise, check out Bombay Grill or Goldy’s Breakfast Bistro.

Boise Airport (BOI) is serviced by many domestic and some international carriers, including United, Delta and Southwest. For getting around the city, the ValleyRide bus service is Bosie’s public transportation option, providing inexpensive transportation to and from the airport, as well as around town. Renting a car is always an option, though as a green city, Boise tries to make it easy to navigate on foot or bike. The Boise Green Belt is a paved pedestrian and bike bath that stretches 15 miles across town. The downtown area is also considered extremely pedestrian-friendly, with many attractions, shopping and entertainment areas within walking distance.

With four distinct seasons, Boise is characterized by a continental, semi-arid climate. The hot and dry summers usually peak in July, with the hottest average temperature reaching 89.2° F (31.8° C). In the winter, January is the coldest month and have an average low temperature of 23.6° F (-4.7° C). Spring and autumn generally mild and quite pleasant, though autumn can quickly transition from temperate to quite cold. The late spring and summer are the best times to visit Boise, with warm and dry temperatures making the natural beauty that surrounds the city shine.