Boise, Idaho may not be the first place you think of when you imagine a fun-filled trip to the city. However, Boise—the state’s capital—is known as the “city of trees” and is full of fun outdoor and indoor adventures for everyone. Sports lovers will enjoy visiting Bronco Stadium, and any art lover will have a blast exploring the Boise Art Museum. Whether you’re with friends or family, next time you’re in town be sure to check out these top 5 things to do in Boise. We guarantee they will keep you entertained and spark your imagination.
What was once a neglected, overgrown dump containing trash and raw sewage is now one of the gems of Boise. The former dump was transformed into a beautifully paved route that follows the Boise River and is lined with lots of trees. It is a popular location for both tourists and locals alike. The 25-mile trail is used daily by commuters and provides access to many of the city parks found throughout Boise.
If you’re visiting, be sure to grab a green bike
from hubs located at various points around the city. These bikes can be rented for as little as $5/hour and are a great way to explore the Boise River Greenbelt. For an added challenge you can even do a self-guided history scavenger hunt
along the Greenway.
Not to be confused with the Denver Broncos, Boise, Idaho has its own Bronco team with the same blue and orange colors and roots that trace back to 1958. The official name of the field where the Bronco team plays is Lyle Smith Field at the Albertson’s Stadium, named after the “father of Bronco Football” Lyle Smith. The Bronco field has one very unique characteristic, and that is its artificial blue turf that is affectionately known as “THE BLUE.” The Blue has been good to Boise, as the team has only lost just over a handful of times on their home field since 1999.
Visitors who want to view the field and take a selfie with the famous blue turf in the background are more than welcome to do so. The field is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Visitors should enter the stadium at the Southwest corner of the field through the Allen Noble Hall of Fame.
The Idaho Botanical Garden is a beautiful 33-acre space founded in 1984 by Christopher Davidson who had a Ph.D. in botany. It is a private organization and the land where the garden now resides was once part of what used to be Idaho’s Territorial Prison and Idaho State Penitentiary. Their mission is “to provide a full garden experience for all ages…” and they certainly deliver.
With 14 specialty gardens including the Water Conservation Landscape, Vegetable Garden, Meditation Garden, Jane Falk Oppenheimer Heirloom Rose Garden, Idaho Native Plant Garden, and Children’s Adventure Garden among others, there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy. In addition to the gardens, they also host seasonal events such as outdoor summer concerts and classes to teach skills like Garden Yoga and Meditation, or Dehydrating Your Garden Produce.
Art lovers will jump at the opportunity to visit the Boise Art Museum. Founded in 1932, this small non-profit has expanded over the years and has gained prominence in the artistic community. In the past, they have even featured exhibits by Norman Rockwell, Rembrandt, Degas, and more. Their mission is “to create visual arts experiences that engage people and inspire learning through exceptional exhibitions, collections, and educational opportunities.” The museum continually rotates exhibits, in addition to their fantastic permanent collections.
Close to Boise, this is a popular and fairly easy hike with some spectacular views of the surrounding area. Most people prefer to hike to the top of Table Rock to catch either the sunrise or sunset views of the area. It’s also ideal to hike at these times because the hike is not well shaded and temperatures can be very hot during the day.
The trailhead for Table Rock is located in the parking lot of the Old Penitentiary (right next to the Idaho Botanical Gardens). Two of the main trails to reach the top of Table Rock are Table Rock Trail #15 and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop. Table Rock Trail #15 is fairly steep but is a very popular route. However, if you’re looking for a shorter and easier hike, the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Loop is the one you’ll want to take.
Another Boise summer favorite in this area offers a variety of activities for the whole family including summer tubing, hiking, bungee trampolines, mountain biking, and more. There’s even a scenic chairlift you can ride up the mountain to reach trailheads at the top or simply turn around and enjoy the scenery on the way back down.
For thrill seekers the Glade Runner mountain coaster takes you down the mountain through a 4,330 ft elevation change. The cart holds two people and you get to choose how fast and daring you want to be. If winter sports are more your speed, Bogus Basin offers tubing in the winter. They also have a snow making project in the works to ensure your fun isn’t interrupted during the winter season.
However you choose to spend your days in Boise, you’re sure to have a good time. What may seem like a quiet and quaint city actually has a lot to offer for visitors and locals alike. If you’re looking to advance your education while in town, be sure to check out the Stevens-Henager College campus located on the outskirts of Boise. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to give you a tour and introduce you to our programs. For more information about our degree programs, contact us