Boise is hands down one of my favorite places on earth. It really has everything you need in a city, with serious small town charm. It’s urban, country, exciting, and slow all at once, making it the perfect weekend adventure for any one! Whether you are indoorsy, outdoorsy, adventurous, or just aimless, find your way to this gem of a city.
Where to Stay – Easy, one answer!
Hotel 43. Chandler’s is right downstairs for a nice dinner when you get in and don’t want to venture out. Keep it local, and cool.
Activities – What you gonna do?!
Boise Botanical Garden – Since we were in Boise for a wedding, this is a perfect spot to hit up for a relaxing walk. It’s just on the edge of town, and connected to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Warm Springs (where all the historical registered houses are!). The gardens are gorgeous, so take a picnic and enjoy!
Boise Old Penitentiary – If you’re up for frights, hauntings, and totally creepy vibes, hit up the old jail! I have crazy childhood memories of visiting the Yuma Territorial Prison as a kid, and it stuck with me (for real, I hated basements forever after visiting that place.). Boise’s is just the same, with a dodgy and creepy history, but also super cool. It’s located right adjacent to the botanical garden, so you can hit up both in one day!
Hike – If you don’t want to head out of town towards the mountains, you can hike the hills around town for some spectacular views.
Boise Farmer’s Market – There are now TWO farmer’s markets downtown, one focusing on arts, crafts, and more, with the other a few blocks away that focuses on the farmers, produce and more food. The downtown market takes up the entirety of the central space, going down a block in each direction. Centrally located in the heart of all the best food in town, you can shop, and sip all in one stop.
Brewery Tour – There are pedal bike bars all over downtown, to help get you from one to the other with a beer swilling group of friends! You can find lots of those, and they cover all the highlights of downtown Boise’s budgeoning beer scene. 10 Barrel Brewing is making waves in the industry, and I am a huge fan of their beer. You can even eat there, and it’s sinfully delicious.
The Basque Market – For food, or to dive into the local Basque culture, you should pop by the market. Eat, drink, take a class, or buy some cool stuff.
For those outdoorsy types, I won’t waste my time rattling off a new list, when this list of 15 Best Day Trips from Boise from The Crazy Tourist sums all of the best ones!
Hungry? Sure you are!
But for breakfast, hit up Guru donuts. They’re the Boise equivalent of VooDoo, but like, so much better. Be prepared for a line, so get there early. And family friendly, and portions that could feed a family (literally), you need to hit up Big City Coffee. Everything is mondo here. You will swear you are done eating, that you can’t take another bite, but you do anyway, because it’s so dang good! The scones are the size of salad plates, the breakfast scrambles could fill a mixing bowl. Embrace it. And wear comfy clothing.
The best places to eat in Boise are right down town. My favorites are Bittercreek Alehouse. It’s where we always end up for food and drinks. It’s my go-to, and the place I was introduced to Schramsberg. Many a tipsy night happened at Bittercreek with the ‘Berg in hand. Then there is Fork who’s bloody mary bar can’t be beat. Juniper on 8th is just dang delightful with serious local vibes. I was there and had the most epic sturgeon of ever on local lentils. I’m swooning just thinking about it.
Boise holds a special place in my heart, having spent lots of weekends in college, and after there visiting one of my closest friends. It’s one of my heart-homes and I hope that if you visit you will soak in the charm and fall in love with it as I have.