Boise

The Dryftwell Guide to

Boise

Introduction

Boise is booming! Idaho’s state capital has been coming into its own over the past five years. Boise has always been known for its natural beauty, history, and arts but now it is becoming so much more. Home to museums, lovely green parks, gorgeous neighborhoods, and stunning scenery, the city of trees should be your next destination whether with your partner, family, or bachelor/bachelorette party -- just trust me. A gorgeous climate, musical atmosphere, culture, mixed with outdoor adventure, delicious food and a thriving bar scene Boise is a perfect cocktail. In this guide to Boise, we have compiled up famous neighborhoods, seasonal favorites, and local recommendations so you can experience the true flavor of Boise, Idaho. 

When to go

A massive influx of people tends to visit Boise to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet Boise can provide. March to May can prove to be an ideal time for you to see this charming city because the weather in these months is mild. You can easily roam around and enjoy outdoor activities with kids and can visit places like Idaho Botanical Garden and Greenbelt to see the full bloom during this period. This season will also give you a fresh vibe because of the flowers, greenery, and fresh fragrance. If you are in a group that likes to party, make sure to visit Gene Harris Jazz Fest during this time too.

Winter

Boise's winter season is parched, having meager chances of rain and snowfall. The season starts in December and ends in February. So, many guides to Boise articles and recommendations do not suggest to travel during this time. However, if you want to spend some peaceful time, you can put this trip on your bucket list. Some outdoor activities may be restricted, but you can still roam around and enjoy public places like Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Museum, and Morrison Center Events. If you like live shows and concerts, you can join popular concerts like The Knitting Factory and Revolution Concert House with your fun-loving group. Make the most out of your winter vacations by joining local tours of the city such as The Idaho Capitol, Historical Trolley Tour, and Boise Brew Bus. Also, if you are on a family vacation, you can participate in many family-oriented activities throughout the season.

Spring

The spring season in Boise starts in March. Both tourists and locals enjoy this time because of the rapid high and low-temperature changes, so overall, it is a great time for fun activities in this city. Many festivals, events, and outdoor happenings occur in Boise in these months, such as Treefort Music Fest, Stack Rock Hike, Sawtooth Weekend Trip, etc. If you have kids, you can take them to outdoor activities, but if you are traveling with a small or large group, you can plan to go on Boise's long-distance day trips during this time.

Summer

The summer season in Boise starts in June and lasts till October. Boise is famous for its summer months because of the heat waves of the desert. The outdoor food markets remain open all day long, so many visitors shop there. You can see the city center and can play different sports at the beach during the daytime. Also, don't forget to enjoy floating on the river, especially if you are carrying kids with you. The days are pretty long, but the summer nights are chilly, so you can enjoy the barbecue, roasted marshmallows, and other local delights. You will find a massive range of summer activities such as sports, cultural and artistic tours, and festivals, the most famous of which is the Shakespeare Festival.

Fall

September brings the fall season in Boise, in which you will be able to enjoy windy days and cold nights. The beautiful green trees transform into yellow fall. The enormous old elms, oaks, and the Downtown make the fall season more beautiful and calming. You can enjoy the hike to the Camel's Back and bike around the trails with your family to enjoy the weather. This guide to Boise will recommend visiting the local parks and seeing the outdoor activities during this time. Also, if you are a nature lover, you must visit the World Center of Birds of Prey.

Neighborhoods

The city of trees provides an ideal living for Millennials; therefore, it is home to many extended and nuclear families. It has many neighborhoods, each depicting its distinct feature, lifestyle, and attributes. A few top-rated neighborhoods are highlighted below to get an accurate idea of this gem city. 

North End

North End has the best places in all of Boise. So, many locals and tourists prefer to live in this area. It is located at a position from which all the other top-rated attraction sites are close, so it can be an ideal choice for you to stay here. If you like to explore and try different cuisine, North End is the perfect place to have fun at the local bars and restaurants. As a couple, make sure to visit Cloud 9 Brewery and Parilla Grill to have fun. Also, since North End is one of Boise's oldest neighborhoods, you can explore many cultural and historic buildings and parks such as Hyde Park, Idaho State Capitol Building, Java Hyde Park, etc.

Downtown

Downtown is a business district where you will see a lot of the hustle and bustle of travelers. It is included in the guide to the Boise list because of the shopping places, restaurants, and breweries range. The complete downtown area is easily walkable, and the nightlife is pretty impressive, especially 8th Street. Also, the price range of food and other items is pretty affordable. If you are carrying kids with you on the trip, this guide to Boise will recommend taking a guided tour of the downtown area to complete historical and artistic sites.  

Boise Bench

A home to Aquariums of Boise with lots of sharks and touch pools, Boise bench, is named for its location overlooking the city. In Boise Bench, you can have the perfect evenings and can chill out at the lawns and playgrounds in Cassia and Borah Parks. Boise Bench has a mid-century modern look containing many shopping places and markets where you can taste the local delights. Also, it has many affordable hotels, so if your stay in Boise is extended, consider this neighborhood as your first priority. 

Map

Transportation

Boise is a large city according to the population, so it is not too easy to commute and travel. You can use public transportation and other car renting and cab services to travel around the city. Also, you can prefer your own personal car or bike if you like. The complete details are given below:

Driving/Parking

Car renting and parking are pretty affordable in Boise as compared to other major cities. Although you can see the most popular Boise areas by walk or using public transportation, you will still require a car if you want to travel to distant places or stay for an extended period. If you are not using your personal vehicle on vacation, you can find many car renting services near the airport and Downtown area. For parking, the average rate is $2 per hour, so it can be considered the right choice for traveling.  

Public Transit

Boise offers adequate public transportation to the general public, including two services like ValleyRide Bus and Commuteride. Both of these transportation services cover the major routes and tourist attraction sites so you can use them. However, they strictly follow a time schedule, so you need to pick up some pace. It is also vital that you always schedule the availability of the service before making any plans too.

Biking/Walking

With the help of a motor vehicle or a bicycle, it can be relatively easy to travel and have fun around. Boise covers an extensive network of bikes, so you'll see bike trails all across the city. The bike and pedestrian paths alongside the riverbed make it pretty easy to travel in Boise. If you like to use two-wheeled vehicles, you can use Boise Green Bike or E-Scooter service to travel with your group or family. They are available in all the cities and are pretty convenient to use.