BOISE, Idaho July 18, 2018- Nestled near the foothills of the high desert, the city of Boise, Idaho has a lively culture of arts, outdoor activities, and family-friendly festivals— enough to keep tourists happy and busy.
A few break-out Boise places to go:
Freak Alley murals @Ron Stern All rights reserved
1. Freak Alley
A stroll down the one block known as Freak Alley will inspire you to take out the camera for what is recognized as the largest mural gallery in the Northwest. Literally, an alley located between buildings, this is where artists pay a fee to create their brightly painted murals on the back walls. Over time, some illustrations are painted out and new ones are applied by another artist. The alley was established in 2002, and every August, an annual mural event is held to view the recently added artworks.
2. Rent a Bike
Boise is a bike-friendly city. This is evident in the downtown area with clearly marked bike lanes on the city’s streets.
You can rent a bike from McUSports located at 820 W. Jefferson. They have men and women’s bikes, children’s bikes, and trailers. Helmets and locks are included in the rental fee, which is $15 for a half day or $25 for 8 hours. Ride the bike to the nearby Boise River Green Belt, and in the rare event of a flat tire on the trail, give McU a call.
They will send someone out to fix it and get you back on the road.
Boise Green Bike is another mobility option. Download the app ahead of time to find the nearest bike kiosk located throughout the downtown corridor.
Located at an entrance to the Boise River Greenbelt, this is the only memorial dedicated to Anne Frank in the United States. The visual display began as a traveling exhibit honoring Anne Frank, but the community and state worked together to permanently keep it in Boise.
The memorial honors the courage and strength of the human spirit, traits Anne embodied during her short life. Visitors will be moved by the reflecting ponds, The Quote Wall engraved with heartfelt sentiments, and a life-size bronze sculpture of this brave girl.
Boise is the capital of Idaho, and the beautiful Idaho State Capitol building, a smaller version of our nation’s capitol building in Washington, D.C., is visible from many points in town.
Constructed from sandstone, the building has the distinction of being the only state capitol building heated by geothermal water pumped from a source 3,000 feet under street level. Additionally, the public has free access to attend the session proceedings.
For a fun afternoon, head to a neighborhood in Boise’s North End known as the Hyde Park Historic District, a 1982 addition to the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood is popular for its boutiques, restaurants, and eateries with an old-fashioned soda fountain and candy store among the locally owned specialty shops.
If you’re visiting in September, you’ll be able to experience The Hyde Park Street Fair, an annual event that includes live music, food, and craft vendors as well as a children’s play area.
JUMP is an acronym for Jack’s Urban Meeting Place. Inspired by Jack Simplot, a fearless entrepreneur, it is a place where everyone can discover their personal creativity and potential. Life is for leaping and Trust your crazy ideas are just a couple of the inspirational sentiments displayed in the lobby.
Events and classes are offered such as Share Studio, a kitchen area to experiment with culinary skills, and the Move Studio where yoga, dance, and fitness classes exercise the body and soul. Inspire Studio is where ideas and dreams are taken to a tangible level, and Play Studio encourages musicians, designers, and filmmakers to hone their talents.
A cultural film series and even dog training classes are offered. There are unlimited possibilities for personal growth opportunities for everyone at JUMP.
Boise is home to the most concentrated Basque population anywhere outside of Basque Country in Europe. In the heart of downtown is an area known to locals as the Basque Block, and here, visitors can visit a Basque museum, The Basque Boarding House, Basque restaurants, and The Basque Market.
The Basque Museum & Cultural Center provides visitors with an interactive learning experience introducing them to Basque culture and history in Europe and the American West.
Next door to the museum is the Cyrus Jacobs House, restored in 2005. Built in 1864, it is the oldest brick house in Boise and features historical artifacts. It served as a boarding house from 1910 until 1969 where immigrants from the old country could feel at home with Basque food and fellowship while speaking in their native Basque language of Euskara.
Summer in Boise is the best time for a good outdoor concert when local and visiting touring bands perform a variety of music to entertain everyone at Alive After 5. In its 32nd year, the music and food event is held Wednesday evenings at Grove Plaza.
The water fountain keeps the kids cool and entertained while the adults contemplate the delicious fare available.
The Boise River Greenbelt is consistently rated as top attraction on Tripadvisor. The paved path meanders along the Boise River, traversing 25-miles of lushly landscaped park foliage. This is the perfect way to explore the city by bicycle as you can access some of the other highlights from various access points.
Along the way, you will pass through the “Ribbon of Jewels Parks” including Esther Simplot Park and Julia Davis Park. The latter is where you can spend some time exploring the Boise Art Museum or Zoo Boise.
Many of the spots are perfect for swimming, wading, fishing, kayaking and viewing wildlife.
Visitors will gain a renewed love of nature from a trip to the Idaho Botanical Gardens. Fifteen acres of flora and fauna with themed gardens such as the English Garden, a Winter Garden of Glow (on display from Thanksgiving to New Year’s), and a meditation garden with native and exotic plants will inspire green thumbs to grow their own gardens.
To further one’s botanical knowledge, educational programs are also available, and on Thursday evenings, music is performed on the grounds, Interesting to not is that the land once belonged to the now-defunct Idaho Penitentiary where the inmates tended a dairy farm, crops, and fruit trees.
Nothing can be more exciting when one comes across a new adventure, food, or people, and all of these can be found in the gem that is Boise.
This was a sponsored trip. However, all opinions herein are the author’s.