Our first stop at Boise was on the way to Yellowstone: we desperately needed a place to stretch the legs. To our surprise, we discovered a ton of places to visit for a quick stop at Boise, most of them concentrated in/near Julia Davis Park.
Boise is the capital of Idaho and the largest city in the state, with a population of over 200k. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US: 20,000 to 30,000 people moving to Boise every year, many from California.
Where to head first on your quick stop at Boise
One of the most interesting facts about Boise – there is an ethnic Basque community, the most concentrated outside of Spain 😉.
The Basque country is an autonomic region in the northwestern part of Spain. It is home to one of the oldest ethnic groups in Europe. Basques came to Boise in the late 1800s and played an important role in Idaho’s history.
There are many ways to explore the Basque culture in Boise: from the cultural center to markets, museums, and restaurants – there is something for everyone. I would love to try some paella, tapas, croquetas, even beef tongue – a traditional dish cooked for generations in our own (Eastern European) culture.
When the pandemic will be over, try to attend The San Inazio Festival – an annual event at the end of July. Or Jaialdi – a celebration of culture, one of the largest Basque festivals in the world (celebrated every 5 years).
In the picture below: Basque president Iñigo Urkullu with his wife at Jaialdi Festival, Boise:
Quick Stop at Boise, 8 more fun places to visit
- Lucky Peak State Park (perfect for swimming).
- Idaho Botanical Gardens – local gem, located on the old prison grounds; kids will love Children’s Adventure Garden.
- Julia Davis Park – located on the banks of Boise River, a nice place to stretch the legs and unwind from the road. We liked the Rose Garden (in the pictures below) and the Zoo right in the middle of the park. Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Museum, and Discovery Center of Idaho (it has great hands-on exhibits for children) are all located on/near Julia Davis Park grounds.
We have friends who live for several years in Boise and they say there is not much to do
as in Oregon or Washington. Maybe it is the different perspective from being “residents” and “tourists”, but we would love to come to Boise and learn more about it.
Current conditions, hours, etc., changed during Covid-19. Please verify all the essential information for the destinations before you go.
Where to spend a night at Boise
Boise is a relatively inexpensive city and there is a wide variety of places to stay. On our trips we usually choose Airbnb, – it is more exciting than staying in the hotel.
Movies about Boise and Idaho
If you too, like our friends, think that “Nothing happens in Idaho”, check out these movies:
“Made in Boise” is a movie filmed about 4 surrogacy moms. Documentary. IMDb 5.7.
Boise is an “unofficial surrogacy capital of America”.
“Kid Cannabis” isn’t about the great mission to help families grow, but partly about struggling families too. True story, Action, Comedy. IMDb 6.4
“Napoleon Dynamite” probably the most popular movie filmed in Idaho,
and my least favorite. High school comedy, family-friendly (9y/o +).
Thanks for reading, friends! 🙂
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