The Treasure Valley and Boise area is such a fantastic place to explore. Interestingly enough sometimes when you grow up somewhere you don't visit the classic 'visit' spots. Some of these you probably could knock out on class field trips but after that how many of these places have you been to? Are you a proud native or new local? Either way these are all "must see" places that should be checked off your Boise Bucket list.
The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial - This near acre educational park was designed by a local Idaho architect, the inspirational memorial combines the beauty of natural elements with messages of hope from various rights activists and speakers throughout history. It's a beautiful place to rest, refocus, recharge and reflect on human rights and Anne Frank’s belief in the goodness of humanity. It's quite moving. 770 S 8th St.
Barber Park - Floating down the Boise River seems to be a right of passage. Most people put in at Barber Park, then float downriver six miles to Ann Morrison Park. I am ready for this summertime fun adventure! Shuttles run between the two parks for a small fee. 4049 S Eckert Rd.
Union Pacific Mainline Depot - This depot was built in 1925 and is a fantastic example of Spanish architecture. Checking out the outside and the downtown Boise view from here is worth the visit. 2603 W Eastover Terrace.
Camel's Back Park - I love the view from the top, and my legs were crying and thanking me for the short, steep workout all at the same time. The view is sensational and the area around it had a lot of cool homes, restaurants and nightlife.
St. John's Cathedral - This stunning church was built in the Romanesque Revival style and inspired by the cathedrals of Germany. It is a masterpiece of architecture and size and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Idaho Botanical Garden - At 50 acres this is the gem states largest public garden. Located next door to the Old Idaho Penitentiary. (we'll get to that next) The garden once served as the farm and nursery to the penitentiary for inmates. Now it is a beautiful oasis for escaping the city. There are events and concerts that take place there. 2355 Old Penitentiary Road.
Old Idaho Penitentiary - The I have heard so many crazy stories about this place already! They opened in 1872 and housed some of the West’s most notorious criminals. Serious riots occurred in 1952, 1971 and 1973 over living conditions in the prison. Resident inmates were moved to the new Idaho State Correctional Institution south of Boise and the Old Idaho Penitentiary was closed on December 3, 1973. Their are tours which give you a close and personal look. 2445 Old Penitentiary Road.
Discovery Center - What a cool place for kids and adults with curious minds. They have rotating exhibits but always some fun staple activities for littles.
Ridge to Rivers Trail System - Boise, rightfully so, has been ranked over and over as one of the healthiest and most active cities in the country. We can attribute at least some of that to the city's emphasis on hiking and trail-running. The Ridge to Rivers system in the Boise foothills is a series of trails good for biking, hiking, or dog-friendly walks.
Idaho State Historical Museum - Such a special and unique place. There is a collection of over 250,000 objects, including a two-headed cow (mind blown.) They are constantly expanding and working with various history groups all over the city to keep things fresh and interesting.
Boise Greenbelt - The 25-mile Boise River Greenbelt is one of my very favorite things about this city. Probably because it is literally a stones throw away from my station, so I walk it as much as possible. It is a gorgeous walking trail that takes you right through the city and there are some amazing stops along the way.
World Center For Birds Of Prey - The World Center For Birds Of Prey is the national headquarters for the Peregrine Fund, which works for the conservation of raptors all over the world. The 580-acre center is also home to the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center, which offers interpretive exhibits, live birds of prey and demonstrations of the birds themselves. 5668 W. Flying Hawk Lane
The Flicks Theater - An awesome place to catch underrated, foreign, and independent films not shown in traditional theaters. Alcohol and food-friendly, there is also a large outdoor patio, plus the occasional live concert.
Idaho Black History Museum - A museum dedicated to the African-Americans who paved the way for Idaho and US history. It's quaint and spectacular, and features incredible art in a historic setting. Don't forget to sit on the bench and have a chat with the giant Abe Lincoln Statue right outside.
Julia Davis Park - Julia Davis Park is massive at almost 90 acres. It is settled right off the Green Belt and in the heart of the city. There is park benches, a pond, playground and lots of wildlife and beauty all around, along with all the geese, lots and lots of geese. 700 S. Capital Blvd.
Table Rock - It is incredible. A fairly easy and short hike and you will get to take in a stunning view of Boise. You cant miss the giant cross.
The Egyptian Theater - This Egyptian Revival-style theater opened in 1927. It is the oldest theatre in the city. During the pandemic they did a pretty major remodel and are thrilled to have guests in again enjoying everything from movies, to opera to comedy to concerts. 700 W. Main Street.
Zoo Boise - Home to a brand new baby anteater along with hundreds of other animals. It sits right along the Green Belt and surrounded by Julia Davis Park. 355 E. Julia Davis Drive.
MING Studios Art Gallery - Boise's art scene is vibrant and MING gallery rotates in socially and culturally relevant galleries by locals and through national partnerships. If you are into the arts this is a great place to mingle and admire.
Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center - I go here all the time. It is just a quick walk up the greenbelt from the station and is peaceful, neat and free. You can see an occasional deer, small critters, fish, and nesting birds. Lots of different fish viewing areas. My son Titus loves the 'Dinosaur Fish' -Sturgeon- there.
Lucky Peak - This massive reservoir just outside of Boise's downtown has a lot of fun outdoor options for exploring. My son loves Sandy Point where you can get beach like vibes with sand, water features and fun.
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