When you think of the City of Trees, what comes to your mind? If you are a resident of Idaho, the actual city was probably on your mind. But really, Boise is a fantastical city surrounded by the magic of Idaho’s natural spender. It has done a lot to earn the name City of Trees since it came into being with so many trees planted within and without the city and a vibe that makes it difficult to realize a difference between Boise and the rest of Idaho that there is less city and more nature. Boise is a city worth exploring but since it is the largest city in Idaho, you are probably going to need a few highlights to start with. Here are the parts of the city you might consider making a point to visit early in your tour.
I would say the main point of interest in Bosie and the place where all of the hubbubs tends to go down is the Boise River Greenbelt. The Boise River is a defining feature of the Boise area as the water goes right through the middle of the city and all kinds of different stuff are set up to go on along that part of things. Many cities have a lot of activity around a river but Boise is a little special. Where other cities might have commerce that occurs on their main river and the water is all dirty, Boise takes special care to preserve the natural flavor of their Boise River so that it can be a nice play to hang around. There are many parts of the Potomac or the River Thames in London that you would not want to hang out around but the Boise River is pretty much all beautiful all the time. There are concert venues set up around the river and it is where many of the city’s best attractions can be found, including museums, human rights monuments, and the cities best zoo (Only zoo, really). Then, of course, there are all of the other things that can be found in any green belt you might find anywhere. There are hiking trails, biking paths, parks with playsets for children, parks without playsets for adults to enjoy, and the scenery. Going to the Boise River Greenbelt is like going to a convention or festival that is always taking place. There is so much to do there and all of is different.
History is pretty essential to the Idaho culture. More than other parts of the country, Idahoans really like to learn more about what happened in the past and how it transpired to make Idaho into the state it is today. One of the most important things in Idaho’s history was the Oregon Trail. It was the path that so many settlers used to make their way out west and turn that part of the country into a civilized home. Without the Oregon Trail, Idaho would not be a state today. Of course, there probably would have been some other trail with a different name but we got the Oregon Trail. Whatever the case, there is a part of the Oregon Trail that passed right through Boise. There is a landmark there now if you want to visit and get an idea of what it might have looked like for those settlers coming through Idaho, either on their way to another part of the country or to the budding town of Boise itself. The area has obviously changed quite a bit since the days of oxcart and horse, but the hills and mountains are still the same as they were. If you just ignore all the modern buildings and jet contrails, maybe you can pretend you are on the Oregon Trail with the people who originally used it.
Technically, the next place I am going to talk about is outside of Boise, but it is very close (No other city in the state comes close) and it is just too interesting to ignore. The World Center for Birds of Prey sits a handful of miles south of Boise. What is the World Center for Birds of Prey? Essentially, it is a major facility for the organization known as the Peregrine Fund, an institution dedicated to preserving all of the different species of bird of prey that populate the United States (And the rest of the world). The rise of humanity (Along with other ecological factors) has made it difficult for many different animal species to cope and survive, but birds of prey seem to have been hit the hardest. They have smaller populations and are more vulnerable to certain human inventions like pollution and electric lines. The World Center for Birds of Prey has two major goals. The first is to replenish bird of prey population. They breed new birds and release them into the wild. The second goal is to educate the world about the problems these birds face and how they can be saved from endangerment and extinction.
Keep in mind that the Boise Metropolitan area is not really a city alone. The Boise Metropolitan Area is a conglomeration of many different cities that form together to make what most call the greater Treasure Valley. There are a few major cities including Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell and then several smaller cities and towns in and among them. While Boise has a lot of cool things to do within and without its city limits, there are also some very cool things in these other cities and it does not take much driving or even an extended jaunt to get to them.