Boise is a great place to live and, like anywhere else, it has its own culture and a list of things you must do if you want to experience it to the fullest. A classic, quintessential Boise day would most likely occur during the weekend, on Saturday to be specific, and would include a visit to the farmer’s market, delicious local food, checking out the sights of downtown and, to wrap things up with some excitement, a football game at Boise State University.
Every Saturday, there is a farmer’s market downtown, along Idaho Street and 8th Street. The sections of these roads that include the market are closed off to vehicular traffic and over one hundred and thirty vendors pop up their white tents, ready to sell their local foods and crafts. During the peak of the summer season, thousands of shoppers can be found wandering the market, perusing the fresh produce and locally made products. There is always a massive line in front of the tent that is home to the incredibly popular mini donuts, and that’s because it is so worth it. They are quite delicious.
After exploring the Capital City Public Market, you might check out some more of the downtown destination hot spots. The path along the Boise River, known as the Greenbelt, is beautiful and takes you straight through the city. It’s a great way to view the beautiful local parks, access the local zoo, and visit the Boise State University Campus. You can travel this path for as short or as long of a distance as you want.
Visiting Table Tock is also a very classic Boise experience. Table Rock is a ridge in the foothills just outside of Boise where there are scenic views across the entire city from above. The surrounding foothills are full of leisure trails you may consider exploring. You can also opt to drive around the hill and approach the overlook spot from behind. Table Rock may be found from almost anywhere in town, especially at night, because of the large glowing cross placed on top of the small mountain. Boise’s Junior Chamber of Commerce, also known as the Jaycees Club of Boise, built the cross in 1956. From the top, some people like to compete with each other to see who can be the first to spot the main Boise landmarks which, from the top, look teeny tiny. It’s like the bird’s eye view version of “I Spy.” Directly under the ridge of Table Rock, on the steeply sloped ground is a giant cement “B” of course representing Boise. Most of the time it is white, but occasionally a spirited group of people will sneakily paint it. Most commonly they are high schoolers displaying pride in their school.
If you need a good lunch destination in town, the Boise Fry Company is an excellent choice. It’s hard not to go to a place with “Boise” in the name when you’re trying to experience Boise. They have been known to advertise as “fries with burgers on the side.” The experience here is unique because you have several options of the type of potato you want your fries to be made out of. You can choose between a russet, purple, gold, sweet, laura potatoes, or a yam, depending on what the season has yielded. You can also choose how you want your fries cut. Your choices can include regular, shoestring, curly, homestyle, or po’ balls. They always serve your fries unsalted so you can choose from the many in-house seasonings and sauces that are offered.
To conclude your Boise adventures, you absolutely have to go to a Boise State Football game at Albertson’s Stadium. If you haven’t enjoyed a live game on the Blue Turf, then you haven’t experienced Boise to the fullest. The Boise area is commonly and affectionately called “Bronco Nation,” in reference to the Boise State Broncos and their beloved football team. The fans are passionate and loyal and always ready to cheer on their Broncos. It is not uncommon to find on a gameday half of the population sporting Boise State gear of some kind. The blue turf in the stadium is a landmark. Stories are told about ducks flying overhead confusing the field for a lake and crashing into the turf trying to land on it for a nice swim. These stories turned out to be myths, but the image is still entertaining and is sometimes used to taunt a rivalry team, the Oregon Ducks. The blue turf, otherwise known as the “Smurf Turf”, was put down for the first time in the summer of 1986 to celebrate the school colors, blue and orange. The unique field color has been known to give the team quite an advantage, so when you go to a game, the Broncos may likely win. Also, if you need a snack while at the game, there are many vendors to choose from, including the same mini donuts that are found at the farmer’s market. So, if you didn’t get a chance to try them before, you can now. If you did have some already, you’ll probably want more.
Boise, Idaho has a lot to offer, and there are many things that add up to what is considered the quintessential Boise experience. You need to visit the market downtown, view the entire city from above at Table Rock, eat some local potatoes at the Boise Fry Company, and cheer on the Boise State Broncos as they play on their iconic blue turf. All of these things combined will give you an experience that sums up a great portion of the culture and vibes of Boise.