Boise is by far the largest city in the great state of Idaho, and as such, you’ll find so many great things to do there. Whether you just recently moved to the city, have lived there for a long time, or are just paying a visit, you are sure to find something fresh, new, and fun to do in the city. There are some really interesting and unique tourist attractions to check out, some places that are favorites to the locals, and of course, just like the rest of the state, Boise is home to some absolutely amazing sights to see that will take your breath away.
One classic spot where many enjoy spending a day in the Boise area is Zoo Boise. As the biggest zoo available in the Gem State, Zoo Boise does not disappoint when it comes to great attractions and exhibits. Some of the more popular of these include Lions, Red Pandas, Bald Eagle, Snow Leopards as well as rarer creatures like Bald Eagles, Amur Tigers, and Komodo Dragons! While these cool creatures are a big part of the zoo’s popularity, what really makes Zoo Boise stand out is their hands-on exhibits, including exhibits allowing visitors to feed sloth bears and giraffes. However, the most memorable and beloved part of this zoo is probably the “Butterflies in Bloom” exhibit that can be visited in the summer, which gives guests a tour of an open exhibit where colorful butterflies fly all over and around you. Truly unforgettable! Zoo Boise’s mission is ultimately to inspire people to participate in wildlife conservation and really learn about the animals there. Their mission and wonderful exhibits make this attraction a must to have the full Boise experience!
If after paying a visit to the zoo you are still on an animal kick, make sure you go to the Aquarium of Boise! This fantastic place has been a huge hit entertaining visitors since its opening in 2011. The exhibits are awe-inspiring to look at, including the popular Shark and Puffer exhibit featuring pufferfish as well as many different species of shark, the Amazon exhibit showing off aquatic creatures from South America, the Reptile exhibit which puts on display countless interesting reptile species, and the Shark Nursery which is where visitors can look at newborn baby sharks. Much like Zoo Boise, the real standout of the Aquarium is the many interactive exhibits that allow visitors to get close to and even touch these amazing sea creatures! There are several tide pools that allow people to reach in and feel starfish, sea urchins, and lobsters, and even one giving you the opportunity to pet sharks and rays! Other neat experiences at the Aquarium of Boise are the Amazing Angels exhibit (feed and pet fish from the tropical parts of the Pacific Ocean), the Bird Aviary (much like Zoo Boise’s “Butterflies in Bloom”, giving guests an opportunity to have colorful birds land on their shoulder), and even a Russian Tortoise living in a sunken ship! This plethora of interactive attractions at the Aquarium of Boise truly makes it a standout in the Boise area for anyone wanting to check out the best the Treasure Valley area has to offer.
One of the best things about the Gem State is the amazing hiking and bicycling trails. Not only are they an excellent way to experience fresh Idaho air, but they are also the ideal way to view the very beautiful sights that the state is so famous for. Not only is the area surrounding Boise covered with some of the very best of these hiking trails in McCall and the many mountain resorts, but there are some great places to go for a hike right in the city itself! The Greenbelt along the Boise River is perhaps the best way to discover some of the magnificent sights in and around the city. The Greenbelt goes right through many of the city parks and is a peaceful location to take a stroll, consider a bike ride, find some local wildlife, or even contemplate bird-watching or fishing! The Boise River itself is a staple of the city, and traveling along it and experiencing the refreshing environment of Idaho is ideal for experiencing the city of Boise.
If you are enjoying the Boise area and happen to be a history buff, don’t forget to visit the time capsule known as Old Boise. This place was quite busy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but throughout the later 1900s, this part of the city became neglected until it was basically abandoned other than a couple of businesses. Luckily, in the 1970s, several investors bought many of the rundown buildings, remodeling and restoring the buildings that used to be icons of the early years of Boise. It is definitely an interesting place to visit, with the history written all over! There are several museums depicting this history, including the only Basque culture museum in the United States as well as the Idaho State Penitentiary, which was once home to many outlaws of the Old West but is now a museum displaying all kinds of things that Old West criminals were up to in the state’s early years.
You may not consider Idaho a place to go for a winter vacation, but when you discover what Boise has to offer in the winter, you just might change your mind. Bogus Basin Ski Resort is one of the best of Idaho’s many fantastic ski resorts. They have excellent slopes to ski and snowboard for both beginners and experts, as well as a hill for sledding down on a tube and gorgeous trails for snowshoeing!
There are so many cool things to do in the Boise area, both indoor and outdoor, and both summer and winter! Great skiing and snowboarding in the winter or a nature hike in the summer will make your time in Boise memorable, as well as the abundance of tourist attractions, parks, museums, and zoo, that are enjoyable any time of year!