Picture this. You step outside in the center of town and find a 25-mile long riverside Greenbelt path, a Ridge to Rivers trail system leading into wild and scenic foothills, or one of the expansive, interconnected parks lining the city. And you can be enjoying any one of them in under five minutes. Really.
Mountains and museums. Restaurants and rivers. Festivals and fresh air. Many people find Boise to be a surprising blend of urban and outdoors—big enough to have all the comforts of a big city, yet small enough to make it easy to enjoy it all.
Catch a trout in the afternoon…and a ballet at night. Boise, the capital of Idaho and the largest metropolitan center between Portland and Salt Lake City, offers beauty and adventure both outdoors and within our thriving arts scene. You’ll find installations, murals and public art around the city, and can tour the Boise Art Museum, Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Zoo Boise, the hands-on Discovery Center of Idaho, several historical museums and other cultural hotspots within a few blocks of one another.
Nationally-renowned theater and performing arts companies also call Boise home, including the Boise Contemporary Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Idaho, Idaho Dance Theater, Idaho’s premier performing arts center the Velma V. Morrison Center. We also have Opera Idaho, the Boise Philharmonic, Knock ‘em Dead Dinner Theater. The Idaho Botanical Garden has beautiful gardens, an annual winter light show and hosts outdoor concerts in the summer. Boise is host to various festivals all year long and almost every weekend in the summer including a hot air balloon festival, Soul Food Extravaganza, Art in the Park and the Hyde Park Street fair, just to name a few.
As the biggest metropolitan area between Portland and Salt Lake City, Boise is a shopping destination for upscale and anchor retail stores, as well as a host of one-of-a-kind local businesses. Whatever your taste (or budget), Boise has something that fits. Downtown Boise features several shopping districts, each with its own feel. Check on the posh outlets in BoDo, the modern vibe of The Linen District and the classic storefronts in Old Boise. Walk a few blocks more and visit Hyde Park, the quaint, lively center of the North End neighborhood.
Boise’s food scene is diverse and delicious with distinctly Idaho highlights, often using ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches. In downtown Boise nearly every style of food and attitude is on display—from swank lounge menus to casual pub fare to ethnic cuisines. At night, the downtown core becomes a full-on playground. There is an active local and regional music scene and venues often feature live entertainment. Boise is home to a distillery, several breweries and several wineries in the surrounding Snake River Valley. With all of the local produce each summer the Capital City Market runs each Saturday from May through October where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and wines, as well as arts and crafts by local artists.
The "City of Trees" is full of recreation, culture, food, and family fun. With a delightful four-season climate, Idaho’s capital city sites at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains along the clear Boise River.
Boise's recent awards and recognition include:
#1 Overall Town in Western U.S. – Outside Magazine
Best Places to live and work; Best Places to Live at Any Age – Sunset Magazine
10 Best Big Cities for Active Families – Outside Magazine
#1 Mountain Biking Town – Bike Magazine
#1 Adventure City – National Geographic Adventure
Here are some websites to help you learn more about any particular areas of interest – and more about our exciting city and beautiful state. (We've excerpted a number of brochures from these sites with items of interest; see the sidebar links to those, too.)
- VisitIdaho.org includes information on climate, cost of living, education, housing, employment, and more.
- Boise Chamber of Commerce has information about real estate, education, health care, relocation, dining, the arts, entertainment, and recreation.
- The Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Boise City Department of Arts and History Resource Guide
- Downtown Boise Association
- Capitol City Market (Saturdays)
- Boise State University