Boise Travel Guide
Downtown Boise © Lordchadwick79
Boise is nestled on a high desert plain in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and visitors will be hard-pressed to forget its proximity to the glories of Mother Nature. The Boise River flows directly through the centre of town, enhancing the 25-mile (40km) Greenbelt path system, which connects five major parks throughout Boise, providing runners, walkers, bikers and skaters with endless space for exercise. Boise's location makes it a convenient gateway to Idaho's great outdoors. Towering mountains lie to the north, including the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort, just a few minutes' drive from the city. Also easily accessible are natural sand dunes, hot springs and crystal clear mountain lakes.
Downtown Boise, however, is not without urban flair. Shops, galleries, restaurants and clubs radiate from the central Grove Plaza, where free concerts are staged throughout the summer and festive celebrations, including the lighting of an enormous Christmas tree, take place during the winter. Renovated historic buildings like the 8th Street Marketplace and Union Block offer unique shopping and dining experiences. Boise has an active downtown association, which promotes initiatives like First Thursdays, when city businesses stay open late and offer various promotions.
One must-do is to sample Boise's Basque cuisine. In the 1930s, a group of Basques left Europe and settled in Boise, joining the sheep-herding industry, which was quite strong at the time. Today, Boise has one of the largest concentrations of Basques in the world outside the Pyrenees. In Boise's Basque neighbourhood, visitors can enjoy the Basque market, traditional restaurants and various cultural events.