Boise Travel Guide

USA  
Credit

Courtesy of Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Boise

As the capital and most populous city in Idaho, Boise contains a host of things to do, ranging from outdoor attractions, such as the Boise River Greenbelt, the Kathryn Albertson Park and the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. But its downtown area is a great place to explore as well, and several unique attractions, such as the Old Idaho Penitentiary and the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, are worth including on your itinerary.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated November 28, 2017

  • #1
    Boise River Greenbelt
    View all Photos
    #1 in Boise
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Boise River Greenbelt stretches 25 miles along the Boise River and offers runners, joggers, walkers and cyclists a beautiful place to get some exercise. Since it travels through the heart ofdowntown Boise, some commuters even use it as a route for reaching their workplaces. The tree-lined trail also winds

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Kathryn Albertson Park
    View all Photos
    #2 in Boise
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The 41-acre Kathryn Albertson Park is filled with broad footpaths and peppered with gazebos, which are ideal for the main attraction here: wildlife watching. Along with various waterfowl, herons and owls, this park contains salamanders, turtles, bullfrogs, beavers and rabbits, among other wildlife. In fact, the park prohibits dogs between

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Idaho Botanical Garden
    View all Photos
    #3 in Boise
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Idaho Botanical Garden occupies more than 30 acres of what used to be the grounds of theOld Idaho Penitentiary, but now those acres are filled with gardens ranging in theme from succulents to roses to native Idaho plants. There are also vegetable, herb and meditation gardens, and a lineup

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
    View all Photos
    #4 in Boise
    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Occupying less than an acre of space, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a park "inspired by Anne Frank's faith in humanity," according to the City of Boise. Designed by Idaho Falls architect Kurt Karst, the educational park employs natural elements, such as water, stone and native flora,

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Downtown Boise
    View all Photos
    #5 in Boise
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Downtown Boise – or Boise's central business district – sits north of the Boise River and welcomes visitors with its local restaurants, shops and attractions. Here you'll find the Idaho State Capitol Building and the nearby Zoo Boise and Albertsons Stadium, home to the Boise State Broncos football team. Two

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area
    View all Photos
    #6 in Boise
    Hiking, Recreation, Skiing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Skiing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Less than a 20-mile drive north ofdowntown Boise, the Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area attracts visitors to its ski and snowboard slopes in the winter and its hiking trails in the summer. Bogus Basin also provides skiing and snowboarding lessons – and a lodge to relax and enjoy a bite

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Old Idaho Penitentiary
    View all Photos
    #7 in Boise
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Old Idaho Penitentiary started receiving criminals to its cell blocks, solitary confinement and even gallows back in 1872 – and closed in 1973, after a prison riot. Over the 101-year timespan, Old Pen – as it's sometimes called – housed more than 13,000 inmates. Now listed on the National

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Wineries
    View all Photos
    #8 in Boise
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Tours, Wineries/Breweries
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    In the last few decades, Idaho's wine industry has experienced remarkable growth. According to Visit Idaho, the state contains upward of 50 wineries and more than 1,200 acres of vineyards – including a handful or so within striking distance to Boise.

    ...Read More »
  • #9 in Boise
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    To learn about the Basque history and heritage, the Basque Museum & Cultural Center is a must-do. Established in 1985, the museum is the only Basque museum in the United States and its mission is to educate visitors on Basque history in Idaho and worldwide. The exhibits tell a narrative

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Boise

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019