Idaho Botanical Garden#3 in Best Things To Do in Boise
The Idaho Botanical Garden occupies more than 30 acres of what used to be the grounds of the Old 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 of workshops and events, such as the "Winter Garden aGlow," in which the garden lights up with hundreds of thousands of holiday lights. Although you can take a self-guided tour at your own leisure, the Idaho Botanical Garden also offers guided tours at no additional charge. Free tours are offered on select Thursdays and Saturdays, May through September.
Locals say there's no bad time to visit the Idaho Botanical Garden, thanks to the staff's ability to keep the grounds filled with seasonal plants. Other reviewers remarked on the diverse visitors that this attraction appeals to – from children to singles to even someone about to propose marriage or have their wedding. However, a few reviewers were disappointed with the garden's small size.
The Idaho Botanical Garden is located just a few miles east of downtown Boise, next to the Idaho State Penitentiary. The garden charges a general entrance fee of $8 for adults and $5 for youths ages 4 through 12. Kids ages 3 and younger get in for free. (Note: Additional admission charges may apply for special events, such as "Winter Garden aGlow.") You can walk through the garden for free Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:30 to 9 a.m. May through September. The garden is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hours may change in the winter. You'll also find a garden store and library on-site, as well as restrooms. For more information, visit the Idaho Botanical Garden's website.
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#1 Boise River Greenbelt
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 of downtown Boise, some commuters even use it as a route for reaching their workplaces. The tree-lined trail also winds past several of the city's most popular parks, including Kathryn Albertson Park and Julia Davis Park. What's more, the city created a scavenger hunt with a map and clues on its website that prompts visitors to explore the trail and learn more about the city's history along the way.
Travelers commonly described the area as relaxing and peaceful and enjoyed their experience walking their dogs or riding their bikes on the trail. Other travelers appreciated that the Boise Greenbelt isn't very crowded, but it still feels safe with lights illuminating the trail in most places.
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