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Spotlight: Boise

Urban living mixes with the Great Outdoors in Idaho’s capital city

Boise ranks as the biggest city between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Portland, Oregon, but you wouldn’t know it when exploring the town’s outskirts. Take a stroll on the Ridge to Rivers trailhead, and in a few minutes of walking through the scenic foothills, you’ll forget that you’re a stone’s throw from a major city. The Boise River, likewise, offers a similar experience of total escape. Although the waterway runs through the town, a canoe ride or kayak cruise down the tree-lined river will carry you far from big-city cares.

After a long day of adventure, you’re just a short car ride from a craft brewery, ballet performance or fine dining. After all, this is the state capital, so big town amenities is an important part of the Boise mix.

Boise began as a camp for French-speaking fur traders, who named it “La rivière boisée,” which means “the wooded river.” The U.S. military established Fort Boise in the area when pioneers heading west fell under the threat of hostile Native Americans and outlaws.

After Boise was incorporated in 1863, the town began to rise as a vital transportation hub and center of commerce. Through the 20th century, it welcomed a thriving tourist trade, as recreation seekers used the city as a home base for river rafting, skiing and hiking. At the same time, the town became a hub for the high-tech and financial industries, attracting all of the cultural trappings that come with being a big town.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Boise’s Blend of Fun

Today, the town embraces its dual role as sophisticated city and launch pad for outdoor adventures. Pick an RV park and choose your adventure. Here are a few of the highlights to a visit to Boise.

• Craft brewing: Boise has made a name for itself in the craft brewing industry, with companies like 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Bier Thirty Bottle and Bistro opening their taps for thirsty customers. Take a Brews Cruise for a tour of all of the local breweries.

• Wine: The volcanic soil of the snake river valley combined with the region’s ample sunlight makes the area around Boise ideal area for vineyards. Several local wineries open their doors for tasting around town.

• High Culture: Downtown Boise showcases a slew of cultural offerings. The Boise Art Museum, Idaho Ann Frank Human Rights Memorial, And Boise Contemporary Theater will keep you busy. The Idaho Shakespeare Festival in town stages several dramas and comedies by the bard in spring and summer.

• Great Outdoors: If you’re not a city slicker, Boise’s got you covered. Just minutes away from town, you can float on the river, go mountain biking or hit the hiking trail. The city is flanked by two fantastic public lands: The Boise National Forest and the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. This is just scratching the surface. You could spend months making new discoveries in the wilds around Boise.

For More Information

Idaho Division of Tourism Development