Best Things To Do In Boise Idaho & Other Great Ideas – [Packed With Local Tips]

Today we will be sharing some great tips on what to do in Boise Idaho that were shared with us from our Boise Local TripInsider correspondent, Seth.

Interesting Fact – Boise has the largest Basque population outside of Spain! Who knew! If you are feeling hungry, Seth has a great Basque culinary Airbnb cooking experience that you can check out during your stay.

Where to Stay in Boise Idaho

When visiting Boise our recommendation is to stay close to downtown, that is where all the excitement is located. A big second plus with is that you are close to the river, foothills for biking/hiking, and ski resort.

You will be spoilt for good value accomodation in Boise, you can check out some of the best Airbnb in Boise to get you started. Here are the three options we recommend.

1. North End

One of the oldest parts of the city, with a lot of character and comfort. It is close to everything, but provides a unique experience.

2. Downtown Boise

Plenty of places near downtown to rent. You are within walking distance of restaurants, bars, venues, history, etc.

3. Bench

Above the university and downtown. A little cheaper than downtown and north end, but still very close to everything, including the airport. There are some great restaurants on the bench, including good views of the city from up top.

boise idaho downtown

Downtown Boise – Credit: Mike Worley, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The 8 Best Restaurants in Boise, Idaho

  1. Bittercreek – A staple in Boise. Excellent pub food, great atmosphere, always packed and killer beer, wine, and liquor list.
  2. Juniper – Fun vibe, locally sourced food, great happy hour menu and drink list.
  3. Cloud Nine – Nano brewery with constantly rotating beer menu, plus an exceptional menu for a brewery. High quality ingredients.
  4. Tony’s Pizza– Authentic neapolitan pizza. Small restaurant, quaint, and romantic. Best pizza in town.
  5. Diablo & Sons– Innovative Mexican food and awesome atmosphere, fun decorations inside.
  6. Chandlers – High end steak place. Fancy dinner, great service.
  7. Bar Gernika – Basque pub food, great beer list, friendly and cozy vibe. Located on the Basque Block in downtown Boise, definitely a must stop.
  8. A’Tavola – Awesome marketplace in the Linen District near downtown. Great and inventive salads and sandwiches. Speciality food retail section, plenty of seating. Feels like something you would see in SF, Portland, or a bigger city.

Best Things To Do In Boise Idaho

Idaho has some great tourist attractions but without a idaho travel guide, it is hard to know what to do in boise during your Idaho vacation.

Check out some of these great places to go and let us know if you found any other great places we can add.

Best Free Things To Do In Boise Idaho

  • Hike around Bogus Basin during the summer or the Eastside trails near there
  • Hike behind Camel’s Back park in the foothill trails. Located in Hyde Park area.
  • Picnic and swim at the incredible waterpark at Esther Simplot park. You can walk over to the river and watch the surfers surf the hydraulic surf waves in the river.
  • Play on the Frisbee Golf course in Ann Morrison park
  • Grab a bike and ride along the beautiful tree-lined Boise River Greenbelt pathway that follows the river (25 miles)
  • Visit the Eagle Fish hatchery near the river and learn all about their efforts to prevent the extinction of Idaho sockeye salmon
  • Check out the Saturday Market downtown (May – October)
  • Tour JUMP and see the vintage steam engines and tractors dating as far back as 1885.

Surfing waves at Esther Simplot park

Best Bars In Boise Idaho & Nightlife

  • Hyde Park Area – Has a couple fun bars and it is a quaint and different from downtown (Parilla, 13th Street Pub & Grill)
  • Penguillys – great vibe, awesome live free music
  • Nerolux – great venue for shows, hipster bar, cheap drinks
  • Red FeatherPress & Pony & Modern Hotel – for inventive and awesome cocktails!
  • Balcony – for dancing
  • Bardenay – distills their own liquor, Good food too!
  • 10th Street Station – Hipster vibe, feels like the bar in the TV show Cheers
  • Mulligans – pool, cheap drinks, lots of energy
  • Art Haus – great cocktails, great decor, awesome team

Transport And Getting Around Boise

If you live close enough to downtown, you can walk there, bike there (rent bikes, there is a bike share program).

There is Uber and Lyft and also electric scooters here (Bird, Lime). There are buses, but wouldn’t be ideal for visitors.

The Boise Airport is super close to town, so it is very convenient

What To Do Near Boise Idaho

There is so much to do in the outdoors within a couple hours of Boise. Make sure you don’t visit Boise without checking out these great places as well.

  • Ketchum – wealthy super cute mountain town, great hiking and biking
  • McCall – awesome lake town, great in the summer
  • Sawtooths, White Clouds – Awesome mountain range for backpacking and hiking to lakes
  • Kirkham Hot Springs – incredible natural hot springs along the river
  • River Rafting – about 5 – 8 different stretches of rivers for class 3 – 5 white water rafting
  • Fishing – Boise river, along with the Payette rivers and lakes


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Clark Findlay
Clark Findlay

A world nomad and Co Founder of Trip Insiders. I former travel page editor, writer and good food lover. I've been traveling non stop for the last 2 years now and I've only just got started!

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