15 Best Things To Do in Boise

Visiting Boise, the capital of Idaho, is a fun and adventure filled experience. Located on the gorgeous Boise River, it is a land of both lush greenery and urban elegance. 

A place with plentiful of parklands, art and science museums, gardens, zoo, aviary and several other interesting attractions, Boise offers almost an endless range of leisure and adventure activities to tourists. 

Here's our handpicked 15 Best Things to do in Boise, United States – 

Boise - imageImage source: wikimedia.org

1. See the shark nursery at the Aquarium of Boise

Sprawling huge over 10,000 square feet, the Aquarium of Boise is one of its kind. 

This interactive aquarium offers visitors a hands-on approach with exhibits, providing unique "touch tanks" of crabs, starfish, ray fish, corals and so on. The aquarium also houses giant octopus tanks. Its unique shark nursery showcases everything about the life cycle of sharks.

The aquarium is the most popular destination among tourists to Boise. 

2. Discover science at the Discovery Center Idaho

Discovery Center Idaho is a massive science center with over 200 exhibits related to science, technology, math, and engineering. All exhibits here are interactive in nature, some of the popular ones being the Bubble Wall and the Turbulent Orb. 

The Center hosts varied educational events on subjects such as science fiction, dinosaurs, the science of music and sound, the art of papermaking and more. Weekly Sunday educational sessions are held so that children can learn all about science while having fun. 

The Science Center remains popular among all kinds of tourists and all age groups.

3. Explore the Boise Art Museum

The Boise Art Museum, housing a massive collection of modern art displayed in unique rotating as well we static exhibits, is frequented by all art-loving tourists.  

The museum spanning over 30,000 square feet includes an education center and a unique outdoor sculpture garden. It also has a museum shop selling art-related souvenirs and gift items. 

The museum is Boise's popular tourist attraction since the 1930s. 

4. Trek the scenic trails at Boise River Greenbelt

On the scenic banks of River Boise stands the 25 miles long Boise River Greenbelt. The parkland cuts through the center of Boise and is crisscrossed by trails and a ten-mile-long bike path. 

Visitors come here to enjoy the stunning view and the local flora and fauna, join the popular hikes, such as the Idaho Birding Trail, the Bethine Church River Trail and more. There's even one scavenger hunt hike that has an added historical touch to it.

5. Get Adventurous at the Barber Park 

Barber Park, running along the banks of River Boise, is very popular among adventure lovers and tourists, for the vast range of adventure activities it offers. 

Situated near downtown Boise, the park offers visitors activities such as kayaking, rafting, hiking, and trekking. Birdwatchers love to look for the famous and rare bald eagles here. People also play around in the dotted playgrounds or watch deer. 

6. Adopt a Wild Pet in Boise Zoo 

The Boise zoological park houses a huge number of animal species for visitors to enjoy.

The uniquely themed sections of the zoo, such as the Butterflies in Bloom and the Sloth Bear Encounter, are huge attractions among both adults and children. An Animal Presentations Area serves as an educational center for children to learn all about wildlife. Children are even allowed to feed farm animals such as sheep and goats by hand. The zoo hosts overnight events and parties with food and activities. Some of the popular ones are Breakfast with The Lions and Bowling for Rhinos.

Visitors are encouraged to adopt animals. Upon adoption, the patron and their adopted animal's names and pictures are put on a plaque and displayed right next to the animal’s exhibit for the next whole year.

7. Go Skiing in the Bogus Basin 

The Bogus Basin, situated only 20 miles away from downtown Boise, is a massive 3000 acres of natural beauty and a round-the-year activity zone. 

During the winters, the Basin is a skier’s ultimate dream. Interspersed with about 37,000 Nordic trails, tubing trails, and snowshoe trails, the Bogus Basin remains thronged by amateur and professional skiers between mid-November and mid-April. Detailed snow reports are available on their website, so tourists are well informed and equipped. 

In the summer months, when skiing closes, Bogus Basin turns into an ideal area for downhill mountain biking, trekking, and hiking on a well charted and comprehensive trail system. Tourists can rent yurts. Every weekend there's even live music on the mountain for music lovers. 

8. Go hiking in the Boise National Forest

Spread over a vast 2,000,000 acres north of the city of Boise, the Boise National Forest is another all-year-round multipurpose attraction. 

In the summer, locals and tourists visit this area to trail hike, bike, and Trek. During the winters, the snowclad area turns into a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. The forest office also conducts water-based fun activities such as water-skiing during the winter months. 

9. Watch magnificent birds at the World Center for Birds of Prey

A unique endeavor to preserve the endangered and rare birds of prey, the World Center for Birds of Prey, housing the famous Peregrine Fund, is renowned conservation for raptors. The Center offers visitors varied hands-on activities and presentations, besides bird watching. 

The ‘World Center for Birds of Prey’ is home to various birds of prey, such as eagles, falcons, condors, and more. These magnificent birds are kept on-site to facilitate their breeding thereafter to be released into the wild. It also conducts observational research. 

There is Velma Morrison Interpretive Center inside, that introduces these feathered residents to the visitors. They conduct popular programs for visitors such as live raptor presentations and educational exhibit tours. There is also a quarter-mile long guided nature trail available for tourists to spot wild raptors. 

10. Go hiking up the Camel’s Back Park 

A strange sounding name of a park, situated at the edge of the Boise welcomes visitors all year round offering them a wide range of activities. The Camel's Back Park is an 11 acres wide manmade park with tennis courts, an outdoor gym, picnic areas and open-air play areas.  The park houses all relevant playground equipment too. 

Much popular among local and national tourists throughout the warmer months, the Camel's Back Park hosts unique access points to the Boise foothills, the Boise River and the marvelous and massive Ridge to Rivers trail. The two miles of this larger trail system is housed within Camel's Back Park, and tourists frequently climb it up to grab a panoramic and spectacular view of Boise.

11. Take a tour of the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

Situated in the Boise Cultural District, Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is visited by thousands of tourists every year. 

The Memorial dedicated to human rights, it houses a bronze statue of Anne Frank, along with 60 quotes from world leaders and human rights advocates from all of history. As a symbol of peace, brotherhood and human rights for all, the garden of the Memorial houses unique trees and flowers from around the globe, dedicated benches and statues of human rights stalwarts. 

12. Relish the unique flora at the Idaho Botanical Garden 

Idaho Botanical Garden is located at the erstwhile Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise. After the prison was officially closed down the community there propagated this second yard as the horticultural garden. 

Established in 1984, the garden continues to grow, bloom and flourish, with about fourteen specialty gardens within its boundaries. Each thematically landscaped garden has a unique focus, ranging from contemporary English to Meditative to an heirloom Rose Garden. The last one houses more than 300 roses that belong to 107 unique varieties. 

The botanical garden is a popular attraction for tourists to Boise.

13. Explore ethnic history at The Basque Museum and Cultural Center

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center is housed in one of the very few remaining original Basque boarding houses from the bygone era, the historic Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga house. As the name suggests, this Museum and Cultural Center is dedicated to preserve and promote the Basque heritage history. 

The museum showcases a wide range of Basque artifacts and exhibits, including traditional Basque music, a sheep wagon replica and several early historical archives. While the Center offers pre-scheduled guided tours for visitors, a self-guided tour too can be availed by anyone who drops in.

14. Go farm fresh at Capital City Public Market

West Bannock Street, Boise houses the Capital City Public Market, selling some of the freshest local farm products, food, and local art. This open-air market operational since 1994 has, over the years, grown to host above 150 local farmers and vendors each day. 

Both locals and tourists visit this market to pick up a bagful of yummy baked items, farm fresh fruit and vegetables, freshwater fish and meat and more. 

This hot and happening market hosts special events such as Bike to Market (in the Bike Month), Wiggly Worms (a children's educational program on composting of red wiggler worm) and varied musical performances. 

15. Take a conducted comprehensive tour on a Trolley 

The Boise Trolley Tours is a unique guided tour company that offers a wide range of guided tours in trolleys, guided by Boise natives with extensive knowledge of the history and culture of the region. 

Visitors can take a daily 75-minute narrated tour of downtown Boise, conducted from May through September.  Unique open-air replica trolleys carry tourists through the Basque Block, passing the Hyde Park, the Idaho State Capitol, the mansions of Warm Springs, and other historical hotspots.

Popular among locals and visitors are the exceptional-themed trolley tours. The 21+ Halloween Tour takes visitors to the Frightened Felons Event in the Old Pen. 

 

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Boise, Idaho

Must see places in Boise ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Boise and point of interests to visit.

  1. Boise Greenbelt

    #1 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Boise Greenbelt

    Address: Boise, ID, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Boise River Greenbelt, a greenway that goes along the lines of Boise river while passing through the centre of the city and interconnecting 15 different parks to each other is deemed as one of the mos...Read more

  2. World Center For Birds Of Prey

    #2 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    World Center For Birds Of Prey

    Address: 5668 W Flying Hawk Ln, Boise, ID 83709, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    You can plan to take a tour of the World Center For Birds Of Prey with your tour companions. Since the year 1970, this organisation has been conserving the birds that hunt to live. Located on the top ...Read more

  3. Old Idaho Penitentiary

    #3 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Old Idaho Penitentiary

    Tags: Exhibition

    Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712, USA

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    A former prison, the place now serves as a popular tourist spot for travelers who wish to have a peek in its unique history that was once accompanied by some of the most notorious criminals of their t...Read more

  4. Idaho State Capitol

    #4 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Idaho State Capitol

    Tags: Architecture , Heritage Building

    Address: 700 W Jefferson St, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    The capitol building although being a government property, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Idaho, thanks to its unique architecture and elegant, almost ethereal look. Situated in the...Read more

  5. Idaho Anne Frank Memorial

    #5 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Idaho Anne Frank Memorial

    Tags: Memorial

    Address: 770 S 8th St, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    More of an educational park, the place was brought to life in 2002 to increase awareness among people regarding human rights issues. The sublime surrounding it is known for has been inspired by the li...Read more

  6. Kathryn Albertson Park

    #6 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Kathryn Albertson Park

    Tags: Park, Wildlife Park

    Address: 1001 N Americana Blvd, Boise, ID 83706, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    A splendid park spread over 41 acre lush green landscape and rich in wildlife and natural beauty. The park is adorned with clean paved pathways and gorgeous gazebos making it one of the most happening...Read more

  7. Boise Escape

    #7 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Boise Escape

    Tags: Entertainment

    Address: 1074 N Cole Rd, Boise, ID 83704, USA

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm Details

    A fun attraction for adventurous souls with an ardent love for challenges and excitement. As the name suggests, Boise escape is basically a playing zone where players are locked up in a room and need ...Read more

  8. Idaho Botanical Garden

    #8 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Idaho Botanical Garden

    Tags: Botanical Garden

    Address: 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Idaho Botanical Garden is a non-profit garden located in the Old Penitentiary District of Boise and stands as an educational centre for explorers and nature lovers. Once established as a nursery, it n...Read more

  9. Julia Davis Park

    #9 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Julia Davis Park

    Tags: Park

    Address: 700 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 12:00 pm Details

    Julia Davis Park has been the first and largest park in the ‘String of Pearls’ group, a series of parks established and maintained by Boise Parks and Recreation Department in Boise. The pl...Read more

  10. The Basque Museum And Cultural Center

    #10 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    The Basque Museum And Cultural Center

    Tags: Museum

    Address: Old Boise, LLC, 611 W Grove St, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    Timings: 10:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Established in 1985, the museum stands as a paradigm of Basque community and its once much prevalent culture which is an undisputed part of city’s history. The community, with their efforts and ...Read more

  11. Bogus Basin

    #11 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Bogus Basin

    Tags: Ski Resort

    Address: Idaho 83629, USA

    A very famous ski resort in the city of Boise, the place is the ultimate solace for adventurous souls up for some thrill and fun. What makes this resort even more desirable for the tourists is its hig...Read more

  12. Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center

    #12 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center

    Tags: Park

    Address: 600 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Sitting along the side of Boise River Greenbelt, this natural habitat lets you have a thorough peek in the beautiful realm of wildlife and nature. Covering an area of 4.6 acre, this wild abode sportin...Read more

  13. Camel's Back Park

    #13 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Camel's Back Park

    Tags: Park, Picnic Spot

    Address: 1200 Heron St, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    One of the busiest parks in the town, the place sees a lot of rush every day, all thanks to its rich natural surrounding that seems to bring out the most picturesque view for visitors to relish and en...Read more

  14. Ridge To Rivers

    #14 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Ridge To Rivers

    Tags: Trail, Nature

    Address: 3190 Sunset Peak Rd, Boise, ID 83702, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    A well-crafted trail system that chalks through the entire city creating an interconnecting web of beautiful roads and seamless surrounding. Adorned with vibrant plants and various wildlife, it is har...Read more

  15. Boise Train Depot

    #15 of 759 Things To Do in Boise
    Boise Train Depot

    Tags: Architecture

    Address: 2603 W Eastover Terrace, Boise, ID 83706, USA

    Timings: 01:00 pm - 08:00 pm Details

    It is a unique piece of architecture located few miles away from the centre of the city. The elegant building with its Spanish style designs serves as a lovely muse for historians and art lovers. Ince...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Boise

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Top Boise Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Boise. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • White Water Rafting, Hells Canyon, Snake River
    White Water Rafting, Hells Canyon, Snake River New on TripHobo

    Duration: 2 Days

    2 Days, 1 NightRafting in Hells Canyon on the Snake River, the deepest river gorge in North America which features the bigges...

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  • Snake River Scenic Boat Cruise
    Snake River Scenic Boat Cruise New on TripHobo

    Duration: 2 Hrs 15 Mins

    What you can expect: About 2 hours aboard the Rivers Mist cruising on the Snake RiverAn enclosed 52' boat with numerous windo...

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  • Sunday Brunch Tour in Downtown Boise
    Sunday Brunch Tour in Downtown Boise 1 Reviews

    Duration: 2 Hrs 30 Mins

    Discover Boise's Culinary & Cultural Treasures and enjoy the best breakfast eateries in Boise by taking theCapital City S...

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  • Boise Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Flight
    Boise Hot Air Balloon Sunrise Flight New on TripHobo

    Duration: 3 Hrs

    This hot air balloon flight in Boise welcomes you to a life time experience of taking a 45 minute adventure on one of our hot...

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Find more places to see in Boise

  • Idaho Historical Society

    2205 E Old Penitentiary Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Bishops' House

    2420 E Old Penitentiary Rd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • US Assay Office

    210 W Main St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Dry Creek Historical Society

    5006 W Farm Ct

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • St Mary's Catholic Church

    26TH Sts

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Joseph Chitwood House

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Lucky Peak Reservoir

    Lakes
  • Lucky Peak Dam and Lake - WallaWallaUSACE

    9723 E Highway 21

    Lakes
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  • Idaho Black History Museum

    508 E Julia Davis Dr

    Museums
  • Old Idaho Penitentiary

    2445 E Old Penitentiary Rd

    Museums
  • Discovery Center of Idaho

    131 W Myrtle St

    Museums
  • Boise Depot

    2603 W Eastover Ter

    Museums
  • Boise Art Museum

    670 E Julia Davis Dr

    Museums
  • Idaho Museum of Mining & Geology

    2455 E Old Penitentiary Rd

    Museums
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  • Fast Lane Indoor Kart Racing

    12048 W Franklin Rd

    Amusement Parks
  • True Paintball

    3131 W Harvard St

    Amusement Parks
  • El Korah Shrine Circus

    1118 W Idaho St

    Amusement Parks Landmarks
  • Planet Kid

    1875 S Century Way

    Amusement Parks
  • Gameworld

    7709 W Overland Rd

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Boise Tour Train

    602 E Julia Davis Dr

    Amusement Parks
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  • Harry's of Hyde Park

    1501 N 13th St

    American Barbecue Bars
  • Quinn's Restaurant & Lounge

    1005 S Vista Ave

    American Delis Bars
  • Twisted Timber Pub & Grill

    4563 S Cloverdale Rd

    Mexican Bars Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses
  • Eastside Tavern

    610 E Boise Ave

    Bars Mexican
  • Front Door

    105 S 6th St

    Pizza Bars
  • Symposion

    2801 W Fletcher St

    Bars Burgers
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  • Gambling Analytics

    1716 N 10th St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Eldorado Hotel Casino

    6505 N Salvia Way

    Casinos and Gaming Resorts
  • 1 Away Bingo

    1118 N 62nd Pl

    Casinos and Gaming
  • 1 Away Bingo

    2120 E Fairview Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
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  • Pine Grove Park

    Dog Parks
  • Cypress Park

    4382 S Tableridge Way

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Nampa Dog Park

    2900 2ND St S

    Dog Parks
  • Meridian Dog Park Meridian Id

    Dog Parks
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  • Sandy Point Beach

    Beaches
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  • Bob's Trail

    Hiking
  • Corrals

    Hiking
  • 16 Table Rock Trail

    Hiking
  • Harrison Hollow Trail Head

    Hiking
  • Bench Sewer District

    Hiking
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  • Idaho Angler

    1682 S Vista Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association

    711 N 5th St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Idaho Gun & Outdoors

    8249 W Overland Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Trout Shop

    641 N Five Mile Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Waterworks Lamson

    2772 S Cole Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Cliff's Guns Safes & Reloading

    655 N Five Mile Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
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