Within 20 seconds of meeting me for the first time, you’ll know I’m from Boise, Idaho. I’ll proudly (and unpromptedly) tell you. Occasionally, I’ll throw in a few fun facts about the city of trees.
I’m sure I can get pretty obnoxious about Boise. Actually, I know. I will continue bringing Boise up every chance I get. Yes, I’m used to seeing the annoyed reactions.
How people respond: oh yeah? that’s nice!
What they’re really saying: we get it. you’re from Boise, Idaho and you’re weirdly obsessed. where is Idaho anyway??
I actually get that last question a lot. In various forms:
Where is Idaho…like on a map?
Is that next to Iowa? No, wait, near Ohio?
Idaho is in the midwest, right?
Before you assume Boise is just full of potatoes, read me out on why I’m so in love with this city.
A few basic facts about Boise, Idaho:
- Elevation: 2,840 ft above sea level
- Sunny Days: 234 (thanks, Weather Channel)
- Average summer high temp: 90.2 F (and the summer is nice & DRY).
- Average winter low temp: 21.6 F (still can’t get used to it).
- Population: 223,154 (2016) — and it’s grown significantly since — hi, California.
Alright, let’s get to the good stuff.
The Great Outdoors
Nature lovers rejoice! There are so many outdoor activities to partake in, it’s ridiculous. There are endless trails to hike and bike, hot springs to soak in, mountains to explore, rivers to navigate – something for everyone, really. You might even stumble upon gems while hiking like this one:
It’s no secret Boise has grown – it’s now buzzing with microbreweries, clothing and merch shops, and new restaurants. Hungry for delicious tacos? You’re in the right spot. Are you a coffee lover? We got you. Want to catch up with a friend over drinks at a speakeasy-esque bar? No problem. You’ll never run out of options for great local food and unique products. We Think Boise First.
Beer, Beer, and more Beer
As a beer lover – I have never felt like I’m being left out of the beer scene in Boise, Idaho. There are SO many breweries to choose from, you’ll be hopping all over the place. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Payette Brewing Company
- Boise Brewing
- Woodland Empire Ale Craft
- 10 Barrell Brewing Company
- Cloud 9 Brewery
- Western Collective Beer (New)
Treefort Music Fest
To those that say Boise doesn’t have a music or art scene – where have you been? Treefort is on its 8th year of bringing Boise great musical acts, workshops, and activities. They have a “fort” for everyone – Alefort, Yogafort, Hackfort, Comedyfort just to name a few. I recently admitted to a friend that I had never been to Treefort. I know, I’m really embarrassed and ashamed. I have suffered from extreme FOMO all these years, living vicariously through pictures of the 4-day event. Timing was never on my side but 2019 is the year I finally attend Treefort! March can’t come soon enough!
A never-ending path along the Boise River where people run, bike, walk, skate – and now even ride Birds – in harmony.
Fun fact: Boise is among one of the top best bike cities in America.
Also check out: Boise Bicycle Project – this nonprofit is doing amazing things.
You can explore pretty much all of downtown Boise within 24 hours, but the events and activities that fill this baby city are endless. We never run out of things to do, year-round.
The Basque Culture
Boise is a hub for Basque culture – in fact, a large concentration of Basque-Americans reside in Boise. Take a stroll down The Basque Block, where you’ll experience the rich culture, the mouth-watering aromas of Paella might hit you from The Basque Market, and you’ll see that we have the only Basque museum in North America.
Famous Idaho Potato Drop
New York City drops a giant crystal ball – Idaho drops a giant potato. It only makes sense, right? Many people find this quite appealing – so appealing that it’s now six times world-famous. Learn all about it here!
The Capital City Public Market
No place I’d rather be on a Saturday morning than at Boise’s original farmer’s market. Fresh produce and local goods have been helping the local economy thrive since 1994.
The Blue aka The Smurf Turf was the first non-green football field in the world. People from all over the world visit Boise State University to see the field for themselves. You can say it’s become a tourist attraction.
Want to take it all in and witness one of the greatest views of Boise? Hike (or drive) up to Table Rock to witness breath-taking scenery.
People aren’t just nice…they’re Boise Nice
I’ve always said that the people of Idaho are the gems and the potatoes are the fuel. In Boise, people look out for one another. If you go outside, chances are someone will give you a friendly smile and even strike up a conversation. To some outsiders, this might seem bizarre but this is the norm in Boise. I was so used to doing this that I found myself smiling and waving at complete strangers even when I traveled outside of Idaho (don’t recommend doing this in Baltimore).
Boise is located in what is unquestionably the best state ever (I miiigth be a little biased). I was born and raised here. I’ve breathed in the fresh City of Trees air, I’ve been hugged by the rugged mountains when I needed it the most, I’ve been soothed by hidden trials and hot springs… this is where love stories have formed – it’s all so rejuvenating. I’ve traveled many places from Seattle to Baltimore to New York to Los Angeles…and yet, every time, I end up coming back…and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Idaho is home – Idahome.
Anything to add as to why Boise is YOUR favorite city? Let me know in the comments!