Nestled within the heart of the Gem State lies a city that surprises visitors with its vibrant culture, outdoor adventures, and a unique blend of urban sophistication. Boise, the capital city of Idaho, is a hidden gem offering an array of activities for a perfect long weekend escape. From outdoor enthusiasts to art aficionados and foodies, Boise has something to offer everyone. Let's delve into the best ways to make the most of a memorable long weekend trip to this charming city.
Boise State Capital building
3 Day Itinerary for Boise, Idaho
Day 1: Discover Downtown Boise
Start your day with a stroll through the historic downtown area. There are many cute shops and restaurants to explore. Visit the historic Boise State Capital building.
Head to Freak Alley Gallery, an ever-evolving outdoor art gallery that celebrates street art. Wander through this vibrant alleyway filled with colorful murals and thought-provoking artworks created by local artists.
During fall, enjoy the fall foliage & halloween decorations with a walk down Harrison Boulevard.
As the sun sets, experience Boise's culinary scene. Visit one of the farm-to-table restaurants or explore the diverse range of eateries offering everything from gourmet dining to casual bites. Cap off the night with a visit to one of the downtown breweries or bars, enjoying locally crafted beers or cocktails. (Food & drink recommendations below!)
Freak Alley Gallery
View from top of Camel's Back Trail stairs
Day 2: Outdoor Adventures Await
Start the morning with some fresh air and gorgeous views. Camel's Back Park or Table Rock are popular spots providing panoramic views of Boise. Camel's Back has multiple routes with option of stairs to the top (just a couple minutes up), or longer but less steep trails to walk up. Table Rock Trail is a moderate 3.9-mile loop that will take about 2 hours.
Embrace the great outdoors at the Boise River Greenbelt. Rent a bike, scooter, or lace-up your walking shoes to explore this scenic pathway along the river. Enjoy picturesque views, spot wildlife, and take in the fresh air. It is especially beautiful with colorful fall foliage in autumn. Summer months are the perfect time to float or paddle down the river.
Treat yourself to a filling and exciting dinner after all that exercise with Barbacoa Grill - an eccentric and extravagant experience. Don't skip on the table side Guacamole and firey Hot Rock steaks.
Along the Boise River Greenbelt
Karin wearing the Crissy Crossbody on the Boise River Greenbelt
Day 3: Culture and Relaxation
Spend a leisurely morning exploring the Idaho Botanical Garden. Wander through various themed gardens, reveling in the tranquility and beauty of the natural surroundings.
Just next door is the Old Idaho Penitentiary. Take a guided tour through this historic site and learn about its intriguing past. During summer months, the penitentiary hosts evening events like ghost tours, adding an eerie yet fascinating touch to your visit.
Wrap up your trip with a relaxing evening at one of the local spas. Alternatively, drive out earlier in the day to experience one of the many natural hot springs nearby. Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa treatment or soak in the healing waters, providing a perfect end to your weekend retreat.
- Spas in Boise: Organic Origins Spa, Spa Urbana
- Natural Hot Springs: Kirkham Hot Springs (1 hour, 45 minute drive), Rocky Canyon Hot Springs (1 hour, 30 minute drive), Pine Flats Hot Springs (1 hour, 30 minute drive), Trail Creek Hot Springs (2 hour, 10 minute drive)
- Maintained pools: The Springs at Idaho City (1 hour drive), Gold Fork Hot Springs (2 hour, 10 minute drive), Mountain Village Resort (2 hour, 45 minute drive)
Where to eat & drink in Boise, Idaho:
Best Coffee & Brunch in Boise
Best Restaurants for Lunch & Dinner in Boise
Favorite Bars & Breweries in Boise
Best Dessert & Pastries Shops in Boise
Idaho Made gift shop
Where to shop for gifts & souvenirs in Boise, Idaho
Boise, often underrated but full of surprises, offers a delightful blend of culture, outdoor activities, and culinary delights. Whether you're seeking adventure in nature, exploring art and history, or simply unwinding in a serene setting, this city caters to diverse tastes and preferences. A long weekend in Boise promises unforgettable experiences, leaving you with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for this charming corner of Idaho.