Boise, Idaho, in the Gem State, offers natural beauty, culture, and adventure. Known as the “City of Trees,” is set against the Boise River and Rocky Mountain foothills. Boise has attractions for nature lovers, history buffs, and urbanites alike. Discover the best “Things to Do in Boise, Idaho.” with this guide. Boise has something for everyone, from museums and parks to cultural landmarks and outdoor adventures.
1. Discovery Center of Idaho
- Website: Discovery Center of Idaho
- Address: 131 Myrtle St, Boise, ID 83702
The Discovery Center of Idaho is a great place to start your trip in Boise if you have kids or people who are just naturally curious. Everyone of any age is welcome at this science center. The Discovery Center has astronomy and physics exhibits and activities that are both fun and educational.
A big draw is the planetarium, where you can learn about the universe. Rotating exhibits keep the center interesting. It is fun for the whole family and teaches you things at the same time.
The location in downtown Boise is easy to get to and has lots of parking. To find out about upcoming events, workshops, and educational programs at the center, check their website while you are in Boise. The Discovery Center is interesting if you’re interested in science, technology, or the world.
2. MK Nature Center – Idaho Fish and Game
- Website: MK Nature Center
- Address: 600 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712
The MK Nature Center in Boise, which is run by Idaho Fish and Game, is a hidden gem in the city. This Boise River nature center is a peaceful place for people who love the outdoors. The main goal of the center is to teach people about Idaho’s ecosystems and how to protect them.
You can walk through beautiful gardens, along the banks of rivers, and to places where you can see wildlife. Families and people who love nature can have fun and learn from watching fish in their natural environment.
At MK Nature Center, tours and programs that explain the native plants and animals of Idaho bring them to life. Take a walk, take pictures, or just chill out by the river. The MK Nature Center is a great spot to learn about Idaho’s ecosystems or just take it easy. If you want to learn about seasonal events and educational programs in Boise, check out their website.
3. Boise Art Glass
- Website: Boise Art Glass
- Address: 1124 W Front St, Boise, ID 83702
Boise Art Glass is a fun and unique place to visit that teaches you about art and glassblowing. People can watch as intricate glasswork is made in this studio and gallery in downtown Boise.
When you walk into the studio, you can see artists making beautiful art out of molten glass. You can try blowing glass if you have help from a professional. Families, art lovers, and anyone else interested in the arts should go to this fun and educational hands-on event.
The gallery shows glass art, which ranges from delicate sculptures to useful glasses. You can buy one-of-a-kind gifts or souvenirs made of glass. The different colors and shapes show how creative and skilled the artists are.
At Boise Art Glass, people who like to blow glass can take classes and workshops. This attraction lets you experience Boise’s unique artistic expression, whether you’re making your own masterpiece or just looking at the work of other talented artists. Check their website for workshops and hours to get the most out of your visit.
4. Camel’s Back Park
- Address: 1200 Heron St, Boise, ID 83702
Camel’s Back Park is a peaceful haven in the middle of Boise’s busy city life. This park is known for the hill that looks like a camel’s back. From there, you can see the whole city and the foothills of Boise.
The well-kept hiking trails in the park are good for both beginners and experts. Camel’s Back Park has both easy strolls and hard hikes that go uphill. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the lush landscapes and beautiful views.
The park is great for families and picnickers because it has open spaces and places to eat outside. Kids can have fun and feel safe at the playground.
Camel’s Back Park is in the middle of everything, so you can visit it along with other nearby sights, like the cute shops and cafes in Hyde Park. Camel’s Back Park is right in the middle of Boise and is a great place to walk and enjoy nature and beautiful views of the city.
5. Julia Davis Park
- Website: Julia Davis Park
- Address: 700 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702
Julie Davis Park is a big park in Boise that is close to the city center. This park is a cultural and recreational hub with things to do for everyone.
The Boise Art Museum is one of the best things about the park. It has a huge collection of modern and classical art. Throughout the museum, changing exhibits show the work of artists from around the world.
The Idaho Historical Museum is another interesting museum in Julia Davis Park. This place shows off Idaho’s natural resources, cultural history, and historical events.
The park’s Boise Zoo is a great place for kids. The zoo is home to more than 200 animals from all over the world. It is a great place for families to go because it is educational and fun.
People come to Julia Davis Park to enjoy its natural beauty. There are walking paths, lush gardens, and a peaceful lagoon in the park. It’s a lovely spot for a walk or a picnic with lots of trees and grass.
Events and festivals from all over the world happen in the park all year long. Check the Julia Davis Park website for event schedules and other information to get the most out of your visit. This park has art, history, nature, and fun things to do outside for everyone.
6. Idaho Botanical Garden
- Website: Idaho Botanical Garden
- Address: 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712
The Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise is a botanical paradise. This tranquil garden has many themed gardens and vibrant plant collections.
The English Garden is a vibrant space inspired by English landscapes and a garden highlight. It’s perfect for a stroll amid fragrant flowers and well-kept greenery.
With reflective pools and soothing water features, the Meditation Garden is a peaceful place to relax and connect with nature.
Native and drought-tolerant plants in the Water Conservation Landscape inspire sustainable gardening. With its variety of roses, the Rose Garden is a symphony of colors and scents.
Workshops, plant sales, and garden tours are held at the Idaho Botanical Garden year-round. Check their website for updated information before visiting.
The Idaho Botanical Garden is a fun place for all ages, whether you’re a gardener, nature lover, or city dweller. Boise’s natural beauty and horticultural diversity are captivating.
7. Old Idaho Penitentiary Site
- Website: Old Idaho Penitentiary Site
- Address: 2445 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712
The Old Idaho Penitentiary Site is a fascinating look into how Idaho’s prisons worked. For an interesting look into the past, go to the ruins of a prison complex just outside of Boise.
For more than 100 years, the Old Idaho Penitentiary housed a wide range of prisoners and heard many stories. As you walk through the well-kept buildings and cells, you’ll learn about the prisoners and the staff. The site vividly shows the struggles and victories of the past, which makes it educational and interesting.
One of the most interesting things about the site is learning about daring escapes, riots, and the 1971 prison riot. Guided tours show how the prisoners’ daily lives are and how they are rehabilitated and punished.
The Old Idaho Penitentiary Site is a unique place to learn about history and have fun, with events like Halloween tours and educational programs. To get the most out of your visit, check their website for events and tour times.
8. Aquarium of Boise
- Website: Aquarium of Boise
- Address: 64 N Cole Rd, Boise, ID 83704
The Aquarium of Boise in Idaho is a wonderful place to see sea life. All ages will enjoy this family-friendly attraction, which takes you on an exciting journey through aquatic life.
The aquarium shows a lot of sea creatures in a variety of underwater environments. With bright tropical fish and interesting sea creatures, the exhibits put you right in the world of the deep.
A great thing about the Aquarium of Boise is that you can interact with the animals. Some species are fun and educational because people can touch and feed them. You can get a good look at stingrays, sharks, and other sea creatures, which helps you learn about them.
The aquarium promotes education and conservation through its displays and knowledgeable staff. It’s fun for the whole family to learn about marine life and how to protect it here.
You can find out about the Aquarium of Boise’s educational programs and special events by going to their website. This aquarium in Boise is a must-see for people who love the ocean, families who want to learn, and people who love the beauty of the ocean floor.
9. The Peregrine Fund’s World Center For Birds of Prey
- Website: The Peregrine Fund
- Address: 5668 W Flying Hawk Ln, Boise, ID 83709
The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey, a global raptor conservation leader, offers a unique and educational experience for birdwatchers.
The center lets visitors see these majestic birds and learn about their vital role in ecological balance. Eagles, falcons, owls, and vultures can be seen.
The live raptor release is a highlight of the center. Seeing rehabilitated birds released into the wild is a rare chance to appreciate conservation and rehabilitation.
The visitor center’s displays and interactive exhibits explain these amazing birds’ biology, behavior, and conservation. Professionals are available to advise and answer questions.
The center offers guided tours and special programs to enhance learning. The 4D theater simulates raptor flight.
The Peregrine Fund protects these magnificent birds and their habitats. Your visit supports these vital conservation efforts, making it educational and philanthropic.
Check the center’s website for raptor release and educational events. The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise is a must-see for bird lovers and those interested in birds.
10. Albertsons Stadium
- Website: Boise State Athletics
- Address: 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83706
Boise State University’s Albertsons Stadium is a landmark and home to the Broncos football team. Even without a game, a stadium tour is a great way to see the action.
The stadium’s “The Blue.” turf is famous. It represents Boise State University’s athletic excellence and is one of the world’s most famous football fields. A tour lets you experience college football’s energy and the Broncos’ rich history.
You’ll see the press box, luxury suites, and locker rooms firsthand. Step onto the iconic blue turf and imagine the game-day crowd roar.
The stadium tour illuminates the Broncos’ accomplishments and impact on Boise. Albertsons Stadium is a fun place to visit whether you’re a sports fan or just curious about Boise’s culture. Check their website for tour availability and other information to plan your visit.
11. Kathryn Albertson Park
- Website: Kathryn Albertson Park
- Address: 1001 N Americana Blvd, Boise, ID 83706
Kathryn Albertson Park, named after a generous donor who created it, is a peaceful urban oasis. The park offers a peaceful escape for nature lovers in a beautiful setting.
The park is perfect for a stroll, jog, or picnic with family and friends due to its many walking paths through lush gardens and open spaces. Your surroundings will be filled with native trees and a variety of plants.
Ducks and geese live in the park’s ponds, a unique feature. Birdwatchers and nature lovers will enjoy seeing these birds in their natural habitat.
Kathryn Albertson Park is ideal for contemplation and outdoor fun. It’s a natural paradise that escapes city life. This Boise park offers peace and quiet for meditation, nature walks, and leisurely strolls.
12. Zoo Boise
- Website: Zoo Boise
- Address: 355 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, ID 83702
Zoo Boise is a favorite with families and animal lovers for its entertainment, education, and conservation.
Over 200 international species live at the zoo. Zoo Boise attracts visitors of all ages with its diverse animal collection, including lions, tigers, red pandas, and sloths.
Along with its diverse animal exhibits, the zoo promotes conservation and education. Discover the zoo’s conservation efforts and the importance of endangered species. It lets you interact with animals and learn about zoos’ conservation work.
The zoo offers family-friendly activities and education. The zoo’s playground and splash pad make family visits fun.
Zoo Boise hosts special events and programs year-round, making each visit unique. Check their website for event schedules and other information to plan your visit. Zoo Boise offers an unforgettable experience for wildlife lovers, families, and animal lovers.
13. Idaho State Capitol
- Website: Idaho State Capitol
- Address: 700 W Jefferson St, Boise, ID 83702
The Idaho State Capitol is a cultural treasure that showcases the state’s heritage. You can learn about Idaho’s political history and admire the Capitol building’s neoclassical architecture.
Idaho’s government has been housed in this iconic building since 1920. Grandeur and elegance emanate from the dome and marble interior. The building’s history and significance can be explored on guided tours.
Exploring the Capitol’s chambers, galleries, and corridors shows its importance to Idaho’s governance. From the historical paintings in the rotunda to the intricate architecture, visitors can appreciate the building’s art and symbolism.
Explore the Capitol grounds’ memorials and sculptures honoring Idaho’s past, present, and future. Reflection and appreciation of the state’s culture are encouraged.
The Idaho State Capitol in Boise is educational and beautiful. A visit to the Capitol building is enriching whether you’re interested in history, government, or beautiful architecture. Visit their website for tour availability and event information to plan your visit.
14. Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
- Website: Anne Frank Memorial
- Address: 770 S 8th St, Boise, ID 83702
The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial encourages reflection and human rights advocacy. This Boise memorial, inspired by Anne Frank’s diary, is thought-provoking.
The memorial promotes human rights and social justice through inscriptions, sculptures, and educational displays in a peaceful setting. Peaceful surroundings promote self-reflection and global human rights awareness.
The memorial’s sections focus on different human rights issues. The memorial’s highlights include the Anne Frank quote wall, Stone of Hope, and Marilyn Shuler Classroom for Human Rights.
At the memorial, visitors can discuss human rights, tolerance, and social justice through educational programs.
The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a touching attraction that makes visitors think about human rights and global efforts to protect them. This memorial is moving and educational for history, social justice, and contemplation.
15. Boise River Greenbelt
- Website: Boise River Greenbelt
- Address: Multiple access points along the Boise River
The Boise River Greenbelt is a recreational gem along the river. This 25-mile scenic pathway is perfect for walking, jogging, biking, or just enjoying the river and surrounding landscapes.
Multiple citywide access points make the Greenbelt stand out. From downtown Boise or elsewhere in the city, you can easily reach this scenic pathway.
The Greenbelt is a tranquil place to escape the city and enjoy nature. It’s ideal for families, fitness enthusiasts, and peaceful walks.
Along the path, you can admire the area’s diverse flora and fauna. The Greenbelt is great for birdwatching and wildlife observation due to its lush riverbanks.
Outdoor events like races, festivals, and family outings take place on the Boise River Greenbelt. Check the website for current events and programs to maximize your visit.
The Boise River Greenbelt offers a variety of outdoor activities, peaceful walks, and nature connections along the picturesque Boise River.
Expanding Your Boise Experience
Now that you’ve discovered some of Boise’s most captivating attractions, it’s time to enhance your visit by delving into additional aspects of the city. Boise has much more to offer beyond these featured attractions:
1. Boise’s Culinary Scene
Boise’s culinary landscape is undergoing a renaissance, with a growing number of restaurants offering diverse cuisine options. From farm-to-table eateries that highlight local ingredients to international flavors that transport your taste buds around the world, Boise’s dining scene has something for every palate. Be sure to explore the local culinary scene and savor the flavors of the city.
2. Outdoor Adventures
Boise’s prime location acts as a gateway to a world of outdoor adventures. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’re in luck. Consider going white-water rafting on the Payette River, hiking in the nearby foothills, or exploring the pristine wilderness of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Whether you’re into adrenaline-pumping activities or just seeking a peaceful escape into nature, Boise has it all.
3. Cultural Events and Festivals
Boise’s event calendar is brimming with cultural festivals, live music performances, and local events. The city hosts a wide range of activities throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something happening. Check out local event listings for opportunities to immerse yourself in Boise’s vibrant cultural scene.
4. Day Trips
While in Boise, you might want to take day trips to nearby attractions. The historic town of Idaho City, known for its gold rush history, is a short drive away. Additionally, the stunning Sun Valley, famous for its outdoor recreational opportunities, and the majestic Shoshone Falls, often referred to as the “Niagara of the West,” are both within reach for a day of exploration.
5. Boise’s Craft Beer Scene
Boise’s craft beer scene is thriving, with a host of local breweries and taprooms offering a wide selection of craft beers. Whether you’re a seasoned beer enthusiast or just enjoy a cold brew, exploring the local craft beer scene can be a delightful experience. Don’t forget to sample some of the region’s craft brews during your stay.
As your journey through Boise, Idaho, draws to a close, the memories of this charming city are sure to linger. With a treasure trove of attractions that celebrate nature, culture, and adventure, Boise leaves an indelible mark on all who visit. From the lush green spaces of Julia Davis Park to the fascinating history of the Old Idaho Penitentiary, and the enchanting landscapes of Kathryn Albertson Park, Boise’s diverse offerings cater to every traveler’s desires. We hope your exploration of “The City of Trees” has been as rewarding as it is picturesque.