Boise Travel Guide

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Boise Travel Guide

Boise Local History

Boise (pronounced boy-see), is the capital and largest city in the State of Idaho, the 13th largest state in the U.S. The city, also known as The City of Trees, derives its name from the French word boise meaning wooded, a name initially coined by early 19th Century French-Canadian fur trappers, referring to the tree-lined Boisie River.

The Shoshone people kept these early fur trappers from settling in the region, and a permanent white settlement was only achieved in 1863 following the discovery of gold in the region. A military base (Fort Boise) was first constructed and then a site for the city was selected next to it. Due to its location at the crossroads of the Oregon Trail and routes to the gold mines, the city expanded swiftly. In 1864 Boise was incorporated as a city and became the capital of the Idaho Territory. It remained the capital when Statehood was granted in 1890. Further expansion of the city followed the passage of the National Reclamation Act of 1902, which provided for the construction of the Arrowrock Dam which increased irrigated farming. In 1925 the passing of the Union Pacific Railroad through the city facilitated further growth.

Located in the south western part of the state, along the Boise River, this city is the hub of commerce, banking and government for the state. Many large regional, national and international companies have their headquarters here, including two major electronics manufacturing plants. Outside the city, Boise boasts many outdoor activities from biking to boating to skiing. The area with its mild winters and temperate summers has it all, surrounded by deserts, rivers, mountains and lakes for hiking, camping, kayaking, river rafting, hunting and fishing.

Boise Attractions

Boise Shopping

There is a lot to do, but only one place to be...
Downtown Boise!

Capitol Terrace in the heart of downtown Boise, is an open-air shopping centre where a variety of interesting shops, restaurants and even a nightclub can be found. Specialty stores include Purple Sage Boutique, World Cycle and American Clothing Gallery.

Bon Marche, Boise's major downtown department store, is also joined by small specialty shops and boutiques such as April's Drawers, and apparel and house wares shops.

On Eight Street, the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks are alive with activity and on the first Thursday of each month, galleries and shops stay open late and offer refreshments and special sales.

The Basque Market is a unique market for Basque foods, Basque catering and Spanish wines not easily found elsewhere and not to be missed. 608 W. Grove St. Boise, ID 83702.

Boise Activities

Discovery Centre of Idaho - This interactive centre has exhibits which illustrate the wonders of science. Not only does it show the exhibits but encourages participation with its 'hands-on' approach.

Morrison-Knudsen Nature Centre - A glimpse at the underwater world of a living river through viewing windows.

Zoo Boise - From native species to the more exotic, Zoo Boise is home to more than 175 animals including a Komodo Dragon, zebras and tigers. The zoo is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, science and recreation.

Boise Parks & Gardens

Idaho Botanical Garden - Visit one of Idaho's special treasures. Stroll through a unique garden boasting a variety of themes. Blooming season is from late April through to Mid-October. Not to be missed is the winter celebration during the holidays when the garden comes alive with sparkling lights. Open all year round.

Roaring Springs Water Park - A 16,000 sq.ft. wave pool; float tubing; 4-lane, 350 ft. long racing slide, slides, waterfalls, kiddie pool and entertainment area all in a 15 acre family water park.

Boise Restaurants and Bars

Idaho's capital city and its largest town, Boise, prides itself on being a rare blend of big-city finesse and down-home friendliness. Their regional American cuisine is based largely on a menu of ribs, seafood and steaks. Alternatively, a wide variety of international menus are available ranging from Japanese to Greek, Mediterranean to Vietnamese.

A happy visitor: "The many restaurants in Boise served up something for everyone at our conference. We enjoyed the delicious mix of urban style, small town friendliness and fabulous food."

Boise Restaurants

Cottonwood Grille - A contemporary American restaurant only using the freshest local ingredients. They pride themselves on their quality. 913 W. River Boise ID 83702. Tel: 208- 333-9800

Flying Pie Pizza - A Variety of Speciality Pizza Pies. Location #1: 6508 Fairview. Tel: 208 376-3454 Location #2: 4320 State St. Tel: 208 345-8585 Location #3: 1016 Broadway Tel: 208 384-0000

Rockies Diner - Traditional diner featuring burgers, fries, fish and chips, and live entertainment. 3900 Overland Road Boise ID 83705

Bitter Creek Ale House - Inexpensive American fare. 246 North 8th Street - Boise

Boise Bars & Clubs

Blues Bouquet - One of Boise's Best Blues Night Clubs is a happening thing. This downtown Club is open 7 nights a week and not only offers soothing soul music but swing dance lessons as well. 1010 Main St, Boise, ID 83702

Boogie Woogies - Boise's premier piano bar brings new excitement to the Downtown Boise nightlife scene. Featuring fine dining, full service bar and night club this is the place for great Boise adult entertainment. Boogie Woogies also offers catering services for just about any kind of party you want to throw. 800 W Idaho St 2nd Floor, Boise, ID 83702

Funny Bone Comedy Club - Enjoy Boise's adult comedy club. Voted one of the Top 10 Comedy Clubs by USA Today, the comedians will have you rolling on the floor with laughter. Remember to put your drinks down first. 405 S 8th Street, #110, Boise, ID 83702

Boise children's activities

Discovery Centre of Idaho - This interactive centre has exhibits which illustrate the wonders of science. Not only does it show the exhibits but encourages participation with its 'hands-on' approach.

Morrison-Knudsen Nature Centre - A glimpse at the underwater world of a living river through viewing windows.

Zoo Boise - From native species to the more exotic, Zoo Boise is home to more than 175 animals including a Komodo Dragon, zebras and tigers. The zoo is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, a national organization that supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, science and recreation.

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