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Summer Guide to Boise


Everything You Need to Know About Summer Activities in Boise, Idaho

Your Guide to Summer in Boise

Totally Boise is Here to Describe All Things Boise

The summer months in Boise are hot, fun, and fantastic. Whether you’re planning a trip to Boise for your summer vacation this year, or whether you’re a resident looking for fun stuff to do, the summer is a great time to see Idaho’s most populous city come alive.

We in Boise, pride ourselves on giving visitors and residents alike the amenities and facilities of a big city combined with the friendly and laid back attitude of a small town. Nestled in the treasure valley, we like to think that our location is aptly named. While there’s always something awesome to see, do, eat, drink or otherwise experience in our fair city, the summer is when our most beautiful treasures sparkle the brightest. Let’s take a look at the “must do” sights, activities, food and drink this summer and every summer thereafter in Boise.

What to See

Get a Glimpse of Basque Heritage - The Basque culture is recognized for its presence in downtown Boise. Stop by the Basque Block to check it out and try some tasty food. We've also heard there's a super fun festival held at the end of summer... might be fun to immerse yourself in the culture!

See the only Anne Frank memorial in the US - We have a whole lot of heart here in Boise. That’s why we have the only human rights memorial in the US. See the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial next to the Boise Library!.

See Some Freaky Art in Freak Alley - The Treasure Valley has an amazing base of artists, and we love to show off their creativity in the form of a free, open-air gallery. Located in the alley between the blocks of Idaho st. and Bannock st., this well-lit gallery is physically accessible to everyone at any time of day. Be sure to snap a pic and tag @totallyboise on Instagram!

Second Downtown in Hyde Park - In the iconic North End neighborhood of Boise, you can get a glimpse at some of Boise’s first built houses and businesses. Now, a thriving small community of restaurants and vendors are op to show you just how delicious and kind Boise really is.

boise hawks stadium

What to Do

There’s a whole lot more to us than looks. We also have a lot of great summer activities for the entire whole family, including...

Take a Hike! - Hiking is second nature to us here in Boise. With the foothills literally in our backyard, there are more trails than we can count. Some of our favorites and Boise -must trek trails are from the Idaho Penitentiary, to Stack Rock from Bogus Basin, Ceravide Peak from Lucky Peak Reservoir, or around the hills of Camels Back. Be sure to start in the morning and avoid the dry, Boise summer sun heat.

Take a leisurely walk through the Botanical Gardens - The summer is the perfect time to see our stunning Botanical Gardens in bloom. With awesome events every summer there’s always something fun to do here.

Cycle through the Greenbelt - Summer is the perfect time to hop on your bike and enjoy the natural beauty of the Greenbelt. This is the perfect way to get to know our fair city while also getting your daily dose of nature. What’s more, Boise is extremely cycling-friendly, meaning you can get just about anywhere in the city by bike.

Take in a rodeo show - Stop by the 100-year-old Snake River Stampede to take in a rodeo show and see some of the state’s finest cowboys test their skills. The show starts July 20th!

Zip Line from the Turkey 2000 - Thrillseekers will get a huge kick out of ziplining through the hills of Horseshoe Bend on the outskirts of Boise with Zip Idaho. Dare you take on the Turkey 2000, a 2,030-foot zip line that will set even the steeliest hearts a-flutter?

Get a group to a bike bar - There are several companies that now allow you to rent their 15 person bike bars. Ride around while you enjoy a cold brew with all your friends and family!

Ride the Mountain Coaster at Bogus Basin - Bogus Basin Mountain Resort recently put in their latest and greatest attraction. You can ride the mountain coaster for $15 for a single ride, or $25 for tandem.

boise river summer

Rent a paddleboard on Quinns Pond - Take advantage of the 22-acre recreational pond that is located north of the Boise River and rent a paddleboard for the day.

Paddle boat in Julia Davis Park - Spend the day in one of Boise’s most beautiful parks and spend just $15 for 1 hour of paddle boat fun!

Float the Boise River - It almost seems as if the Boise River was made to float down. At the starting point, you can rent tubes or even grab a bite to eat at their snack shack. You can also determine how long you want your float to be with several different stopping points already made along the river.

Enjoy the Ste. Chapelle Concert Series - Ste. Chapelle one of our local wineries, located in Caldwell, hosts a great summer concert series. Sunday afternoons a summer long stop by for live music, tasty food, local vendors, and of course... WINE!

Shop, Eat and Drink at The Village at Meridian - Our local outdoor mall, The Village, is nothing less than spectacular! Not only does it have some of our favorite shops, but throughout the summer live music is played right in the center of it all. Stop by on Friday evenings to enjoy food, yummy drinks, or to just jam out to good music.

Whitewater Raft Down the Payette River - Seeking adventure? Whitewater rafting is calling your name! Multiple rafting companies line the mountain, don't miss out on a wild adventure.

Take a Stroll Through the Saturday Farmers Market - There's nothing we love more than local vendors, tasty food, and walking outside on a warm summer morning. Where's more perfect to do all of that than the Saturday Farmers Market in downtown Boise, Eagle, Meridian, and Nampa.

Unlimited Bouncing at Altitude Trampoline Park - The smiles and laughter are priceless at the trampoline park. With weekly events, day camps, and memberships available, the summer fun is endless.

Tour the Old Idaho Penitentiary - Want to take a step back in time? Explore Boise’s past in the Old Idaho Penitentiary. In this old complex, which goes back to the late 1800s you can see how the outlaws of old experienced their summers here.

Boise Hawks Baseball Game - Boise has its very own minor league baseball team. Equipped with their own stadium, a Hawks game makes the perfect summer activity. As part of the Pioneer League, you might just catch a player before they go Pro!

Check out the animals and events at Zoo Boise - Zoo Boise opened the Gorongoisa National Park exhibit featuring wildlife from the preserve in Africa with interesting Idaho connections. Along with the expansion, they will also hold events all summer long to check out.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Bogus Basin - Now with summer activities, the Bogus Basin Resort has something to do all year round. Only a 16-mile drive from the base of the mountain at the end of Harrison Boulevard, it’s effortless to be enjoying the 2,600 acres of the natural scent of pine or a fresh fall of powder before lunchtime.

Catch a Show or Boise Event - We love to be social in Boise, so there is no shortage of music, festivals, or other community ents.

Check out our calendar here:

Boise Events

Support Local Boise Area Business

View Totally Boise Recommended Companies

What to Eat

We LOVE our food here in Idaho. Dubbed the Potato Capital of the World, we know a thing or two about how to eat them. But we’ve got some other regional delicacies that are a must-have when in the Gem State.

Iconic Boise Dishes

  • Croquettes
  • Finger Steaks
  • Baked Potato Ice Cream

Boise Restaurants

  • Ice Cream cone from Goodys
  • Fresh Roasted coffee from Dawson Taylor
  • Locally Crafted Beer - seriously, there are too many to name, but here’s a start.
  • Food Truck Hubs are a great place to rub elbows and experience Boise’s newest culinary artists. We love to visit The Switchback and the new Green Acres.
Food Truck Locations

The Perfect Culinary Experience in Boise

  • Start the day with the ultimate breakfast at Goldy’s
  • Enjoy a wide selection of cask-conditioned ales at the Bittercreek Ale House.
  • Get some barbecue you’ll never forget at Barbacoa.
  • Check out the innovative self-service system at Bodovino.
  • Take a bite out of the ‘50s at the distinctive Western Diner
  • End at the night Western Proper for some freshly oiled bowling lanes and locally made brews.

We can’t wait to welcome you this summer!

Check out our full list of Treasure Valley restaurants here:

Restaurants Directory
boise eat drink summer

Where to Drive

Idaho has so many amazing spaces to explore outside of the hustle and bustle of the metro area. If you’re looking to soak in some sun, discover new environments, and enjoy the fresh scent of pine, here are some nearby cities and destinations, rfect for a day drive.&;

Cities

  • Idaho City
  • Twin Falls
  • McCall
  • Stanley

Locations

  • Shoshone Falls
  • Balance Rock
  • Mallard Gorge
  • Discovery Park
  • Jump Creek

The Kids Guide

Enjoying summer with the kids is essential. Here are some of the best spots designed for children.

Ivywild Pool - Ready to get your kiddos out of the house? Head to Ivywild Pool. Where a wading pool is designed for non-swimming children 6 years and under.

Boise City Aquatics Center - The perfect indoor public swimming facility connected to the Boise West Family YMCA. Open to Boise residents, as well as Y members.

Aquarium of Boise - Wanting to meet friends of the sea? Stop by the Aquarium of Boise to check out a variety of sea life... some you can even touch!

Zoo Boise - Giraffes, lions, lemurs, and a crocodile? Something one usually can't find in Boise. Head over to the Zoo to check out a variety of exhibits from all over the world. Zoo Boise also offers a variety of kids camps, go online to plan a day (or night) of fun!

Camel's Back Park - Nothing like hiking up a huge hill to enjoy the beautiful views of Boise. Not only to Camel's Back present trails to walk, but you can take snacks for a picnic and enjoy the tennis courts nearby!

Lucky Peak - Just 10 miles east of Boise is Lucky Peak State Park, the perfect place for swimming, picnicking, fishing or boating. Keep driving and you will find Spring Shores with lakeside access for our boating enthusiasts!

Settlers Park Family Movie Night - As the day cools down and the sun starts to fall, gather the crew and go to Settlers Park. Every Friday they host movies at dusk for the community to enjoy.

Movies Under the Stars - Fun-filled family evenings begin with free games for the kids! As soon as it gets dark grab a blanket and sit down to watch a movie on the 30' screen. Look online to find out which park is hosting the event each week!

Big Al's - With a bowling alley and arcade, your kids will love playing here! Fun tip: kids 15 and under can bowl for FREE every day, all summer long. As for the adults, there's a full bar and tasty food to enjoy while you hang out.

Discovery Center of Idaho - This hands-on interactive science center provides fun, interactive STEM learning for children of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown, stop by to step out of the sun and enjoy a fun-filled day of learning.

Wahooz Family Fun Center - The capital for family fun! Ready to spend an afternoon inside? Take the family to Wahooz for all things fun including go-karts, mini-golf, arcade games, and so much more!

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