Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Boise, ID

Boise, the capital and largest city of Idaho, is a hidden gem of the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this vibrant city is known for its thriving arts scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and friendly community.

One of the top attractions in Boise is the Idaho State Capitol Building. This beautiful neoclassical structure, built in the early 20th century, showcases the state’s rich history and serves as the seat of government. Visitors can take a guided tour of the Capitol and explore its impressive rotunda, historical exhibits, and stunning architectural details.

For nature lovers, the Boise River Greenbelt is a must-visit destination. Spanning more than 25 miles, this scenic pathway winds along the banks of the Boise River, offering breathtaking views and a tranquil escape from the city. Whether you’re walking, jogging, or biking, the Greenbelt provides a perfect opportunity to enjoy the region’s natural beauty.

No trip to Boise is complete without a visit to the Boise Art Museum. This renowned institution showcases a diverse collection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. With rotating exhibitions and interactive programs, the museum offers a unique and enriching cultural experience for visitors of all ages.

Another highlight of Boise is the Old Idaho Penitentiary. This former prison, which operated from 1872 to 1973, now serves as a fascinating historical site. Visitors can explore the cell blocks, gallows, and solitary confinement cells while learning about the prison’s notorious inmates and escape attempts. The Penitentiary is also rumored to be haunted, adding an extra layer of intrigue for those interested in the supernatural.

These are just a few of the top-rated tourist attractions in Boise, ID. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or outdoor adventures, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Plan your visit to Boise today and discover all the hidden treasures it has to offer.

Boise River Greenbelt

The Boise River Greenbelt is a scenic pathway that follows the banks of the Boise River through the heart of Boise. Spanning 25 miles, the greenbelt is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a variety of recreational activities and beautiful natural scenery.

The greenbelt features paved trails that are perfect for walking, jogging, or biking. Along the way, you’ll find numerous parks, picnic areas, and waterfront access points where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The pathway also connects to several major parks in the city, including Julia Davis Park and Ann Morrison Park, making it a great starting point for exploring Boise’s outdoor spaces.

One of the highlights of the greenbelt is its wildlife. As you stroll along the pathway, keep an eye out for ducks, geese, and other waterfowl that call the Boise River home. You might also spot blue herons, osprey, and even beavers if you’re lucky.

For a truly unique experience, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard and exploring the river from a different perspective. The greenbelt offers several boat ramp access points where you can easily launch your watercraft. Paddling down the river allows you to immerse yourself in the tranquil atmosphere and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to unwind, want to get some exercise, or simply want to appreciate Boise’s natural beauty, the Boise River Greenbelt is a must-visit destination. Don’t forget your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way!

Idaho State Capitol

The Idaho State Capitol is one of the most iconic attractions in Boise, Idaho. Completed in 1920, this magnificent building serves as the seat of government for the state of Idaho.

The architectural style of the Idaho State Capitol is a blend of several influences, including Greek, Roman, and Renaissance Revival. The building features a stunning dome that is visible from many parts of the city.

Visitors to the Idaho State Capitol can take guided tours to explore the building’s rich history and learn about Idaho’s government. The tour includes visits to the historic House and Senate chambers, as well as the Governor’s Office.

One of the highlights of the Idaho State Capitol is the Capitol Annex, which houses the Idaho State Museum. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in the state’s fascinating history through interactive exhibits and displays.

Outside the Capitol building, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Capitol Park, which features statues, memorials, and tranquil gardens. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.

Whether you are interested in architecture, history, or the workings of government, a visit to the Idaho State Capitol is a must when in Boise. It is a prominent landmark that showcases the importance and beauty of the state’s capital.

Make sure to take your time and explore all that the Idaho State Capitol has to offer.

Old Idaho Penitentiary

Located just east of downtown Boise, the Old Idaho Penitentiary is a historic site that offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s fascinating criminal past. The penitentiary operated from 1872 to 1973 and housed some of Idaho’s most notorious criminals during its time.

Visitors can explore the various buildings within the prison complex, including the cell blocks, the solitary confinement area, and the gallows. The prison’s museum features exhibits on the history of the penitentiary, including stories of famous inmates and the methods of punishment used during the time.

Guided tours are available to provide visitors with an in-depth understanding of the prison’s history and the daily lives of its inmates. Visitors can learn about the harsh conditions prisoners endured and the attempts at rehabilitation that were made throughout the years.

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is also known for its paranormal activity, and visitors interested in ghost hunting can partake in special nighttime tours that focus on the penitentiary’s supernatural history. These tours provide a unique and eerie experience for those seeking a more immersive visit.

Overall, the Old Idaho Penitentiary is a must-visit attraction in Boise for history enthusiasts and those looking for a unique and educational experience. The site offers a glimpse into the past and a chance to learn about the criminal justice system’s evolution over the years.

Boise Art Museum

The Boise Art Museum (BAM) is a premier art museum located in the heart of downtown Boise, Idaho. Founded in 1937, it is one of the oldest art museums in the Pacific Northwest. The museum’s mission is to showcase and celebrate the visual arts and provide educational opportunities for the community.

The museum boasts a diverse collection of over 3,000 works of art, including contemporary and modern art, as well as traditional American and European art. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, prints, ceramics, and textiles, among other mediums. Visitors can explore the museum’s permanent collection, which spans various art movements and periods, or take advantage of the rotating exhibitions that feature renowned national and international artists.

One of the highlights of the Boise Art Museum is its interactive and experiential programs. The museum offers various educational and hands-on workshops for visitors of all ages, including art classes, lectures, and artist-led demonstrations. These programs aim to inspire creativity and foster appreciation for the arts.

In addition to its impressive collection and educational programs, the Boise Art Museum also features a gift shop where visitors can purchase unique art-inspired merchandise, as well as a café where they can relax and enjoy a bite to eat.

Location 670 Julia Davis Dr, Boise, ID 83702
Hours Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Closed on Mondays and major holidays
Admission Adults: $8
Seniors (62+): $6
Students (with ID): $4
Children (6 and under): Free
Members: Free
Contact Phone: (208) 345-8330
Email: [email protected]

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or someone looking for a unique cultural experience, the Boise Art Museum is a must-visit attraction in Boise. It offers a rich and immersive art experience that appeals to both casual visitors and art aficionados alike.

Idaho Botanical Garden

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a beautiful oasis located in Boise, Idaho. It is spread across 15 acres and consists of various themed gardens, including a native plant garden, a vegetable garden, and a meditation garden.

The garden offers visitors the opportunity to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Idaho’s flora. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the garden’s walking paths, admire the vibrant colors of the flowers, and learn about the native plants that thrive in the region.

One of the highlights of the Idaho Botanical Garden is the Lewis and Clark Native Plant Garden, which showcases the plants that the famous explorers encountered during their expedition. It provides a unique opportunity to learn about the native flora of the Pacific Northwest.

Another popular feature of the garden is the English Garden, which is inspired by traditional English garden designs. It features neatly manicured lawns, beautiful flower beds, and charming pathways. Visitors can relax on the garden benches and soak in the serene atmosphere.

The garden also hosts various events and activities throughout the year. From educational workshops to live music concerts, there is always something happening at the Idaho Botanical Garden. Visitors can check the garden’s website for the latest events and happenings.

Overall, the Idaho Botanical Garden is a must-visit for nature lovers and garden enthusiasts. Its lush greenery, diverse plant collections, and tranquil setting make it a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

World Center for Birds of Prey

The World Center for Birds of Prey is a unique and fascinating attraction in Boise. This center is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey and is home to the Peregrine Fund, an organization that works to protect and breed endangered birds of prey.

Visitors to the World Center for Birds of Prey can learn about these magnificent birds through interactive exhibits and educational programs. The center houses a variety of species, including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls, allowing visitors to observe these birds up-close and learn about their conservation efforts.

One of the highlights of the World Center for Birds of Prey is the chance to see these birds in flight during the center’s popular “Wings Over the Prairie” show. This thrilling show showcases the agility and speed of the birds as they soar through the air, capturing the attention and awe of visitors.

In addition to its educational exhibits, the World Center for Birds of Prey also conducts research and breeding programs to help conserve endangered species. The center’s breeding facilities have successfully bred several species of endangered birds, making valuable contributions to their populations.

Visiting the World Center for Birds of Prey is not only an educational experience, but it is also an opportunity to support the important work being done to protect these magnificent creatures. By visiting and making a donation, visitors can contribute to the conservation efforts and help ensure the survival of these birds for future generations.

Overall, the World Center for Birds of Prey is a must-visit attraction in Boise for nature lovers and those interested in bird conservation. It offers a unique opportunity to see these incredible birds up-close and learn about their importance in our ecosystem.

Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a powerful and thought-provoking tribute to the life and legacy of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who died during the Holocaust. Located in Boise, the memorial serves as a reminder of the importance of human rights and the need to protect them for all people.

The memorial features a variety of elements that provide visitors with an immersive experience. One of the notable features is a life-sized bronze statue of Anne Frank, which stands as a symbol of resilience and hope. Visitors can also explore the beautifully landscaped grounds, which include a serene reflecting pool and a sculpture garden.

Within the memorial, there are numerous thought-provoking quotes that highlight the importance of human rights and the impact of discrimination. Visitors can take a moment to reflect on these profound words and consider their own role in promoting equality and understanding.

In addition to its physical elements, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial offers educational programs and events to further the mission of promoting human rights. These programs aim to raise awareness and foster dialogue, encouraging individuals to stand up against injustice and promote a more compassionate world.

Visiting the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a deeply moving experience that reminds us of the atrocities of the past and the ongoing struggle for human rights. It serves as a powerful reminder to embrace diversity, challenge discrimination, and strive for a more inclusive society.

Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply someone seeking to be inspired, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is a must-visit destination in Boise. It offers a unique opportunity to reflect, learn, and engage with the universal principles of equality and justice.

Boise State University

Boise State University, located in the heart of downtown Boise, is a public research university and one of Idaho’s largest educational institutions. Founded in 1932, it offers a wide range of academic programs and has a student population of over 25,000. The university is known for its strong commitment to innovation, hands-on learning, and community engagement.

One of the standout features of Boise State University is its iconic blue turf football field, known as the “Smurf Turf.” The unique blue playing surface has become a symbol of the university and is a must-see for sports enthusiasts visiting Boise. The university’s football team, the Boise State Broncos, has a strong reputation and has achieved success on both the regional and national levels.

In addition to its athletics program, Boise State University offers a wide range of academic and cultural resources. The university’s College of Arts and Sciences houses a diverse range of departments, including anthropology, biology, history, and psychology. Students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and can engage in hands-on learning experiences that prepare them for success in their chosen fields.

The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, located on the Boise State University campus, is a premier venue for concerts, plays, and other performances. The center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, featuring both local and national talent. Visitors to Boise can enjoy a wide range of cultural experiences by attending one of the many shows or performances at the Morrison Center.

Boise State University also has a strong emphasis on community engagement and service. The university’s Community Engagement Center works closely with local organizations and provides opportunities for students to get involved in community projects and initiatives. The university is committed to making a positive impact in Boise and the surrounding area.

Whether you’re interested in sports, academics, or the arts, Boise State University offers something for everyone. With its vibrant campus, innovative programs, and strong community ties, it’s no wonder that Boise State University is a top-rated destination for visitors and students alike.

Basque Museum and Cultural Center

The Basque Museum and Cultural Center is one of the most popular attractions in Boise, Idaho. It showcases the rich history and vibrant culture of the Basque people, who have a strong presence in the city.

The museum offers a comprehensive look into the Basque culture, with exhibits that explore their history, language, traditions, and contributions to the local community. Visitors can learn about the Basque diaspora, the different regions of Basque Country, and the unique customs and traditions that define the Basque identity.

The museum also hosts various cultural events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, dance performances, art exhibitions, and workshops. Visitors can immerse themselves in the Basque culture and experience the lively atmosphere of this vibrant community.

One of the highlights of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center is the Basque Block, a vibrant area in downtown Boise that is home to Basque restaurants, shops, and festivals. Visitors can explore the bustling streets, enjoy delicious Basque cuisine, and witness the colorful celebrations that take place here.

Another notable feature of the museum is the Genealogy Library, which contains extensive records and resources for those interested in tracing their Basque ancestry. Visitors can access genealogical information, historical records, and other resources to learn more about their Basque heritage.

Overall, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich and diverse culture of the Basque people. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply curious about the Basque heritage in Boise, this museum is a must-visit attraction.

Address 611 Grove St, Boise, ID 83702
Phone (208) 343-2671
Website Basque Museum and Cultural Center

Discovery Center of Idaho

The Discovery Center of Idaho is a hands-on science center located in Boise, Idaho. It is a great place to visit for both kids and adults who are interested in science and technology.

One of the main attractions of the Discovery Center of Idaho is its interactive exhibits. These exhibits allow visitors to explore various scientific concepts and principles through hands-on activities. For example, there is an exhibit where visitors can build and launch their own rockets, and another exhibit where they can learn about the human body by assembling a life-sized skeleton.

In addition to the interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center of Idaho also offers educational programs and workshops. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including astronomy, engineering, and environmental science. They are designed to engage and educate visitors of all ages.

Another highlight of the Discovery Center of Idaho is its outdoor science playground. This playground features a variety of hands-on exhibits and interactive displays that encourage visitors to explore and learn about the natural world. There is a water play area, a solar-powered carousel, and even a giant maze for visitors to navigate.

The Discovery Center of Idaho is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. It has implemented various safety measures, such as timed entry and increased sanitation protocols, to ensure the well-being of its guests.

If you are looking for a fun and educational experience in Boise, be sure to visit the Discovery Center of Idaho. It is a great place to learn, explore, and have fun with the whole family.

Question and answer,

What are some top-rated tourist attractions in Boise?

Some of the top-rated tourist attractions in Boise include the Idaho State Capitol Building, Boise River Greenbelt, Old Idaho Penitentiary, Boise Art Museum, and Idaho Botanical Garden.

Can you provide more information about the Idaho State Capitol Building?

The Idaho State Capitol Building is a beautiful architectural landmark in Boise. It was completed in 1920 and features a neoclassical design with marble columns and a copper dome. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about the building’s history and see the legislative chambers, rotunda, and other important areas.

What can I do at the Boise River Greenbelt?

The Boise River Greenbelt is a scenic pathway that runs along the Boise River. It offers opportunities for hiking, biking, and picnicking. You can also enjoy bird watching or go fishing in the river. The Greenbelt is a great place to relax and enjoy nature in the heart of the city.

What is the Old Idaho Penitentiary?

The Old Idaho Penitentiary is a historical site that was once a working prison. It operated from 1872 to 1973 and is now a museum where visitors can learn about the prison’s history and the lives of inmates. You can explore the cell blocks, solitary confinement cells, gallows, and visit the prison cemetery.

What can I see at the Boise Art Museum?

The Boise Art Museum is a contemporary art museum that showcases a variety of artworks from local, regional, and international artists. You can see paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and other forms of art. The museum also offers educational programs, workshops, and rotating exhibitions.

What are some popular tourist attractions in Boise?

Some popular tourist attractions in Boise include Boise River Greenbelt, Idaho State Capitol Building, Boise Art Museum, and Old Idaho Penitentiary.

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Mackenzie Roche

Mackenzie Roche, part of the content operations team at TravelAsker, boasts three years of experience as a travel editor with expertise in hotel content at U.S. News & World Report. A journalism and creative writing graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, she brings a wealth of literary prowess to her work. Beyond the desk, Mackenzie embraces a balanced life, indulging in yoga, reading, beach outings, and culinary adventures across Los Angeles.

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