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Boise: Travel Tips & Advice

January 4, 2017

Get In/Get Out of Boise

Fly into BOI air terminal that’s served by many regional airlines. If you’re not renting a car a taxi takes about 15 minutes and costs about $20 to get you downtown.

If your driving in on the I-84 coming from the west, take exit 49 and follow signs for Interstate 184/City Center. Follow until it the highway turns into a road in the City Center.

If your driving in on the I-84 coming from the east, take exit 49 for I-184/Franklin Rd toward City Center. KEEP LEFT to continue on I-184 towards City Center. Follow until the highway turns into a road in the City Center.

Accommodation in Boise

Hotels: The Grove and Modern Hotel and Bar are the best places to stay in downtown Boise. Close to a plethora of excellent food joints and nightlife. Also, they offer a free airport shuttle.

Camping: If your up for something a bit more natural and not too far from the city you can camp at Shafer Butte, in the foothills above the city. Or on the Lucky Peak Reservoir, just a 20 minute drive from the city center.

Food in Bosie

Pie Hole Pizzeria is a local pizza joint serving lunch, dinner and late night food cravings from the classics to cult fan favorites like the potato bacon pizza. If you get there between 11:30pm and 2:30am expect to wait in a bit of a line. (Another pizza joint worth noting is Flying Pie Pizzeria, try their famous habenar

Boise Fry Co. is a chain started obviously here in Boise. They serve up a variety of gourmet burgers on soft brioche buns using locally sourced beef and buffalo meat. If your veggie then don’t let that stop you! They have vegan burgers and 7 different types of “potatoes” from yams to Okinawa as well as fried brussel sprouts (a must try). Cover your fries in one of their many flavors of ketchup’s and seasoning salts.

Blue Sky Bagels is the best way to start your day in Boise. Grab one of the many varieties of bagels and smother it one of their specialty cream cheeses. I suggest the cinnamon sugar bagel loaded with honey and walnut cream cheese.

Getting Around in Boise

As a small/mid-sized city the public transport is not there yet. The buses are mediocre and taxis can be quite expensive. If you fly in make sure to rent a car (or a truck in true American fashion) to take advantage of the beautiful landscapes just outside the city.

What (not) To Do in Bosie

If you’re coming from another state on the west coast where weed has been legalized don’t make the mistake of bringing it on to your flight. Weed laws are not as bad as say Texas, but despite being a liberal city it still is in quite a conservative state so tread carefully. A $400 misdemeanour ticket is something to avoid.

Most importantly, DON’T STAY INSIDE. Go snowboarding, hiking, swimming, or golfing. You won’t be bored. I promise.

What To See And Do

The city itself is quite small and most things you will find in the city itself are all around the city centre. Take a walk through one of the various parks that line the Boise River. Grab some disc golf discs and hit the disc golf course found in Anne Morrison park, just a 10 minute walk from the center. If your there in the summer head to Epley’s River Rentals and rent an inner tube, kayak, or raft and float down the Boise River to beat the heat. Make sure to keep your beers or mixed drinks disguised if you plan on partaking on the 3-4 hour float. Try your best to avoid the kids that jump off the bridge to try to splash those floating down the river. If you’re a runner or biker, run or bike along the 48km path that runs up into the foothills down along the river valley.

Outside the city you can find great hiking and mountain biking trails that literally start on the edge of the city center. The foothills just above the city have over 190 miles of trails for you to explore. Boise is the gateway for other adventures as well. If you have longer than a weekend, make your way to Sun Valley or McCall. Both of these charming mountain towns are some of the most beautiful in the lower 48.

Nightlife in Boise

Except for local taverns dotted throughout the towns, downtown Boise is the spot for the nightlife.

Cactus Bar: Local dive bar famous for cheap and strong drinks. Great place to shoot some pool and start the night.

Neurolux: Alternative bar/music venue with a cool vibe and live music.

Spacebar Arcade: Grab a pitcher or two of one of their IPA’s or ciders on tap and play one of the 30+ retro arcade games from the original Donkey Kong to Space Invaders or play one of their classic Nintendo games. Drunk driver is my favorite (Mario Kart 64 race but you have to finish your full pint of beer before you finish the race. Classic)

Reef: Nice rooftop bar in central Boise with occasional live music. Head there on a Sunday night in the summertime for a deep house dj sesh.

Fatty’s: If your feeling like dancing or drinking a 40 oz bottle of PBR (I prefer the latter) head to Fatty’s to hit the dance floor.

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