Boise - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Boise


Boise is nestled on a high desert plain in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and visitors will be hard-pressed to forget its proximity to the glories of Mother Nature. The Boise River flows directly through the centre of town, enhancing the 25-mile (40km) Greenbelt path system, which connects five major parks throughout Boise and providing runners, walkers, bikers and skaters with endless space for exercise. Boise's location makes it a gateway to the great outdoors. Towering mountains lie to the north, including the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort, just a few minutes' drive from the city. Also easily accessible are natural sand dunes, hot springs and crystal clear mountain lakes.

Downtown Boise, however, is not without cosmopolitan flair. Shops, galleries, restaurants and clubs radiate from the central Grove Plaza, where free concerts are staged throughout the summer and holiday celebrations, including the lighting of an enormous Christmas tree, take place during the winter. Renovated historic buildings like the 8th Street Marketplace and Union Block offer unique shopping and dining experiences. Boise has an active downtown association, which promotes initiatives like First Thursdays, when city businesses stay open late and offer various promotions.

This is the perfect time to sample Boise's Basque cuisine... yes, Basque. In the 1930s, a group of Basques left Europe and settled in Boise, joining the sheep-herding industry, which was quite strong at the time. Today, Boise has the largest concentration of Basques in the world outside the Pyrenees. In Boise's Basque neighbourhood, visitors can enjoy the Basque market, the traditional Gernika restaurant and various cultural events.

Information & Facts


Summers are hot and dry with cool nights, while winters are generally cold with snow on the surrounding mountains. There is very little annual precipitation in the city. Summer temperatures average 90°F (32°C), but hotter spells are common in July and August. Winter temperatures are typically 30-50°F (-1°C to 10°C) during the day and below freezing at night.

Getting Around

Boise's Greenbelt path system makes walking, jogging and biking highly enjoyable. ValleyRide bus service is available, as are various taxi companies. For those with rental cars, Boise offers many convenient and inexpensive parking options. On First Thursdays, the Downtown Boise Association operates a free trolley service, complete with an event map for the evening.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

The mission of the Basque Museum and Cultural Center is to perpetuate, preserve and promote awareness of Basque history and culture through education, research, collections and social activities for present and future generations. It provides a unique look into the Basques' history as well as their new lives in America through their collections of books, manuscripts, photographs, and the unique oral history archives.

15,000 years ago Idaho was shaped by volcanoes, and Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a fascinating glimpse into the past with a vast landscape of hardened lava flows and tubes scattered with cinder cones and sagebrush. The landscape may seem barren, but there is a large population of rodents and birds there. Calvin Coolidge described the park as "a weird and scenic landscape peculiar to itself." While it may not look exactly like the moon, Apollo 14 astronauts used it to prepare for their lunar expedition in 1969. Today visitors can take the Loop Road to most of the interesting sites, including the North Crater Flow, Devil's Orchard, Inferno Cone, the Tree Molds, and even lava tube caves. Craters of the Moon is located about 178 miles (286km) west of Boise.

Just 28 miles (45km) from Boise, visitors can ride the rails of the nostalgic Thunder Mountain Line, originally established in 1914 to serve the mining and timber industries. Four different routes throughout the year carry passengers through the winding canyon of the Payette River and past sagebrush covered hills, pristine forests, mountain meadows and rangelands. Many specialty trips are offered, including Christmas, Civil War, wine tasting and mystery dinner experiences.

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