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
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.
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.