Stretching from the Boise River to the Boise Ridge, the Ridge to Rivers Trail System offers hikers and mountain-bikers 75,000 acres of trails. Through the cooperative efforts of several government agencies, private landowners and other organizations, the trail system was created to preserve Boise's foothills. The old roads and trails allow for outdoor exploration conveniently from downtown Boise. Maps are available from the Boise Parks and Recreation, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Boise outdoor stores. Some of the easier trails to hike include #27 Cottonwood Creek, #28 Crestline Trail and #31 Corrals Trail.
Although country-western music still reigns in Idaho, the Philharmonic soothes classical music fans with a rich selection of concerts throughout the year. Performing in the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts or Swayne Auditorium in nearby Nampa, the area's best musicians perform everything from Berlioz to Beethoven, often attracting international artists. The repertoire includes Handel's Messiah in December and a free family concert in May.
Stretching more than 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Eagle Island State Park eastward towards Discovery State Park at the base of Lucky Peak Dam, this sleek asphalt pavement offers inline skaters, joggers, walkers and cyclists with a dependable facility that can be accessed anytime around the year. The well-marked trail meanders through downtown Boise, Veterans Memorial Park and Julia Davis Park following the serpentine Boise River. The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the Baybrook Court Pedestrian Bridge, and the Boise Public Library are just a few of the attractions to be found while traversing the greenbelt.
Offering a view of the Boise River's underwater world, this unique and interesting center allows visitors to see what happens under the rippling surface of a river. Hands-on computers help visitors understand and learn about the complex world of a living river. This learning center is a must for both tourists and residents, especially if you are a science buff. You will leave the center with a new appreciation for science and river habitats. Student tours are also available.
Idaho's largest cathedral stretches across an entire city block and has ceilings that soar up to 50 feet, but its size does not detract from its simple elegance. Warm, rich tones light the interior and intricate paintings climb the walls. Opening in 1921, the sandstone cathedral follows a Romanesque design, based on a Mainz, Germany cathedral. Even though the cathedral underwent a restoration in 1979, it retains an old-world feeling. Be sure to check out the impressive narrative stained-glass windows.
Responsible for housing more than 200 birds of prey, this wood and glass interpretive center stands out against Boise's flat southwestern fields. Visitors to the World Center for Birds of Prey can admire peregrine falcons, eagles, owls and California condors, or stroll through the grounds, crossing over a rocky creek on a wooden bridge. The 7,200-square feet (668.90 square meters) interpretive center features soaring wooden beams and colorful wildlife art. Volunteers answer questions and provide informational programs and workshops.
When a theater company uses a motto like, "Dare to do it live!" you know you are in for something original. At the Stage Coach Theatre, talented actors perform some of the best contemporary American theater. This community theater has performed plays by such well-known playwrights like Neil Simon. Performances have also included "Love, Sex and the I.R.S." by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore and "Cobb" by Lee Blessing. Check their website for upcoming shows and schedules.
This beautiful music venue is a local gem. The Sapphire Room hosts touring artists as well as local musicians. Enjoy a soulful tune of jazz or blues while enjoying some tasty bites or drinks at this intimate place. Set in the lobby area of the Riverside Hotel, don't miss the place if you love music and some good food to go along with it.
A wonderful touring experience can be had "all aboard" Boise Trolley Tours. You can travel in an open-air trolley car and explore several local historic locations, including the Basque Block, Julia Davis Park, the Idaho State Capital and more. The trolley is available for charter as well as individual tour rides. Tours depart from the Kit Carson Cafe at 11a and 1p May through September. Please visit their website for more information.
This urban park, completed in 1989, is one of Boise's best additions to its extensive park system. Ideal for nature-walkers, it features a self-guided tour down a paved pathway that explains its unique plant and animal habitat. The pond is filled with ducks and fish. Gazebos, a fountain and the largest cross-section of a Ponderosa Pine on this planet can also be found here. Named after the wife of the Albertsons' grocery store founder, the park is located across from Ann Morrison Park and allows leashed pets.
Geese and ducks boldly march past a cascading fountain, while children swing high into the air at Boise's largest park. Ann Mprrison Park is a bucolic place to spend an afternoon. Named after Ann Daly, who is more famous under her married name of Morrison (as in Morrison-Knudson Company), this 153-acre park opened in 1959. Today, visitors can play tennis, softball, football and soccer or relax next to the Boise River for a picnic.