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Top Rated Attractions in Boise

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Ridge to Rivers Trail System

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.

Boise Philharmonic

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.

Boise River Greenbelt

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.

Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center

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.

St. John's Cathedral

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.

World Center for Birds of Prey

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.

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