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Established in 1916, this open-air zoo hosts about 235 animals from around the world. Located in the Julia Davis Park, the zoo is a perfect outing for children and adults of all ages. Featuring otters, zebras and a variety of native Idaho animals, the zoo offers a special discounted admission price on Thursdays. Bring a picnic lunch and spend some time with your favorite animal friends.
Built in the year 1905 and modeled on the iconic building of the U.S. Capitol, the Idaho Capitol is one of the few statehouse in the country that is heated by geothermal water. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in the year 1920. The floor of the building's rotunda is laid in an ornate marble pattern called the Compass Rose. The rolling grounds on which the edifice rests are well kept and have several notable trees, some of which were planted by the U.S. Presidents. Harboring many national jewels including prized sculptures, statues, and artifacts, this courtly capitol is awash in Classical semblances of architecture. Its glorious dome overlooking Boise's charming cityscape, the capitol building is fringed by the Capitol Mall, and many older public buildings and monuments. Complete with opulent interiors restored to their original glory, the capitol building is truly a legislative beacon of Idaho.
For old-world charm, visitors can stroll or cycle through this North End neighborhood. Neat bungalows line 13th Street, brushing up against sports stores, river guides, art galleries, interior decorators, antique shops and tasty restaurants like Lucky 13. Near downtown Boise but with a smaller neighborhood feel, Hyde Park is famous for its Hyde Park Street Fair. This small retail center deserves its place among favorite shopping haunts.
The "Old Pen" is a stirring glimpse into prison life in the West from the 19th Century onward. Built in 1870, the castle-like fortress underwent renovation over the years, often using prison labor. Over 13,000 prisoners served time in the Old Penitentiary over a period of 101 years. Complete with solitary confinement cells and gallows, this eerie, yet intriguing penitentiary was also where the notorious Lady Bluebeard was imprisoned. The mighty prison is upheld by the Idaho State Historical Society, its complex a home to several notable sites like the Territorial Prison, the Dining Hall and a tracery of cell houses. What was once a formidable force, is now a stimulating museum open for in-depth perusal, and harbors myriad exhibits that date as far back as the Bronze Age.