Boise was voted one of the best places to live in the US by US News & World Report
Idaho's Capital City
Boise (pronounced “Boy-See”) is a city known for its friendly neighborhood charm, stunning mountain views and beautiful, sunny climate. Lovingly called the ‘City of Trees’, Boise is home to a community of outdoor lovers who say ‘yes’ to the opportunities of a big city without having to give up the excitement of the great outdoors. Learn more below!
Fun Things to Do in Boise
Boise State Bucket List
Nestled in the heart of Idaho’s vibrant capital city, Boise State’s centrally-located campus makes for the perfect launching point to explore downtown Boise and beyond with convenient access to tons of local outdoor recreation, sightseeing, and entertainment. With incredible connections to our tight-knit community, Bronco’s know how to make the most of the city they call home. Closed captions and a video transcript are available.
Located in the heart of Idaho’s capital, Boise State’s Campus is just a 10-minute walk from a booming arts and music scene. Home to Treefort Music Festival, shopping, museums, entertainment venues, great restaurants and cafes, and nightlife.
The Boise State campus also is home to ExtraMile Arena where, in addition to hosting Bronco Basketball games and gymnastics, students can attend major commercial concerts throughout the year with artists like: Ariana Grande, Elton John, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, and more!
Escape to nature.
According to Wilderness Times, Boise is one of the Top 25 cities to live in for an “Outdoorsy Lifestyle”, and the New York Times ranked Boise the #9 best city in the country for cyclists.
It’s as easy as hopping on the Greenbelt, a 25-mile tree-lined pedestrian pathway that hugs the campus and runs along the Boise river. Perfect for a morning jog or bike ride with the Cycle Learning Center.
There’s no shortage of year-round outdoor fun to be had with sprawling public parks, scenic hiking trails, rock climbing, ski resorts and river sports all nearby. And with the Boise State Outdoor Program, renting recreational equipment couldn’t be any easier!
Boise is also known for its thriving professional scene. In fact, national publications like U.S. News & World Report and Forbes have named us one of the hottest cities for entrepreneurs and a great place for young professionals to live, work and study.
In fact, Boise State’s vibrant partnerships across Idaho’s Capital City offer all kinds of internships and student work experiences to get you prepared for your next chapter.
With the Boise Airport less than four miles away, a quick flight home (or somewhere new!) is always an easy getaway.
Within the state of Idaho, favorite attractions within driving distance include public hot springs, Payette Lake (McCall), the Bruneau Sand Dunes, Shoshone Falls Park and more. Destination cities like Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Portland are all popular places within the region to visit.
Experience Boise like a Bronco
Hotels and Hospitality
Staying in downtown Boise is a a convenient 5 minute drive from our beautiful campus. Make sure you ask for the “Boise State Rate” at any of these options or use the discount links below.
Everything in Boise is so close that you may not even need a car. Walk the short 10 minutes from campus to the heart of downtown or rent a bike at our Cycle Learning Center (CLC) for the day. Located in the Lincoln Parking Garage, the CLC is focused on developing healthy and sustainable lifestyles.
The Bronco Shuttle is a free service provided by Boise State University Department of Public Safety, which carries students, faculty, and guests all around campus with routes into downtown.
Ride-sharing and electric scooters are also in abundance around the city.
Boise prides itself on our local farm-to-table eating and fun dishes around the Treasure Valley. We suggest you check out these areas of Boise to find a restaurant that suits your cravings. Make sure to ask locals when you are out-and-about what their favorite stop.
8th Street in Downtown Boise | Located in the center of Downtown, you can’t go wrong with any restaurants here!
BoDo | BoDo (Boise Downtown) is a specific area located on 9th and Broad Street that offers outdoor dining, live music, and a fantastic ice cream spot.
Hyde Park | In Boise’s Historic North End is Hyde Park – a place that feels like stepping back in time. Make sure to check out Hyde Park for more ice cream spots (what can I say, Boiseans have a sweet tooth!), fun patio spaces, and great local shopping.
Need a quick bite to eat? Our campus has these great places for you to choose from.
We feature quality, value, variety, and convenience. We have over 20 dining locations including dining halls, cafes, on-campus markets, and several seasonal food trucks. Dining hubs are located across campus in the following locations:
Interactive Learning Center (ILC)
Student Union Building
Honors College and Sawtooth Hall
Micron Business and Economics Building
Visit Boise State’s new Dine on Campus site that features hours, menus, events, and a ton more programmatic information.
Float the Boise River in the summer. If you need a break from the Boise heat, hop in the Boise River that runs through campus for a scenic 6-mile float (takes about 1.5 hours). Rentals and shuttles are available at Barber Park.
Enjoy a hike, jog, or bikeride along the Greenbelt or through the Boise Foothills at Camel’s Back Reserve, the Military Reserve, or the Foothills East Reserve.
Eat your way through Boise. There are plenty of great dining options across town! See our Eat Local tab for ideas.
During the summer, shop local as you explore the Capital City Farmers Market – located in Downtown Boise for local vendors, fresh produce, and live music.
Head to Quinn’s Pond to watch (or partake) in water sports! You can rent kayaks and paddle boards or take a turn at the Whitewater Park where you can surf the Boise River.
Thrill-seekers can find everything from skiing to snowboarding and tubing to mountain coaster riding at Bogus Basin ski resort!
Boise also has tons of great all-ages friendly venues offering entertainment like concerts, karaoke and virtual reality. Not to mention non-profit arts communities like The Hive and Boise All-Ages Movement Project.
Places to See
Check out the Idaho State Capitol Building located in the heart of downtown!
Walk around Hyde Park in Boise’s Historic District for a cup of coffee or a sweet treat.
Head to Table Rock for a must-see panoramic view of Downtown Boise, our own campus and the foothills.
Explore more than a dozen museums, including the Boise Art Museum, Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Idaho Black History Museum and Zoo Boise.
Visit Freak Alley near 8th street (a local art space with great photo-ops).
Check out the Old Idaho Penitentiary for a historical tour.
Visit Bogus Basin, our local nonprofit ski resort located just 40 minutes away from campus in the Boise National Forest. From night-skiing to tubing to a mountain coaster, Bogus has it all!