When I was younger, I went on many road trips with my family, and we tended to always stop in Idaho for a night before continuing our trip. However, we rarely explored much of Idaho during our road trips – it was treated as more of a quick pit stop than a destination. So many, many years later, when I finally got the opportunity to actually experience Boise, Idaho, I knew I had to take it. My friend invited me to join her when she visited her alma mater, Boise State University, during homecoming weekend. While I was excited to partake in the homecoming festivities, I was more excited to explore the rest of Boise over the next couple of days.
Since my Boise vacation was a spur-of-the-moment decision, I didn’t have much time to find a good hotel. Fortunately, HotelTonight made it easy for me to book a great last-minute hotel room in Boise. On my phone, I had booked a hotel room in downtown Boise, and was ready to start exploring this beautiful Idaho city.
Boise locals love being outside among nature, and I don’t blame them, since their natural surroundings are absolutely stunning. Since I visited Boise in the fall, the city popped with autumnal colors of the changing leaves. In order to experience Boise like a local (and to see more of the beautiful fall foliage), I headed to the Boise River Greenbelt. This popular park follows the Boise River, and it’s a favorite spot for locals to run, walk and bike. I started off my day with a brisk walk along the Greenbelt, and I’ll admit – I made several stops to snap photos of the picture-perfect foliage along the way.
Even though I spent more than an hour walking along the Greenbelt, I hadn’t gotten enough of Boise’s natural beauty yet, so I made my way to the Julia Davis Park. This public park sprawls across nearly 90 acres in the hear of Boise, and it’s home to several of the city’s museums, such as the Idaho State Historical Museum, the Idaho Black History Museum and the Discovery Center of Idaho. The Julia Davis Park is also home to a beautiful rose garden, tennis courts, and even the Boise Zoo. Because there is so much to do and see in the Julia Davis Park, it would be easy to spend an entire day here. Since I only had a limited amount of time in Boise, though, I decided to just check out one museum and wander through the park before heading back to my hotel.
My hotel was located in the heart of downtown, so it was easy to walk around to different sights, bars and restaurants. Even though it’s a downtown district, this neighborhood doesn’t give off any big-city vibes. Instead, it feels like a small-town urban area that really fosters a sense of community. While downtown is clean, charming and pretty, it’s still full of plenty of surprises, such as Freak Alley. This public art galley encompasses an entire alley in downtown Boise, and it features bold, provocative and colorful mural gallery. It’s currently the largest outdoor public gallery in the Northwest, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in Boise.
The next morning, I checked out of my hotel and made my way to Bogus Basin to immerse myself in Idaho’s great outdoors one last time. Located just outside of Boise, Bogus Basin is a mountain that is extremely popular during ski season. Since I was in Boise right before ski season started, though, I enjoyed great hiking in Bogus Basin instead. I quickly discovered that locals love Bogus Basin, where they can enjoy the fresh mountain air and hike, mountain bike and even horseback ride. The natural views from Bogus Basin are breathtaking, and I spent the entire morning relishing in the beautiful scenery. I felt that this was the appropriate way to end my short trip to Boise, as I did just what any local would do – get outdoors.
While I was sad to leave Idaho’s beauty behind, it was comforting to know that I can always plan another spur-of-the-moment trip to Boise thanks to HotelTonight. No matter when I decide to visit Boise in the future, I’ll be sure to visit HotelTonight’s website first thing to book a last-minute hotel room. I like to make sure that my vacations are stress-free, and HotelTonight certainly helps me accomplish that goal. So as I left Boise that afternoon, I decided that maybe I should consider returning in a few months. After all, I hear Boise is beautiful in the winter, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to snowboard.