The great outdoors. Where you can just get away from it all and go camping with good friends, like our time at Sage Hen Creek campground in Idaho. Got the last spot on the lake and had a fun weekend with no cell service, just those we were with.
This was originally posted for my good buddies at Wayward
It’s been nearly three months since I stepped foot on Idaho soil. Having never visited, my wife and I took the leap and moved from Chicago, IL to Boise, ID. While I haven’t found a deep dish pizza that competes with Chicago’s taste, I have fallen in love with this city in the foothills. It is jam packed with accessible adventures, kind people, and micro-breweries. If you’re planning to visit Boise, this guide’s for you.
Whether you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, staying downtown won’t be a bad option. You’re in the heart of the city, can walk to all of the great restaurants, bars, and the greenbelt. The beauty of staying downtown is that you can wake up on Saturday morning and be immersed in the local farmers market within minutes.
If small historic homes are more of your thing, the North End is where you want to be. Located (you guessed it!) just north of downtown, this neighborhood separates the foothills from downtown. Hyde Park is also located in this neighborhood and boasts great restaurants such as: North End Pizza, Parrilla Grill, and Goody’s Soda Fountain. Within 15 minutes you can walk to downtown or to Camel’s Back Park and see Boise from above.
Located south of the river, this is the neighborhood directly west of Boise State University. Boasting walking access to Boise’s largest park, Ann Morrison Park, this neighborhood is a great option if you want to feel like a local for your days in Boise.
FOR THE ADVENTURE LOVER
Let’s be honest, if Boise has one thing going right it is the Ridge to Rivers network. This network connects hundreds of miles of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, dirt biking, you name it trails scattered throughout the Treasure Valley area. If you’re looking for some great single track rent a bike from one of the many bike shops in Boise, such as Joyride Cycles, ride to Camel’s Back Park and take off into the foothills. You can rent bikes, get to the trailhead, and be gone for 3+ hours all without ever getting in your car. That’s the beauty of how accessible the foothills are.
Looking for something a little more low key? Take a hike at Hillside to Hollow Reserve. You won’t believe you are a less than 10 minute drive from downtown once you get on the trail.
During the summer months you can rent or bring tubes and float down the Boise river. There is a shuttle service ($6) that picks up at Ann Morrison Park. You can float 5 miles (around 2 hours) back to Ann Morrison. Additionally, you can head to Quinn’s Pond for SUP or do freshwater surfing on the Boise River.
Visiting during winter? Leave downtown and be on a ski lift in under an hour. Winter trips call for a quick trip to Bogus Basin where you can ski and snowboard for the day. Additionally, many of the popular hiking trails can be used for snowshoeing during the winter months.
FOR THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
While the deep dish pizza may not compete with Chicago, Boise’s beer and cider scene is top notch. With multiple breweries, a Basque district, and a great local restaurant selections you will not go hungry… or thirsty. Boise Brewing has been awarded 4 years in a row for various beers in their selection. 8th Street is home to many great restaurants and drink spots such as: The Mode Lounge, Bittercreek, Eureka!, The Matador, Funky Taco and right around the corner you will find Meriwether Cider Co. For dessert be sure to stop by The Stil for a wine + ice cream flight.
If you are a fan of live music head to The Knitting Factory or Nuerolux for a great show. There are plenty of local bands that are consistently booking venues each weekend.
While this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this city of trees, it should leave you wanting to extend your stay on the next visit to Boise.
I recently posted a video (watch below) covering 5 apps that have helped Sarah and I save money! Knowing some people would rather read while on the commute I wanted to list them fro you here. Happy Traveling!
Pros: Easy to use interface, allows you to watch flights for specific dates and sends notifications on when to buy, can customize which airlines you want to see (Basic Fares: Spirit, Frontier, etc.), price predictions, can customize layover restrictions, has desktop website.
Cons: Southwest not included - this is not Hopper’s fault, it is the business model of Southwest to not work with any third party affiliates (still a bummer though), no longer able to choose flexible dates,
Who’s it for: Planners. If you are someone who plans trips months in advance you will save a lot of money utilizing Hopper. International travelers will also benefit from the time and effort saving options of Hopper.
Download Hopper at: www.hopper.com
Pros: Amazing deals on last minute hotel rooms, membership program gives deeper discounts the more you book, beautiful interface and great room information, member reviews and photos uploaded to the app.
Cons: mobile only, daily drop is only available once per day including all locations (can be tough if road tripping),
Who’s it for: Last minute travelers, business travelers who have flexibility, solo travelers, couple travelers, digital nomads.
Download HotelTonight at: www.hoteltonight.com
Use my promo code SHOWARD227 and you'll get $25 off your first booking.
Google Maps Explore
Pros: Most commonly used navigation and review system on the planet, has everything including upcoming events, restaurants, cocktail spots, etc.
Cons: If you don’t like Google?
Who’s it for: Anyone and everyone
The Outbound Collective
Pros: Community driven, real people means real reviews, a great way to see where locals are spending time outdoors when traveling to a new city or region.
Cons: Being 100% community driven it may not show all available trails in the area.
Who’s it for: Outdoor lovers, travelers looking for day hikes, people looking for new camping spots in their region, outdoor photographers.
Join The Outbound Collective at: https://theoutbound.com/
Pros: In almost every location around the world, flexibility for budgets, size, amount of people, and location.
Cons: Airbnb’s will not come with the hotel amenities some travelers may be used to. That being said, the options to choose exactly what you location and budget is should take care of this if you do your research.
Who’s it for: Any travelers spending more than 2 nights at one location, travelers looking for a home away from home, travelers with dietary restrictions.
Join Airbnb at: www.airbnb.com
Use the link above and receive $40 off of your first trip!
I hope these apps make traveling as enjoyable for you as it has me. For more information on each app, check out my YouTube video below!
Any questions shoot me an email or comment on my YouTube video.