We are heading East again! We stopped at Pilot Butte (in Bend) to do a little reconnaissance before hitting it. I have to say, looking West -it sure seems a lot more interesting. But it’s East for us, and our first stop is Boise.
Boise conjures a feeling of coming home.
Even though it has never been my home. It’s only my 2nd visit, but it seems familiar. I think it’s because Boise captures the idyllic, small town America, and yet brims with new life. Norman Rockwell charm, but on steroids.
Boise is vibrant, clean, unpretentious, dog-friendly… people drive at the speed limit, and stop for pedestrians. It blends neighborhoods with city-life and tons of outdoor activities.
Friendships from AirBnb
One year ago, we stayed in the hip NoBo district (Northend), with a hip hostess and her poodle, MoJo. Her availability was blacked out, however I emailed her anyway. She had a room available, but due to construction, wasn’t “AirBnb ready”. She’d welcome us, if we could live without dining space. We agreed on $125.00 for three nights, and, with the amazing weather we experienced, the outdoor dining table was just fine. Thank you Karen.
Basques in Boise
I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, but Boise has a rich Basque community. We had to see for ourselves. And, I was disappointed. The Market was more restaurant, than market. Restaurant patrons didn’t spill onto the sidewalks, and eye popping pintxos weren’t flying from displays…. Oh well, this is Boise after all.
Boise has a healthy art scene. But not of the street performer variety. I saw just one panhandler. We didn’t make it to BAM – Boise Art Museum, but there were other forms of city art we could absorb. We actually stopped by the state capital.
Surprisingly, there were no metal detectors, no bag searches, no one even manning the doors. A bright, sandstone building, filled with brilliant marble, and displaying many pieces of Idaho art. It is evident that Idaho is an agricultural state, with a fun edge:
Boise has a youthful vibe, minus the tattoos. I saw two bike messengers with no apparent tattoos!? On a sunny, midweek afternoon we saw volleyball, frisbee, dog walkers, and sun revellers. Nearby is the Greenbelt, with 25 miles of a paved river walk. Perfect for biking, strolling, rollerblading, and people watching.
There is plenty to keep you outside. We walked an average of 8.5 miles a day during our visit.
Oh, and the Beer’s Pretty Good Too
Hugging the Oregon and Washington borders, it’s no surprise the beer culture – and coffee, for that matter – is thick and juicy. New breweries pop up monthly. Following Woody’s nose, we landed a pint for $2.50! Finding delicious, cheap-eats was easy. An example was at Mazzah, a platter of shwarma (SO good), a gyro, tabouli, dolmas (SO good), and pita was $18.00. I had to be rolled home…