Things to do in Downtown Boise

Explore Shopping, Hiking, Nightlife & More

At Hotel 43, we know Boise, a.k.a. The City of Trees. Just outside our doors, the downtown Boise area is jam-packed with shopping, restaurants, entertainment, nightlife and adventure. We’re smack dab in the heart of downtown, which means everything is walkable. For the art-inspired among you, explore the Boise Art Museum, Freak Alley, Opera Idaho and Ballet Idaho. Active types love the hiking trails into the foothills and the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile stretch of walking/biking pathways along the Boise River. You can also experience the rich Spanish flavors and aromas of the Basque Block and fabulous events on the Boise State Campus as well as at Idaho Central Arena and Boise Centre.

boise centre logo on a building

Boise Centre

Boise Centre is the epitome of convention centers that takes place in Boise; a substantial venue that is located adjacent to The Grove Hotel. Adding new renovations to their building, the convention center has implemented a profound amount of meeting rooms along with the expansion of their square footage. Restaurants, entertainment, outdoor activities, and hotels surround the extraordinary structure. 

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flowers in front of a clock tower

Boise Train Depot

Take a tour at the Boise Train Depot and explore the history of it all. The depot overlooks the amazing landscape of downtown Boise; a perfect spot to observe a sunset or sunrise as well. A place to learn more of what our Boise history has to present.

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art on the side of a building

Freak Alley

In the heart of downtown, walk through the famous Freak Alley to observe the tremendous work of art demonstrated. Freak Alley has been present since 2002 and is one of the many things to feel apart of in the heart of our city. A intriguing gallery of uniqueness that presents a fun, vibrant feel to the warming atmosphere of Boise. Blend in with the culture of our Northwest art gallery.

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a dirt path running across some hills

Ridge to River Trail System

Adventure out into the foothills of Boise and be apart of the scenary that contributes to the beauty of our city. Multiple trails in the terrain as activities can include running, mountain biking, or walking. The trail system is a great way to enjoy the nature we have to offer.

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people sitting in a football stadium

Albertsons Stadium

During the fall time, visit Boise to check out a Boise State football game! The Albertsons Stadium upholds a capacity of 38,000 screaming fans that cheer on for our Broncos. With the college-day game feel, includes our very own blue turf. Known as the "Smurf Turf", it is an unique turf field that draws in fans from all over the country.

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a capitol building

Idaho State Capitol Building

The beautiful, monumental Idaho State Capitol building serves as a historic standpoint in the capitol city of Boise. Ancient rich history of Idaho is surrounded inside the building along with magnificant pieces of artwork that glorify and portray the past years of our state. Schedule a tour to explore the capitol building and learn about different variances of what Idaho history has offered to our state.

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a tiger

Zoo Boise

Head to the tranquil center of Julia Davis Park for an up-close and personal look at over 200 animals from around the world. Zoo Boise is home to rare and endangered species not to be found in any other Idaho zoo, ranging from pandas to penguins, and features special exhibits such as “Butterflies in Bloom” and “Giraffe Encounters."

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Basque Block

The Treasure Valley is home to a deeply proud, close-knit Basque community of nearly 16,000 first- and second-generation immigrants. Known as “The Basque Block,” the area between 6th and Capitol Boulevard on Grove Street features lively museums, shops, restaurants, and events celebrating the heritage of this autonomous region of Spain.

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entrance to the boise art museum

Boise Art Museum

In addition to permanent collections and weekly community events, Boise Art Museum hosts 20 special exhibitions per year. “BAM” has hosted classical and contemporary collections from artists of various nationalities and specialties, continuously offering an educational visual experience for Boise citizens and visitors alike.

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The Boise Greenbelt

Expanding over 25 miles, this scenic pedestrian and bicycle path winds its way along the Boise River and the many coffee shops and outdoor cafés of Boise, Garden City, and Eagle. In addition to the wildlife and endless greenery, it also offers easy access to historical monuments such as the Black History Museum, the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Julia Davis Park/Zoo Boise, Lucky Peak, the Western Idaho Fairgrounds, and the Boise State University campus.

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entrance to the idaho historical museum

Idaho State Historical Museum

Immerse yourself in the legends and lore of Idaho, from the prehistoric era through the fur- trading days, the gold rush, and pioneer settlements. Established in 1907, Idaho's largest and most popular museum offers a fascinating look at Idaho’s history and people.

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two bodies at a science exhibit

Discovery Center

Ever wonder how hot air balloons fly or what makes a musical instrument sound the way it does? Let your imagination run wild at this interactive science center, where the exhibits and activities are so fascinating your kids will never know they’re actually learning something.

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The North End

Known for its historic architecture, beautifully restored homes, wonderful antique shops, and inimitable restaurants, The North End is teeming with local charm and character. It also happens to be the natural hub for Boise’s die-hard cycling, hiking, and mountain-biking enthusiasts.

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flowers and plants on a hill

Old Idaho Penitentiary & Idaho Botanical Garden

Located on what was once the Idaho State Penitentiary’s nursery, the Botanical Garden takes you from felons to flowers with the beautiful Heirloom Rose Garden, flavorful Herb Garden and Children’s Adventure Garden, to name just a few. This is also the site of Boise’s best concerts, festival and outdoor events. At the penitentiary museum, visitors can sit in old prison cells, find out what solitary confinement feels like and get a behind-the-scenes look at daily life in the Idaho pokey.

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Floating on the Boise River

If you haven’t taken the lazy five-mile float down the Boise River, you can’t claim to have experienced Boise. Whether you choose a tube, raft, or stand-up paddle board to float the course, there’s no better way to spend three hours on a beautiful Pacific Northwest day.

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Idaho Steelheads Hockey

Enjoy an action packed night with family and friends at an Idaho Steelheads hockey game. Our Idaho Steelheads hockey team is part of the ECHL. Come watch the team battle it out on the ice at the Idaho Central Arena; adjacent to The Grove Hotel.

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Creative, farm-to-table American dishes & craft cocktails served in a vibrant, brick-&-wood space.

Reservations required. 

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We just know Boise’s going to surprise you. With so many things to do in the downtown area, our staff is always on hand to help you plan your perfect visit to the 43rd state.