Nestled on a high desert plain with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, visitors will be hard pressed to forget the city of Boise. Its location makes it a convenient gateway to Idaho's great outdoors. The Boise River flows directly through the centre of town, enhancing the 25-mile (40km) Greenbelt path system, which connects five major parks throughout Boise, providing runners, walkers, bikers and skaters with endless space for exercise. Towering mountains lie to the north, including the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort, just a few minutes' drive from the city. Also easily accessible are natural sand dunes, hot springs, and crystal clear mountain lakes.
When not exploring the area's natural wonders, travellers can enjoy Downtown Boise with its shops, galleries, restaurants and clubs. Central Grove Plaza host free concerts staged throughout the summer and festive celebrations, including the lighting of an enormous Christmas tree in winter. Renovated historic buildings like the 8th Street Marketplace and Union Block offer unique shopping and dining experiences. Boise has an active downtown association, which promotes initiatives like First Thursdays, when city businesses stay open late and offer various promotions.
Be sure to sample Boise's Basque cuisine. In the 1930s, a group of Basques left Europe and settled in Boise, leaving their unique mark on the city's unique flavour. Today, Boise has one of the largest concentrations of Basques in the world outside the Pyrenees. In Boise's Basque neighbourhood, visitors can enjoy the Basque market, traditional restaurants, and various cultural events.