Other than giggling at it in middle school, I never once thought about actually going to Idaho. I can thank 2020 for making me look into small towns instead of buzzing cities. Idaho ended up blowing me away and I da hoe for not going there sooner.
Where To Stay
We left Wednesday afternoon and checked into our Airbnb. Boise’s Airbnb’s were a hugeeee reason we ended up going. They have so many unique options for a very affordable price. We stayed here, which was perfect for two people, the hosts were amazing and there’s a sauna!! Here are a few others:
Where To Eat
Not too special for Boise but, since we don’t have it out east we went to Dutch Bros a few times over the trip. Our first morning we went to Certified Kitchen + Bakery. Their breakfast sandwich is not to be missed! It’s with a homemade English muffins made with 53-year-old starter, delicious!!!
On Friday morning we went to Bacon. The name speaks for itself and they do it well. We got the bacon flight, Benny Hill, The Hash and cheese grits. Don’t let the spicy hot fool you, it’s actually is very hot.
Lunch + Dinner
Idaho is known for their potatoes so you have to try Boise’s Fry Company. They have two different locations in Boise. We got the sweet potatoes and Russet fries. The main draw to me were all the different condiments!! They have blueberry ketchup which sounds odd but, with the sweet potato fries it’s pure potato gold!
For dinner we went to Richards. It’s Boise’s classier restaurant and the food was really good! It was for my birthday dinner and they had a cute little note and even gave me a free birthday dessert! We got the bruschetta, which was very different than normal. It had salmon, capers and shallots on top of focaccia bread. For the mains, we got salmon and duck. You will not leave hungry.
Before dinner we went to Gas Lantern Drinking Company. It’s right around the corner from Richard’s and a super cool interior. It was decorated with lanterns and had a good selection of interesting cocktails and beers.
What To do
What’s cool about Boise is that you can be downtown and then drive to a cool hike in under an hour. The city is surrounded by mountains which just gives the perfect background. So only about a 45 min drive from Boise is the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. I was honestly not that into it because I hate birds but IT’S SO PRETTY. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon but it gave me those vibes. It was the perfect thing to do to explore more of Idaho, we even got stopped by some cows.
We made a stop at the Kuna Caves! Your GPS should take you there but it is unmarked. You turn left onto a dirt road (past a house) and it’s down the next left. You just have to look for the ladder! We were the only ones there and honestly we got too scared to even go down. Jay and I have both listened to too many crime podcasts but, it’s really cool to see. They used to be old lava tunnels, yes Idaho has old volcanos!!
Another hiking opportunity super close to downtown is Table Rock. Don’t follow your GSP to Table Rock but instead put in Old Penitentiary Trailhead. It’s a fairly simple hike but mostly uphill. It gives you great views of the city.
Shopping is another fun activity! I picked up some new records at The Record Exchange. A huge store with a very wide range of CDs, vinyl, postcards, stickers, hats, etc. The staff is also super friendly.
Now even if you don’t love art or murals, you should take a stroll through Freak Alley. It doesn’t take too long and it’s right downtown. It’s just an alley that has murals on literally every part of it!
We didn’t spend all of our time in Boise. If you have some time you should definitely visit Stanley, ID. It’s in the Sawtooth Mountains and also part of the Dark Sky Reserve. On good days, you can see the Northern Lights! Sadly, it was very snowy the day we went but still had a blast. Stanley is the smallest town I’ve ever been to, as it’s only home to 60 year around residents. We stayed in the cutest cabins called The Triangle C Cabins. It would be perfect for little weekend getaway and you have the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains there when you wake up. We went on some hikes but you can also rent snow mobiles or go snow shoeing!
The main attraction for us were the Hot Springs! There are about 5-6 different Hot Springs along the road to get to Stanley from Boise. Our first stop was Sunbeam Hot Springs. It was a very shot walk down to the springs and it’s right along the river. It’s super warm and we had it all to ourselves. (:
Just down the road from that one is Boat Box Hot Springs. It’s a tub along the river meant for two. People were already there when we stopped and didn’t feel like waiting. However, looked very relaxing. Mountain Village Lodge in town also has a private hot spring you can reserve!
The next on the list was Bonneville Hot Springs. Sadly, due to all the snow, we couldn’t drive down the road. If you’re going in the summer, I would definitely try and stop. They are supposed to be the warmest!
Our next stop was the most famous Kirkham Hot Springs. There were a lot of people there but Kirkham was also the biggest. They had about 8-10 different pools you could still in. It was nestled in between the mountains and with the snow coming down, it was magical.
Idaho was a beautiful state and one not to be overlooked! We loved our trip to Idaho and would love to go back one day.