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Visiting Boise and don’t have a car? No problem. One of the City of Trees’ most beloved aspects is its accessibility. So many of its popular spots and points of interest can be reached and explored on two legs or two (or more) wheels. Hop on your bike, skateboard or rent an e-scooter to experience these 33 things to do in and around Boise that don’t require a car.

Downtown Boise

Downtown Boise is home to over 250 shops, restaurants, galleries and more — all within an easily walkable/bikeable/scooterable footprint.

  1. Kick off your day with a jolt of caffeine and the biggest, tastiest scone you’ve ever encountered at Big City Coffee & Cafe.
  2. Be dazzled by the colorful walls of the Northwest’s largest open-air, multi-artist mural gallery, Freak Alley.

Exploring Freak Alley, Boise.
Freak Alley Gallery. Photo credit: Idaho Tourism.

  1. Snap a selfie with a Liberty Bell replica (crack-free!) on a self-guided tour of the Idaho State Capitol.
  2. Learn about the history and architecture of Boise on a trolley tour.
  3. Cool off with a boozy cone at The STIL or a waffle taco at Stella’s.
  4. Pick up your next vacation read at Rediscovered Books.
  5. Get your artisan-made gifts and souvenirs at Idaho Made.
  6. Nosh while you learn about Boise on a historic downtown food & cultural tour.
  7. Find the latest vinyl release at The Record Exchange.
  8. Snag some Idaho-inspired swag at BANANA Ink.
  9. Immerse yourself in Basque history, culture and food (croquetas are a must) on The Basque Block.

man cooking paella outside and people sitting at tables in the background
Paella at The Basque Market on The Basque Block. Photo credit: Idaho Tourism.

  1. Catch a matinee of the latest indie or foreign film at The Flicks.
  2. Take the Walk and Wander tour and ride the spiral slide at Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP).

A view of JUMP in Boise.
Jack’s Urban Meeting Place (JUMP). Photo credit: Idaho Tourism.

  1. Discover Idaho’s human rights history at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial.
  2. Step into a speakeasy experience for a craft cocktail at Press & Pony (tip: book a reservation in advance).
  3. Get your old-school arcade gaming on at Spacebar.
  4. Refuel with an order of Waffles & Chicken from Waffle Me Up.
  5. Enjoy a fireside cocktail on the patio at The Modern Bar.
  6. Take a bike tour of Boise State University or view “The Blue” at Albertsons Stadium.
  7. Bowl a strike while enjoying craft beer at Western Proper

Hyde Park

Just a 30-minute walk or a 10-minute bike or e-scooter ride up 13th street from downtown, you’ll discover the Hyde Park Historic District. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this vibrant section of the North End neighborhood is bustling with restaurants, bars, boutique shops and more.

Historic Hyde Park. Photo credit: Idaho Tourism.

  1. Savor an amazing sourdough English muffin at Certified Kitchen + Bakery.
  2. Treat yo’ self to an old-fashioned split, sundae or soda at Goody’s.
  3. Discover unique, whimsical gifts in the eclectic Hyde & Seek boutique.
  4. Drop into Lit & Co. Candles for some swoon-worthy scents. 
  5. Enjoy a slice o’ pie with a pint at North End Pizza.
  6. Order a Royal Old Fashioned and play shuffleboard at The Royal Cocktail Co. 

Garden City

Named for the Chinese gardens that once graced the area, Garden City is a 4-square-mile suburb of Boise that sits along the banks of the Boise River. The town has undergone a recent revitalization, drawing artists, wineries, restaurants, shops and more. The Boise River Greenbelt connects Downtown Boise to Garden City, making for a convenient and scenic stroll amid the winding river and through tree-lined parks.

  1. Groove to live music at the riverside Sandbar
  2. Enjoy a glass of wine on the patio at Telaya Wine Co. or in the Coiled Wines Tasting Room.
  3. Sip or snack at Greenbelt Market while you watch surfers catching a wave at Boise Whitewater Park.
  4. Load up on street tacos and cold beer at The Yardarm.

The Yardarm. Photo credit: The Yardarm.

  1. Fall in love with the flatbread at Caffe Luciano’s.
  2. Unwind with a glass of wine and a cigar on the huge patio at Sturman’s Wine & Cigars.
  3. Sample Puerto Rican cuisine at Wepa Café.

​​​​​​​Wherever your feet or wheels take you around Boise, you’ll find intriguing sights and unexpected delights to fill your day. Find other Boise Travel Tips here and information on getting around the City of Trees here.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Feature image credited to Idaho Tourism.


Published on July 7, 2021